4 Gaza will be abandoned and Ashkelon left in ruins. At midday Ashdod will be emptied and Ekron uprooted. 5 Woe to you who live by the sea, you Kerethite people; the word of the Lord is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines. He says, "I will destroy you, and none will be left." 6 The land by the sea will become pastures having wells for shepherds and pens for flocks. 7 That land will belong to the remnant of the people of Judah; there they will find pasture. In the evening they will lie down in the houses of Ashkelon. The Lord their God will care for them; he will restore their fortunes.
8 "I have heard the insults of Moab and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people and made threats against their land. 9 Therefore, as surely as I live," declares the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, "surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah- a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land." 10 This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. 11 The Lord will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him, all of them in their own lands.
12 "You Cushites, too, will be slain by my sword." 13 He will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria, leaving Nineveh utterly desolate and dry as the desert. 14 Flocks and herds will lie down there, creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows, rubble will fill the doorways, the beams of cedar will be exposed. 15 This is the city of revelry that lived in safety. She said to herself, "I am the one! And there is none besides me." What a ruin she has become, a lair for wild beasts! All who pass by her scoff and shake their fists.
4 For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. 5 Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. 6 And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. 7 And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord
8 I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border. 9 Therefore as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them. 10 This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts. 11 The Lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish
12 Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword. 13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. 14 And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant
4 For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation; Ashdod's people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted. 5 Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast, you nation of the Cherethites! The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left. 6 And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures, with meadows
8 "I have heard the taunts of Moab and the revilings of the Ammonites, how they have taunted my people and made boasts against their territory. 9 Therefore, as I live," declares the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, "Moab shall become like Sodom, and the Ammonites like Gomorrah, a land possessed by nettles and salt pits, and a waste forever. The remnant of my people shall plunder them, and the survivors of my nation shall possess them." 10 This shall be their lot in return for their pride, because they taunted and boasted against the people of the Lord of hosts. 11 The Lord will be awesome against them; for he will famish all the gods of the earth, and to him shall bow down, each in its place, all the lands of the nations.
12 You also, O Cushites, shall 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, a dry waste like the desert. 14 Herds shall lie down in her midst, all kinds of beasts;
4 Gaza is scheduled for demolition, Ashdod will be cleaned out by high noon, Ekron pulled out by the roots. 5 Doom to the seaside people, the seafaring people from Crete! The Word of God is bad news for you who settled Canaan, the Philistine country: "You're slated for destruction - no survivors!" 6 The lands of the seafarers will become pastureland, A country for shepherds and sheep. 7 What's left of the family of Judah will get it. Day after day they'll pasture by the sea, and go home in the evening to Ashkelon to sleep. Their very own God will look out for them. He'll make things as good as before.
8 "I've heard the crude taunts of Moab, the mockeries flung by Ammon, The cruel talk they've used to put down my people, their self-important strutting along Israel's borders. 9 herefore, as sure as I am the living God," says God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel's personal God, "Moab will become a ruin like Sodom, Ammon a ghost town like Gomorrah, One a field of rocks, the other a sterile salt flat, a moonscape forever. What's left of my people will finish them off, will pick them clean and take over. 10 This is what they get for their bloated pride, their taunts and mockeries of the people of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. 11 God will be seen as truly terrible - a Holy Terror. All earth-made gods will shrivel up and blow away; And everyone, wherever they are, far or near, will fall to the ground and worship him.
12 Also you Ethiopians, you too will die - I'll see to it." 13 Then God will reach into the north and destroy Assyria. He will waste Nineveh, leave her dry and treeless as a desert. 14 The ghost town of a city, the haunt of wild animals, Nineveh will be home to raccoons and coyotes - they'll bed down in its ruins. Owls will hoot in the windows, ravens will croak in the doorways - all that fancy woodwork now a perch for birds. 15 Can this be the famous Fun City that had it made, That boasted, "I'm the Number-One City! I'm King of the Mountain!" So why is the place deserted, a lair for wild animals? Passersby hardly give it a look; they dismiss it with a gesture.
4 For Gaza shall be forsaken, And Ashkelon desolate; They shall drive out Ashdod at noonday, And Ekron shall 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: "I will destroy you; So there shall be no inhabitant." 6 The seacoast shall be pastures, With shelters for shepherds and folds for flocks. 7 The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; They shall feed their flocks there; In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the Lord their God will intervene for them, And return their captives.
8 "I have heard the reproach of Moab, And the insults of the people of Ammon, With which they have reproached My people, And made arrogant threats against their borders. 9 Therefore, as I live," Says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, "Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, And the people of Ammon like Gomorrah-- Overrun with weeds and saltpits, And a perpetual desolation. The residue of My people shall plunder them, And the remnant of My people shall possess them." 10 This they shall have for their pride, Because they have reproached and made arrogant threats Against the people of the Lord of hosts. 11 The Lord will be awesome to them, For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; People shall worship Him, Each one from his place, Indeed all the shores of the nations.
12 "You Ethiopians also, You shall be slain by My sword." 13 And He will stretch out His hand against the north, Destroy Assyria, And make Nineveh a desolation, As dry as the wilderness. 14 The herds shall lie down in her midst, Every beast of the nation. Both the pelican and the bittern Shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars; Their voice shall sing in the windows; Desolation shall be at the threshold; For He will lay bare the cedar work. 15 This is the rejoicing city That dwelt securely, That said in her heart, "I am it, and there is none besides me." How has she become a desolation, A place for beasts to lie down! Everyone who passes by her Shall hiss and shake his fist.
4 Gaza and Ashkelon will be abandoned, Ashdod and Ekron torn down. 5 And what sorrow awaits you Philistines who live along the coast and in the land of Canaan, for this judgment is against you, too! The Lord will destroy you until not one of you is left. 6 The Philistine coast will become a wilderness pasture, a place of shepherd camps and enclosures for sheep and goats. 7 The remnant of the tribe of Judah will pasture there. They will rest at night in the abandoned houses in Ashkelon. For the Lord their God will visit his people in kindness and restore their prosperity again.
8 "I have heard the taunts of the Moabites and the insults of the Ammonites, mocking my people and invading their borders. 9 Now, as surely as I live," says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, "Moab and Ammon will be destroyed- destroyed as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah. Their land will become a place of stinging nettles, salt pits, and eternal desolation. The remnant of my people will plunder them and take their land." 10 They will receive the wages of their pride, for they have scoffed at the people of the Lord of Heaven's Armies. 11 The Lord will terrify them as he destroys all the gods in the land. Then nations around the world will worship the Lord, each in their own land.
12 "You Ethiopians will also be slaughtered by my sword," says the Lord . 13 And the Lord will strike the lands of the north with his fist, destroying the land of Assyria. He will make its great capital, Nineveh, a desolate wasteland, parched like a desert. 14 The proud city will become a pasture for flocks and herds, and all sorts of wild animals will settle there. The desert owl and screech owl will roost on its ruined columns, their calls echoing through the gaping windows. Rubble will block all the doorways, and the cedar paneling will be exposed to the weather. 15 This is the boisterous city, once so secure. "I am the greatest!" it boasted. "No other city can compare with me!" But now, look how it has become an utter ruin, a haven for wild animals. Everyone passing by will laugh in derision and shake a defiant fist.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on Zephaniah 2:4-15
Commentary on Zephaniah 2:4-15
(Read Zephaniah 2:4-15)
Those are really in a woful condition who have the word of the Lord against them, for no word of his shall fall to the ground. God will restore his people to their rights, though long kept from them. It has been the common lot of God's people, in all ages, to be reproached and reviled. God shall be worshipped, not only by all Israel, and the strangers who join them, but by the heathen. Remote nations must be reckoned with for the wrongs done to God's people. The sufferings of the insolent and haughty in prosperity, are unpitied and unlamented. But all the desolations of flourishing nations will make way for the overturning Satan's kingdom. Let us improve our advantages, and expect the performance of every promise, praying that our Father's name may be hallowed every where, over all the earth.