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The expressions are figurative, speaking every where desolation; the land shall be left without inhabitants.

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The sinners to be consumed are, the professed idolaters, and those that worship Jehovah and idols, or swear to the Lord, and to Malcham. Those that think to divide their affections and worship between God and idols, will come short of acceptance with God; for what communion can there be between light and darkness? If Satan have half, he will have all; if the Lord have but half, he will have none.

Neglect of God shows impiety and contempt.

Zephaniah 1 Commentary - James Burton Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

May none of us be among those who draw back unto perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Barnes' Notes on the Bible The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah - It seems likely that more forefathers of the prophet are named than is the wont of Holy Scripture, because the last so named was some one remarkable.

Where are we?

Nor is it impossible that Zephaniah should have been the great grandson of the King Hezekiah, for although Holy Scripture commonly names the one son only who is in the sacred line, and although there is one generation more than to Josiah, yet if each had a son early, Zephaniah might have been contemporary with Josiah. The names seem also mentioned for the sake of their meaning; at least it is remarkable how the name of God appears in most.

Zephaniah, "whom the Lord hid;" Gedaliah, "whom the Lord made great;" Amariah, "whom the Lord promised;" Hezekiah, "whom the Lord strengthened. The name means "Jehovah hath guarded," literally, "hidden" Ps ; The specification in the introductory heading, of not only his father, but also his grandfather, and great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, implies that the latter were persons of note, or else the design was to distinguish him from another Zephaniah of note at the time of the captivity. The Jews' supposition, that persons recorded as a prophet's ancestors were themselves endowed with the prophetic spirit, seems groundless.

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

There is no impossibility of the Hezekiah, who was Zephaniah's great-great-grandfather, being King Hezekiah as to the number of generations; for Hezekiah's reign of twenty-nine years, and his successor's reign of fifty-five years, admit of four generations interposing between. Yet the omission of the designation, "king of Judah," is fatal to the theory compare Pr ; Isa He must have flourished in the earlier part of Josiah's reign.

In Zep he foretells the doom of Nineveh, which happened in B. Now Josiah's reformation began in the twelfth and was completed in the eighteenth year of his reign. Zephaniah, therefore, in denouncing Baal worship, co-operated with that good king in his efforts, and so must have prophesied somewhere between the twelfth and eighteenth years of his reign.

Zephaniah chapters 1-3 Judgment, Joy and Final Restoration of Israel

The silence of the historical books is no argument against this, as it would equally apply against Jeremiah's prophetical existence at the same time. Jewish tradition says that Zephaniah had for his colleagues Jeremiah, whose sphere of labor was the thoroughfares and market places, and Huldah the prophetess, who exercised her vocation in the college in Jerusalem.

The prophecy begins with the nation's sin and the fearful retribution coming at the hands of the Chaldeans. These are not mentioned by name, as in Jeremiah; for the prophecies of the latter, being nearer the fulfilment, become more explicit than those of an earlier date. The second chapter dooms the persecuting states in the neighborhood as well as Judea itself.

The third chapter denounces Jerusalem, but concludes with the promise of her joyful re-establishment in the theocracy.


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The style, though not generally sublime, is graphic and vivid in details compare Zep The language is pure, and free from Aramaisms. Such coincidences in part arise from the phraseology of Hebrew prophetic poetry being the common language of the inspired brotherhood. The New Testament, at Ro , seems to refer to Zep But under Josiah, who did all in his power to reform them, they have no such excuse.


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  4. Judah—Israel's ten tribes had gone into captivity before this. Judah's first Babylonian exiles were taken in B. With only three chapters, this prophet was determined to convey the message of God's approaching wrath. The word "day" Hebrew: yowm is used 20 times in these three chapters, and it's referring to an approaching day of judgment. There is no question about the theme of Zephaniah; because of Judah's wickedness, they are going to be destroyed.

    The question arises from the usage of the word "land" by Zephaniah, as in and Does that mean this judgment of Zephaniah's is world wide? Two Hebrew words are used for "land" in this passage, "adamah" and "erets. So, here's the question: Is this passage talking about a judgment on the earth at the end of the tribulation or a judgment on the land by the Babylonians from B. When you look at verses , it seems global - accompanied by complete destruction.

    Jerusalem fell in B. Since we have concluded that Zephaniah's prophecy of utter destruction refers directly to the Babylonian attack upon Jerusalem, the "great day of the LORD" of verse 14 looks, not to the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation as some have maintained, but rather to the Babylonian event in B. II Kings , see notes. The term "in that day" Hebrew: yowm is frequently used in the context of judgment by the Old Testament prophets.

    It is used to describe a period of time when the judgment takes place, not literally a hour period of time. As a matter of fact, the judgment referred to with the term "day" in chapters points, in each instance, to this Babylonian destruction of the regional nations in the sixth and seventh centuries B. Prior to the Babylonian onslaught, the Egyptians tromped into Jerusalem. In actuality, the fall of Jerusalem lasted over 20 years at the hands of the Egyptians and then the Babylonians, beginning after the death of King Josiah in B.

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