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Zephaniah 1Good News Translation (GNT)

This is the message that the Lord gave to Zephaniah during the time that Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. (Zephaniah was descended from King Hezekiah through Amariah, Gedaliah, and Cushi.)

The Day of the Lord's Judgment

The Lord said, “I am going to destroy everything on earth, all human beings and animals, birds and fish. I will bring about the downfall of[a] the wicked. I will destroy everyone, and no survivors will be left. I, the Lord, have spoken.

“I will punish the people of Jerusalem and of all Judah. I will destroy the last trace of the worship of Baal there, and no one will even remember the pagan priests who serve him. I will destroy anyone who goes up on the roof and worships the sun, the moon, and the stars. I will also destroy those who worship me and swear loyalty to me, but then take oaths in the name of the god Molech. I will destroy those who have turned back and no longer follow me, those who do not come to me or ask me to guide them.”

The day is near when the Lord will sit in judgment; so be silent in his presence. The Lord is preparing to sacrifice his people and has invited enemies to plunder Judah. “On that day of slaughter,” says the Lord, “I will punish the officials, the king's sons, and all who practice foreign customs. I will punish all who worship like pagans and who steal and kill in order to fill their master's house[b] with loot.

10 “On that day,” says the Lord, “you will hear the sound of crying at the Fish Gate in Jerusalem. You will hear wailing in the newer part of the city and a great crashing sound in the hills. 11 Wail and cry when you hear this, you that live in the lower part of the city, because all the merchants will be dead!

12 “At that time I will take a lamp and search Jerusalem. I will punish the people who are self-satisfied and confident, who say to themselves, ‘The Lord never does anything, one way or the other.’ 13 Their wealth will be looted and their houses destroyed. They will never live in the houses they are building or drink wine from the vineyards they are planting.”

14 The great day of the Lord is near—very near and coming fast! That day will be bitter, for even[c] the bravest soldiers will cry out in despair! 15 It will be a day of fury, a day of trouble and distress, a day of ruin and destruction, a day of darkness and gloom, a black and cloudy day, 16 a day filled with the sound of war trumpets and the battle cry of soldiers attacking fortified cities and high towers.

17 The Lord says, “I will bring such disasters on the human race that everyone will grope about like someone blind. They have sinned against me, and now their blood will be poured out like water, and their dead bodies will lie rotting on the ground.”

18 On the day when the Lord shows his fury, not even all their silver and gold will save them. The whole earth will be destroyed by the fire of his anger. He will put an end—a sudden end—to everyone who lives on earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Zephaniah 1:3 Probable text I will bring about the downfall of; Hebrew the stumbling blocks.
  2. Zephaniah 1:9 their master's house; or the temple of their god.
  3. Zephaniah 1:14 That day … even; or Listen! That terrible day is coming when even.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Zephaniah 1New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Zephaniah 1Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

The word of the Lord that came to Sophonias the son of Chusi, the son of Godolias, the son of Amarias, the son of Ezechias, in the days of Josias the son of Amon king of Juda.

Gathering, I will gather together all things from off the face of the land, saith the Lord:

I will gather man, and beast, I will gather the birds of the air, and the fishes of the sea: and the ungodly shall meet with ruin: and I will destroy men from off the face of the land, saith the Lord.

And I will stretch out my hand upon Juda, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and I will destroy out of this place the remnant of Baal, and the names of the wardens of the temples with the priests:

And them that worship the host of heaven upon the tops of houses, and them that adore, and swear by the Lord, and swear by Melchom.

And them that turn away from following after the Lord, and that have not sought the Lord, nor searched after him.

Be silent before the face of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is near, for the Lord hath prepared a victim, he hath sanctified his guests.

And it shall come to pass in the day of the victim of the Lord, that I will visit upon the princes, and upon the king's sons, and upon all such as are clothed with strange apparel.

And I will visit in that day upon every one that entereth arrogantly over the threshold: them that fill the house of the Lord their God with iniquity and deceit.

10 And there shall be in that day, saith the Lord, the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and a howling from the Second, and a great destruction from the hills.

11 Howl, ye inhabitants of the Morter. All the people of Chanaan is hush, all are cut off that were wrapped up in silver.

12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and will visit upon the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their hearts: The Lord will not do good, nor will he do evil.

13 And their strength shall become a booty, and their houses as a desert: and they shall build houses, and shall not dwell in them: and they shall plant vineyards, and shall not drink the wine of them.

14 The great day of the Lord is near, it is near and exceeding swift: the voice of the day of the Lord is bitter, the mighty man shall there meet with tribulation.

15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery, a day of darkness and obscurity, a day of clouds and whirlwinds,

16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high bulwarks.

17 And I will distress men, and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as earth, and their bodies as dung.

18 Neither shall their silver and their gold be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: all the land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy, for he shall make even a speedy destruction of all them that dwell in the land.

Zephaniah 1The Message (MSG)

No Longer Giving God a Thought or a Prayer

God’s Message to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. It came during the reign of Josiah son of Amon, who was king of Judah:

“I’m going to make a clean sweep of the earth,
    a thorough housecleaning.” God’s Decree.

“Men and women and animals,
    including birds and fish—
Anything and everything that causes sin—will go,
    but especially people.

4-6 “I’ll start with Judah
    and everybody who lives in Jerusalem.
I’ll sweep the place clean of every trace
    of the sex-and-religion Baal shrines and their priests.
I’ll get rid of the people who sneak up to their rooftops at night
    to worship the star gods and goddesses;
Also those who continue to worship God
    but cover their bases by worshiping other king-gods as well;
Not to mention those who’ve dumped God altogether,
    no longer giving him a thought or offering a prayer.

7-13 “Quiet now!
    Reverent silence before me, God, the Master!
Time’s up. My Judgment Day is near:
    The Holy Day is all set, the invited guests made holy.
On the Holy Day, God’s Judgment Day,
    I will punish the leaders and the royal sons;
I will punish those who dress up like foreign priests and priestesses,
    Who introduce pagan prayers and practices;
And I’ll punish all who import pagan superstitions
    that turn holy places into hellholes.
Judgment Day!” God’s Decree!
    “Cries of panic from the city’s Fish Gate,
Cries of terror from the city’s Second Quarter,
    sounds of great crashing from the hills!
Wail, you shopkeepers on Market Street!
    Moneymaking has had its day. The god Money is dead.
On Judgment Day,
    I’ll search through every closet and alley in Jerusalem.
I’ll find and punish those who are sitting it out, fat and lazy,
    amusing themselves and taking it easy,
Who think, ‘God doesn’t do anything, good or bad.
    He isn’t involved, so neither are we.’
But just wait. They’ll lose everything they have,
    money and house and land.
They’ll build a house and never move in.
    They’ll plant vineyards and never taste the wine.

A Day of Darkness at Noon

14-18 “The Great Judgment Day of God is almost here.
    It’s countdown time: . . . seven, six, five, four . . .
Bitter and noisy cries on my Judgment Day,
    even strong men screaming for help.
Judgment Day is payday—my anger paid out:
    a day of distress and anguish,
    a day of catastrophic doom,
    a day of darkness at noon,
    a day of black storm clouds,
    a day of bloodcurdling war cries,
    as forts are assaulted,
    as defenses are smashed.
I’ll make things so bad they won’t know what hit them.
    They’ll walk around groping like the blind.
    They’ve sinned against God!
Their blood will be poured out like old dishwater,
    their guts shoveled into slop buckets.
Don’t plan on buying your way out.
    Your money is worthless for this.
This is the Day of God’s Judgment—my wrath!
    I care about sin with fiery passion—
A fire to burn up the corrupted world,
    a wildfire finish to the corrupting people.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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