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Zephaniah 1-3 Common English Bible (CEB)

The Lord’s word that came to Zephaniah, Cushi’s son, Gedaliah’s grandson, Amariah’s great-grandson, and Hezekiah’s great-great-grandson in the days of Judah’s King Josiah, Amon’s son.

Judgment on the world and Judah

I will wipe out everything from the earth, says the Lord.
        I will destroy humanity and the beasts;
        I will destroy the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea.
        I will make the wicked into a heap of ruins;
        I will eliminate humanity from the earth, says the Lord.

I will stretch out my hand against Judah
        and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
I will eliminate what’s left of Baal from this place
        and the names of the priests of foreign gods,[a]
        those bowing down to the forces of heaven on the rooftops,
            those swearing by the Lord along with those swearing by Milcom,
        those turning away from the Lord,
            those who don’t seek the Lord and don’t pursue him.

The day of the Lord

Hush before the Lord God,
        for the day of the Lord is near!
        The Lord has established a sacrifice;
            he has made holy those he has summoned.
On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice,
        I will punish the princes, the king’s sons,
            and all those wearing foreign clothes.
I will punish the one leaping on the threshold on that day,
            those filling the house of their master with violence and deceit.
10 On that day—says the Lord
        an outcry will resound from the Fish Gate,
        wailing from the second quarter,
        a loud crash from the hills.
11 The ones who grind the grain[b] will wail;
        all the merchants will be silenced.
        I will eliminate all those weighing out silver.
12 At that time, I will search Jerusalem with lamps;
        I will punish the men growing fat on the sediment in their wine,
            those saying to themselves, The Lord won’t do good or evil.
13         Their wealth will be looted and their houses destroyed.
        They will rebuild houses, but not live in them;
        they will plant vineyards, but not drink the wine.
14 The great day of the Lord is near;
        it is near and coming very quickly.
The sound of the day of the Lord is bitter.
        A warrior screams there.
15 That day is a day of fury,
        a day of distress and anxiety,
        a day of desolation and devastation,
        a day of darkness and gloominess,
        a day of clouds and deep darkness,
16         a day for blowing the trumpet and alarm against their invincible cities
            and against their high towers.
17 I will make humanity suffer;
            they will walk like the blind
            because they sinned against the Lord.
        Their blood will be poured out like dust
        and their intestines like manure.
18 Moreover, their silver and their gold won’t be able to deliver them
        on the day of the Lord’s fury.
His jealousy will devour the entire land with fire;
        he will make an end,
            a truly horrible one,
        for all the inhabitants of the land.

Gather together and assemble yourselves, shameless nation,
        before the decision is made—the day vanishes like chaff[c]
            before the burning anger of the Lord comes against you,
            before the day of the Lord’s anger comes against you.
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land who practice his justice;
        seek righteousness;
        seek humility.
        Maybe you will be hidden on the day of the Lord’s anger.

Oracles against foreign nations

Gaza will certainly be abandoned;
        and Ashkelon destroyed.
Ashdod will be driven out at noon;
        Ekron will be uprooted.
Doom, inhabitants of the seacoast,
        nation of Cretans.
The Lord’s word is against you,
        Canaan, land of the Philistines.
I will exterminate you, leaving no inhabitant.
The seacoast will become pastureland,
        with wells for shepherds and pens for the flocks.
The coast will belong to the survivors from the house of Judah;
        they will pasture beside the sea;[d]
            in the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down in the evening.
        The Lord their God will visit them and restore their possessions.

I have heard the taunting of Moab
        and the defamation of the Ammonites;
        they taunted my people
        and enlarged their borders.
Therefore, as I live—
    says the Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel—
        Moab will become like Sodom
        and the Ammonites like Gomorrah:
        a plot of weeds, salt pits, and devastation forever.
The few remaining from my people will plunder them;
        the rest of my nation will possess them.
10 This will happen on account of their pride,
        because they taunted and boasted over the people of the Lord of heavenly forces.
11 The Lord will terrify them;
        he will make all the gods of the earth disappear.
            All the coastlands of the nations will bow down to the Lord,
                each one in its own place.

12 Moreover, you too, Cushites, will be pierced by my sword.
13 He will stretch out his hand against the north
        and will cause Assyria to perish.
Let him make Nineveh a desolation,
        a desolate place like the wilderness.
14 Flocks will lie down in its midst,
        every living thing of the nation.
Moreover, the owl and the porcupine will spend the night on its columns.
A bird’s call will resound from the window.
Desolation will be on the sill,
        for the cedar will be stripped bare.
15 This is the jubilant city,
        the one dwelling securely,
        the one saying in her heart,
            I, and no one else, will endure forever.
How she has become a desolation,
        a resting place for the wild animals.
All those who pass through her hiss and shake their fist.

Judgment against Jerusalem

Doom, obstinate one,
        the defiled one,
        the violent city.
She listened to no voice;
        she accepted no discipline.
She didn’t trust in the Lord,
        nor did she draw near to her God.
The princes in her midst are roaring lions.
        Her judges are wolves of the evening;
        they leave nothing for the morning.
Her prophets are reckless, men of treachery.
        Her priests pollute that which is holy;
        they do violence to the Instruction.
The Lord is righteous in her midst.
He does nothing unjust.
        Morning by morning he renders justice,
        but the unrighteous one knows no shame.
I will cut off nations;
        their towers will be destroyed;
        I will devastate their streets.
            No one will pass through.
        Their cities will be laid waste.
            There will be no person, no inhabitant left.
I said, “Surely, she will fear me;
            she will take instruction
        so that her habitation won’t be cut off[e]
            because of everything I did to her.”
However, they rose early to corrupt their deeds.
Therefore, wait for me, says the Lord,
        wait for the day when I rise up as a witness,[f]
        when I decide to gather nations,
                to collect kingdoms,
            to pour out my indignation upon them,
                all the heat of my anger.
        In the fire of my jealousy,
            all the earth will be devoured.

Restoration of the nations and Jerusalem

Then I will change the speech of the peoples into pure speech,
        that all of them will call on the name of the Lord
        and will serve him as one.[g]
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush,
        my daughter, my dispersed ones, will bring me offerings.
11 On that day, you won’t be ashamed of all your deeds
        with which you sinned against me;
            then I will remove from your midst those boasting with pride.
No longer will you be haughty on my holy mountain,
12     but I will cause a humble and powerless people to remain in your midst;
        they will seek refuge in the name of the Lord.
13 The few remaining from Israel won’t commit injustice;
        they won’t tell lies;
        a deceitful tongue won’t be found on their lips.
            They will graze and lie down;
                no one will make them afraid.
14 Rejoice, Daughter Zion! Shout, Israel!
        Rejoice and exult with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem.
15 The Lord has removed your judgment;
        he has turned away your enemy.
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;
        you will no longer fear evil.
16 On that day, it will be said to Jerusalem:
        Don’t fear, Zion.
        Don’t let your hands fall.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory.
        He will create calm with his love;
        he will rejoice over you with singing.

18         I will remove from you those worried about the appointed feasts.[h]
        They have been a burden for her, a reproach.
19 Watch what I am about to do to all your oppressors at that time.
        I will deliver the lame;
        I will gather the outcast.
        I will change their shame into praise and fame throughout the earth.
20 At that time, I will bring all of you back,
        at the time when I gather you.
        I will give you fame and praise among all the neighboring peoples
            when I restore your possessions and you can see them[i]—says the Lord.


  1. Zephaniah 1:4 Or the name of the priests of foreign gods along with the priests
  2. Zephaniah 1:11 Or keeper of the mortar
  3. Zephaniah 2:2 Heb uncertain
  4. Zephaniah 2:7 Or they will pasture by them.
  5. Zephaniah 3:7 Heb uncertain
  6. Zephaniah 3:8 LXX; MT it
  7. Zephaniah 3:9 Or with one shoulder
  8. Zephaniah 3:18 Heb uncertain
  9. Zephaniah 3:20 Or before your eyes
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible


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