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The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah, in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah.

The Coming Judgment on Judah

I will utterly sweep away everything
    from the face of the earth, says the Lord.
I will sweep away humans and animals;
    I will sweep away the birds of the air
    and the fish of the sea.
I will make the wicked stumble.[a]
    I will cut off humanity
    from the face of the earth, says the Lord.
I will stretch out my hand against Judah,
    and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
and I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal
    and the name of the idolatrous priests;[b]
those who bow down on the roofs
    to the host of the heavens;
those who bow down and swear to the Lord,
    but also swear by Milcom;[c]
those who have turned back from following the Lord,
    who have not sought the Lord or inquired of him.

Be silent before the Lord God!
    For the day of the Lord is at hand;
the Lord has prepared a sacrifice,
    he has consecrated his guests.
And on the day of the Lord’s sacrifice
I will punish the officials and the king’s sons
    and all who dress themselves in foreign attire.
On that day I will punish
    all who leap over the threshold,
who fill their master’s house
    with violence and fraud.

10 On that day, says the Lord,
    a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate,
a wail from the Second Quarter,
    a loud crash from the hills.
11 The inhabitants of the Mortar wail,
    for all the traders have perished;
    all who weigh out silver are cut off.
12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
    and I will punish the people
who rest complacently[d] on their dregs,
    those who say in their hearts,
“The Lord will not do good,
    nor will he do harm.”
13 Their wealth shall be plundered,
    and their houses laid waste.
Though they build houses,
    they shall not inhabit them;
though they plant vineyards,
    they shall not drink wine from them.

The Great Day of the Lord

14 The great day of the Lord is near,
    near and hastening fast;
the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter,
    the warrior cries aloud there.
15 That day will be a day of wrath,
    a day of distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and devastation,
    a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16     a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
against the fortified cities
    and against the lofty battlements.

17 I will bring such distress upon people
    that they shall walk like the blind;
    because they have sinned against the Lord,
their blood shall be poured out like dust,
    and their flesh 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 passion
    the whole earth shall be consumed;
for a full, a terrible end
    he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 1:3 Cn: Heb sea, and those who cause the wicked to stumble
  2. Zephaniah 1:4 Compare Gk: Heb the idolatrous priests with the priests
  3. Zephaniah 1:5 Gk Mss Syr Vg: Heb Malcam (or, their king)
  4. Zephaniah 1:12 Heb who thicken

Elisha

12 When Elijah was enveloped in the whirlwind,
    Elisha was filled with his spirit.
He performed twice as many signs,
    and marvels with every utterance of his mouth.[a]
Never in his lifetime did he tremble before any ruler,
    nor could anyone intimidate him at all.
13 Nothing was too hard for him,
    and when he was dead, his body prophesied.
14 In his life he did wonders,
    and in death his deeds were marvelous.

15 Despite all this the people did not repent,
    nor did they forsake their sins,
until they were carried off as plunder from their land,
    and were scattered over all the earth.
The people were left very few in number,
    but with a ruler from the house of David.
16 Some of them did what was right,
    but others sinned more and more.

Hezekiah

17 Hezekiah fortified his city,
    and brought water into its midst;
he tunneled the rock with iron tools,
    and built cisterns for the water.
18 In his days Sennacherib invaded the country;
    he sent his commander[b] and departed;
he shook his fist against Zion,
    and made great boasts in his arrogance.
19 Then their hearts were shaken and their hands trembled,
    and they were in anguish, like women in labor.
20 But they called upon the Lord who is merciful,
    spreading out their hands toward him.
The Holy One quickly heard them from heaven,
    and delivered them through Isaiah.
21 The Lord[c] struck down the camp of the Assyrians,
    and his angel wiped them out.
22 For Hezekiah did what was pleasing to the Lord,
    and he kept firmly to the ways of his ancestor David,
as he was commanded by the prophet Isaiah,
    who was great and trustworthy in his visions.

Isaiah

23 In Isaiah’s[d] days the sun went backward,
    and he prolonged the life of the king.
24 By his dauntless spirit he saw the future,
    and comforted the mourners in Zion.
25 He revealed what was to occur to the end of time,
    and the hidden things before they happened.

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Footnotes

  1. Sirach 48:12 Heb: Gk lacks He performed . . . mouth
  2. Sirach 48:18 Other ancient authorities add from Lachish
  3. Sirach 48:21 Gk He
  4. Sirach 48:23 Gk his

The Birth of Jesus

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah,[a] the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,[b] praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”[c]

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Jesus Is Named

21 After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

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Footnotes

  1. Luke 2:11 Or the Christ
  2. Luke 2:13 Gk army
  3. Luke 2:14 Other ancient authorities read peace, goodwill among people

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