1This is the word of the Lord that came through Zephaniah while Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, who was the son of Gedaliah. Gedaliah was the son of Amariah, who was the son of Hezekiah.
The Lord’s Judgment
2“I will sweep away everything
from the earth,” says the Lord.
3“I will sweep away the people and animals;
I will destroy the birds in the air
and the fish of the sea.
I will ruin the evil people,
and I will remove human beings from the earth,” says the Lord.
The Future of Judah
4“I will punish Judah
and all the people living in Jerusalem.
I will remove from this place
all signs of Baal, the false priests, and the other priests.
5I will destroy those who worship
the stars from the roofs,
and those who worship and make promises
by both the Lord and the god Molech,
6and those who turned away from the Lord,
and those who quit following the Lord and praying to him for direction.
7Be silent before the Lord God,
because the Lord’s day for judging people is coming soon.
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
he has made holy his invited guests.
8On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice,
I, the Lord, will punish the princes and the king’s sons
and all those who wear foreign clothes.
9On that day I will punish those who worship Dagon,
those who hurt others and tell lies in the temples of their gods.
10“On that day,” says the Lord,
“a cry will be heard at the Fish Gate.
A wail will come from the new area of the city,
and a loud crash will echo from the hills.
11Cry, you people living in the market area,
because all the merchants will be dead;
all the silver traders will be gone.
12At that time I, the Lord, will search Jerusalem with lamps.
I will punish those who are satisfied with themselves,
who think, ‘The Lord won’t help us or punish us.’
13Their wealth will be stolen
and their houses destroyed.
They may build houses,
but they will not live in them.
They may plant vineyards,
but they will not drink any wine from them.
The Lord’s Day of Judging
14“The Lord’s day of judging is coming soon;
it is near and coming fast.
The cry will be very sad on the day of the Lord;
even soldiers will cry.
15That day will be a day of anger,
a day of terror and trouble,
a day of destruction and ruin,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness,
16a day of alarms and battle cries.
‘Attack the strong, walled cities!
Attack the corner towers!’
17I will make life hard on the people;
they will walk around like the blind,
because they have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out like dust,
and their insides will be dumped like trash.
18On the day that God will show his anger,
neither their silver nor gold will save them.
The Lord’s anger will be like a fire
that will burn up the whole world;
suddenly he will bring an end, yes, an end
to everyone on earth.”