1A message from the Lord came to Zephaniah, the son of Cushi. Cushi was the son of Gedaliah. Gedaliah was the son of Amariah. Amariah was the son of King Hezekiah. The Lord spoke to Zephaniah during the rule of Josiah. He was king of Judah and the son of Amon.
The Lord Will Judge the Whole World
2“I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,”
announces the Lord.
3“I will destroy people and animals alike.
I will wipe out the birds in the sky
and the fish in the waters.
I will destroy the statues of gods that cause evil people to sin.
That will happen when I destroy all human beings on the face of the earth,”
announces the Lord.
4“I will reach out my powerful hand against Judah.
I will punish all those who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy from this place
what is left of Baal worship.
The priests who serve other gods
will be removed.
5I will destroy those who bow down on their roofs
to worship all the stars.
I will destroy those who make promises
not only in my name but also in the name of Molek.
6I will destroy those who stop following the Lord.
They no longer look to him or ask him for advice.
7Be silent in front of him.
He is the Lord and King.
The day of the Lord is near.
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice.
He has set apart for himself
the people he has invited.
8When the Lord’s sacrifice is ready to be offered,
I will punish the officials and the king’s sons.
I will also judge all those who follow
the practices of other nations.
9At that time I will punish
all those who worship other gods.
They fill the temples of their gods
with lies and other harmful things.
10“At that time people at the Fish Gate in Jerusalem
will cry out,” announces the Lord.
“So will those at the New Quarter.
The buildings on the hills will come crashing down
with a loud noise.
11Cry out, you who live in the market places.
All your merchants will be wiped out.
Those who trade in silver will be destroyed.
12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps.
I will punish those who are so contented.
They are like wine that has not been shaken up.
They think, ‘The Lord won’t do anything.
He won’t do anything good or bad.’
13Their wealth will be stolen.
Their houses will be destroyed.
They will build houses.
But they will not live in them.
They will plant vineyards.
But they will not drink the wine they produce.
14The great day of the Lord is near.
In fact, it is coming quickly.
The cries on that day are bitter.
The Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.
15At that time I will pour out my anger.
There will be great suffering and pain.
It will be a day of horrible trouble.
It will be a time of darkness and gloom.
It will be filled with the blackest clouds.
16Trumpet blasts and battle cries will be heard.
Soldiers will attack cities
that have forts and corner towers.
17I will bring great trouble on all people.
So they will feel their way around like blind people.
They have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out like dust.
Their bodies will lie rotting on the ground.
18Their silver and gold
won’t save them
on the day the Lord pours out his anger.
The whole earth will be burned up
when his jealous anger blazes out.
Everyone who lives on earth
will come to a sudden end.”
1The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:
Judgment on the whole earth in the day of the Lord
2‘I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,’
declares the Lord.
3‘I will sweep away both man and beast;
I will sweep away the birds in the sky
and the fish in the sea –
and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.’1:3 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
‘When I destroy all mankind
on the face of the earth,’
declares the Lord,
4‘I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,
the very names of the idolatrous priests –
5those who bow down on the roofs
to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the Lord
and who also swear by Molek,1:5 Hebrew Malkam
6those who turn back from following the Lord
and neither seek the Lord nor enquire of him.’
7Be silent before the Sovereign Lord,
for the day of the Lord is near.
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
he has consecrated those he has invited.
8‘On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice
I will punish the officials
and the king’s sons
and all those clad
in foreign clothes.
9On that day I will punish
all who avoid stepping on the threshold,1:9 See 1 Samuel 5:5.
who fill the temple of their gods
with violence and deceit.
10‘On that day,’
declares the Lord,
‘a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,
wailing from the New Quarter,
and a loud crash from the hills.
11Wail, you who live in the market district1:11 Or the Mortar;
all your merchants will be wiped out,
all who trade with1:11 Or in silver will be destroyed.
12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
and punish those who are complacent,
who are like wine left on its dregs,
who think, “The Lord will do nothing,
either good or bad.”
13Their wealth will be plundered,
their houses demolished.
Though they build houses,
they will not live in them;
though they plant vineyards,
they will not drink the wine.’
14The great day of the Lord is near –
near and coming quickly.
The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter;
the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.
15That day will be a day of wrath –
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of trouble and ruin,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness –
16a day of trumpet and battle cry
against the fortified cities
and against the corner towers.
17‘I will bring such distress on all people
that they will grope about like those who are blind,
because they have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out like dust
and their entrails like dung.
18Neither their silver nor their gold
will be able to save them
on the day of the Lord’s wrath.’
In the fire of his jealousy
the whole earth will be consumed,
for he will make a sudden end
of all who live on the earth.