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Judgment of Judah’s Enemies

Gather yourselves together! Now gather together,
    O nation having no shame!
Before the birth of the decree,
    the day flies away like chaff;
before the fierce anger of Yahweh overtakes you;
    before the day of the anger of Yahweh overtakes you.
Seek Yahweh, all you afflicted of the land
    who have fulfilled his law;
seek righteousness;
    seek humility.
Perhaps you will be concealed
    on the day of the anger of Yahweh.
For Gaza will be abandoned,
    and Ashkelon as a desolation.
As for Ashdod, at noon they will drive her away,
    and Ekron shall be uprooted.
Woe to you, inhabitants of the region of the sea,
    people of the Kerethites!
The word of Yahweh is against you,
    O Canaan, land of the Philistines.
I will destroy you until there is no inhabitant.[a]
And you, O region of the sea, shall become
    pastures and meadows for shepherds
    and sheep pens for the flocks.
And it shall become a region
    for the remnant of the house of Judah;
    upon them they shall graze,
and in the houses of Ashkelon
    they shall lie down in the evening.
For Yahweh their God shall be mindful of them,
    and he will restore their fortunes.
I have heard the reproaches of Moab
    and the scorning of the Ammonites,[b]
with which they have taunted my nation
    and made boasts against their territory.
“Therefore, as I live”—a declaration of Yahweh of hosts,
    the God of Israel—
“Moab shall be as Sodom,
    and the Ammonites[c] like Gomorrah,
a place of weeds and salt pits
    and a desolation forever.
The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
    and the remainder of my nation shall possess them.”
10 This shall be for them in place of their pride
    because they mocked and boasted
    against the people of Yahweh of hosts.
11 Yahweh will be awesome against them,
    for he will destroy all the gods of the earth
and all the lands[d] of the nations;
    each in its place will bow down to him.
12 You also, O Cushites,
    they shall be killed by my sword.
13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north,
    and he will destroy Assyria
and will make Nineveh a desolation,
    a dry wasteland like the desert.
14 Herds shall lie down in her midst,
    every wild animal of a nation;
even the desert owl and the screech owl
    shall lodge on her capitals.
A voice shall hoot in the window;
    rubble[e] on the threshold;
for the cedar is laid bare.
15 This is the city of rejoicing
    that lived securely;
the one saying in her heart,
    I am, and there is none besides me.”[f]
How she has become a desolation,
    a lair for wild animals!
Everyone who passes by her hisses and shakes his fist.

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 2:5 Literally “from there is not an inhabitant”
  2. Zephaniah 2:8 Literally “sons/children of Ammon”
  3. Zephaniah 2:9 Literally “sons/children of Ammon”
  4. Zephaniah 2:11 Or “islands”
  5. Zephaniah 2:14 The traditional Hebrew text has “waste,” while LXX has “a raven,” reflecting a different word with one consonant changed
  6. Zephaniah 2:15 Literally “I am and none me”

Judah and Jerusalem Judged Along With the Nations

Judah Summoned to Repent

Gather together,(A) gather yourselves together,
    you shameful(B) nation,
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.
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.

Philistia

Gaza(J) will be abandoned
    and Ashkelon(K) left in ruins.
At midday Ashdod will be emptied
    and Ekron uprooted.
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)
The land by the sea will become pastures
    having wells for shepherds
    and pens for flocks.(O)
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

“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)
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.

Cush

12 “You Cushites,[b](AJ) too,
    will be slain by my sword.(AK)

Assyria

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)

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 2:7 Or will bring back their captives
  2. Zephaniah 2:12 That is, people from the upper Nile region

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