1 The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah:
2 “I will completely remove all things From the face of the [a]earth,” declares the Lord. 3 “I will remove man and beast; I will remove the birds of the sky And the fish of the sea, And the [b]ruins along with the wicked; And I will cut off man from the face of the [c]earth,” declares the Lord. 4 “So I will stretch out My hand against Judah And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, And the names of the idolatrous priests along with the priests. 5 “And those who bow down on the housetops to the host of heaven, And those who bow down andswear to the Lord and yet swear by [d]Milcom, 6 And those who have turned back from following the Lord, And those who have not sought the Lord or inquired of Him.”
7 [e]Be silent before the Lord [f]God! For the day of the Lord is near, For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests. 8 “Then it will come about on the day of the Lord’s sacrifice That I will punish the princes, the king’s sons And all who clothe themselves with foreign garments. 9 “And I will punish on that day all who leap on the temple threshold, Who fill the house of their [g]lord with violence and deceit. 10 “On that day,” declares the Lord, “There will be the sound of a cry from the Fish Gate, A wail from the [h]Second Quarter, And a loud crash from the hills. 11 “Wail, O inhabitants of the [i]Mortar, For all the [j]people of Canaan will be silenced; All who weigh out silver will be cut off. 12 “It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are [k]stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil!’ 13 “Moreover, their wealth will become plunder And their houses desolate; Yes, they will build houses but not inhabit them, And plant vineyards but not drink their wine.”
14 Near is the great day of the Lord, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the Lord! [l]In it the warrior cries out bitterly. 15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. 17 I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the Lord; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung. 18 Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.
Judgments on Judah’s Enemies
2 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without [m]shame, 2 Before the decree [n]takes effect— The day passes like the chaff— Before the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you. 3 Seek the Lord, All you humble of the [o]earth Who have carried out His [p]ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.
4 For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted. 5 Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the [q]Cherethites! The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; And I will destroy you So that there will be no inhabitant. 6 So the seacoast will be pastures, With[r]caves for shepherds and folds for flocks. 7 And the coast will be For the remnant of the house of Judah, They will pasture on it. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down at evening; For the Lord their God will care for them And restore their fortune.
8 “I have heard the [s]taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon, With which they have [t]taunted My people And [u]become arrogant against their territory. 9 “Therefore, as I live,” declares the Lord of hosts, The God of Israel, “Surely Moab will be like Sodom And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah— A place possessed by nettles and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them And the remainder of My nation will inherit them.”
10 This they will have in return for their pride, because they have [v]taunted and [w]become arrogant against the people of the Lord of hosts.11 The Lord will be terrifying to them, for He will [x]starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down to Him, everyone from his own place.
12 “You also, O Ethiopians, will be slain by My sword.” 13 And He will stretch out His hand against the north And destroy Assyria, And He will make Nineveh a desolation, Parched like the wilderness. 14 Flocks will lie down in her midst, [y]All beasts which range in herds; Both the [z]pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in [aa]the tops of her pillars; [ab]Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work. 15 This is the exultant city Which dwells securely, Who says in her heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me.” How she has become a desolation, A resting place for beasts! Everyone who passes by her will hiss And wave his hand in contempt.
Woe to Jerusalem and the Nations
3 Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, The tyrannical city! 2 She heeded no voice, She accepted no instruction. She did not trust in the Lord, She did not draw near to her God. 3 Her princes within her are roaring lions, Her judges are wolves at evening; They leave nothing for the morning. 4 Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men; Her priests have profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law. 5 The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame. 6 “I have cut off nations; Their corner towers are in ruins. I have made their streets desolate, With no one passing by; Their cities are laid waste, Without a man, without an inhabitant. 7 “I said, ‘Surely you will revere Me, Accept instruction.’ So her dwelling will not be cut off According to all that I have appointed concerning her. But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds.
8 “Therefore wait for Me,” declares the Lord, “For the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, To assemble kingdoms, To pour out on them My indignation, All My burning anger; For all the earth will be devoured By the fire of My zeal. 9 “For then I will [ac]give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the Lord, To serve Him [ad]shoulder to shoulder. 10 “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My [ae]worshipers, [af]My dispersed ones, Will bring My offerings. 11 “In that day you will feel no shame Because of all your deeds By which you have rebelled against Me; For then I will remove from your midst Your proud, exulting ones, And you will never again be haughty On My holy mountain.
A Remnant of Israel
12 “But I will leave among you A humble and lowly people, And they will take refuge in the name of the Lord. 13 “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong And tell no lies, Nor will a deceitful tongue Be found in their mouths; For they will feed and lie down With no one to make them tremble.”
14 Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The Lord has taken away His judgments against you, He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You will fear disaster no more. 16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not be afraid, O Zion; Do not let your hands fall limp. 17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, A [ag]victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will [ah]be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. 18 “I will gather those who grieve about the appointed feasts— They [ai]came from you, O Zion; The reproach of exile is a burden on [aj]them. 19 “Behold, I am going to deal at that time With all your oppressors, I will save the lame And gather the outcast, And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth. 20 “At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” Says the Lord.
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