Zephaniah 2

1 Come together!

Yes, you people, come together and think.

You do not know how to be ashamed!

2-3 The wind takes away the dry parts of a plant that covered the seed.

It will be like that when I punish you.

Before it is the time for me to punish you, look for me.

Before this time is past, look for me.

Look for me, before I become very, very angry with you.

There will be a day when the Lord will be angry. Look for me, before that day.

Yes, look for the Lord, all you people who want to make him happy.

You have done what the Lord wants.

Continue to do what is good.

But do not think that you are great.

Perhaps you will find a safe place

on the day when the Lord is angry.

The Lord will destroy the Philistines

4 Then, the people who have lived in Gaza city and Ashkelon city will not be there.

Enemies will also send away the people in Ashdod city at midday. And those enemies will destroy Ekron city.

5 Terrible trouble will come to you people who came from Crete,

you people who live beside the sea!

The Lord has said this against you:

I will kill all you Philistines who live in the land of Canaan!

You will all die. So nobody will live there.

6 By the sea, there will be houses for people who feed sheep.

There will be safe places for their sheep.

7 Those people in Judah who love God will live there, by the sea.

They will have food there.

They will lie down to sleep in Ashkelon city's houses.

The Lord, their God, will be with them.

He will stop their troubles.

The Lord will destroy the people of other countries

8 The Lord of all his armies says, ‘I have heard the cruel people in the countries called Moab and Ammon.

They laugh about you and they say cruel things about you, my people.

They have thought that they were greater than you.

They have come against you.’

9 The Lord Almighty, Israel's God, says,

‘You can be sure that I live.

In the same way, you can also be sure that my people will take everything for themselves.

God will destroy Moab as he destroyed Sodom.

He will destroy Ammon as he destroyed Gomorrah.

After this, the ground will have lots of salt on it. Weeds will grow there.

Nobody will build anything there again.

My people who are still alive will take for themselves the Ammonites' things and the Moabites' things.’

10 That will happen to all proud people.

The proud people said cruel words to God's people.

The cruel people thought that they were greater than the people of the Lord Almighty.

11 The Lord will make them afraid.

He will destroy all the false gods.

People will worship him instead. Every person, in his own place, will worship God.

They will also worship him in the places where the people now believe in false gods.

12 ‘I will also punish you people in the country called Ethiopia.

Other people will kill you with a big knife,’ the Lord says.

13 The Lord will go against the north.

There, he will destroy the country called Assyria.

He will also destroy Nineveh city. That place will become as dry as a desert.

14 Sheep will lie down there.

All the wild animals of that place will live together there.

Vultures and owls will rest on top of the high, thin parts of the buildings.

They will sing in the windows.

Bits of doors will lie on the ground.

The Lord will tear down all the things in the houses that they have made from valuable wood.

15 All this will happen to that city, the proud city.

That city's people said in their minds,

‘Here we are. We are greater than all the other people.’

But then, other people will destroy their city! Only bits of it will still be there.

Then wild animals will come and they will lie down in it. People will see this.

So any people who pass by the city will make noises with their lips.

And they will hold their fists up. In this way, they will show that they think bad things about the city.