Moab and Ammon
“I have heard the insults of Moab
and the taunts of the Ammonites,
who insulted my people
and made threats against their land.
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.”
This is what they will get in return for their pride,
for insulting and mocking
the people of the Lord Almighty.
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.
“You Cushites,[a] too,
will be slain by my sword.”
He will stretch out his hand against the north
and destroy Assyria,
leaving Nineveh utterly desolate
and dry as the desert.
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.
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.
Woe to the city of oppressors,
rebellious and defiled!
She obeys no one,
she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the Lord,
she does not draw near to her God.
Her officials within her
are roaring lions;
her rulers are evening wolves,
who leave nothing for the morning.
Her prophets are unprincipled;
they are treacherous people.
Her priests profane the sanctuary
and do violence to the law.
The Lord within her is righteous;
he does no wrong.
Morning by morning he dispenses his justice,
and every new day he does not fail,
yet the unrighteous know no shame.
Jerusalem Remains Unrepentant
“I have destroyed nations;
their strongholds are demolished.
I have left their streets deserted,
with no one passing through.
Their cities are laid waste;
they are deserted and empty.
Of Jerusalem I thought,
‘Surely you will fear me
and accept correction!’
Then her place of refuge[b] would not be destroyed,
nor all my punishments come upon[c] her.
But they were still eager
to act corruptly in all they did.
Therefore wait for me,”
declares the Lord,
“for the day I will stand up to testify.[d]
I have decided to assemble the nations,
to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath on them—
all my fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed
by the fire of my jealous anger.
Restoration of Israel’s Remnant
“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
From beyond the rivers of Cush[e]
my worshipers, my scattered people,
will bring me offerings.
On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame
for all the wrongs you have done to me,
because I will remove from you
your arrogant boasters.
Never again will you be haughty
on my holy hill.
But I will leave within you
the meek and humble.
The remnant of Israel
will trust in the name of the Lord.
They will do no wrong;
they will tell no lies.
A deceitful tongue
will not be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down
and no one will make them afraid.”
Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
“I will remove from you
all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,
which is a burden and reproach for you.
At that time I will deal
with all who oppressed you.
I will rescue the lame;
I will gather the exiles.
I will give them praise and honor
in every land where they have suffered shame.
At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes[f]
before your very eyes,”
says the Lord.
- Zephaniah 2:12 That is, people from the upper Nile region
- Zephaniah 3:7 Or her sanctuary
- Zephaniah 3:7 Or all those I appointed over
- Zephaniah 3:8 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew will rise up to plunder
- Zephaniah 3:10 That is, the upper Nile region
- Zephaniah 3:20 Or I bring back your captives