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14 Flocks and herds[a] will lie down in the middle of it,
as well as every kind of wild animal.[b]
Owls[c] will sleep in the tops of its support pillars;
they will hoot through the windows.[d]
Rubble will cover the thresholds;[e]
even the cedar work[f] will be exposed to the elements.[g]

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  1. Zephaniah 2:14 tn Heb “flocks.” The Hebrew word can refer to both flocks of sheep and herds of cattle.
  2. Zephaniah 2:14 tn Heb “[and] all the wild animals of a nation.” How גוֹי (goy, “nation”) relates to what precedes is unclear. It may be an unusual expression or need emendation to another word. See J. J. M. Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (OTL), 193.
  3. Zephaniah 2:14 tn The Hebrew text reads here גַּם־קָאַת גַּם־קִפֹּד (gam qaʾat gam qippod). The term קָאַת refers to some type of bird (see Lev 11:18; Deut 14:17) that was typically found near ruins (Isa 34:11); one of the most common translations is “owl” (cf. NEB “horned owl”; NIV, NRSV “desert owl”; contra NASB “pelican”). The term קִפֹּד may also refer to a type of bird (cf. NEB “ruffed bustard”; NIV, NRSV “screech owl”). Some suggest a rodent may be in view (cf. NASB “hedgehog”); this is not unreasonable, for a rodent or some other small animal would be able to sleep in the tops of pillars which would be lying in the ruins of the fallen buildings.
  4. Zephaniah 2:14 tn Heb “a sound will sing in the window.” If some type of owl is in view, “hoot” is a more appropriate translation (cf. NEB, NRSV).
  5. Zephaniah 2:14 tn Heb “rubble [will be] on the threshold.” “Rubble” translates the Hebrew word חֹרֶב (khorev, “desolation”). Some emend to עֹרֵב (ʿorev, “raven”) following the LXX and Vulgate; Adele Berlin translates, “A voice shall shriek from the window—a raven at the sill” (Zephaniah [AB 25A], 104).
  6. Zephaniah 2:14 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word translated “cedar work” (so NASB, NRSV) is unclear; NIV has “the beams of cedar.”
  7. Zephaniah 2:14 tn Heb “one will expose.” The subject is probably indefinite, though one could translate, “for he [i.e., God] will lay bare.”