Zephaniah 1 The Message (MSG)
No Longer Giving God a Thought or a Prayer
1 God’s Message to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. It came during the reign of Josiah son of Amon, who was king of Judah:
2 “I’m going to make a clean sweep of the earth,
a thorough housecleaning.” God’s Decree.
3 “Men and women and animals,
including birds and fish—
Anything and everything that causes sin—will go,
but especially people.
4-6 “I’ll start with Judah
and everybody who lives in Jerusalem.
I’ll sweep the place clean of every trace
of the sex-and-religion Baal shrines and their priests.
I’ll get rid of the people who sneak up to their rooftops at night
to worship the star gods and goddesses;
Also those who continue to worship God
but cover their bases by worshiping other king-gods as well;
Not to mention those who’ve dumped God altogether,
no longer giving him a thought or offering a prayer.
7-13 “Quiet now!
Reverent silence before me, God, the Master!
Time’s up. My Judgment Day is near:
The Holy Day is all set, the invited guests made holy.
On the Holy Day, God’s Judgment Day,
I will punish the leaders and the royal sons;
I will punish those who dress up like foreign priests and priestesses,
Who introduce pagan prayers and practices;
And I’ll punish all who import pagan superstitions
that turn holy places into hellholes.
Judgment Day!” God’s Decree!
“Cries of panic from the city’s Fish Gate,
Cries of terror from the city’s Second Quarter,
sounds of great crashing from the hills!
Wail, you shopkeepers on Market Street!
Moneymaking has had its day. The god Money is dead.
On Judgment Day,
I’ll search through every closet and alley in Jerusalem.
I’ll find and punish those who are sitting it out, fat and lazy,
amusing themselves and taking it easy,
Who think, ‘God doesn’t do anything, good or bad.
He isn’t involved, so neither are we.’
But just wait. They’ll lose everything they have,
money and house and land.
They’ll build a house and never move in.
They’ll plant vineyards and never taste the wine.
A Day of Darkness at Noon
14-18 “The Great Judgment Day of God is almost here.
It’s countdown time: . . . seven, six, five, four . . .
Bitter and noisy cries on my Judgment Day,
even strong men screaming for help.
Judgment Day is payday—my anger paid out:
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of catastrophic doom,
a day of darkness at noon,
a day of black storm clouds,
a day of bloodcurdling war cries,
as forts are assaulted,
as defenses are smashed.
I’ll make things so bad they won’t know what hit them.
They’ll walk around groping like the blind.
They’ve sinned against God!
Their blood will be poured out like old dishwater,
their guts shoveled into slop buckets.
Don’t plan on buying your way out.
Your money is worthless for this.
This is the Day of God’s Judgment—my wrath!
I care about sin with fiery passion—
A fire to burn up the corrupted world,
a wildfire finish to the corrupting people.”
Zephaniah 1 New International Version (NIV)
1 The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:
Judgment on the Whole Earth in the Day of the Lord
2 “I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,”
declares the Lord.
3 “I will sweep away both man and beast;
I will sweep away the birds in the sky
and the fish in the sea—
and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.”
“When I destroy all mankind
on the face of the earth,”
declares the Lord,
4 “I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,
the very names of the idolatrous priests—
5 those who bow down on the roofs
to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the Lord
and who also swear by Molek,
6 those who turn back from following the Lord
and neither seek the Lord nor inquire of him.”
7 Be silent before the Sovereign Lord,
for the day of the Lord is near.
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
he has consecrated those he has invited.
8 “On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice
I will punish the officials
and the king’s sons
and all those clad
in foreign clothes.
9 On that day I will punish
all who avoid stepping on the threshold,
who fill the temple of their gods
with violence and deceit.
10 “On that day,”
declares the Lord,
“a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,
wailing from the New Quarter,
and a loud crash from the hills.
11 Wail, you who live in the market district;
all your merchants will be wiped out,
all who trade with silver will be destroyed.
12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
and punish those who are complacent,
who are like wine left on its dregs,
who think, ‘The Lord will do nothing,
either good or bad.’
13 Their wealth will be plundered,
their houses demolished.
Though they build houses,
they will not live in them;
though they plant vineyards,
they will not drink the wine.”
14 The great day of the Lord is near—
near and coming quickly.
The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter;
the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.
15 That day will be a day of wrath—
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of trouble and ruin,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness—
16 a day of trumpet and battle cry
against the fortified cities
and against the corner towers.
17 “I will bring such distress on all people
that they will grope about like those who are blind,
because they have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out like dust
and their entrails like dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold
will be able to save them
on the day of the Lord’s wrath.”
In the fire of his jealousy
the whole earth will be consumed,
for he will make a sudden end
of all who live on the earth.