Judah must repent right now. The surrounding nations will be destroyed.
nation that has no shame. The Hebrew word translated as “shame” is niksaf. It is from kasaf, which means “to be pale or white with shame.”
Because of its sin, Judah was without shame. Sin had hardened their sensitivity to sin.
VERSE 2. before the appointed time when the day passes as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD comes on you, before the day of the LORD’s anger comes on you.
before the appointed time. Judah has a short time to repent. After that, it will be too late.
VERSE 3. Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who have kept his ordinances. Seek righteousness. Seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.
Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land. The NAB translation puts it: “Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth.”
This verse sums up our purpose at Explore the Faith. It is to seek the LORD God. And to help other people to do the same.
VERSE 4. For Gaza will be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation. They will drive out Ashdod at noonday, and Ekron will be rooted up.
The Philistines were to the west of Judah. Zephaniah says four of their major cities will be destroyed:
Zephaniah leaves out one major city of the Philistines: Gath. That might be because Uzziah had already destroyed it.
VERSE 5. Woe to the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! The LORD’s word is against you, Canaan, the land of the Philistines. I will destroy you until there is no inhabitant.
the nation of the Cherethites. Literally “nation of the Cretans.”
VERSE 6. The sea coast will be pastures, with cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks.
VERSE 7. The coast will be for the remnant of the house of Judah. They will find pasture. In the houses of Ashkelon, they will lie down in the evening, for the LORD, their God, will visit them and restore them.
God. The Hebrew word is אֱלֹהִ֑ים (“Elohim”).
VERSE 8. I have heard the reproach of Moab and the insults of the children of Ammon, with which they have reproached my people and magnified themselves against their border.
Moab and Ammon were to the east of Judah.
VERSE 9. Therefore, as I live, says the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, surely Moab will be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, a possession of nettles and salt pits, and a perpetual desolation. The remnant of my people will plunder them, and the survivors of my nation will inherit them.
VERSE 10. This they will have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of Hosts.
VERSE 11. The LORD will be awesome to them, for he will famish all the gods of the land. Men will worship him, everyone from his place, even all the shores of the nations.
NIV translation. The LORD will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the land. The nations on every shore will worship him, every one in its own land.
The LORD will be awesome to them. The LORD God is indeed awesome. To us, and to everyone!
Cushites. That is, Ethiopia.
Ethiopia was to the south of Judah.
VERSE 13. He will stretch out his hand against the north, destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh a desolation, as dry as the wilderness.
Assyria. It was to the north of Judah.
make Nineveh a desolation. Nineveh did become a desert wasteland. Nowadays, people do not even know where Nineveh was.
VERSE 14. Herds will lie down in the middle of her, all kinds of animals. Both the pelican and the porcupine will lodge in its capitals. Their calls will echo through the windows. Desolation will be in the thresholds, for he has laid bare the cedar beams.
VERSE 15. This is the joyous city that lived carelessly, that said in her heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me.” How she has become a desolation, a place for animals to lie down in! Everyone who passes by her will hiss and shake their fists.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.