Zephaniah 1; Colossians 4

Zephaniah Illustration

Zephaniah

The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, ain the days of bJosiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Coming Judgment on Judah

cI will utterly sweep away everything

from the face of the earth, declares the Lord.

I will sweep away dman and beast;

I will sweep away the birds of the heavens

and dthe fish of the sea,

and ethe rubble1 with the wicked.

I will fcut off mankind

from the face of the earth, declares the Lord.

I will stretch out my hand against Judah

and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

gand I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal

and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,

hthose who bow down on the roofs

to the host of the heavens,

ithose who bow down and swear to the Lord

and yet swear by jMilcom,2

kthose who have turned back from following the Lord,

lwho do not seek the Lord or inquire of him.

The Day of the Lord Is Near

mBe silent before the Lord God!

For nthe day of the Lord is near;

othe Lord has prepared a sacrifice

and pconsecrated his guests.

And on the day of the Lord's sacrifice

qI will punish the officials and the king's sons

and rall who array themselves in foreign attire.

On that day I will punish

everyone swho leaps over the threshold,

and those who fill their master's3 house

with violence and fraud.

10  On that day, declares the Lord,

a cry will be heard from tthe Fish Gate,

ua wail from vthe Second Quarter,

a loud crash from the hills.

11  wWail, O inhabitants of the Mortar!

For all the traders4 are no more;

all who weigh out silver are cut off.

12  At that time xI will search Jerusalem with lamps,

and I will punish the men

ywho are complacent,5

zthose who say in their hearts,

The Lord will not do good,

nor will he do ill.

13  Their goods shall be aplundered,

and their houses laid waste.

bThough they build houses,

they shall not inhabit them;

cthough they plant vineyards,

they shall not drink wine from them.

14  dThe great day of the Lord is near,

near and hastening fast;

the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter;

ethe mighty man cries aloud there.

15  fA day of wrath is that day,

a day of distress and anguish,

a day of gruin and devastation,

ha day of darkness and gloom,

ha day of clouds and thick darkness,

16  ia day of trumpet blast and battle cry

jagainst the fortified cities

and against the lofty battlements.

17  kI will bring distress on mankind,

so that they shall walk llike the blind,

because they have sinned against the Lord;

mtheir blood shall be poured out like dust,

and their flesh nlike dung.

18  oNeither their silver nor their gold

shall be able to deliver them

on the day of the wrath of the Lord.

pIn the fire of his jealousy,

qall the earth shall be consumed;

rfor a full and sudden end

he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.


Masters, treat your bondservants1 justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

cContinue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it dwith thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may eopen to us a door for the word, fto declare the mystery of Christ, gon account of which I am in prison that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

hWalk in wisdom toward ioutsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always jbe gracious, kseasoned with salt, lso that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Final Greetings

Tychicus will tell you mall about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant2 in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him nOnesimus, our faithful and obeloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

10 pAristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark qthe cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructionsrif he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called sJustus. tThese are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and uthey have been a comfort to me. 12 vEpaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always wstruggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand xmature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 yLuke the beloved physician greets you, as does zDemas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers3 at Laodicea, and to Nympha and athe church in her house. 16 And when bthis letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to cArchippus, See that you fulfill dthe ministry that you have received in the Lord.

18 I, Paul, ewrite this greeting with my own hand. fRemember gmy chains. hGrace be with you.