Good News Translation
A Plea for Repentance
2 Shameless nation, come to your senses 2 before you are driven away like chaff blown by the wind, before the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day when he shows his fury. 3 Turn to the Lord, all you humble people of the land, who obey his commands. Do what is right, and humble yourselves before the Lord. Perhaps you will escape punishment on the day when the Lord shows his anger.
The Doom of the Nations around Israel
4 (A)No one will be left in the city of Gaza. Ashkelon will be deserted. The people of Ashdod will be driven out in half a day,[a] and the people of Ekron will be driven from their city. 5 You Philistines are doomed, you people who live along the coast. The Lord has passed sentence on you. He will destroy you, and not one of you will be left. 6 Your land by the sea will become open fields with shepherd's huts and sheep pens. 7 The people of Judah who survive will occupy your land. They will pasture their flocks there and sleep in the houses of Ashkelon. The Lord their God will be with them and make them prosper again.
8 (B)The Lord Almighty says, “I have heard the people of Moab and Ammon insulting and taunting my people, and boasting that they would seize their land. 9 (C)As surely as I am the living Lord, the God of Israel, I swear that Moab and Ammon are going to be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah. They will become a place of salt pits and everlasting ruin, overgrown with weeds. Those of my people who survive will plunder them and take their land.”
10 That is how the people of Moab and Ammon will be punished for their pride and arrogance and for insulting the people of the Lord Almighty. 11 The Lord will terrify them. He will reduce the gods of the earth to nothing, and then every nation will worship him, each in its own land.
13 (E)The Lord will use his power to destroy Assyria. He will make the city of Nineveh a deserted ruin, a waterless desert. 14 It will be a place where flocks, herds, and animals of every kind will lie down. Owls will live among its ruins and hoot from the windows. Crows[c] will caw on the doorsteps. The cedar wood of her buildings will be stripped away. 15 That is what will happen to the city that is so proud of its own power and thinks it is safe. Its people think that their city is the greatest in the world. What a desolate place it will become, a place where wild animals will rest! Everyone who passes by will shrink back in horror.
- Zephaniah 2:4 in half a day; or by a surprise attack at noontime.
- Zephaniah 2:12 Hebrew Cush: Cush is the ancient name of the extensive territory south of the First Cataract of the Nile River. This region was called Ethiopia in Graeco-Roman times, and included within its borders most of modern Sudan and some of present-day Ethiopia (Abyssinia).
- Zephaniah 2:14 Some ancient translations Crows; Hebrew Desolation.
New International Version
Judah and Jerusalem Judged Along With the Nations
Judah Summoned to Repent
2 Gather together,(A) gather yourselves together,
you shameful(B) nation,
2 before the decree takes effect
and that day passes like windblown chaff,(C)
before the Lord’s fierce anger(D)
comes upon you,
before the day of the Lord’s wrath(E)
comes upon you.
3 Seek(F) the Lord, all you humble of the land,
you who do what he commands.
Seek righteousness,(G) seek humility;(H)
perhaps you will be sheltered(I)
on the day of the Lord’s anger.
4 Gaza(J) will be abandoned
and Ashkelon(K) left in ruins.
At midday Ashdod will be emptied
and Ekron uprooted.
5 Woe to you who live by the sea,
you Kerethite(L) people;
the word of the Lord is against you,(M)
Canaan, land of the Philistines.
He says, “I will destroy you,
and none will be left.”(N)
6 The land by the sea will become pastures
having wells for shepherds
and pens for flocks.(O)
7 That land will belong
to the remnant(P) of the people of Judah;
there they will find pasture.
In the evening they will lie down
in the houses of Ashkelon.
The Lord their God will care for them;
he will restore their fortunes.[a](Q)
Moab and Ammon
8 “I have heard the insults(R) of Moab(S)
and the taunts of the Ammonites,(T)
who insulted(U) my people
and made threats against their land.(V)
9 Therefore, as surely as I live,”
declares the Lord Almighty,
the God of Israel,
“surely Moab(W) will become like Sodom,(X)
the Ammonites(Y) like Gomorrah—
a place of weeds and salt pits,
a wasteland forever.
The remnant of my people will plunder(Z) them;
the survivors(AA) of my nation will inherit their land.(AB)”
10 This is what they will get in return for their pride,(AC)
for insulting(AD) and mocking
the people of the Lord Almighty.(AE)
11 The Lord will be awesome(AF) to them
when he destroys all the gods(AG) of the earth.(AH)
Distant nations will bow down to him,(AI)
all of them in their own lands.
13 He will stretch out his hand against the north
and destroy Assyria,(AL)
leaving Nineveh(AM) utterly desolate
and dry as the desert.(AN)
14 Flocks and herds(AO) will lie down there,
creatures of every kind.
The desert owl(AP) and the screech owl(AQ)
will roost on her columns.
Their hooting will echo through the windows,
rubble will fill the doorways,
the beams of cedar will be exposed.
15 This is the city of revelry(AR)
that lived in safety.(AS)
She said to herself,
“I am the one! And there is none besides me.”(AT)
What a ruin she has become,
a lair for wild beasts!(AU)
All who pass by her scoff(AV)
and shake their fists.(AW)