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Lecture One Hundred and Sixteenth

We said yesterday that the Prophet spoke of the king of Cushan and of the Midianites, in order to strengthen the minds of the godly, and to set before their eyes the continued aid of God, so that they might venture to feel assured that he would not act otherwise towards the Church to the end of the world, then what he had done from the beginning. The meaning, then, is sufficiently evident. We must now consider the words.

Some understand by the word, און, aun, nothing, or vanity; as though the Prophet had said, that the tells of Cushan had been reduced to nothing: but another sense is more probable; I have seen the tents of Cushan on account of his iniquity; 5656     The word [אוז] not only means iniquity, but also what iniquity produces, labor, trouble, affliction; and this latter meaning, as allowed by Newcome and Henderson, is most suitable to it here. The word is so taken in Genesis 35:18; Deuteronomy 26:14; Hosea 9:4. Besides, this meaning makes a correspondence between this and the following line, as will be seen by the following version—
   Under trouble have I seen the tents of Cushan,
Tremble did the curtains of the land of Midian.

   The "curtains” were those used in forming tents, and are used here to designate them. The most obvious reference here is to Cushan, mentioned in Judges 3:8,10, as Calvin states; yet some consider that it stands for Cush, as Lotan, in Genesis 26:20, is put for Lot: and some, as Gesenius, say, that the African Cush is meant, and others, as Henderson, think, that it is the Arabian Cush, especially as Midian is also mentioned. Still the events recorded in Judges, nearly connected together, favor the opinion adopted by Calvin.—Ed.
that is, the reward which God had repaid, for the iniquity of the king of Cushan had been made manifest. The Prophet says that he had seen it, because it was evident and known to all. We now perceive what is meant that God had been a just judge against the army of Cushan; for as they had unjustly assailed the Israelites, so a just reward was rendered to them. The account of this we have in Judges 3. Cushan, the king of Mesopotamia, had well-nigh destroyed the Israelites, when the Lord put him to flight with all his forces. Some render the words, “The tents of Ethiopia,” as though it was written thus; but this is strained, and contrary to the rules of grammar; and besides, the following clause confirms what I have said; for the Prophet mentions the slaughter with which God destroyed the Midianites, who had also nearly overwhelmed the miserable people. He says that their curtains trembled, or their dwellings: for God, without the hand or sword of men, drove them into such madness, that they slew one another, as the sacred history testifies. See Judges 6:1, 7:1. It now follows—

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