New Living Translation

Zephaniah 1

1The Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah.

Coming Judgment against Judah

“I will sweep away everything
    from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.
“I will sweep away people and animals alike.
    I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish in the sea.
I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble,[a]
    and I will wipe humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.
“I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist
    and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship.
I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests,
    so that even the memory of them will disappear.
For they go up to their roofs
    and bow down to the sun, moon, and stars.
They claim to follow the Lord,
    but then they worship Molech,[b] too.
And I will destroy those who used to worship me
    but now no longer do.
They no longer ask for the Lord’s guidance
    or seek my blessings.”

Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord,
    for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near.
The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter
    and has chosen their executioners.[c]
“On that day of judgment,”
    says the Lord,
“I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah
    and all those following pagan customs.
Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies,
    and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

10 “On that day,” says the Lord,
    “a cry of alarm will come from the Fish Gate
and echo throughout the New Quarter of the city.[d]
    And a great crash will sound from the hills.
11 Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area,[e]
    for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed.

12 “I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners
    to punish those who sit complacent in their sins.
They think the Lord will do nothing to them,
    either good or bad.
13 So their property will be plundered,
    their homes will be ransacked.
They will build new homes
    but never live in them.
They will plant vineyards
    but never drink wine from them.

14 “That terrible day of the Lord is near.
    Swiftly it comes—
a day of bitter tears,
    a day when even strong men will cry out.
15 It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out—
    a day of terrible distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and desolation,
    a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness,
16     a day of trumpet calls and battle cries.
Down go the walled cities
    and the strongest battlements!

17 “Because you have sinned against the Lord,
    I will make you grope around like the blind.
Your blood will be poured into the dust,
    and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.”

18 Your silver and gold will not save you
    on that day of the Lord’s anger.
For the whole land will be devoured
    by the fire of his jealousy.
He will make a terrifying end
    of all the people on earth.[f]

Notas al pie

  1. 1:3 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. 1:5 Hebrew Malcam, a variant spelling of Molech; or it could possibly mean their king.
  3. 1:7 Hebrew has prepared a sacrifice and sanctified his guests.
  4. 1:10 Or the Second Quarter, a newer section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Mishneh.
  5. 1:11 Or in the valley, a lower section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Maktesh.
  6. 1:18 Or the people living in the land.

The Message

Zephaniah 1

No Longer Giving God a Thought or a Prayer

1God’s Message to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. It came during the reign of Josiah son of Amon, who was king of Judah:

“I’m going to make a clean sweep of the earth,
    a thorough housecleaning.” God’s Decree.

“Men and women and animals,
    including birds and fish—
Anything and everything that causes sin—will go,
    but especially people.

4-6 “I’ll start with Judah
    and everybody who lives in Jerusalem.
I’ll sweep the place clean of every trace
    of the sex-and-religion Baal shrines and their priests.
I’ll get rid of the people who sneak up to their rooftops at night
    to worship the star gods and goddesses;
Also those who continue to worship God
    but cover their bases by worshiping other king-gods as well;
Not to mention those who’ve dumped God altogether,
    no longer giving him a thought or offering a prayer.

7-13 “Quiet now!
    Reverent silence before me, God, the Master!
Time’s up. My Judgment Day is near:
    The Holy Day is all set, the invited guests made holy.
On the Holy Day, God’s Judgment Day,
    I will punish the leaders and the royal sons;
I will punish those who dress up like foreign priests and priestesses,
    Who introduce pagan prayers and practices;
And I’ll punish all who import pagan superstitions
    that turn holy places into hellholes.
Judgment Day!” God’s Decree!
    “Cries of panic from the city’s Fish Gate,
Cries of terror from the city’s Second Quarter,
    sounds of great crashing from the hills!
Wail, you shopkeepers on Market Street!
    Moneymaking has had its day. The god Money is dead.
On Judgment Day,
    I’ll search through every closet and alley in Jerusalem.
I’ll find and punish those who are sitting it out, fat and lazy,
    amusing themselves and taking it easy,
Who think, ‘God doesn’t do anything, good or bad.
    He isn’t involved, so neither are we.’
But just wait. They’ll lose everything they have,
    money and house and land.
They’ll build a house and never move in.
    They’ll plant vineyards and never taste the wine.

A Day of Darkness at Noon

14-18 “The Great Judgment Day of God is almost here.
    It’s countdown time: . . . seven, six, five, four . . .
Bitter and noisy cries on my Judgment Day,
    even strong men screaming for help.
Judgment Day is payday—my anger paid out:
    a day of distress and anguish,
    a day of catastrophic doom,
    a day of darkness at noon,
    a day of black storm clouds,
    a day of bloodcurdling war cries,
    as forts are assaulted,
    as defenses are smashed.
I’ll make things so bad they won’t know what hit them.
    They’ll walk around groping like the blind.
    They’ve sinned against God!
Their blood will be poured out like old dishwater,
    their guts shoveled into slop buckets.
Don’t plan on buying your way out.
    Your money is worthless for this.
This is the Day of God’s Judgment—my wrath!
    I care about sin with fiery passion—
A fire to burn up the corrupted world,
    a wildfire finish to the corrupting people.”