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The Lord’s Judgment

This is the message of the Lord that came through Zephaniah. It came while Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, who was the son of Gedaliah. Gedaliah was the son of Amariah, who was the son of Hezekiah.

“I will destroy everything
    on earth,” says the Lord.
“I will destroy the people and animals.
    I will destroy the birds in the air
    and the fish of the sea.
I will ruin the evil people.
    I will remove all the people from the earth,” says the Lord.

The Future of Judah

“I will punish Judah
    and all the people living in Jerusalem.
I will remove from this place
    all signs of Baal and his priests.
I will destroy those who worship
    the stars from the roofs.[a]
I will destroy those who worship and make promises
    by both the Lord and the god Molech.
I will destroy those who turned away from the Lord.
    They quit following the Lord and consulting him.
Be silent before the Lord God.
    His day for judging people is coming soon.
The Lord has prepared to sacrifice Judah.
    He has appointed the invited guests to feast on Judah.
On that day the Lord will sacrifice Judah.
    I, the Lord, will punish the princes and the king’s sons.
And I will punish all
    those who wear foreign clothes.
On that day I will punish those who worship Dagon.
    I will punish those who hurt others
    and tell lies in the temples of their gods.

10 “On that day this will happen,” says the Lord.
“A cry will be heard at the Fish Gate.
    A wail will come from the new area of the city.
    A loud crash will echo from the hills.
11 The people living in the market area will wail.
    All the merchants will be dead.
    All the silver traders will be gone.
12 At that time I, the Lord, will search Jerusalem with lamps.
    I will punish those who are settled and satisfied with themselves.
    They are like wine left to settle.
They think, ‘The Lord never does anything.
    He won’t help us or punish us.’
13 Their wealth will be stolen.
    Their houses will be destroyed.
They may build houses,
    but they will never live in them.
They may plant vineyards,
    but they will never drink any wine from them.

The Lord’s Day of Judging

14 “The Lord’s day of judging is coming soon.
    That great day is near and coming fast.
The cry will be very sad on that day.
    Even soldiers will cry.
15 That day will be a day of anger.
    It will be a day of terror and trouble.
It will be a day of destruction and ruin.
    It will be a day of darkness and gloom.
    It will be a day of clouds and blackness.
16 It will be a day of alarms and battle cries.
    ‘Attack the strong, walled cities!
    Attack the corner towers!’
17 I will make life hard on the people.
    They will walk around like blind men.
    This is because they have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out like dust.
    And their bodies will be dumped like trash.
18 On that day God will show his anger.
    Then neither their silver nor gold will save them.
The Lord’s anger will be like fire.
    And the whole world will be burned up.
Suddenly he will bring an end
    to everyone on earth.”

Footnotes

  1. 1:5 roofs In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship and as a place to sleep in the summer.

The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah(A) son of Amon(B) king of Judah:

Judgment on the Whole Earth in the Day of the Lord

“I will sweep away everything
    from the face of the earth,”(C)
declares the Lord.
“I will sweep away both man and beast;(D)
    I will sweep away the birds in the sky(E)
    and the fish in the sea—
    and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.”[a]

“When I destroy all mankind
    on the face of the earth,”(F)
declares the Lord,(G)
“I will stretch out my hand(H) against Judah
    and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,(I)
    the very names of the idolatrous priests(J)
those who bow down on the roofs
    to worship the starry host,(K)
those who bow down and swear by the Lord
    and who also swear by Molek,[b](L)
those who turn back from following(M) the Lord
    and neither seek(N) the Lord nor inquire(O) of him.”

Be silent(P) before the Sovereign Lord,
    for the day of the Lord(Q) is near.
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;(R)
    he has consecrated those he has invited.

“On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice
    I will punish(S) the officials
    and the king’s sons(T)
and all those clad
    in foreign clothes.
On that day I will punish
    all who avoid stepping on the threshold,[c](U)
who fill the temple of their gods
    with violence and deceit.(V)

10 “On that day,(W)
    declares the Lord,
“a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,(X)
    wailing(Y) from the New Quarter,
    and a loud crash from the hills.
11 Wail,(Z) you who live in the market district[d];
    all your merchants will be wiped out,
    all who trade with[e] silver will be destroyed.(AA)
12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
    and punish those who are complacent,(AB)
    who are like wine left on its dregs,(AC)
who think, ‘The Lord will do nothing,(AD)
    either good or bad.’(AE)
13 Their wealth will be plundered,(AF)
    their houses demolished.
Though they build houses,
    they will not live in them;
though they plant vineyards,
    they will not drink the wine.”(AG)

14 The great day of the Lord(AH) is near(AI)
    near and coming quickly.
The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter;
    the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.
15 That day will be a day of wrath—
    a day of distress and anguish,
        a day of trouble and ruin,
    a day of darkness(AJ) and gloom,
        a day of clouds and blackness(AK)
16     a day of trumpet and battle cry(AL)
against the fortified cities
    and against the corner towers.(AM)

17 “I will bring such distress(AN) on all people
    that they will grope about like those who are blind,(AO)
    because they have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out(AP) like dust
    and their entrails like dung.(AQ)
18 Neither their silver nor their gold
    will be able to save them
    on the day of the Lord’s wrath.”(AR)

In the fire of his jealousy(AS)
    the whole earth will be consumed,(AT)
for he will make a sudden end
    of all who live on the earth.(AU)

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 1:3 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  2. Zephaniah 1:5 Hebrew Malkam
  3. Zephaniah 1:9 See 1 Samuel 5:5.
  4. Zephaniah 1:11 Or the Mortar
  5. Zephaniah 1:11 Or in

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