1The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. 2I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD.1.2 I will…: Heb. By taking away I will make an end1.2 the land: Heb. the face of the land 3I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD.1.3 stumblingblocks: or, idols 4I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; 5And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham;1.5 by the…: or, to the LORD 6And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.
7Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.1.7 bid: Heb. sanctified, or, prepared 8And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.1.8 punish: Heb. visit upon 9In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. 10And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills. 11Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. 12And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.1.12 settled: Heb. curded, or, thickened 13Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.
14The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 15That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. 17And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. 18Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
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.”