Zephaniah 2
Turn to the Lord
1You disgraceful nation,
gather around,
2before it's too late.
The LORD has set a time
when his fierce anger
will strike like a storm
and sweep you away.
3If you humbly obey the LORD,
then come and worship him.
If you do right and are humble,
perhaps you will be safe
on that day when the LORD
turns loose his anger.
The nations will be punished
Judgment on Philistia
4Gaza and Ashkelon#Is 14.29-31; Jr 47.1-7; Ez 25.15-17; Jl 3.4-8; Am 1.6-8; Zec 9.5-7.
will be deserted
and left in ruins.
Ashdod will be emptied
in broad daylight,
and Ekron#2.4 Gaza…Ekron: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath (not mentioned because it was already destroyed) were the five major Philistine towns. uprooted.
5To you people of Philistia#2.5 people of Philistia: The Hebrew text also mentions “Canaan” and “Cherethites”, which are other ways of referring to the Philistines.
who live along the coast,
the LORD has this to say:
“I am now your enemy,
and I'll wipe you out!”
6Your coast will be changed
into pasture land
and sheep pens.#2.6 pens: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
7The LORD God hasn't forgotten
those survivors in Judah,
and he will help them—
his people will take your land
to use for pasture.
And when evening comes,
they will rest
in houses at Ashkelon.#2.7 Ashkelon: A Philistine town; see the note at 2.4.
Judgment on Moab and Ammon
8-9The LORD All-Powerful,#Is 15.1—16.14; 25.10-12; Jr 48.1-47; Ez 25.8-11; Am 1.13-15; Jr 49.1-6; Ez 21.28-32; 25.1-7; Am 1.13-15.#Gn 19.24.
the God of Israel, said:
I've heard Moab and Ammon
insult my people
and threaten their nation.#2.8,9 threaten their nation: Or “boast about their own nation”.
And so, I swear by my very life
that Moab and Ammon will end up
like Sodom and Gomorrah—
covered with thorn bushes
and salt pits for ever.
Then my people who survive
will take their land.
10This is how Moab and Ammon
will at last be repaid
for their pride—
and for sneering at the nation
that belongs to me,
the LORD All-Powerful.
11I will fiercely attack.
Then every god on this earth
will shrink to nothing,
and everyone of every nation
will bow down to me,
right where they are.
Judgment on Ethiopia
12People of Ethiopia,#2.12 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has “Cush”, which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.#Is 18.1-7.
the sword of the LORD
will slaughter you!
Judgment on Assyria
13The LORD will reach to the north#Is 10.5-34; 14.24-27; Ne 1.1—3.19.
to crush Assyria
and overthrow Nineveh.#2.13 Nineveh: The capital of Assyria; Nineveh was protected by a moat filled with water from the nearby River Tigris.
14Herds of wild animals
will live in its rubble;
all kinds of desert owls
will perch on its stones
and hoot in the windows.
Noisy ravens will be heard
inside its buildings,
stripped bare of cedar.#2.14 stripped…cedar: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
15This is the glorious city
that felt secure and said,
“I am the only one!”
Now it's merely ruins,
a home for wild animals.
Every passer-by simply sneers
and makes vulgar signs.