Book of Zephaniah

Background

Theme:

Refers specifically to Day of the Lord (7 times) more than any other
in that day another reference
Very evident then what the theme of the book is
Define Day of the Lord (most typically the last year before the return of Christ to the earth)
Revelation 8-9; 15-16
Judgment on mankind for a multitude of sins – in order to bring about repentance
This is accomplished

Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”

Date:

He is the last of the minor prophets that prophesied before the Babylonian captivity.
Written ~625-623 BC. More than likely had to be written before 621 BC before the reformation of Josiah (worth reading: 2 Kings 22:3–23:25) who fixed many of the things that Zephaniah addresses – though a minor overlap is not completely out of the question.
Josiah reigned 640-609 BC and his reformation began in the twelfth year of his reign (2 Chronicles 34:3) Also, the reformation is not mentioned in this book, that being said, because of the often dual nature of prophecy, it could be because it is mostly for us today).
A historical fulfillment has already happened.

Reformation

The change led by Josiah only lasted a short time – the duration of his life – before the people fell back into sin and they were taken into captivity by the Babylonians.

Outline

I. A DAY OF JUDGMENT (Repeating theme that Zephaniah keeps coming back to)

  1. Upon the Whole Earth and All of Mankind

  2. Upon Particular Nations

  3. Upon the Leadership

II. Conversion Mankind and Rule of Christ in peace and harmony

Chapter 1

Zephaniah 1:1 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.

Not his own words

Author: Zephaniah

It appears that he is the great great grandson of Hezekiah (one of the better kings of Judah) great great grandfather though we don’t know for sure that it is King Hezekiah (but why else mention this pedigree if it didn’t mean anything) which would then make him cousin to Josiah

Lived in and around Jerusalem and speaks in a very direct manner as we see right away:

Zephaniah 1:2 “I will utterly consume everything From the face of the land,” Says the LORD;
Zephaniah 1:3 “I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, The fish of the sea, And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land,” Says the LORD.

We immediately see the scope of this event that nothing will escape the judgment of God

stumbling blocks … idols/idolatry which caused them to fall spiritually

Luke 13:4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
Luke 13:5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

God is working for the salvation of all mankind

Judgment on Judah

[topic for the rest of the chapter]

Zephaniah 1:4 “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, The names of the idolatrous priests [KJV: ChemarimsH3649 comes from a root that means black; can refer to robes these priests wore back then AND perhaps to the ones that are being worn today in the region] with the pagan priests [kohen not doing what they are supposed to be doing]—

Jerusalem fits the bill now, it is a city of Jews, Muslims and Christians to one degree or another.

A lot of paganism and idolatry [putting something before or in place of God]. All of these religions have false concepts, mythology, and other syncretistic aspects to them. In God’s law there is no allowance for the blending of pagan and Godly concepts. We must worship Him in spirit and truth!

Num 21:29  WoeH188 to thee, Moab!H4124 thou art undone,H6 O peopleH5971 of Chemosh:H3645 he hath givenH5414 his sonsH1121 that escaped,H6412 and his daughters,H1323 into captivityH7628unto SihonH5511 kingH4428 of the Amorites.H567 

ChemarimsH3649

Che’mosh. (subduer). The national deity of the Moabites. Num_21:29Jer_48:7Jer_48:13Jer_48:46. In Jdg_11:24. He also appears as the god of the Ammonites. Solomon introduced, and Josiah abolished, the worship of Chemosh at Jerusalem. 1Ki_11:72Ki_23:13. Also identified with Baal-peorBaalzebubMars and Saturn.

Zephaniah is calling for every trace of Baal to be cut off 

2 Kings 23:4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, the priests of the second order, and the doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the articles that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.
2 Kings 23:5 Then he removed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah [leaders] had ordained to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the places all around Jerusalem, and those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven.

Catholic priests; Greek Orthodox; Rabbis; Imans

pagan priests … pagan is inserted but it is meant to connote priests that are not doing what they are supposed to be doing

Zephaniah 1:5 Those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops; Those who worship and swear oaths by the LORD, But who also swear by Milcom;

They say they are worshipping God, but this can’t be done with pagan ways, rituals or underpinnings.

2 Kings 23:12 The altars that were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, the king broke down and pulverized there, and threw their dust into the Brook Kidron.

Milcom … Molech [Smith’s Bible dictionary], god of the Ammorites; used worship on housetops; astrology???

Name should strike a chord with us

Jeremiah 32:31 ‘For this city has been to Me a provocation of My anger and My fury from the day that they built it, even to this day; so I will remove it from before My face
Jeremiah 32:32 because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me to anger—they, their kings, their princes, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 32:33 And they have turned to Me the back, and not the face; though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction.
Jeremiah 32:34 But they set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to defile it.
Jeremiah 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’

Consider that Molech, Saturn or Mithra, Baal, the sun god. Saturnalia December 25 disappearing Sun. There seem to be many gods, but this is not the case in reality. There are NO other Gods – only Satan masquerading as them.

worship and swear oaths by the LORD, But who also swear by Milcom …

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Zephaniah 1:6 Those who have turned back from following the LORD, And have not sought the LORD, nor inquired of Him.”

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

Zephaniah 1:7 Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; For the day of the LORD is at hand, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.

Silent … God’s judgment is at hand

Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

Isaiah 13:6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.

The beginning of the 7th Seal

Revelation 8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
Revelation 8:2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

Zephaniah 1:8 “And it shall be, In the day of the LORD’s sacrifice, That I will punish the princes and the king’s children, And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel.

Historically

2 Kings 24:14 Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land.

Jeremiah 52:8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and they overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. All his army was scattered from him.
Jeremiah 52:9 So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he pronounced judgment on him.
Jeremiah 52:10 Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. And he killed all the princes of Judah in Riblah.

In the Future

Olivet Prophecy

Luke 21:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
Luke 21:21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.
Luke 21:22 “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
Luk 21:23 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
Luke 21:24 “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

How long will that be?

Revelation 11:2 “But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.

Jeremiah 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jeremiah 30:2 “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
Jeremiah 30:3 ‘For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land [the Promised land] that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.'”

They will be reunited once again. This has to be in the future!

Jeremiah 30:4 Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
Jeremiah 30:5 “For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace.

Once again we see the time setting

Jeremiah 30:6 Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale?
Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble [Israel], But he shall be saved out of it.

This refers to the Great Tribulation and the day of the Lord, a 3 ½ year time period that is yet in the future and at the end of the age

Jeremiah 30:8 ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck [a yoke of slavery] And will burst your bonds [set you free]Foreigners shall no more enslave them.
Jeremiah 30:9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them.
Jeremiah 30:10 ‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the LORD, ‘Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, And no one shall make him afraid.

clothed with foreign apparel … their ways;

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
Revelation 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Zephaniah 1:9 In the same day I will punish All those who leap over the threshold, Who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

Just got finished addressing the leaders now the servants or followers are doing wrong

Isaiah 9:13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 9:14 Therefore the LORD will cut off head and tail from Israel [in this case it would include Judah who we are talking about too], Palm branch and bulrush in one day.
Isaiah 9:15 The elder and honorable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
Isaiah 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.

leap over the threshold…

1 Samuel 5:1 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
1 Samuel 5:2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon.
1 Samuel 5:3 And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again.
1 Samuel 5:4 And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands werebroken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it.
1 Samuel 5:5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

Zephaniah 1:10 “And there shall be on that day,” says the LORD, “The sound of a mournful cry from the Fish Gate, A wailing from the Second Quarter, And a loud crashing from the hills.

On that day … in that day better since this is a protracted time period

Ezekiel 4:6 And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.

Numbers 14:34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection.

Fish Gate … the nearby fish market which represents the commercial area or the economy
Second Quarter … residential area
from the hills … rural areas

Zephaniah 1:11 Wail, you inhabitants of Maktesh! For all the merchant people are cut down; All those who handle money are cut off.

Maktesh … merchant trading area which apparent was a dell or low lying area

cut off … Strong’s: to cut (off, down or asunder); by implication to destroy or consume;

Gill: either cut to pieces by the sword of the enemy, and become silent, as the word (t) sometimes signifies, and the Vulgate Latin version here renders it; become so by death, and laid in the silent grave, and no more concerned in merchandise; or else stripped of all their wealth and goods by the enemy, and so cut down, broke, and become bankrupt, and could trade no more. …at the end of the day

this could be a reference to :13 where their goods shall become booty

Zephaniah 1:12 “And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men Who are settled in complacencyWho say in their heart, ‘The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil.’

Another indicator that we are specifically addressing Judah/Jerusalem [modern day state of Israel] in the end time

but the rest of the Israelites and the rest of the world too.

believing that they are ok and God will punish those that are apathetic about these things

God’s way vs idolatrous ways; not repenting; that God will not return and have His vengeance

2 Peter 3:3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
2 Peter 3:4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Zephaniah 1:13 Therefore their goods shall become booty, And their houses a desolation; They shall build houses, but not inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine.”

Overrun by foreigners and stealing what you have

Zephaniah 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out.
Zephaniah 1:15 That day is a day of wrath [of God], A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness,

This ties the message of Zephaniah more directly with the end-time through the use of lots of descriptors.

Not something to look forward to or be a part of:

Joel 2:1 Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand:
Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations.

Allusion to 7th Seal which is 7 trumpets

Zephaniah 1:16 A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers. [military installations]

Sound of readiness for war

[Outline: Seals, Trumpets and Plagues of Revelation]

Zephaniah 1:17 “I will bring distress upon men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the LORD; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse.”

It is interesting that Jesus healed so many blind people. But He healed even more spiritually blind

This is and has been the condition of Judah today as well as the spiritual Jew (Romans 2:28-29)

Because of sin they are spiritually blind

Revelation 3:17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Otherwise the result is Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse

It is a warning to those that will listen

Zephaniah 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold Shall be able to deliver them In the day of the LORD’s wrath; But the whole land shall be devoured By the fire of His jealousy, For He will make speedy riddance Of all those who dwell in the land.

2 possible meanings

1. Money wont save them

Ezekiel 7:19 ‘They will throw their silver into the streets, And their gold will be like refuse; Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them In the day of the wrath of the LORD; They will not satisfy their souls, Nor fill their stomachs, Because it became their stumbling block of iniquity.

2. Idols won’t save them

Isaiah 2:18 But the idols He shall utterly abolish.
Isaiah 2:19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.
Isaiah 2:20 In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats,

At the end of the day nothing physical or of this world will save them

The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord will come upon the people of Earth because of their failure to put God and His ways first in their lives.

No matter what we have or how much of it we have, physical things cannot insure our deliverance in the end time or eternally (Matthew 16:26). Rather we are to put God and His way first and that will be the only thing that can save us ultimately (Proverbs 11:4).

Connotations of the name Zephaniah: God has hidden (me); the Eternal hides; hidden of the Eternal; a revealer of the secrets; or hidden things of the Lord

Chapter 2

Zephaniah 2:1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation,

Zephaniah 2:2 Before the decree is issuedOr the day passes like chaff, Before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD‘s anger comes upon you!
Zephaniah 2:3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the LORD‘s anger.

Undesirable nation is equated with meek of the earth, who are just and try to be humble and righteous. This is the way that the church/His people will be viewed. Jesus was undesirable in this respect also.

Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Who are the meek, the ones that are living by every word of God – hear the words of Matthew

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

…hidden In the day of the LORD’s anger.

Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hideH6845 me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

Psalms 83:3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered onesH6845.

H6845 tsâphan tsaw-fan’ A primitive root; to hide (by covering over); by implication to hoard or reserve; figuratively to deny; specifically (favorably) to protect,

H6846 tsephanyâh tsef-an-yaw’, From H6845 and H3050Jah has secreted;

Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Historical fulfillment [of prophecy [it was given ahead of time at the time]]: Jews protection from Scythians under Josiah

Future fulfillment [of prophecy]: Jews and Israelites that repent in great tribulation.

These have to be God’s people, His true Christians – a “nation” undesirable by the world’s standards

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Zephaniah 2:4  For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.

noon day… not under the cover of night; in broad day light in the heat of the day; no extra or special considerations need to be taken because of the ease with which it will be done

All these cities, which are enemies of the Jews at the time, are along the coast of Israel [1.5 hour drive today]

Zephaniah 2:5  Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.

Cherethites…

1 Samuel 30:14 We made an invasion of the southern area of the Cherethites, in the territory which belongs to Judah, and of the southern area of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.”

1 Samuel 30:16 And when he had brought him down, there they were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.

Often associated with the Peleshtites which is basically the same word as Philistines in :5. The Peleshtites are only found in conjunction with Cherethites in the Bible

O Canaan, land of the Philistines… also synonymous with Palestine

Who was the land of Canaan for – it was promised to Israelites and now inhabited by foreigners

Enemies of God’s people: [then and in the future]

Zephaniah 2:6 The seacoast shall be pastures, With shelters for shepherds and folds for flocks.
Zephaniah 2:7 The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; They shall feed their flocks there; In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the LORD their God will intervene for them, And return their captives.

Isaiah 11:11 It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea.

They make it through their time of suffering and are spared death during the Day of the Lord which comes on the rest of the world.

The peoples will predominantly come out of Assyria which is why they are mentioned first

Modern day Assyria is the Germanic people of Europe which is located in NW from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 49:12 Surely these shall come from afar; Look! Those from the north and the west, And these from the land of Sinim.”

Egypt appears to be another focal spot from which Israel and Judah will come from and/or funnel through.

Not too far away from Egypt, these two are regionally close. If you follow the western edge of the Red sea out of Egypt you will go through Pathros and then Cush

Pathros – Original land of Egypt, southern Egypt
Cush – Sudan and Ethiopia
Elam – Iran, also referred to as Persia
Shinar – Iraq, Mesopotamia, northeastern Syria and southeastern Turkey
Hamath – Northwestern Syria
The islands of the sea” – can also be translated “coastlands of the sea”

Some think it to mean: from all around the world and others the Israelitish nations of Australia and New Zealand. But the other possible meaning, especially considering that all the names seem to be paired regionally, is that it is the islands and/or coastlands of the Mediterranean, possibly including Greece (Joel 3:6).

Zephaniah 2:8 “I have heard the reproach of Moab, And the insults of the people of Ammon, With which they have reproached My people, And made arrogant threats against their borders.
Zephaniah 2:9 Therefore, as I live,” Says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, And the people of Ammon like Gomorrah— Overrun with weeds and saltpits, And a perpetual desolation. The residue of My people shall plunder them, And the remnant of My people shall possess them.”

The sons of Lot:
Moab: Jordan, perhaps also Western Iraq
Ammon: Jordan

There is a punishment by God of these enemies of Judah [who by the way are the main group of the 12 tribes that are in the area today] during the Day of the Lord. As you will recall the great tribulation is for both spiritual and physical Israelites/Jews

Zephaniah 2:10 This they shall have for their pride, Because they have reproached and made arrogant threats Against the people of the LORD of hosts.

Nations that were against Judah will have their recompense (Moab, Ammon, Palestinians)

Zephaniah 2:11 The LORD will be awesome to them, For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; People shall worship Him, Each one from his place, Indeed all the shores of the nations.

We see here that the primary focus of this prophecy is for the future when the Day of the Lord comes and God has His vengeance on the people of the world that have worshipped idols and have shunned the Him the one real and true God.

And then miraculously everyone will turn and repent to the one and only God – this has never happened before and is still yet to happen in the near future.

Zephaniah 2:12 “You Ethiopians also, You shall be slain by My sword.”

Ethiopians ruled Egypt c.720-654 BC

Zephaniah 2:13 And He will stretch out His hand against the north, Destroy Assyria, And make Nineveh a desolation, As dry as the wilderness.

As the book of Nahum prophesied

These two peoples stand out from all the others mentioned in this book. The others were all in the immediate vicinity of Israel and the Promised land. So, what could be the significance of this then?

Ethiopia: Ethiopia [King of the South] Assyria: Germany, Austria [King of the North]

Zephaniah 2:14 The herds shall lie down in her midst, Every beast of the nation. Both the pelican and the bittern Shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars; Their voice shall sing in the windows; Desolation shall be at the threshold; For He will lay bare the cedar work.

Cormorant: throw up bird
Bittern: heron or similar bird
Connotation is that these birds like areas that are desolate and uninhabited by people 

Psalms 102:6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert.

They are making homes on top of the pillars, lintels and door posts

Making themselves comfortable in the windows of these homes and buildings

Isaiah 34:11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. 

These are the same words as in Zephaniah 2:14 and the setting is the devastation resulting from the Day of the Lord just before the Millennium in the next chapter (Isaiah 35)

Isaiah 14:23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom [broom] of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.

Zephaniah 2:15 This is the rejoicing city That dwelt securely, That said in her heart, “I am it, and there is none besides me.” How has she become a desolation, A place for beasts to lie down! Everyone who passes by her Shall hiss and shake his fist.

Assyria = Babylonian System = King of the North

In reference to Babylon:

Isaiah 47:8 “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, Who dwell securely, Who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know the loss of children’;

Nahum 3:5 “Behold, I am against you,” says the LORD of hosts; “I will lift your skirts over your face, I will show the nations your nakedness, And the kingdoms your shame.

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

Isaiah 47:3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man.”
Isaiah 47:4 As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 47:5 “Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; For you shall no longer be called The Lady of Kingdoms. [queen from before] Isaiah 47:6 I was angry with My people; I have profaned My inheritance, And given them into your hand. You showed them no mercy; On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily.
Isaiah 47:7 And you said, ‘I shall be a lady forever,’ So that you did not take these things to heart, Nor remember the latter end of them.
Isaiah 47:8 “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, Who dwell securely, Who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know the loss of children’;
Isaiah 47:9 But these two things shall come to you In a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness Because of the multitude of your sorceries, For the great abundance of your enchantments.
Isaiah 47:10 “For you have trusted in your wickedness; You have said, ‘No one sees me’; Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, ‘am, and there is no one else besides me.’
Isaiah 47:11 Therefore evil shall come upon you; You shall not know from where it arises. [If they would only listen to this message they would] And trouble shall fall upon you; You will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, Which you shall not know.
Isaiah 47:12 “Stand now with your enchantments And the multitude of your sorceries, In which you have labored from your youth— Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you will prevail.
Isaiah 47:13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, And the monthly prognosticators Stand up and save you From what shall come upon you.
Isaiah 47:14 Behold, they shall be as stubble, The fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves From the power of the flame; It shall not be a coal to be warmed by, Nor a fire to sit before!

Nahum 1:10 For while tangled like thorns, And while drunken like drunkards, They shall be devoured like stubble fully dried.

Isaiah 47:15 Thus shall they be to you With whom you have labored, Your merchants from your youth; They shall wander each one to his quarter. No one shall save you.

Besides Me There Is No God

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.
Isaiah 44:7 And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them.
Isaiah 44:8 Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.‘ “

Chapter 3

Zephaniah 3:1 Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, To the oppressing city!

Jerusalem – Judah at this time, but in the future symbolic of all of Israel and Judah combined

Zephaniah 3:2 She has not obeyed His voice, She has not received correction; She has not trusted in the LORD, She has not drawn near to her God.

Charges and assertions against Jerusalem and its leaders

Zephaniah 3:3 Her princes in her midst are roaring lions; Her judges are evening wolves That leave not a bone till morning.

Devour the people

Zephaniah 3:4 Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people; Her priests have polluted the sanctuary, They have done violence to the law.

Violated the law; broken; transgressed; Adding to and taking away from the law which God does not look kindly upon.

Then fast forward to now and the time that this prophecy is foretelling of – is this going on in modern day Judah [and Israel]

What does the law mean to most leaders now; what are they telling the people → that is done away with, fulfilled, Jesus kept it for us, a burden, it can’t be kept, all we need is grace alone – of which this is NOT true!

Zechariah 7:12 Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.

Zephaniah 3:5 The LORD is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, But the unjust knows no shame.

God will eventually bring them to justice

Zephaniah 3:6 “I have cut off nations, Their fortresses are devastated; I have made their streets desolate, With none passing by. Their cities are destroyed; There is no one, no inhabitant.

Look what I have done in the interest of judgment. Telling Judah this to wake them up:

Zephaniah 3:7 I said, ‘Surely you will fear Me, You will receive instruction‘— So that her dwelling would not be cut off, Despite everything for which I punished her. But they rose early and corrupted all their deeds.

Their punishments and the punishments of the other nations did nothing to deter the people

Zephaniah 3:2 She has not obeyed His voice, She has not received correction; She has not trusted in the LORD, She has not drawn near to her God.

Zephaniah 3:8 “Therefore wait for Me,” says the LORD, “Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations To My assembly of kingdoms, To pour on them My indignation [Indignation – another indicator of the DOL], All My fierce anger; All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy.

Revelation 16:12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.

Revelation 16:16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

Revelation 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Revelation 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Revelation 19:17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,
Revelation 19:18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”
Revelation 19:19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

Revelation 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 19:21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS! This is the way that God is: He punishes for a good reason; to get everyoneS attention; to learn some lessons like those in :2 and :7

Rest of the Scriptures are Millennial

Zephaniah 3:9 “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.

When we not only consider that our languages are inadequate in terms of saying what we need to say in the way that we need to say, there has been an misappropriation of words like “gay.” There has been the influence of wrong cultures present and past (for example pagan ones) that introduce wrong concepts by use of those words. In the church, we have church speak – a language that is oriented toward the word of God – I think this may give a small glimpse of this pure language that we will have to worship God with and enhance our communication in a Christian way.

Zephaniah 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, The daughter of My dispersed ones, Shall bring My offering.
Zephaniah 3:11 In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds In which you transgress against Me; For then I will take away from your midst Those who rejoice in your pride, And you shall no longer be haughty [the Jews] In My holy mountain.

Zephaniah 3:12 I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

There is a remnant left from the judgment of God that have been positively affected by God’s actions.

Zephaniah 3:13 The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness And speak no lies, Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, And no one shall make them afraid.”

Zephaniah 2:6 The seacoast shall be pastures, With shelters for shepherds and folds for flocks.
Zephaniah 2:7 The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; They shall feed their flocks there; In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the LORD their God will intervene for them, And return their captives.

Zephaniah 3:14 Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Zephaniah 3:15 The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.

Taken away your judgments: [punishments; your sentence]

Isaiah 40:1 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God.
Isaiah 40:2 “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’s hand Double for all her sins.”
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth;
Isaiah 40:5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

the LORD, is in your midst … This setting is after the return of Christ

Zephaniah 3:16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak.

No one is going to take it away from you

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:18 “I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, Who are among you, To whom its reproach is a burden.

Leviticus 23:39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest.
Leviticus 23:40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.
Leviticus 23:41 You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

The chapter ends with the wonderful truth that, though God will bring national punishment on the Israelites, He will still regather those who are left to at last be the model nation Israel was intended to be (verses 19-20). They will then be, as verse 12 shows, the meek and humble people of God.

Zephaniah 3:19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, And gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame In every land where they were put to shame.

Saved and healed Isaiah 35:6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.

driven out… Israelites and Jews; into captivity in the past and yet again in the future

but God will restore them

I will appoint them for praise and fame In every land … an unprecendented time to look forward to

Zechariah 8:22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.’
Zechariah 8:23 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard thatGod is with you.” ‘ “

Zephaniah 3:20 At that time I will bring you back, Even at the time I gather you; For I will give you fame and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I return your captives before your eyes,” Says the LORD.

[2nd Exodus]

Lessons

  • God will reckon with all people in due time
  • The Day of the Lord is an awesome time
  • There will oneness in the world of tomorrow during the millennium
  • Righteousness and Humility are what prevails with God Zephaniah 2:3

Extra:

Phrase: Day of the Lord (KJV)

Zephaniah

6 verses found

7 matches

Joel

5 verses found

5 matches

Isaiah

4 verses found

4 matches

Amos

2 verses found

3 matches

Ezekiel

2 verses found

2 matches

Jeremiah

1 verse found

1 match

Obadiah

1 verse found

1 match

Lamentations

1 verse found

1 match

Zechariah

1 verse found

1 match

Malachi

1 verse found

1 match

Acts

1 verse found

1 match

1 Corinthians

1 verse found

1 match

2 Corinthians

1 verse found

1 match

1 Thessalonians

1 verse found

1 match

2 Peter

1 verse found

1 match