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The Lord Will Punish Israel’s Neighbors

No one will be left in Gaza. Ashkelon will be destroyed. By noon, the people will be forced to leave Ashdod. Ekron[a] will be empty.[b] You Cretans[c] living by the sea, this message from the Lord is about you. Canaan, land of the Philistines, you will be destroyed—no one will live there! Your land by the sea will become empty fields for shepherds and their sheep.

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  1. Zephaniah 2:4 Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron Philistine cities. In Hebrew, Zephaniah is making wordplays on the names of these cities.
  2. Zephaniah 2:4 empty In Hebrew this word is like the word meaning “Philistines.” Also in verse 6.
  3. Zephaniah 2:5 Cretans People from Crete. The Philistines came from that island.


Gaza(A) will be abandoned
    and Ashkelon(B) left in ruins.
At midday Ashdod will be emptied
    and Ekron uprooted.
Woe to you who live by the sea,
    you Kerethite(C) people;
the word of the Lord is against you,(D)
    Canaan, land of the Philistines.
He says, “I will destroy you,
    and none will be left.”(E)
The land by the sea will become pastures
    having wells for shepherds
    and pens for flocks.(F)

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