About the Book of Zephaniah
Zephaniah was a man who knew God. He was a
Zephaniah wrote this book between the years 630 and 625 B.C. (B.C. means ‘before Christ lived on earth’.) The book is in three parts. In Chapter 1, Zephaniah told the people in Judah that God would
At that time, the
King Josiah was a good man. He listened to the
Some people in
The people from Babylon began to take
I will remove everything from the ground.
I will remove the birds that fly in the air.
I will also remove the fish that live in the sea.
I will remove all the bad people.
Bad people cause trouble for other people.
Yes, I will remove all the people from the ground.
It is the
I will remove all the people who live in Jerusalem.
I will remove all those who believe in the
I will remove Baal’s
Some people say that they love me. But they say also that they love Malcam (a
the sun, the moon and the stars: Many people in
Malcam: The people who
I will also remove those who decide things without the
It will soon be the
He has made the people ready who will give the
‘day of the LORD’: the time when God sent a cruel army, called Chaldeans, to fight against
the people that God made ready: the army of the Chaldeans.
‘heathen clothes’: We think that these were foreign clothes. They put these clothes on when they
On that same day, I will also
And there will be sad sounds from the next gate.
There will be loud noises from the hills.
Some people have lots of money there. But all those people will be dead then.’
This will happen to
I will look in all Jerusalem’s dark corners. I will take lights with me.
I will find the drunks and I will
I will take away their houses also.
They will build houses, but they will never live in them.
They will plant plants to get
It will happen quickly.
Strong men will weep when they hear the noise of it.
It will be a time when there will be trouble.
On that day, he will destroy everything bad.
It will be very dark. At that time, there will be thick dark clouds.
In the fight, they will try to destroy the strong walls of cities.
And they will try to destroy the strong high parts of the walls.
So they will walk like people who cannot see.
This is because they have not obeyed the
Their blood will fall to the ground.
Yes, they will fall to the ground and they will die. After that, they will be nothing.
on the day when the
And he is angry when his people love other gods.
So, he will send fire on the earth.
Yes, he will quickly kill all the people who live in
Yes, you people, come together and think.
You do not know how to be ashamed!
It will be like that when I
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 God will be angry. Look for me, before that day.
Yes, look for the
You have done what the
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 God is angry.
Enemies will also send away the people in Ashdod city at midday. And those enemies will destroy Ekron city.
I will also kill all you people called Philistines, who live in the country called Canaan!
You will all die. So nobody will live there.
There will be safe places for their sheep.
They will have food there.
They will lie down to sleep in Ashkelon city’s houses.
He will stop their troubles.
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.’
the God of Israel, says,
‘You can be sure that I live.
In the same way, you can also be sure that my people will take everything.
It will be theirs to keep.
God will destroy Moab as he destroyed
He will destroy Ammon as he destroyed
After this, the ground will have lots of salt on it. Weeds will grow there.
Nobody will build anything there again.
The small number of my people that enemies have not killed will have Ammon’s peoples’ things and Moab’s peoples’ things.’
The cruel people thought that they were greater than the people of the
He will destroy all the
They will also
Other people will kill you with a big knife’, the
There, he will destroy the country called Assyria.
He will also destroy Nineveh city. That place will become only dry sand.
All the wild animals of that place will live together there.
They will sing in the windows.
Bits of doors will lie on the ground.
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.
It is like something that is dirty.
Its people will not obey me. They like to fight weak people. They also like to do bad things.
They accept no
They do not
They do not come near to their God.
They are like wolves that have even eaten all an animal’s bones before morning.
even in God’s
They have also made changes to God’s rules.
They have made changes that they want.
He will do what is right.
He is always the honest
He never fails.
But the bad people do not know how to be ashamed.
‘There is nobody in their strong
I have made their streets empty, so no people are there.
I have destroyed their cities.
So, nobody lives in them now.
The people would have been safe if they had accepted it.
Then I would not have to destroy them.
But it did not happen. I had to
Still, the people got up early to do bad things.’
‘I will stand up and I will
I have decided to bring together the
Then I will
They will see how angry I am.
They will see it because, on that day, I will burn all the earth.
With those lips, they will call me
And then, all the people will agree to work together for me.’
God will cause people to use words that are honest. And he will cause them to
Yes, my people who pray went away to many other countries.
They will return and they will carry their gifts to me.
of the wrong things that you have done against me.
But I will take away those who do not see anything wrong in themselves.
Those people will not call each other
“the people who live on God’s
These are the people who have had bad times.
These are the people who will
They will not do any bad things.
They will only say things that are true.
They will say honest things.
They will eat well and they will sleep well.
Nobody will make them afraid.’
Shout, you people in Israel!
Be very, very happy, my people in Jerusalem!
He has sent your enemy away.
I, the King of Israel, am with you!
The bad times have gone.
They will not happen again!
‘Do not be afraid now! Do not be weak now!
He is strong. He will save you.
He will be very happy about you!
He will quietly love you.
He will sing, because he is so happy about you!
You want to meet again to pray. And you want to meet again to
You have had enough cruel words from your enemies.
all those people who hurt you.
I will save those who cannot walk well.
I will bring back the people that the enemy has sent away.
I will cause people in every country to know about you. I will cause them to
I will bring you back together.
I will give you a good name among all the people on the earth.
That is what I will do. I will stop your troubles. And you will see it happen.’
That is what the
- people who fought against Israel.
- when somebody tells the right thing to a person who is wrong.
- day of the LORD
- the time when God sent a cruel army, called Chaldeans, to fight against
- not true or good.
- a town that God was angry with.
- a small, sweet fruit that people make a drink called
- people who did not
worshipthe God of Israel; or those people’s things.
- all good with nothing bad in it; completely clean; something for God to use in a special way.
- a part of the country of God’s people.
- a person who can say what is right.
- a special name for God. It means that God is always God.
- a group of people who have the same ruler or king.
- birds that fly in the night.
- to say that somebody is very great; or, words that say that somebody is very great.
- a person who gave
sacrificesto God or to a falsegod.
- a person who got messages from God for the people.
- a proud person thinks that he is better than other people.
- to cause trouble to another person because that person has done something wrong.
- nothing wrong with it; something that is right to use because God is happy about it.
- when they gave an animal to God; they killed the animal and they burned it on a special table.
- a town that God was angry with.
- a very high building or part of a building.
- men use this metal thing to make loud music. A metal pipe with a wide end. People use their mouths to make music with it.
- to believe that someone will always do right things.
- big birds that eat dead bodies.
- a drink that has alcohol in it; people make it from small, sweet fruit called grapes.
- wild animals, like very big dogs, that eat other animals.
- to give thanks to God; to tell God that he is great and that we love him very much. But some people worship other things instead.
- another name for Jerusalem.
Rev. R. F. Horton, M.A., D.D. ~ Minor Prophets: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah ~ The Century Bible ~ Caxton Publishing Ltd., London
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown ~ Commentary on the Whole Bible ~Zondervan
Matthew Poole ~ Commentary on the Holy Bible
Matthew Henry ~ Bible Commentary
Bibles ~ New King James Version, Young’s Literal Translation, Bible in 26 Translations, Contemporary English Version
© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2009
This version published April 2009
The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.