Judah resisted the spiritual reforms of king Josiah. So Zephaniah prophesied impending judgment upon Judah, calling it “The Day of the LORD.”
The book is named for its author.
The word Zephaniah means “YHWH hides,” or YHWH has hidden,” or “YHWH treasured.”
His lineage goes back four generations. He is the great-great-grandson of king Hezekiah of Judah.
As such, he may have been of the royal family. He may have had high social standing.
Zephaniah’s ministry was during the reign of king Josiah (640-609 BC), according to Zephaniah 1:1.
Some scholars speculate that it was in-between Josiah’s revival in 622 BC and the destruction of Nineveh in 612 BC.
King Manasseh (695-642 BC) and Amon (642-640 BC) had introduced wicked practices into Judah, so much so that even the practice of child sacrifice flourished.
Then at eight years old, Josiah became king. Then in the 18th year of Josiah’s reign, a copy of the Law was discovered. Josiah purged much of the idolatry from Jerusalem and Judah.
The nation prospered, but idolatry continued.
Both Zephaniah and Jeremiah prophesied the impending judgment of the LORD God upon Judah, calling it “The Day of the LORD.”
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.