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Gather yourselves together; yes, gather together, you shameless[a] nation, before the decree takes effect, before the day blows by like chaff, before the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you. Seek the Lord, all you humble people of the earth who have carried out his commands. Seek righteousness. Seek humility. Maybe then you will be sheltered in the day of the Lord’s anger.

Yes, Gaza will be deserted, and Ashkelon will be desolate. Ashdod’s people will be driven out by noon, and Ekron will be uprooted. Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, the nation of the Kerethites! The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, the land of the Philistines. I will destroy you so that no one is left alive! The seacoast will become pastureland, with shelters for shepherds and sheep pens for flocks. It will become the possession of those who remain from the house of Judah. Their flocks will pasture there. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down in the evening, because the Lord their God will take care of them. He will restore their fortunes.

I have heard the taunts from Moab and the insults from the Ammonites as they have taunted my people and made proud claims against their territory. Therefore as I live, declares the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, Moab will become like Sodom, and the people of Ammon like Gomorrah, a patch of ground overgrown with weeds and a salt pit[b] that is desolate forever. The surviving remnant of my people will plunder them, and the remnant of my nation will take possession of their land. 10 This is what they will get for their pride, because they have taunted and talked arrogantly against the people of the Lord of Armies. 11 The Lord will be terrifying to them, when he will starve[c] all the gods of the earth. Then all the distant nations will bow down to him, each of them in their own country.

12 You Cushites,[d] you also will die by my sword.

13 Then he will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria. He will make Nineveh desolate, dry like the wilderness. 14 Flocks and herds will lie down there, with all sorts of other creatures. Screech owls and hedgehogs[e] will live among its columns. Owls will hoot through the windows. Rubble will cover the thresholds. Even the cedar beams will be exposed. 15 This was the smug city that lived securely, that said to herself, “I am all there is. There are none that compare to me.” What a heap of ruins she has become, a place for wild animals to lie down! Everyone who passes by taunts her and shakes his fist.

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 2:1 Or perhaps worthless
  2. Zephaniah 2:9 The meaning of this term is uncertain.
  3. Zephaniah 2:11 The meaning of this term is uncertain.
  4. Zephaniah 2:12 Cush is the territory south of Egypt.
  5. Zephaniah 2:14 The identity of these animals is uncertain. The parallelism suggests two kinds of birds, but the second Hebrew word seems to refer to a hedgehog or porcupine.

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