The Day of the LORD's Wrath
1 1 The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah son of Cushi , son of Gedaliah , son of Amariah , son of Hezekiah , in the days of Josiah son of Amon , king of Judah : 2 "I will completely remove all things From the face of the earth ," declares the Lord . 3 "I will remove man and beast ; I will remove the birds of the sky And the fish of the sea , And the  ruins along with the wicked ; And I will cut off man from the face of the earth ," declares the Lord . 4 "So I will stretch out My hand against Judah And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem . And I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place , And the names of the idolatrous priests along with the priests . 5 "And those who bow down on the housetops to the host of heaven , And those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by  Milcom , 6 And those who have turned back from following the Lord , And those who have not sought the Lord or inquired of Him."
7  Be silent before e the Lord GOD ! For the day of the Lord is near , For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice , He has consecrated His guests . 8 "Then it will come about on the day of the Lord'S sacrifice That I will punish the princes , the king's sons And all who clothe themselves with foreign garments . 9 "And I will punish on that day all who leap on the temple threshold , Who fill the house of their lord with violence and deceit . 10 "On that day ," declares the Lord , "There will be the sound of a cry from the Fish Gate , A wail from the  Second Quarter, And a loud crash from the hills . 11 "Wail , O inhabitants of the Mortar , For all the people of Canaan will be silenced ; All who weigh out silver will be cut off . 12 "It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps , And I will punish the men Who are  stagnant in spirit , Who say in their hearts , 'The Lord will not do good or evil !' 13 "Moreover, their wealth will become plunder And their houses desolate ; Yes, they will build houses but not inhabit them, And plant vineyards but not drink their wine ."
14 Near is the great day of the Lord , Near and coming very quickly ; Listen , the day of the Lord ! In it the warrior cries out bitterly . 15 A day of wrath is that day , A day of trouble and distress , A day of destruction and desolation , A day of darkness and gloom , A day of clouds and thick darkness , 16 A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers . 17 I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind , Because they have sinned against the Lord ; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung . 18 Neither e their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord'S wrath ; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy , For He will make a complete end , Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth .
The Doom of the Surrounding Nations
2 1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather , O nation without shame , 2 Before the decree takes effect - The day passes like the chaff - Before e the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, Before e the day of the Lord'S anger comes upon you. 3 Seek the Lord , All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances ; Seek righteousness , seek humility . Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the Lord'S anger .
4 For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation ; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted . 5 Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast , The nation of the Cherethites ! The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan , land of the Philistines ; And I will destroy you So that there will be no inhabitant . 6 So the seacoast will be pastures , With caves for shepherds and folds for flocks . 7 And the coast will be For the remnant of the house of Judah , They will pasture on it. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down at evening ; For the Lord their God will care for them And restore their fortune .
8 "I have heard the taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon , With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory . 9 "Therefore , as I live ," declares the Lord of hosts , The God of Israel , "Surely Moab will be like Sodom And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah - A place possessed by nettles and salt pits , And a perpetual desolation . The remnant of My people will plunder them And the remainder of My nation will inherit them." 10 This they will have in return for their pride , because they have taunted and become arrogant against the people of the Lord of hosts . 11 The Lord will be terrifying to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth ; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down to Him, everyone from his own place .
12 "You also , O Ethiopians , will be slain by My sword ." 13 And He will stretch out His hand against the north And destroy Assyria , And He will make Nineveh a desolation , Parched like the wilderness . 14 Flocks will lie down in her midst , All beasts which range in herds ; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars ; Birds will sing in the window , Desolation will be on the threshold ; For He has laid bare the cedar work . 15 This is the exultant city Which dwells securely , Who says in her heart , " I am, and there is no one besides me." How she has become a desolation , A resting place for beasts ! Everyone who passes by her will hiss And wave his hand in contempt.
Jerusalem's Sin and Redemption
3 1 Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled , The tyrannical city ! 2 She heeded no voice , She accepted no instruction . She did not trust in the Lord , She did not draw near to her God . 3 Her princes within her are roaring lions , Her judges are wolves at evening ; They leave nothing for the morning . 4 Her prophets are reckless , treacherous men ; Her priests have profaned the sanctuary . They have done violence to the law . 5 The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice . Every morning He brings His justice to light ; He does not fail . But the unjust knows no shame . 6 "I have cut off nations ; Their corner towers are in ruins . I have made their streets desolate , With no one passing by; Their cities are laid waste , Without e a man , without e an inhabitant . 7 "I said , 'Surely you will revere Me, Accept instruction .' So her dwelling will not be cut off According to all that I have appointed concerning her. But they were eager to corrupt all their deeds .
8 "Therefore wait for Me," declares the Lord , "For the day when I rise up as a witness . Indeed , My decision is to gather nations , To assemble kingdoms , To pour out on them My indignation , All My burning anger ; For all the earth will be devoured By the fire of My zeal . 9 "For then I will give to the peoples purified lips , That all of them may call on the name of the Lord , To serve Him shoulder to shoulder . 10 "From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers , My dispersed ones, Will bring My offerings . 11 "In that day you will feel no shame Because of all your deeds By which you have rebelled against Me; For then I will remove from your midst Your proud , exulting ones , And you will never e again be haughty On My holy mountain . 12 "But I will leave among you A humble and lowly people , And they will take refuge in the name of the Lord . 13 "The remnant of Israel will do no wrong And tell no lies , Nor will a deceitful tongue Be found in their mouths ; For they will feed and lie down With no one to make them tremble ."
14 Shout for joy , O daughter of Zion ! Shout in triumph, O Israel ! Rejoice and exult with all your heart , O daughter of Jerusalem ! 15 The Lord has taken away His judgments against you, He has cleared away your enemies . The King of Israel , the Lord , is in your midst ; You will fear disaster no more . 16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem : " Do not be afraid , O Zion ; Do not let your hands fall limp . 17 "The Lord your God is in your midst , A victorious warrior . He will exult over you with joy , He will be quiet in His love , He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy . 18 "I will gather those who grieve about the appointed feasts - They came from you, O Zion; The reproach of exile is a burden on them. 19 "Behold , I am going to deal at that time With all your oppressors , I will save the lame And gather the outcast , And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth . 20 "At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed , I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth , When I restore your fortunes before your eyes ," Says the Lord .
1:2 Lit "ground"
1:3 Or "stumbling blocks"
1:3 Lit "ground"
1:5 Or "their king;" M.T. "Malcam," probably a variant spelling of Milcom
1:7 Lit "Hush"
1:7 Heb "YHWH," usually rendered Lord
1:9 Or "Lord"
1:10 I.e. a district of Jerusalem
1:11 I.e. a district of Jerusalem
1:11 Or "merchant people will"
1:12 Lit "thickening on their lees"
1:14 Lit "There"