1Woe to the city of oppressors,
rebellious and defiled!
2She obeys no one,
she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the Lord,
she does not draw near to her God.
3Her officials within her
are roaring lions;
her rulers are evening wolves,
who leave nothing for the morning.
4Her prophets are unprincipled;
they are treacherous people.
Her priests profane the sanctuary
and do violence to the law.
5The Lord within her is righteous;
he does no wrong.
Morning by morning he dispenses his justice,
and every new day he does not fail,
yet the unrighteous know no shame.
Jerusalem remains unrepentant
6‘I have destroyed nations;
their strongholds are demolished.
I have left their streets deserted,
with no one passing through.
Their cities are laid waste;
they are deserted and empty.
7Of Jerusalem I thought,
“Surely you will fear me
and accept correction!”
Then her place of refuge#Or her sanctuary would not be destroyed,
nor all my punishments come upon#Or all those I appointed over her.
But they were still eager
to act corruptly in all they did.
8Therefore wait for me,’
declares the Lord,
‘for the day I will stand up to testify.#Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew will rise up to plunder
I have decided to assemble the nations,
to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath on them –
all my fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed
by the fire of my jealous anger.
Restoration of Israel’s remnant
9‘Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
10From beyond the rivers of Cush#That is, the upper Nile region
my worshippers, my scattered people,
will bring me offerings.
11On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame
for all the wrongs you have done to me,
because I will remove from you
your arrogant boasters.
Never again will you be haughty
on my holy hill.
12But I will leave within you
the meek and humble.
The remnant of Israel
will trust in the name of the Lord.
13They will do no wrong;
they will tell no lies.
A deceitful tongue
will not be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down
and no one will make them afraid.’
14Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
15The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
16On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
‘Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
17The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.’
18‘I will remove from you
all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,
which is a burden and reproach for you.
19At that time I will deal
with all who oppressed you.
I will rescue the lame;
I will gather the exiles.
I will give them praise and honour
in every land where they have suffered shame.
20At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honour and praise
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes#Or I bring back your captives
before your very eyes,’
says the Lord.
Footnotes for the Book of Zephaniah
a 7 Or will bring back their captives
b 12 That is, people from the upper Nile region