New Living Translation
1 The Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah.
Coming Judgment against Judah
2 “I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.
3 “I will sweep away people and animals alike.
I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish in the sea.
I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble,[a]
and I will wipe humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.
4 “I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist
and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship.
I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests,
so that even the memory of them will disappear.
5 For they go up to their roofs
and bow down to the sun, moon, and stars.
They claim to follow the Lord,
but then they worship Molech,[b] too.
6 And I will destroy those who used to worship me
but now no longer do.
They no longer ask for the Lord’s guidance
or seek my blessings.”
7 Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord,
for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near.
The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter
and has chosen their executioners.[c]
8 “On that day of judgment,”
says the Lord,
“I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah
and all those following pagan customs.
9 Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies,
and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.
10 “On that day,” says the Lord,
“a cry of alarm will come from the Fish Gate
and echo throughout the New Quarter of the city.[d]
And a great crash will sound from the hills.
11 Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area,[e]
for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed.
12 “I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners
to punish those who sit complacent in their sins.
They think the Lord will do nothing to them,
either good or bad.
13 So their property will be plundered,
their homes will be ransacked.
They will build new homes
but never live in them.
They will plant vineyards
but never drink wine from them.
14 “That terrible day of the Lord is near.
Swiftly it comes—
a day of bitter tears,
a day when even strong men will cry out.
15 It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out—
a day of terrible distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and desolation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness,
16 a day of trumpet calls and battle cries.
Down go the walled cities
and the strongest battlements!
17 “Because you have sinned against the Lord,
I will make you grope around like the blind.
Your blood will be poured into the dust,
and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.”
18 Your silver and gold will not save you
on that day of the Lord’s anger.
For the whole land will be devoured
by the fire of his jealousy.
He will make a terrifying end
of all the people on earth.[f]
- 1:3 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 1:5 Hebrew Malcam, a variant spelling of Molech; or it could possibly mean their king.
- 1:7 Hebrew has prepared a sacrifice and sanctified his guests.
- 1:10 Or the Second Quarter, a newer section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Mishneh.
- 1:11 Or in the valley, a lower section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Maktesh.
- 1:18 Or the people living in the land.
New International Version
Judgment on the Whole Earth in the Day of the Lord
2 “I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,”(C)
declares the Lord.
3 “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)
4 “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)—
5 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)
6 those who turn back from following(M) the Lord
and neither seek(N) the Lord nor inquire(O) of him.”
8 “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.
9 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)