The Great Day of the Lord(A)

The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of (B)Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Great Day of the Lord

“I will [a]utterly consume everything
From the face of the land,”
Says the Lord;
“I(C) will consume man and beast;
I will consume the birds of the heavens,
The fish of the sea,
And the [b]stumbling blocks along with the wicked.
I will cut off man from the face of the [c]land,”
Says the Lord.

“I will stretch out My hand against Judah,
And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
[d]I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place,
The names of the (D)idolatrous[e] priests with the pagan priests—
Those (E)who worship the host of heaven on the housetops;
Those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord,
But who also swear (F)by [f]Milcom;
(G)Those who have turned back from following the Lord,
And (H)have not sought the Lord, nor inquired of Him.”

(I)Be silent in the presence of the Lord God;
(J)For the day of the Lord is at hand,
For (K)the Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
He has [g]invited His guests.

“And it shall be,
In the day of the Lord’s sacrifice,
That I will punish (L)the princes and the king’s children,
And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel.
In the same day I will punish
All those who (M)leap over the threshold,
Who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

10 “And there shall be on that day,” says the Lord,
“The sound of a mournful cry from (N)the Fish Gate,
A wailing from the Second Quarter,
And a loud crashing from the hills.
11 (O)Wail, you inhabitants of [h]Maktesh!
For all the merchant people are cut down;
All those who handle money are cut off.

12 “And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men
Who are (P)settled[i] in complacency,
(Q)Who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good,
Nor will He do evil.’
13 Therefore their goods shall become booty,
And their houses a desolation;
They shall build houses, but not inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards, but (R)not drink their wine.”

14 (S)The great day of the Lord is near;
It is near and hastens quickly.
The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter;
There the mighty men shall cry out.
15 (T)That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of devastation and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of (U)trumpet and alarm
Against the fortified cities
And against the high towers.

17 “I will bring distress upon men,
And they shall (V)walk like blind men,
Because they have sinned against the Lord;
Their blood shall be poured out like dust,
And their flesh like refuse.”

18 (W)Neither 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 will make speedy riddance
Of all those who dwell in the land.

A Call to Repentance

Gather(X) yourselves together, yes, gather together,
O [j]undesirable nation,
Before the decree is issued,
Or the day passes like chaff,
Before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you,
Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you!
(Y)Seek the Lord, (Z)all you meek of the earth,
Who have upheld His justice.
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
(AA)It may be that you will be hidden
In the day of the Lord’s anger.

Judgment on Nations

For (AB)Gaza shall be forsaken,
And Ashkelon desolate;
They shall drive out Ashdod (AC)at noonday,
And Ekron shall be uprooted.
Woe to the inhabitants of (AD)the seacoast,
The nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O (AE)Canaan, land of the Philistines:
“I will destroy you;
So there shall be no inhabitant.”

The seacoast shall be pastures,
With [k]shelters for shepherds (AF)and folds for flocks.
The coast shall be for (AG)the remnant of the house of Judah;
They shall feed their flocks there;
In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will (AH)intervene[l] for them,
And (AI)return their captives.

“I(AJ) have heard the reproach of Moab,
And (AK)the insults of the people of Ammon,
With which they have reproached My people,
And (AL)made arrogant threats against their borders.
Therefore, as I live,”
Says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
“Surely (AM)Moab shall be like Sodom,
And (AN)the people of Ammon like Gomorrah—
(AO)Overrun[m] with weeds and saltpits,
And a [n]perpetual desolation.
The residue of My people shall plunder them,
And the remnant of My people shall possess them.”

10 This they shall have (AP)for their pride,
Because they have reproached and made arrogant threats
Against the people of the Lord of hosts.
11 The Lord will be awesome to them,
For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth;
(AQ)People shall worship Him,
Each one from his place,
Indeed all (AR)the shores of the nations.

12 “You(AS) Ethiopians also,
You shall be slain by (AT)My sword.”

13 And He will stretch out His hand against the north,
(AU)Destroy Assyria,
And make Nineveh a desolation,
As dry as the wilderness.
14 The herds shall lie down in her midst,
(AV)Every beast of the nation.
Both the (AW)pelican and the bittern
Shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars;
Their voice shall sing in the windows;
Desolation shall be at the threshold;
For He will lay bare the (AX)cedar work.
15 This is the rejoicing city
(AY)That dwelt securely,
(AZ)That said in her heart,
“I am it, and there is none besides me.”
How has she become a desolation,
A place for beasts to lie down!
Everyone who passes by her
(BA)Shall hiss and (BB)shake his fist.

The Wickedness of Jerusalem

Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted,
To the oppressing city!
She has not obeyed His voice,
She has not received correction;
She has not trusted in the Lord,
She has not drawn near to her God.

(BC)Her princes in her midst are roaring lions;
Her judges are (BD)evening wolves
That leave not a bone till morning.
Her (BE)prophets are insolent, treacherous people;
Her priests have [o]polluted the sanctuary,
They have done (BF)violence to the law.
The Lord is righteous in her midst,
He will do no unrighteousness.
[p]Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He never fails,
But (BG)the unjust knows no shame.

“I have cut off nations,
Their fortresses are devastated;
I have made their streets desolate,
With none passing by.
Their cities are destroyed;
There is no one, no inhabitant.
(BH)I said, ‘Surely you will fear Me,
You will receive instruction’—
So that her dwelling would not be cut off,
Despite everything for which I punished her.
But [q]they rose early and (BI)corrupted all their deeds.

A Faithful Remnant(BJ)

“Therefore (BK)wait for Me,” says the Lord,
“Until the day I rise up [r]for plunder;
My determination is to (BL)gather the nations
To My assembly of kingdoms,
To pour on them My indignation,
All My fierce anger;
All the earth (BM)shall be devoured
With the fire of My jealousy.

“For then I will restore to the peoples (BN)a pure [s]language,
That they all may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him with one accord.
10 (BO)From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
My worshipers,
The daughter of My dispersed ones,
Shall bring My offering.
11 In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds
In which you transgress against Me;
For then I will take away from your midst
Those who (BP)rejoice in your pride,
And you shall no longer be haughty
In My holy mountain.
12 I will leave in your midst
(BQ)A meek and humble people,
And they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
13 (BR)The remnant of Israel (BS)shall do no unrighteousness
(BT)And speak no lies,
Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth;
For (BU)they shall feed their flocks and lie down,
And no one shall make them afraid.”

Joy in God’s Faithfulness

14 (BV)Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
(BW)The King of Israel, the Lord, (BX)is in your midst;
You shall [t]see disaster no more.

16 In that day (BY)it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, (BZ)let not your hands be weak.
17 The Lord your God (CA)in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
(CB)He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

18 “I will gather those who (CC)sorrow over the appointed assembly,
Who are among you,
To whom its reproach is a burden.
19 Behold, at that time
I will deal with all who afflict you;
I will save the (CD)lame,
And gather those who were driven out;
I will appoint them for praise and fame
In every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time (CE)I will bring you back,
Even at the time I gather you;
For I will give you [u]fame and praise
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I return your captives before your eyes,”
Says the Lord.


  1. Zephaniah 1:2 Lit. make a complete end of, Jer. 8:13
  2. Zephaniah 1:3 Idols
  3. Zephaniah 1:3 ground
  4. Zephaniah 1:4 Fulfilled in 2 Kin. 23:4, 5
  5. Zephaniah 1:4 Heb. chemarim
  6. Zephaniah 1:5 Or Malcam, an Ammonite god, 1 Kin. 11:5; Jer. 49:1; Molech, Lev. 18:21
  7. Zephaniah 1:7 Lit. set apart, consecrated
  8. Zephaniah 1:11 A market district of Jerusalem, lit. Mortar
  9. Zephaniah 1:12 Lit. on their lees; like the dregs of wine
  10. Zephaniah 2:1 Or shameless
  11. Zephaniah 2:6 Underground huts or cisterns, lit. excavations
  12. Zephaniah 2:7 Lit. visit them
  13. Zephaniah 2:9 Lit. Possessed by nettles
  14. Zephaniah 2:9 Or permanent ruin
  15. Zephaniah 3:4 Or profaned
  16. Zephaniah 3:5 Lit. Morning by morning
  17. Zephaniah 3:7 They were eager
  18. Zephaniah 3:8 LXX, Syr. for witness; Tg. for the day of My revelation for judgment; Vg. for the day of My resurrection that is to come
  19. Zephaniah 3:9 Lit. lip
  20. Zephaniah 3:15 So with Heb. mss., LXX, Bg.; MT, Vg. fear
  21. Zephaniah 3:20 Lit. a name

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