Zephaniah wrote during the 30 year reign of Josiah from 649 to 609 BC. He predicted imminent historical events: The destruction of Nineveh which took place three years before the death of Josiah in 612 BC. The exile of Judah in 606 BC, beginning three years after the death of Josiah. Like other pre-exile prophets he predicted the punishment and exile of Judah but also her glorious return and bright future. Jeremiah began his prophetic office in the thirteenth year of Josiah. Thus Zephaniah and Jeremiah were contemporaries but neither mentions the other.
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1The word of the LORD which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the
son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. 2I will
utterly consume all things from off the land, says the LORD. 3I will consume man and beast, I
will consume the fowls of the heaven and the fish of the sea and the stumbling blocks with the
wicked and I will cut off man from off the land, says the LORD. 4I will also stretch out my
hand on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and I will cut off the remnant of Baal
from this place and the name of the Chemarims with the priests, 5And those who worship the
host of heaven on the housetops and those who worship and who swear by the LORD and that
swear by Malcham, 6And those who are turned back from the LORD and those who have not
sought the LORD nor enquired for him.
7Hold your peace at the presence of the Lord GOD for the day of the LORD is at hand for
the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, he has bidden his guests. 8And in the
day of the LORD'S sacrifice, I will punish the princes and the king's children and all such
as are clothed with strange apparel. 9In the same day also I will punish all those that leap on the
threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit. 10And in that day, says the LORD, there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate and a
howling from the second gate and a great crashing from the hills. 11Howl, you inhabitants of
Maktesh for all the merchant people are cut down, all those who bear silver are cut off. 12And at that time, I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish the men
who are settled on their lees Jer 48:11 who say in their heart, The LORD will not do good nor will he
do evil. 13Therefore their goods shall become loot and their houses a desolation. They shall also
build houses but not inhabit them and they shall plant vineyards but not drink the wine.
14The great day of the LORD is near, it is near and hastens greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD. The mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 15That day is a day of wrath, a day of
troubles and distress, a day of waste and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of
clouds and thick darkness, 16A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities and against
the high towers. 17And I will bring distress on men so that they shall walk like blind men,
because they have sinned against the LORD and their blood shall be poured out as dust and
their flesh as the dung. 18Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the
day of the LORD'S wrath but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy for he
shall even a make speedy riddance of all those who dwell in the land.
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1Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesired nation, 2Before the
decree has borne issue, before the day passes as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD comes on
you, before the day of the LORD'S anger comes on you. 3Seek the LORD, all you meek of the
earth, who have worked his judgment, seek righteousness, seek meekness. It may be you shall be hidden in the day of the LORD'S anger.
4For Gaza shall be forsaken and Ashkelon a desolation. They shall drive out Ashdod at the
noon day and Ekron shall be rooted up. 5Woe to the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of
the Philistines! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I
will even destroy you so that there shall be no inhabitant. 6And the sea coast shall be dwellings
and cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks. 7And the coast shall be for the remnant of the
house of Judah, they shall feed there. They shall lie down in the houses of Ashkelon in the
evening for the LORD their God shall visit them and turn away their captivity.
8I have heard the reproach of Moab and the revilings of the children of Ammon, by which
they have reproached my people and magnified themselves against their border. 9Therefore as I
live, says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be like Sodom and the children
of Ammon like Gomorrah, even the breeding place of nettles and salt pits and a perpetual desolation.
The residue of my people shall spoil them and the remnant of my people shall possess them.
10They shall have that for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves
against the people of the LORD of hosts. 11The LORD will be terrible to them for he will famish
all the gods of the earth and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles
of the heathen.
12You Ethiopians also, you shall be killed by my sword. 13And he will stretch out his hand
against the north and destroy Assyria and will make Nineveh a desolation and dry like a
wilderness. 14And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations, both the
cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in its upper lintels, their voice shall sing in the windows,
desolation shall be in the thresholds, for he shall uncover the cedar work. 15This is the
rejoicing city that dwelled carelessly, that said in her heart, I am and there is no one beside me.
How has she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! Every one that passes by her
shall hiss and wag his hand.
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1Woe to her who is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! 2She did not obey the voice.
She did not receive correction. She did not trust in the LORD. She did not draw near to her God.
3Her princes in her are roaring lions, her judges are evening wolves. They do not gnaw the bones
till the morning. 4Her prophets are light and treacherous persons. Her priests have polluted the
sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. 5The just LORD is in the midst of it. He will not
do iniquity. Every morning he brings his judgment to light, he does not fail but the unjust knows
no shame. 6I have cut off the nations, their towers are desolate, I made their streets waste so
that no one passes by. Their cities are destroyed so that there is no man so that there is no
inhabitant. 7I said, Surely you will fear me, you will receive instruction so their dwelling should
not be cut off. However I punished them but they rose early and corrupted all their doings.
8Therefore wait on me, says the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey for my
determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my
indignation, even all my fierce anger for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my
jealousy. 9For then I will return a pure language to the people so that they may all call on the
name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. 10My suppliant even the daughter of my
dispersed from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia shall bring my offerings. 11In that day you shall not
be ashamed for all your doings, in which you have transgressed against me for then I will take
away out of the midst of you those who rejoice in your pride and you shall no more be haughty
because of my holy mountain. 12I will also leave in the midst of you an afflicted and poor
people and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. 13The remnant of Israel shall not do
iniquity nor speak lies nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth for they shall
feed and lie down and no one shall make them afraid.
14Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel, be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter
of Jerusalem. 15The LORD has taken away your judgments, he has cast out your enemy.
The LORD, the king of Israel, is in the midst of you, you shall not see evil any more. 16In that day it
shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not and to Zion, Do not let your hands be slack. 17The LORD
your God in the midst of you is mighty, he will save. He will rejoice over you with joy, he will
rest in his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. 18I will gather those who are sorrowful for
the solemn assembly, who are of you, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. 19Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict you and I will save her that halts and gather her that was driven
out and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. 20At
that time I will bring you again, even in the time that I gather you for I will make you a name
and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, says
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