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Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

Gather together, gather,
    O shameless nation,
before you are driven away
    like the drifting chaff,[a]
before there comes upon you
    the fierce anger of the Lord,
before there comes upon you
    the day of the Lord’s wrath.
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
    who do his commands;
seek righteousness, seek humility;
    perhaps you may be hidden
    on the day of the Lord’s wrath.
For Gaza shall be deserted,
    and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon,
    and Ekron shall be uprooted.

Ah, inhabitants of the seacoast,
    you nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
    O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
    and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,
    meadows for shepherds
    and folds for flocks.
The seacoast shall become the possession
    of the remnant of the house of Judah,
    on which they shall pasture,
and in the houses of Ashkelon
    they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will be mindful of them
    and restore their fortunes.

I have heard the taunts of Moab
    and the revilings of the Ammonites,
how they have taunted my people
    and made boasts against their territory.
Therefore, as I live, says the Lord of hosts,
    the God of Israel,
Moab shall become like Sodom
    and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
a land possessed by nettles and salt pits,
    and a waste forever.
The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
    and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.
10 This shall be their lot in return for their pride,
    because they scoffed and boasted
    against the people of the Lord of hosts.
11 The Lord will be terrible against them;
    he will shrivel all the gods of the earth,
and to him shall bow down,
    each in its place,
    all the coasts and islands of the nations.

12 You also, O Ethiopians,[b]
    shall be killed by my sword.

13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north,
    and destroy Assyria;
and he will make Nineveh a desolation,
    a dry waste like the desert.
14 Herds shall lie down in it,
    every wild animal;[c]
the desert owl[d] and the screech owl[e]
    shall lodge on its capitals;
the owl[f] shall hoot at the window,
    the raven[g] croak on the threshold;
    for its cedar work will be laid bare.
15 Is this the exultant city
    that lived secure,
that said to itself,
    “I am, and there is no one else”?
What a desolation it has become,
    a lair for wild animals!
Everyone who passes by it
    hisses and shakes the fist.

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 2:2 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb before a decree is born; like chaff a day has passed away
  2. Zephaniah 2:12 Or Nubians; Heb Cushites
  3. Zephaniah 2:14 Tg Compare Gk: Heb nation
  4. Zephaniah 2:14 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Zephaniah 2:14 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Zephaniah 2:14 Cn: Heb a voice
  7. Zephaniah 2:14 Gk Vg: Heb desolation

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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