Zephaniah 1


1:1 This is the prophetic message that the Lord gave to1 Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. Zephaniah delivered this message during the reign of2 King Josiah son of Amon of Judah:

The Lord’s Day of Judgment is Approaching

1:2 “I will destroy3 everything from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.

1:3 “I will destroy people and animals;

I will destroy the birds in the sky

and the fish in the sea.

(The idolatrous images of these creatures will be destroyed along with evil people.)4

I will remove5 humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.

1:4 “I will attack6 Judah

and all who live in Jerusalem.7

I will remove8 from this place every trace of Baal worship,9

as well as the very memory10 of the pagan priests.11

1:5 I will remove12 those who worship the stars in the sky from their rooftops,13

those who swear allegiance to the Lord14 while taking oaths in the name of15 their ‘king,’16

1:6 and those who turn their backs on17 the Lord

and do not want the Lord’s help or guidance.”18

1:7 Be silent before the Lord God,19

for the Lord’s day of judgment20 is almost here.21

The Lord has prepared a sacrificial meal;22

he has ritually purified23 his guests.

1:8 “On the day of the Lord’s sacrificial meal,

I will punish the princes24 and the king’s sons,

and all who wear foreign styles of clothing.25

1:9 On that day I will punish all who leap over the threshold,26

who fill the house of their master27 with wealth taken by violence and deceit.28

1:10 On that day,” says the Lord,

“a loud cry will go up29 from the Fish Gate,30

wailing from the city’s newer district,31

and a loud crash32 from the hills.

1:11 Wail, you who live in the market district,33

for all the merchants34 will disappear35

and those who count money36 will be removed.37

1:12 At that time I will search through Jerusalem with lamps.

I will punish the people who are entrenched in their sin,38

those who think to themselves,39

‘The Lord neither rewards nor punishes.’40

1:13 Their wealth will be stolen

and their houses ruined!

They will not live in the houses they have built,

nor will they drink the wine from the vineyards they have planted.

1:14 The Lord’s great day of judgment41 is almost here;

it is approaching very rapidly!

There will be a bitter sound on the Lord’s day of judgment;

at that time warriors will cry out in battle.42

1:15 That day will be a day of God’s anger,43

a day of distress and hardship,

a day of devastation and ruin,

a day of darkness and gloom,

a day of clouds and dark skies,

1:16 a day of trumpet blasts44 and battle cries.45

Judgment will fall on46 the fortified cities and the high corner towers.

1:17 I will bring distress on the people47

and they will stumble48 like blind men,

for they have sinned against the Lord.

Their blood will be poured out like dirt;

their flesh49 will be scattered50 like manure.

1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them

in the day of the Lord’s angry judgment.

The whole earth51 will be consumed by his fiery wrath.52

Indeed,53 he will bring terrifying destruction54 on all who live on the earth.”55

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