1The word of Yahweh, which came to Zephaniah, son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah, son of Amon, Judah's King.
2“I will totally wipe everything away over the earth's surface!”
3“I will wipe away man and animal.
I will wipe away the sky-bird, the sea-fish,
and those things that trip up the wicked!
I will cut down mankind from the earth's surface!"
4“I will stretch my hand against Judah
and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
I will cut down from this place whatever remains of Baal,
the name of the cultic officiants with the priests."
5And those who bow down on [their] roofs to the astral armies.
6And those who turned away from following Yahweh.
And whoever has neither sought nor inquired of Yahweh.
7Be silent before Lord Yahweh
because Yahweh's day [is] nigh!
Because Yahweh prepared a sacrifice;
consecrated his summoned ones.
8So it will happen,
on the day of the sacrifice of Yahweh:
"I will visit [my wrath] upon the chieftans,
and upon the King's progeny,
and upon all of those attired in foreign attire.
9I will visit [my wrath]
upon all the threshhold jumpers,
on that day—
[with] violence and betrayal.
10So there will be on that day,"
"the sound of outcry from the Fish Gate,
and wailing out of Mishneh,
and a grand shattering out of the hills.
11Wail, inhabitants of Maktesh,
because all the people of Canaan--
they will be destroyed,
all the weighers of silver cut down.
12So it will happen at that time
[that] I will search Jerusalem with torches,
visit [my wrath] upon the people
who congeal on their dregs,
who say to themselves,
'Yahweh does nothing good or evil.'
13Their property will become plunder
and their dwellings a ruin.
They will build buildings, but not move in.
They will plant vineyards, but not drink their wine."
14The great day of Yahweh [is] nigh!
So near and nigh!
He who cries out there [is] the warrior!
15A day of rage [is] that time.
A day of disastrous calamity.
A day of utter ruination.
A day of darkest gloom.
A day of enclosing cloud.
16A day of the shophar and alarm
over the cities that are unassailable,
over the lofty corners.
17I will bring distress to humanity.
They will walk like the blind.
Because against Yahweh, they sinned,
their blood will spill out like dirt
and their bowels like feces.
18Neither their silver nor their gold
will be able to deliver them
on the day of the rage of Yahweh.
And in the fire of his passion,
all the earth will be devoured.
For an annihilation, so terrifying, he will make
of all the inhabitants of the earth!
Gather together, undesired nation,
2before the decree takes effect,
when the day passes like chaff,
before Yahweh's burning wrath comes upon you,
before the day of Yahweh's wrath comes upon you.
Seek Yahweh, all you humble of the land,
who obey his command.
Seek decency, seek humility;
perhaps you will be hidden on the day of Yahweh's wrath.
4For Gaza will be abandoned;
Ashkelon will be desolate;
they will seize Ashdod at noon;
Ekron will be overthrown.
5Woe to those who live on the sea coast, the nation of Cherethites!
Yahweh's message is against you, Canaan, land of Philistia!
I will destroy all your inhabitants.
6The sea coast will become pasture-ground and cisterns for shepherds, with stalls for flocks.
7The coast will be for the remnant of the house of Judah;
they will pasture there;
in the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down in the evening;
because Yahweh will intervene for them and bring them back from captivity.
8I have heard Moab's scorn,
and the contempt of the Ammonites
as they scorn my people,
and encroached on their territory.
9Therefore by my life —
an oracle of Yahweh, God of Israel —
that Moab will be like Sodom,
the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
a place where nettles grow,
and saltpits: endless desolation.
The remnant of my people will plunder them;
the survivors of my nation will possess them.
10This will replace their pride,
because they scorned,
and encroached upon the people of Yahweh of Armies.
11Yahweh will terrify them
when he consumes all the gods of this land.
They will do homage before him,
every one from his place,
the territory of every nation.
12And you, Kushites, will fall by my sword!
13He will stretch out his hand against the north,
and destroy Assyria,
and lay waste to Nineveh,
dry as a wilderness.
14Flocks will lie down in her midst,
and the animals of the nation.
Also the qaat and qippod will sleep on its pillars.
A voice will sing in the windows,
desolation on the threshold,
when he strips off the cedar.
15This is the exulting city who dwelt securely,
that said in her heart, "I am, and there is no other."
How she is destroyed,
a place where animals lie down!
All who pass by her will hiss and shake their fists.
1Woe, rebellious and polluted, violent city!
2She did not hear the voice.
She did not accept correction.
She did not trust in Yahweh.
She did not approach her god.
3Her nobles within her are roaring lions.
Her judges are wolves at dusk.
They leave nothing till morning.
4Her prophets are arrogant, treacherous men.
Her priests have profaned the sanctuary.
They have done violence to the law.
5Yahweh is righteous within her;
he will do no injustice.
Morning by morning he brings his judgment to light unfailing,
but the unjust are shameless.
6I have destroyed the nations;
their towers are destroyed.
I have laid waste to their streets,
so no one walks by.
Their cities are ruined,
and no one lives there.
7I said, "Surely you will fear me.
You will accept correction."
Then your dwelling would not be destroyed,
[in accord with] all that I planned for them.
But all the more eagerly they acted perversely.
8So just wait — and oracle of Yahweh —
for the day I arise as a witness,
because I have decided to gather nations,
to assemble kingdom,
to pour out on them my wrath,
my burning anger,
for in the fire of my rage
all the land will be consumed.
9For then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
that they may all invoke the name of Yahweh,
to serve him with one accord.
10From beyond the rivers of Kush my worshippers,
the daughter of my scattered flock,
will bring my offering.
11In that day you will not be ashamed of all your deeds
with which you rebelled against me,
because then I will remove from among you those who exult in arrogance,
and you will no longer be proud on my holy mountain.
12But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly,
who will put their trust in Yahweh.
13The remnant of Israel will do no iniquity,
nor speak any falsehood,
nor will a lying tongue be found in their mouth.
For they will graze and lie down,
and none will frighten them.
14Shout for joy, Daughter Zion;
shout for joy, Israel.
Celebrate joyfully, wholeheartedly, Daughter Jerusalem.
15Yahweh has taken away your punishments;
he has thrown out your enemy.
The king of Israel, Yahweh, is among you,
you will see no more disaster.
16On that day it will be said to Jerusalem, "Do not be afraid, Zion, do not let your hands hang limp."
17Yahweh your god in your midst is mighty.
He will save; he will celebrate you with gladness.
He will rest in his love; he will rejoice over you with a joyful shout.
18I will gather those who you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will no longer suffer reproach.
19"When that time comes, I will deal with all your oppressors.
I will save the lame and gather the outcast.
I will bring them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
20At that time I will bring you.
In that time I will gather you,
because I will make you famous and praised
among all peoples of the earth,
when I return your captives before you eyes,"
- literally "and those who bow down, those who swear" - the first part is a scribal error - an accidental duplication of first phrase of the verse because the next part of the verse begins with the same consonants
- literally "their king" - but most interpreters believe it refers to the god of the Ammonites, Milcom
- though this is literally plural (lords'), it is probably an example of the "plural of majesty" refering to Yahweh
- literally, "house."
- literally, "the second" - geographic reference uncertain
- literally, "the mortar" - geographic reference uncertain
- literally, "the men" - masculine plural used to speak collectively of all who are found, not just the male gender
- a direct quote from Amos 5:11 - possibly influenced by Deut 28:30.
- interpreted as an exclamative
- literally "bitter" - but tastes are bitter, not sounds
- hendiadys - literally "disaster and calamity"
- hendiadys - literally "ruin and waste"
- hendiadys - literally "dark and gloomd"
- hendiadys - literally "cloud and thick cloud"
- word uncertain - it comes from the root להם (to eat) - here interpreted as those inner parts that deal with the consumption and breakdown of food
- (2:5) Cherethites. The Cherethites, sometimes spelled Kerethites, were people associated with Philistia. Their exact identity is not known.
- (2:14) qaat. Some unknown kind of ritually unclean bird.
- (2:14) qippod. Some unknown animal.
- (2:14). strips off the cedar. Gesenius explains this as the removal of cedar wainscotting.