Zephaniah 3

Jerusalem is Corrupt

3:1 The filthy,1 stained city is as good as dead;

the city filled with oppressors is finished!2

3:2 She is disobedient;3

she refuses correction.4

She does not trust the Lord;

she does not seek the advice of5 her God.

3:3 Her princes6 are as fierce as roaring lions;7

her rulers8 are as hungry as wolves in the desert,9

who completely devour their prey by morning.10

3:4 Her prophets are proud;11

they are deceitful men.

Her priests defile what is holy;12

they break God’s laws.13

3:5 The just Lord resides14 within her;

he commits no unjust acts.15

Every morning he reveals16 his justice.

At dawn he appears without fail.17

Yet the unjust know no shame.

The Lord’s Judgment will Purify

3:6 “I destroyed18 nations;

their walled cities19 are in ruins.

I turned their streets into ruins;

no one passes through them.

Their cities are desolate;20

no one lives there.21

3:7 I thought,22 ‘Certainly you will respect23 me!

Now you will accept correction!’

If she had done so, her home24 would not be destroyed25

by all the punishments I have threatened.26

But they eagerly sinned

in everything they did.27

3:8 Therefore you must wait patiently28 for me,” says the Lord,

“for the day when I attack and take plunder.29

I have decided30 to gather nations together

and assemble kingdoms,

so I can pour out my fury on them –

all my raging anger.

For31 the whole earth will be consumed

by my fiery anger.

3:9 Know for sure that I will then enable

the nations to give me acceptable praise.32

All of them will invoke the Lord’s name when they pray,33

and will worship him in unison.34

3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,35

those who pray to me36 will bring me tribute.

3:11 In that day you37 will not be ashamed of all your rebelliousness against me,38

for then I will remove from your midst those who proudly boast,39

and you will never again be arrogant on my holy hill.

3:12 I will leave in your midst a humble and meek group of people,40

and they will find safety in the Lord’s presence.41

3:13 The Israelites who remain42 will not act deceitfully.

They will not lie,

and a deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouth.

Indeed, they will graze peacefully like sheep43 and lie down;

no one will terrify them.”

3:14 Shout for joy, Daughter Zion!44

Shout out, Israel!

Be happy and boast with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!

3:15 The Lord has removed the judgment against you;45

he has turned back your enemy.

Israel’s king, the Lord, is in your midst!

You no longer need to fear disaster.

3:16 On that day they will say46 to Jerusalem,

“Don’t be afraid, Zion!

Your hands must not be paralyzed from panic!47

3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst;

he is a warrior who can deliver.

He takes great delight in you;48

he renews you by his love;49

he shouts for joy over you.”50

3:18 “As for those who grieve because they cannot attend the festivals –

I took them away from you;

they became tribute and were a source of shame to you.51

3:19 Look, at that time I will deal with those who mistreated you.

I will rescue the lame sheep52

and gather together the scattered sheep.

I will take away their humiliation

and make the whole earth admire and respect them.53

3:20 At that time I will lead you –

at the time I gather you together.54

Be sure of this!55 I will make all the nations of the earth respect and admire you56

when you see me restore you,”57 says the Lord.