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12 At that time I will search through Jerusalem with lamps.
I will punish the people who are entrenched in their sin,[a]
those who think to themselves,[b]
‘The Lord neither rewards nor punishes.’[c]
13 Their wealth will be stolen
and their houses ruined!
They will not live in the houses they have built,
nor will they drink the wine from the vineyards they have planted.
14 The Lord’s great day of judgment[d] is almost here;
it is approaching very rapidly!
There will be a bitter sound on the Lord’s day of judgment;
at that time warriors will cry out in battle.[e]

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  1. Zephaniah 1:12 tn Heb “who thicken on their sediment.” The imagery comes from wine making, where the wine, if allowed to remain on the sediment too long, will thicken into syrup. The image suggests that the people described here were complacent in their sinful behavior and interpreted the delay in judgment as divine apathy.
  2. Zephaniah 1:12 tn Heb “who say in their hearts.”
  3. Zephaniah 1:12 tn Heb “The Lord does not do good nor does he do evil.”
  4. Zephaniah 1:14 tn Heb “The great day of the Lord.” The words “of judgment” are supplied in the translation here and later in this verse for clarity. See the note on the expression “day of judgment” in v. 7.
  5. Zephaniah 1:14 tn Heb “the sound of the day of the Lord, bitter [is] one crying out there, a warrior.” The present translation does four things: (1) It takes מַר (mar, “bitter”) with what precedes (contrary to the accentuation of the MT). (2) It understands the participle צָרַח (tsarakh, “cry out in battle”) as verbal with “warrior” as its subject. (3) It takes שָׁם (sham, “there”) in a temporal sense, meaning “then, at that time.” (4) It understands “warrior” as collective.

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