New English Translation
Judgment on Surrounding Nations
4 Indeed,[a] Gaza will be deserted[b]
and Ashkelon will become a heap of ruins.[c]
Invaders will drive away the people of Ashdod by noon,[d]
and Ekron will be overthrown.[e]
5 Beware, you who live by the sea, the people who came from Crete.[f]
The Lord’s message is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines:
“I will destroy everyone who lives there!”[g]
6 The seacoast[h] will be used as pasture lands[i] by the shepherds
and as pens for their flocks.
- Zephaniah 2:4 tn Or “for” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).
- Zephaniah 2:4 tn There is a sound play here in the Hebrew text: the name Gaza (עַזָּה, ’azzah) sounds like the word translated “deserted” (עֲזוּבָה, ’azuvah).
- Zephaniah 2:4 tn Or “a desolate place.”
- Zephaniah 2:4 tn Heb “[As for] Ashdod, at noon they will drive her away.”sn The reference to noon may suggest a sudden, quick defeat (see Jer 6:4; 15:8).
- Zephaniah 2:4 tn Heb “uprooted.” There is a sound play here in the Hebrew text: the name “Ekron” (עֶקְרוֹן, ’eqron) sounds like the word translated “uprooted” (תֵּעָקֵר, te’aqer).
- Zephaniah 2:5 tn Heb “Kerethites,” a people settled alongside the Philistines in the coastal areas of southern Palestine (cf. 1 Sam 30:14; Ezek 25:16). They originally came from the island of Crete.
- Zephaniah 2:5 tn Heb “I will destroy you so there is no inhabitant [remaining].”
- Zephaniah 2:6 tn The NIV here supplies the phrase “where the Kerethites dwell” (“Kerethites” is translated in v. 5 as “the people who came from Crete”) as an interpretive gloss, but this phrase is not in the MT. The NAB likewise reads “the coastland of the Cretans,” supplying “Cretans” here.
- Zephaniah 2:6 tn The Hebrew phrase here is נְוֹת כְּרֹת (nevot kerot). The first word is probably a plural form of נָוָה (navah, “pasture”). The meaning of the second word is unclear. It may be a synonym of the preceding word (cf. NRSV “pastures, meadows for shepherds”); there is a word כַּר (kar, “pasture”) in biblical Hebrew, but elsewhere it forms its plural with a masculine ending. Some have suggested the meaning “wells” or “caves” used as shelters (cf. NEB “shepherds’ huts”); in this case, one might translate, “The seacoast will be used for pasturelands; for shepherds’ wells/caves.”