Zephaniah 3 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

<< Zephaniah 2 | Zephaniah 3 | Haggai 1 >>
(Read all of Zephaniah 3)
3:1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing a city!

(a) That is, Jerusalem.

3:3 Her princes within her [are] roaring lions; her judges [are] evening wolves; they b gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

(b) They are so greedy, that they eat up bones and all.

3:5 The c just LORD [is] in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.

(c) The wicked thus boasted that God was ever among them, but the Prophet answers that that cannot excuse their wickedness: for God will not bear with their sins. Yet he did patiently abide and sent his Prophets continually to call them to repentance, but he profited nothing.

3:6 I have d cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.

(d) By the destruction of other nations he shows that the Jews should have learned to fear God.

3:7 I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but e they rose early, [and] corrupted all their doings.

(e) They were most earnest and ready to do wickedly.

3:8 Therefore f wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination [is] to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, [even] all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

(f) Seeing that you will not repent, you can expect my vengeance as well as other nations.

3:9 For g then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.

(g) Lest any should then think that God's glory should have perished when Judah was destroyed, he shows that he will proclaim his grace through all the world.

3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, [even] the h daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

(h) That is, the Jews will come as well as the Gentiles: which is to be understood as referring to the time of the Gospel.

3:11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for i all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.

(i) For they will have full remission of their sins, and the hypocrites who boasted of the temple, which was also your pride in times past, will be taken from you.

3:15 The LORD hath taken away thy k judgments, he hath cast out thine l enemy: the king of Israel, [even] the LORD, [is] in the midst of m thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

(k) That is, the punishment for your sin.
(l) As the Assyrians, Chaldaeans, Egyptians, and other nations.
(m) To defend you, as by your sins you have put him away, and left yourself naked, as in (Exodus 32:25).

3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in n his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

(n) Signifying, that God delights to show his love and great affection toward his Church.

3:18 I will gather [them that are] sorrowful for the solemn assembly, [who] are of thee, [to whom] the reproach of o it [was] a burden.

(o) That is, those that were held in hatred and reviled for the Church, and because of their religion.

3:19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will p save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every q land where they have been put to shame.

(p) I will deliver the Church, which now is afflicted, as in (Micah 4:6).
(q) As among the Assyrians and Chaldaeans, who mocked them and put them to shame.