Zephaniah 1

I will htake my stand at my watchpost

and station myself on the tower,

and ilook out to see jwhat he will say to me,

and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

And the Lord answered me:

kWrite the vision;

make it plain on tablets,

so he may run who reads it.

For still lthe vision awaits its appointed time;

it hastens to the endit will not lie.

If it seems slow, mwait for it;

nit will surely come; it will not delay.

Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,

but othe righteous shall live by his faith.1

Moreover, wine2 is pa traitor,

an arrogant man who is never at rest.3

His greed is as wide as Sheol;

like death qhe has never enough.

rHe gathers for himself all nations

and collects as his own all peoples.

Woe to the Chaldeans

Shall not all these stake up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,

tWoe to him uwho heaps up what is not his own

for vhow long?

and wloads himself with pledges!

xWill not your debtors suddenly arise,

and those awake who will make you tremble?

Then you will be spoil for them.

yBecause you have plundered many nations,

all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,

zfor the blood of man and yviolence to the earth,

to cities and all who dwell in them.

tWoe to him who gets evil gain for his house,

ato bset his nest on high,

to be safe from the reach of harm!

10  You have devised shame for your house

cby cutting off many peoples;

you have forfeited your life.

11  For dthe stone will cry out from the wall,

and the beam from the woodwork respond.

12  tWoe to him ewho builds a town with blood

and founds a city on iniquity!

13  Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts

that fpeoples labor merely for fire,

and nations weary themselves for nothing?

14  gFor the earth will be filled

with the knowledge of hthe glory of the Lord

as the waters cover the sea.

15  tWoe to him iwho makes his neighbors drink

you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,

in order to gaze jat their nakedness!

16  You will have your fill kof shame instead of glory.

lDrink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!

lThe cup in the Lord's right hand

will come around to you,

and mutter shame will come upon your glory!

17  nThe violence odone to Lebanon will overwhelm you,

as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,

nfor the blood of man and violence to the earth,

to cities and all who dwell in them.

18  pWhat profit is an idol

when its maker has shaped it,

a metal image, qa teacher of lies?

For its maker trusts in his own creation

when he makes rspeechless idols!

19  sWoe to him twho says to a wooden thing, Awake;

to a silent stone, Arise!

Can this teach?

Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,

and uthere is no breath at all in it.

20  But vthe Lord is in his holy temple;

wlet all the earth keep silence before him.

Habakkuk's Prayer

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

O Lord, xI have heard the report of you,

and yyour work, O Lord, do I fear.

In the midst of the years zrevive it;

in the midst of the years make it known;

ain wrath remember mercy.

God came from bTeman,

cand the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah

His splendor covered the heavens,

and the earth was full of his praise.

dHis brightness was like the light;

rays flashed from his hand;

and there he veiled his power.

eBefore him went pestilence,

and plague followed fat his heels.1

He stood gand measured the earth;

he looked and shook the nations;

then the heternal mountains iwere scattered;

the everlasting hills sank low.

His were jthe everlasting ways.

I saw the tents of kCushan in affliction;

lthe curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

mWas your wrath against the rivers, O Lord?

Was your anger against the rivers,

mor your indignation against the sea,

nwhen you rode on your horses,

non your chariot of salvation?

You stripped the sheath from your bow,

calling for many arrows.2 Selah

pYou split the earth with rivers.

10  qThe mountains saw you and writhed;

the raging waters swept on;

rthe deep gave forth its voice;

sit lifted its hands on high.

11  tThe sun and moon stood still in their place

uat the light of your arrows as they sped,

at the flash of your glittering spear.

12  vYou marched through the earth in fury;

wyou threshed the nations in anger.

13  vYou went out for the salvation of your people,

for the salvation of xyour anointed.

yYou crushed the head of the house of the wicked,

laying him bare from thigh to neck.3 Selah

14  You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors,

who came like a whirlwind to scatter me,

rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.

15  zYou trampled the sea with your horses,

the surging of mighty waters.

16  aI hear, and bmy body trembles;

my lips quiver at the sound;

crottenness enters into my bones;

my legs tremble beneath me.

Yet dI will quietly wait for the day of trouble

to come upon people who invade us.

Habakkuk Rejoices in the Lord

17  Though the fig tree should not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

18  eyet I will rejoice in the Lord;

fI will take joy in the God of my salvation.

19  God, the Lord, is my strength;

ghe makes my feet like the deer's;

he makes me htread on my ihigh places.

jTo the choirmaster: with kstringed4 instruments.

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.

Judgment on Judah's Enemies

Gather together, yes, gather,

O sshameless nation,

tbefore the decree takes effect1

before the day passes away ulike chaff

vbefore there comes upon you

the burning anger of the Lord,

before there comes upon you

the day of the anger of the Lord.

wSeek the Lord, xall you humble of the land,

who do his just commands;2

yseek righteousness; seek humility;

yperhaps zyou may be hidden

on the day of the anger of the Lord.

aFor Gaza shall be deserted,

and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;

Ashdod's people shall be driven out at noon,

and Ekron shall be uprooted.

Woe to byou inhabitants of the seacoast,

you nation of cthe Cherethites!

dThe word of the Lord is against you,

eO Canaan, land of the Philistines;

and I will destroy you funtil no inhabitant is left.

gAnd you, O seacoast, hshall be pastures,

with meadows3 for shepherds

and folds for flocks.

iThe seacoast shall become the possession

of jthe remnant of the house of Judah,

hon which they shall graze,

and in the houses of Ashkelon

they shall lie down at evening.

For the Lord their God kwill be mindful of them

and lrestore their fortunes.

I have heard mthe taunts of Moab

and nthe revilings of the Ammonites,

how they have taunted my people

and made boasts oagainst their territory.

Therefore, pas I live, declares the Lord of hosts,

the God of Israel,

Moab shall become qlike Sodom,

and the Ammonites qlike 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 rfor their pride,

because they taunted and boasted

against the people of the Lord of hosts.

11  The Lord will be awesome against them;

sfor he will famish all the gods of the earth,

and tto him shall bow down,

each in its place,

all uthe lands of the nations.

12  vYou also, O Cushites,

shall be slain by my sword.

13  And he will stretch out his hand against the north

wand destroy Assyria,

and he xwill make Nineveh a desolation,

a dry waste like the desert.

14  yHerds shall lie down in her midst,

all kinds of beasts;4

zeven the owl and the hedgehog5

shall lodge in her capitals;

a voice shall hoot in the window;

devastation will be on the threshold;

for aher cedar work will be laid bare.

15  This is the exultant city

bthat lived securely,

that said in her heart,

I am, and there is no one else.

What a desolation she has become,

ca lair for wild beasts!

dEveryone who passes by her

hisses and eshakes his fist.

Judgment on Jerusalem and the Nations

Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,

fthe oppressing city!

She listens to no voice;

gshe accepts no correction.

hShe does not trust in the Lord;

she does not draw near to her God.

iHer officials within her

are roaring lions;

her judges are jevening wolves

that leave nothing till the morning.

kHer prophets are fickle, treacherous men;

kher priests lprofane what is holy;

they do violence to the law.

The Lord within her mis righteous;

he does no injustice;

every morning he shows forth his justice;

each dawn he does not fail;

but nthe unjust knows no shame.

oI have cut off nations;

their battlements are in ruins;

I have laid waste their streets

pso that no one walks in them;

their cities have been made desolate,

without a man, without an inhabitant.

qI said, Surely you will fear me;

ryou will accept correction.

Then your1 dwelling would not be cut off

according to all that I have appointed against you.2

But sall the more they were eager

to make all their deeds corrupt.

Therefore twait for me, declares the Lord,

for the day when I rise up to seize the prey.

For my decision is uto gather nations,

to assemble kingdoms,

to pour out upon them my indignation,

all my burning anger;

for in the fire of my jealousy

vall the earth shall be consumed.

The Conversion of the Nations

For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples

to wa pure speech,

that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord

and serve him with one accord.

10  xFrom beyond the rivers yof Cush

my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones,

shall bring my offering.

11  zOn that day ayou shall not be put to shame

because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;

for then bI will remove from your midst

your proudly exultant ones,

and cyou shall no longer be haughty

in my holy mountain.

12  But I will leave in your midst

a people dhumble and lowly.

eThey shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord,

13  fthose who are left in Israel;

they gshall do no injustice

and speak no lies,

hnor shall there be found in their mouth

a deceitful tongue.

iFor they shall graze and lie down,

and none shall make them afraid.

Israel's Joy and Restoration

14  jSing aloud, O daughter of Zion;

shout, O Israel!

Rejoice and exult with all your heart,

O daughter of Jerusalem!

15  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;

he has cleared away your enemies.

kThe King of Israel, lthe Lord, is in your midst;

you shall never again fear evil.

16  zOn that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:

Fear not, O Zion;

mlet not your hands grow weak.

17  lThe Lord your God is in your midst,

na mighty one who will save;

ohe will rejoice over you with gladness;

he will quiet you by his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing.

18  I will gather those of you who mourn pfor the festival,

so that you will no longer suffer reproach.3

19  Behold, at that time qI will deal

with all your oppressors.

And rI will save the lame

and gather the outcast,

and I will change stheir shame into tpraise

and renown in all the earth.

20  uAt that time I will bring you in,

at the time when I gather you together;

for I will make you renowned and praised

among all the peoples of the earth,

vwhen I restore your fortunes

before your eyes, says the Lord.