1:1 The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.
The Argument - Seeing the great rebellion of the people, and that there was
now no hope of amendment, he gives notice of the great judgment of God, which
was at hand, showing that their country would be utterly destroyed, and they
would be carried away captives by the Babylonians. Yet for the comfort of the
faithful he prophesied of God's vengeance against their enemies, such as the
Philistines, Moabites, Assyrians, and others, to assure them that God had a
continual care over them. And as the wicked would be punished for their sins
and transgressions, so he exhorts the godly to patience, and to trust to find
mercy by reason of the free promise of God made to Abraham: and therefore
quietly to wait until God shows them the effect of that grace, by which in the
end they should be gathered to him, and counted as his people and children.
1:3 I will consume man and
beast; I will consume the a fowls of the
heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and
I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD.
(a) Not that God was angry with these dumb
creatures, but because man was so wicked for whose cause they were created,
God makes them to take part of the punishments with him.
1:4 I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah,
and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of
Baal from this place, [and] the name of the b
Chemarims with the priests;
(b) Who were an order of superstitious priests
appointed to minister in the service of Baal, and were as his special
chaplains; read (2 Kings
1:5 And them that worship the host of heaven upon
the housetops; and them that worship [and] that swear by the LORD, and that
swear by c Malcham;
(c) He alludes to their idol Molech, which was
forbidden; read (Leviticus
20:2), yet they called him their king, and made him as a god: therefore he
here notes those that will both say they worship God, and yet will swear by
idols and serve them: which faltering is here condemned, as in (Ezekiel
20:39; 1 Kings
18:21; 2 Kings
1:8 And it
shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the
princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with d
(d) Meaning, the courtiers, who did imitate the
strange apparel of other nations to win their favour by it, and to appear
glorious in the eyes of all others; read (Ezekiel
1:9 In the same day also will I punish all those
that e leap on the threshold, which fill
their masters' houses with violence and deceit.
(e) He means the servants of the rulers who
invade other men's houses, and rejoice and leap for joy, when they can get
any gain to please their master with.
1:10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith
the LORD, [that there shall be] the noise of a cry from the f
fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.
(f) Signifying that all the corners of the city
of Jerusalem would be full of trouble.
1:11 Howl, ye inhabitants of g
Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are
(g) This is meant of the street of the merchants
which was lower than the rest of the place around it.
1:12 And it shall come to pass at that time, [that]
I will search Jerusalem with h candles,
and punish the men that are settled i on
their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he
(h) So that nothing will escape me.
(i) By their prosperity they are hardened in
1:14 The great day of the
LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day
of the LORD: k the mighty man shall cry
(k) They that trusted in their own strength and
condemned the Prophets of God.