power logo

The prophetic book of Zephaniah

Alpha & Omega logo
Home / Bible / Prophets / Zephaniah

Author: --- Background & Theme --- dated at:
Zephaniah, his name means: the Lord has hidden, he was a contemporary to Jeremiah. Israel had fallen captive to Assyria and Judah had become an alley to Assyria, to prevent their captivity. Zephaniah was called to prophesy to Judah, against this ungodly union of the two nations. To forewarn of forth coming judgments, call for repentance and give a promise of future faithfulness. Judah, however, did not repent or change her ways after Zephaniah's prophecy and was taken captive in 597bc, by the Babylon nation, for seventy years, as Jeremiah prophesied.
three chapters
630-625 BC.

Verse by verse, explanation of the book of Zephaniah.

Zephaniah: chapter 1

1The Word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah, (documenting Zephaniah's royal lineage back to his great-great grandfather), in the days of Josiah, the son of the king of Judah. 2I will utterly consume everything from the face of the land, says the LORD. 3I will consume man and beast, the fish and the birds, all of mans idols that he worships will also be consumed along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the earth. 4I will stretch out My hand against Judah and Jerusalem, cutting off every idol in their land, along with their idolatrous priests and the pagan priests of the other nations. 5Those who worship the stars and the heavens, those who worship Me but also swear their allegiance to false gods. 6Those who have turned away from following the LORD and no longer seek the LORD nor do they inquire of Him. 7Be silent in the presence of the LORD God, for His day is at hand. For He has prepared a sacrifice and has invited His guests.

8And it shall be that in the day of the LORD's sacrifice. I will judge and punish the authorities and all those clothed with foreign dress. 9That same day, I will also destroy all of those who rob, kill and are filled with deceit. 10On that day there shall be a great mournful cry from within the city of Jerusalem, a wailing from their business district and the sound of destruction heard from the hills. 11Wail all you greedy merchants, all those who handle money will be destroyed. 12At that time, I will search out all the men in Jerusalem and punish the men who are complacent and say in their hearts, The LORD will not do good, nor will He do evil. 13These very men are the ones who the enemy will plunder, they shall build houses but shall not live in them, they shall plant vineyards but not partake of them.

14For the great day of the LORD is near and coming quickly. That day shall the voice of the LORD be heard and the mighty men shall cry bitterly for they will be unable to fight or flee. 15That day shall be a day of wrath, trouble and distress, devastation and desolation, of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. 16A day of battle cries against the fortified cities and the high towers. 17I shall bring distress upon men and they shall be as helpless as blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood shall be poured out as dust and their flesh shall become as dung. 18Neither their silver or Gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath. The whole land shall be consumed by the fire of My jealousy. For My judgment shall be swift.

Zephaniah: chapter 2

1Gather yourself together, you undesirable nation. 2Before the decree is given, before the day passes away and the anger of the LORD comes upon you. 3Seek the LORD, all those who are meek, who have upheld His justice and seek righteousness and humility. That you may be hidden in the day of the LORD.

4The cities of the Philistine's that I shall judge are, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron, they shall be rooted out and destroyed. 5Woe to those on the seacoast, the Word of the LORD is against the Philistines and I will destroy them. 6The seacoast shall become pasture land with shelters for shepherds and flocks. 7The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah and they shall safely take their shelter in the deserted houses and lands of the Philistines. For the LORD will intervene on their behalf and release them from their captivity.

8I have heard the threats and the insults from Moab and Ammon against My people. 9Therefore surely as I live, I shall destroy these nations, Moab and Ammon shall become as Sodom and Gomorrah. 10Because of their pride, for they have reproached the LORD and made threats against His people. 11The LORD will avenge them and reduce all the gods of the earth to nothing. Then people shall worship Him, each from his own place and in every nation.

12The Ethiopians shall be slain by My Word. 13I will stretch out My hand and destroy Assyria and make Nineveh dry as a wilderness. 14Wild beasts of every type shall inhabit the land and desolation shall rule the land. 15This will be the outcome of that proud city, who has said in her heart, there is none other like me. Now she has become desolate and is mocked by passers by.

Zephaniah: chapter 3

1Woe to Jerusalem who is rebellious and thus has become a filthy and burdensome city. 2She has not obeyed the voice of God, nor received His correction. She does not trust in the LORD, nor has she drawn near to her God. 3Her leaders are like roaring lions and her judges are as ravenous wolfs, that leave no remains. 4Her prophets are contemptuous and wicked people, her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done an unjustness to the law. 5Yet the unjust people of the city of Jerusalem celebrate the fact that the LORD is righteous in their midst, He does no acts of unrighteousness and every morning He brings forth His justice. However, the unjust of that city knows no shame.

6I have cut off nations, leaving their fortresses in ruins, their streets desolate and their cities destroyed. 7Surely they now will fear Me and receive My instruction, so that their dwellings shall not be cut off. But, despite all of My pains, they arose early and returned to their corrupted ways.

8Therefore, look for the day when I raise up to plunder. I will gather all the nations together and pour out My anger and indignation on them. The entire earth shall be touched by the fire of My jealousy. 9Then, I shall restore to the people a pure language, so they can call on the name of the LORD and serve Him in oneness of mind. 10Worshipers shall then bring offerings from both far and near to Me. 11In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds that you have done against Me. For I will remove all the proud men from among you, there shall be no haughty men in My holy mountain. 12In your midst shall be left a meek humble people and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. 13The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness, speak no lies, but they shall lead a peaceful life and no one shall make them afraid.

14Sing and shout with all your might Oh Israel, rejoice with all your heart Oh Jerusalem. 15For the LORD has taken away your judgment and He has castled out your enemy. The king of Israel, the LORD God is in your midst and you shall see disaster no more. 16In that day, it will be said to Jerusalem, do not fear, nor let your hands be weak. 17For the LORD God is in your midst, the mighty one, He will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quit you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. 18At that time, I will gather the afflicted Israelites from their captivity, those who long for a solemn assembly, bearing the burden of their own reproach. 19In that day, I will deal with all those who afflict you. I will save the weak and gather the outcasts. And I will give them praise and fame in the lands that have shamed them. 20At the time I gather you, I shall also bring you in, for I will give you a name and you shall be praised among all the people of the earth, the day when I reverse your captivity, says the LORD.