Zephaniah 3 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

<< Zephaniah 2 | Zephaniah 3 | Haggai >>
(Read all of Zephaniah 3)
Summary to Zephaniah

The remnant exhorted to wait on Jehovah till He rises up in judgment

Amid this judgment of the nation Jerusalem holds the chief place. In chapter 3, the Spirit of God, while laying open the iniquity which occasioned it, turns towards the remnant, and exhorts them to wait upon Jehovah, since all hope was gone. He enlightens them with respect to His dealings, and reveals to them in what manner these will result in blessing to Israel.

God had been in the midst of the holy city, now polluted, but she would not draw near to Him nor obey Him. Her princes were the violent of the earth, her judges were rapacious, her prophets vain and treacherous, her priests polluted the sanctuary. Jehovah was there to shew them their sins and His judgment; but the wicked were shameless in their iniquity. Doubtless Jehovah had cut off the nations and made them desolate; but surely Israel, however chastised, would receive instruction—Jehovah would not be compelled to cut them off. But they had diligently corrupted all their doing. Because they would not hearken to Jehovah, who had shewn them such lovingkindness, who had been so near unto them, Israel, unnamed, sinks to the level of the nations, who are the objects of the just judgment of God, and the remnant is called (v. 8) to wait upon Jehovah alone, who is about to execute this judgment, to await the moment (since nothing touched the hardened hearts of the people) when Jehovah should rise up to the prey. Until that moment nothing could be done. Israel would not hearken. Judgment did not belong to the remnant. And this judgment alone could put an end to their distress. God would assemble all the nations to pour His fierce anger upon them—the solemn and universal testimony of the prophets. But then would He turn to them [1] a pure language, that they should call upon the name of Jehovah to serve Him with one consent. He would also gather together all the dispersed of Israel from the most distant lands.

Israel gathered together for blessing: a song of praise indited and taught to Zion

Jerusalem should no longer remember her shame; her transgressions should be entirely blotted out. The proud should be taken away from among her: a humble and despised people should be in the midst of her, whose refuge should be Jehovah alone; the little remnant should do no iniquity, neither should they speak lies. They should feed and lie down in safety; none should make them afraid. Verses 14-17 contain a song of praise, which the Spirit indites and teaches to Zion whom He calls on to sing it with thanksgivings to Jehovah—who has put away her condemnation for ever—who is in the midst of her—who rejoices in His love towards her. All those who had grieved for the reproach of Zion, and who had sighed for her solemn assemblies, should be gathered together; her enemies should be destroyed, and her children should have praise and fame in every place where they had been despised and reproached. Israel should be a subject of praise among all the nations of the earth.

[1] This is a very clear testimony, when it is that the nations of the earth learn righteousness.