Zephaniah

  • Zephaniah Facts

    3 chapters
    53 verses
    1,556 words
    Minor Prophets Genre

  • Zephaniah Word Cloud

    This word cloud picture shows the most repeated words in Zephaniah

  • Writings about Zephaniah

    Christian education materials about Zephaniah, including book overviews, reading guides for the Minor Prophets genre, discussion questions, discipleship lessons, and throught-provoking essay.

  • Zephaniah Daily Readings

    Start reading or listening to Zephaniah and its associated daily readers on Day 260 when Zephaniah begins

Daily Reader for Day 260: Zephaniah -


by Dave Moore

Around 630 B.C.

The typical introduction returns in Zephaniah, as the opening verse tells us that this is the word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi… in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, the king of Judah.  Given the presence of Baal worship, this is probably before the restoration of the Temple in Josiah’s 18th year, and may have contributed to Judah’s repentance. 

Any comfort ends there, however, for the LORD’s first declaration is that “I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth.”  Moreover, “I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests, those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens, those who bow down and swear to the LORD and yet swear by Milcom, those who have turned back from following the LORD, who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him."

I’ve noted before that each of these twelve prophets typically has one theme that they follow or charge to make, and Zephaniah’s is obviously about the folly of trusting other gods, or wealth, or Judah’s neighbors – none of which can be counted on for protection.  For, as has already been established, it is the LORD who ultimately punishes.  Listen carefully as the LORD spirals around this theme. 

But in chapter 3 the LORD draws a distinction between Jerusalem’s fickle, treacherous prophets, her priests who profane what is holy, and do violence to the law, and Himself, who alone is righteous; He does no injustice.  Therefore wait for Me,” declares the LORD, for …the great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast.

Our verse for this week is Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.

The prophet Zephaniah.  Now let’s read it!

Zephaniah -

1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

  “I will utterly sweep away everything
    from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD.
  “I will sweep away man and beast;
    I will sweep away the birds of the heavens
    and the fish of the sea,
  and the rubble with the wicked.
    I will cut off mankind
    from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD.
  “I will stretch out my hand against Judah
    and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
  and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal
    and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,
  those who bow down on the roofs
    to the host of the heavens,
  those who bow down and swear to the LORD
    and yet swear by Milcom,
  those who have turned back from following the LORD,
    who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him.”

  Be silent before the Lord GOD!
    For the day of the LORD is near;
  the LORD has prepared a sacrifice
    and consecrated his guests.
  And on the day of the LORD's sacrifice—
  “I will punish the officials and the king's sons
    and all who array themselves in foreign attire.
  On that day I will punish
    everyone who leaps over the threshold,
  and those who fill their master's house
    with violence and fraud.
  “On that day,” declares the LORD,
    “a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate,
  a wail from the Second Quarter,
    a loud crash from the hills.
  Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar!
    For all the traders are no more;
    all who weigh out silver are cut off.
  At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
    and I will punish the men
  who are complacent,
    those who say in their hearts,
  ‘The LORD will not do good,
    nor will he do ill.’
  Their goods shall be plundered,
    and their houses laid waste.
  Though they build houses,
    they shall not inhabit them;
  though they plant vineyards,
    they shall not drink wine from them.”
  The great day of the LORD is near,
    near and hastening fast;
  the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter;
    the mighty man cries aloud there.
  A day of wrath is that day,
    a day of distress and anguish,
  a day of ruin and devastation,
    a day of darkness and gloom,
  a day of clouds and thick darkness,
    a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
  against the fortified cities
    and against the lofty battlements.
  I will bring distress on mankind,
    so that they shall walk like the blind,
    because they have sinned against the LORD;
  their blood shall be poured out like dust,
    and their flesh like dung.
  Neither their silver nor their gold
    shall be able to deliver them
    on the day of the wrath of the LORD.
  In the fire of his jealousy,
    all the earth shall be consumed;
  for a full and sudden end
    he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

(ESV)

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