New International Reader's Version

Zephaniah 2

The Lord Will Judge Judah and Jerusalem Along With the Nations

God Calls Judah to Turn Away From Their Sins

1Gather together,
    you shameful nation of Judah!
    Gather yourselves together!
Come together before the Lord’s judgment arrives.
    The day of the Lord’s judgment will sweep in
    like straw blown by the wind.
Soon the Lord’s great anger will come against you.
    The day of his wrath will come against you.
So look to him, all you people in the land
    who worship him faithfully.
    You always do what he commands you to do.
Continue to do what is right.
    Don’t be proud.
Then perhaps the Lord will keep you safe
    on the day he pours out his anger on the world.

A Message About Philistia

Gaza will be deserted.
    Ashkelon will be destroyed.
Ashdod will be emptied out at noon.
    Ekron will be pulled up by its roots.
How terrible it will be for you Kerethites
    who live by the Mediterranean Sea!
Philistia, the Lord has spoken against you.
    What happened to Canaan will happen to you.

The Lord says, “I will destroy you.
    No one will be left.”

The land by the sea will become grasslands.
    It will have wells for shepherds and pens for flocks.
That land will belong to those who are still left alive
    among the people of Judah.
    They will find grasslands there.
They will take over
    the houses in Ashkelon and live in them.
The Lord their God will take care of them.
    He will bless them with great success again.

A Message About Moab and Ammon

The Lord says,

“I have heard Moab make fun of my people.
    The Ammonites also laughed at them.
They told them that bad things
    would happen to their land.
So Moab will become like Sodom,”
    announces the Lord who rules over all.
    “Ammon will be like Gomorrah.
Weeds and salt pits will cover those countries.
    They will be dry and empty deserts forever.
Those who are still left alive among my people
    will take all their valuable things.
    So they will receive those lands as their own.
And that is just as sure as I am alive.”
    The Lord is the God of Israel.

10 Moab and Ammon will be judged
    because they are so proud.
They made fun of the Lord’s people.
    They laughed at them.
11 The Lord who rules over all will terrify Moab and Ammon.
    He will destroy all the gods on earth.
Then distant nations will bow down to him.
    All of them will serve him in their own lands.

A Message About Cush

12 The Lord says, “People of Cush,
    you too will die by my sword.”

A Message About Assyria

13 The Lord will reach out his powerful hand against the north.
    He will destroy Assyria.
He’ll leave Nineveh totally empty.
    It will be as dry as a desert.
14 Flocks and herds will lie down there.
    So will creatures of every kind.
Desert owls and screech owls
    will rest on its pillars.
The sound of their hooting will echo through the windows.
    The doorways will be full of trash.
    The cedar beams will be showing.
15 Nineveh was a carefree city.
    It lived in safety.
It said to itself,
    “I am the one!
    No one is greater than I am.”
But it has been destroyed.
    Wild animals make their home there.
All those who pass by laugh
    and shake their fists at it.