1The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:
Judgment on the whole earth in the day of the Lord
2‘I will sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,’
declares the Lord.
3‘I will sweep away both man and beast;
I will sweep away the birds in the sky
and the fish in the sea –
and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.’#The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
‘When I destroy all mankind
on the face of the earth,’
declares the Lord,
4‘I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,
the very names of the idolatrous priests –
5those who bow down on the roofs
to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the Lord
and who also swear by Molek,#Hebrew Malkam
6those who turn back from following the Lord
and neither seek the Lord nor enquire of him.’
7Be silent before the Sovereign Lord,
for the day of the Lord is near.
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
he has consecrated those he has invited.
8‘On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice
I will punish the officials
and the king’s sons
and all those clad
in foreign clothes.
9On that day I will punish
all who avoid stepping on the threshold,#See 1 Samuel 5:5.
who fill the temple of their gods
with violence and deceit.
10‘On that day,’
declares the Lord,
‘a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,
wailing from the New Quarter,
and a loud crash from the hills.
11Wail, you who live in the market district#Or the Mortar;
all your merchants will be wiped out,
all who trade with#Or in silver will be destroyed.
12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
and punish those who are complacent,
who are like wine left on its dregs,
who think, “The Lord will do nothing,
either good or bad.”
13Their wealth will be plundered,
their houses demolished.
Though they build houses,
they will not live in them;
though they plant vineyards,
they will not drink the wine.’
14The great day of the Lord is near –
near and coming quickly.
The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter;
the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry.
15That day will be a day of wrath –
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of trouble and ruin,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness –
16 a day of trumpet and battle cry
against the fortified cities
and against the corner towers.
17‘I will bring such distress on all people
that they will grope about like those who are blind,
because they have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out like dust
and their entrails like dung.
18Neither their silver nor their gold
will be able to save them
on the day of the Lord’s wrath.’
In the fire of his jealousy
the whole earth will be consumed,
for he will make a sudden end
of all who live on the earth.
Judah and Jerusalem judged along with the nations
Judah summoned to repent