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This is the word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah, the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Day of Judgment Is Coming

I will completely sweep away everything from the face of the earth, declares the Lord. I will take away man and beast. I will take away the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea and the stumbling blocks[a] of the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth, declares the Lord.

Judgment Against Judah

I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, as well as the name of the pagan priests, along with the regular priests.[b] I will also cut off those who worship on their rooftops, bowing down to the armies in the heavens,[c] and those who worship by swearing to the Lord, and yet they also swear by Milcom.[d] I will also cut off those who turn away from following the Lord, those who have not sought the Lord or inquired of him.

Keep silent before the Lord God, for the Day of the Lord is at hand. Yes, the Lord has prepared a sacrifice. He has consecrated those who will attend it. This is what will take place on the day of the Lord’s sacrifice: I will deal with the officials and the king’s sons and with all those who wear foreign clothing. In the same day I will also deal with all who leap over the threshold,[e] who fill their master’s house with violence and deceit.

10 On that day, declares the Lord, there will be crying from the Fish Gate and wailing from the Second Quarter and the sound of a great crashing from the hills. 11 Wail, you who sit in the marketplace,[f] for all the merchants are destroyed. All those who weigh out silver will be cut off.

12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, to deal with the men who are complacent, like wine resting on its dregs, who say in their hearts, “The Lord will not do anything good. Neither will he do anything bad.” 13 Therefore their wealth will become plunder, and their houses a ruin. They will build houses but never live in them. They will plant vineyards, but they will not drink the wine.

Judgment Against the Nations

14 The great Day of the Lord is near. It is near and coming very quickly. Listen! The sound of the Day of the Lord! The cry of the warrior is bitter.[g] 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and total destruction, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 a day for the ram’s horn and for the battle cry against the fortified cities and against the high towers.

17 I will bring distress upon all people, so that they walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord. That is why their blood will be poured out like dust, and their bowels will be spread like manure. 18 Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord’s wrath. Instead, the whole earth will be consumed by the fire of his jealousy, because he will make an end—yes, a terrifying end of all who dwell on the earth.

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 1:3 Perhaps a reference to idols
  2. Zephaniah 1:4 The Hebrew here has two words for priests. The first is a term for pagan, Canaanite priests. The second word is the regular word for the priests of Israel. Here, however, the pagan priests are probably Israelites who served Canaanite gods and goddesses.
  3. Zephaniah 1:5 The sun, moon, stars, and planets
  4. Zephaniah 1:5 Or their king
  5. Zephaniah 1:9 Perhaps a reference to the ritual in 1 Samuel 5:5
  6. Zephaniah 1:11 Hebrew in Maktesh. A maktesh is a mortar used for grinding grain or other materials. Here it is the name of the neighborhood where the markets were located.
  7. Zephaniah 1:14 Or the sound of the day of the Lord will be bitter, the roaring of a warrior

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