The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah,(A) in the days of Josiah(B) son of Amon,(C) king of Judah.

The Great Day of the Lord

I will completely sweep away everything
from the face of the earth(D)
this is the Lord’s declaration.
I will sweep away people and animals;(E)
I will sweep away the birds of the sky
and the fish of the sea,
and the ruins[a] along with the wicked.(F)
I will cut off mankind
from the face of the earth.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

I will stretch out my hand(G) against Judah
and against all the residents of Jerusalem.
I will cut off every vestige of Baal(H)
from this place,
the names of the pagan priests(I)
along with the priests;
those who bow in worship on the rooftops(J)
to the stars in the sky;
those who bow and pledge loyalty to the Lord(K)
but also pledge loyalty to Milcom;[b](L)
and those who turn back from following the Lord,
who do not seek the Lord or inquire of him.
Be silent in the presence of the Lord God,(M)
for the day of the Lord is near.(N)
Indeed, the Lord has prepared a sacrifice;(O)
he has consecrated his guests.(P)

On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice
I will punish the officials, the king’s sons,
and all who are dressed in foreign clothing.
On that day(Q) I will punish
all who skip over the threshold,[c](R)
who fill their master’s house
with violence and deceit.

10 On that day—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
there will be an outcry from the Fish Gate,(S)
a wailing from the Second District,(T)
and a loud crashing from the hills.
11 Wail, you residents of the Hollow,[d]
for all the merchants[e] will be silenced;
all those loaded with silver will be cut off.

12 And at that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
and punish those who settle down comfortably,[f](U)
who say to themselves:
The Lord will do nothing—good or bad.(V)
13 Their wealth will become plunder
and their houses a ruin.
They will build houses but never live in them,
plant vineyards but never drink their wine.(W)

14 The great day of the Lord is near,(X)
near and rapidly approaching.
Listen, the day of the Lord
then the warrior’s cry is bitter.
15 That day is a day of wrath,
a day of trouble and distress,
a day of destruction and desolation,
a day of darkness(Y) and gloom,
a day of clouds and total darkness,(Z)
16 a day of ram’s horn and battle cry
against the fortified cities,
and against the high corner towers.
17 I will bring distress on mankind,
and they will walk like the blind(AA)
because they have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out like dust
and their flesh like dung.
18 Their silver and their gold
will be unable to rescue them
on the day of the Lord’s wrath.(AB)
The whole earth will be consumed
by the fire of his jealousy,(AC)
for he will make a complete,
yes, a horrifying end
of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Footnotes

  1. 1:3 Perhaps objects connected with idolatry
  2. 1:5 Some LXX mss, Syr, Vg; MT, other LXX mss read their king
  3. 1:9 Hb obscure
  4. 1:11 Or the market district
  5. 1:11 Or Canaanites
  6. 1:12 Lit who thicken on their dregs

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