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Judgment on Surrounding Nations

Indeed,[a] Gaza will be deserted[b]
and Ashkelon will become a heap of ruins.[c]
Invaders will drive away the people of Ashdod by noon,[d]
and Ekron will be overthrown.[e]
Beware, you who live by the sea, the people who came from Crete.[f]
The Lord’s message is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines:
“I will destroy everyone who lives there!”[g]
The seacoast[h] will be used as pasture lands[i] by the shepherds
and as pens for their flocks.

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  1. Zephaniah 2:4 tn Or “for” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).
  2. Zephaniah 2:4 tn There is a sound play here in the Hebrew text: the name Gaza (עַזָּה, ’azzah) sounds like the word translated “deserted” (עֲזוּבָה, ’azuvah).
  3. Zephaniah 2:4 tn Or “a desolate place.”
  4. Zephaniah 2:4 tn Heb “[As for] Ashdod, at noon they will drive her away.”sn The reference to noon may suggest a sudden, quick defeat (see Jer 6:4; 15:8).
  5. Zephaniah 2:4 tn Heb “uprooted.” There is a sound play here in the Hebrew text: the name “Ekron” (עֶקְרוֹן, ’eqron) sounds like the word translated “uprooted” (תֵּעָקֵר, te’aqer).
  6. Zephaniah 2:5 tn Heb “Kerethites,” a people settled alongside the Philistines in the coastal areas of southern Palestine (cf. 1 Sam 30:14; Ezek 25:16). They originally came from the island of Crete.
  7. Zephaniah 2:5 tn Heb “I will destroy you so there is no inhabitant [remaining].”
  8. Zephaniah 2:6 tn The NIV here supplies the phrase “where the Kerethites dwell” (“Kerethites” is translated in v. 5 as “the people who came from Crete”) as an interpretive gloss, but this phrase is not in the MT. The NAB likewise reads “the coastland of the Cretans,” supplying “Cretans” here.
  9. Zephaniah 2:6 tn The Hebrew phrase here is נְוֹת כְּרֹת (nevot kerot). The first word is probably a plural form of נָוָה (navah, “pasture”). The meaning of the second word is unclear. It may be a synonym of the preceding word (cf. NRSV “pastures, meadows for shepherds”); there is a word כַּר (kar, “pasture”) in biblical Hebrew, but elsewhere it forms its plural with a masculine ending. Some have suggested the meaning “wells” or “caves” used as shelters (cf. NEB “shepherds’ huts”); in this case, one might translate, “The seacoast will be used for pasturelands; for shepherds’ wells/caves.”