on Habakkuk 3 :7
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction - Cush is Arabia. The Arabians dwelt in tents, hence they were called Scenitae. When the Lord appeared on Mount Sinai, the Arabs of the Red Sea abandoned their tents, being terror-struck; and the Midianites also were seized with fear. See the desolation wrought among this people by Phinehas, Numbers 31:1, etc., on account of their having enticed the Israelites to idolatry, Numbers 25:1, etc. Either Cush and Midian lay contiguous to each other; or, these names are poetically used to express the same place.
on Habakkuk 3 :7
I saw - in prophetic vision 1 Kings 22:17.
The tents of Cushan in (under) affliction - Upon the coming of the Lord there follows the visitation of those alien from Him. . Cushan-Rishathaim was the first, whose ambition God overruled to chasten His people Judges 3:8-10.. It has been remarked that as "king of Aram-Naharaim" or North Mesopotamia, he was probably sovereign of the Aram, from which Balak king of Moab, allied with Midian, sent for Balaam to curse Israel. Midian was the last enemy who, at the very entrance of the promised land, seduced God's people into idolatry and foul sin and lusts. Midian became then the object of the wrath of God Numbers 25:17. They were also among the early oppressors of Israel, leaving Judges 6:4, Judges 6:11. "no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor ass," driving them for refuge to dwell in the "dens and the mountains, caves and fastnesses," consuming the produce of their land like locusts, so that he whom God raised up as their subduer, was threshing even in a wine-press to hide it from them.
Both the kingdom of Aram-Naharaim and Midian disappear from history after those great defeats. Midian, beside its princes Judges 8:10. "lost," by mutual slaughter, "one hundred and twenty thousand men who drew sword." It left its name as a proverb for the utter destruction of these who sought to exterminate the people of God. Psalm 83:9, Psalm 83:11-12. "Do unto them as unto the Midianites; make them and their princes like Oreb and Zeeb; all their princes us Zebah and as Zalmunnah, who said, let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession." It was an exterminating warfare, which rolled back on those who waged it. So Isaiah sums up an utter breaking-off of the yoke and the rod of the oppressor, as being Isaiah 9:4 "as in the day of Midian." The same word, aven, is nothingness, iniquity, and the fruit of iniquity, trouble (Job 5:6; Job 26:14; Jeremiah 4:15; Hosea 9:4; not in Psalm 55:4; nor (as Gesenius) in Job 4:8; Psalm 22:8; Isaiah 59:4.) (since iniquity is emptiness and opposed to that which is, God and His Goodness, and ends in sorrow); so then Cushan is seen as lying as all sinners do, weighed down by and under what is very "emptiness."
Tents and curtains are emblems of what shall pass away, under which the wicked shelter themselves from the troubles of this present life, as from heat and rain, "but which in themselves decay, and are consumed by fire." "The curtains of Midian tremble." The prophet uses the present to shew that he was not speaking of any mere past terror, but of that terror, which should still seize those opposed to God. The word "wrath" (רגז rôgez) echoes through the hymns; Habakkuk 3:2. here the wicked tremble, רגז râgaz, under it, to perish; afterward the prophet Habakkuk 3:16. to live.
on Habakkuk 3 :7
3:7 The tents - The people that dwelt in them. Arabia - Near whose borders Israel marched. In affliction - In fear and pain, lest that mighty people should fall on them. The curtains - Those that dwelt within them; these people dwelt in tents, which were made up on the sides with curtains.