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What is the book of Zephaniah?


Zephaniah 1:1

ESV - 1 The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 15 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Author: Zephaniah 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Zephaniah as the Prophet Zephaniah. The name Zephaniah means 'defended by God.'Date of Writing: The book of Zephaniah was written during t...

November 15 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
The book of Zephaniah is one of writings of the prophets. Zephaniah was descended from King Hezekiah and ministered in the time of King Josiah, the last of the good kings who led the last great revival, Zephaniah 1:1. The prediction of the destruction of Assyria, Zephaniah 2:13, confirms the timing, because it happened later in Josiah’s reign. 

The names of the writing prophets give a perspective about their messages. Zephaniah’s name means “Jahweh (the LORD) hides.” The Hebrew verb “saphan” can mean “hide,” “treasure,” “hoard,” “store up,” “reserve,” “protect,” “keep,” and “conceal.” These concepts, along with key words such as “gather,” “remnant,” and “in the midst.” are found in his book. 

Zephaniah speaks of the judgments stored up for God’s land, which will be completely consumed, Zephaniah 1:2-3. Idols will be obliterated, Zephaniah 1:4-6, and royalty will be punished, Zephaniah 1:7-9. The judgment will affect merchants, Zephaniah 1:10-11. The Lord will search Jerusalem with lamps, finding the complacent who do not care about Him and punish them, Zephaniah 1:12-13. 

Zephaniah speaks of the Day of the Lord, Zephaniah 1:7, 14, when the Lord no longer hides. This future judgment is revealed in all its intensity, Zephaniah 1:14-18. Treasures of silver or gold will not deliver the people from the day of the Lord’s wrath. However, if the people seek God and gather to mourn and repent, there is hope they may be hidden from this judgment, Zephaniah 2:1-3. While the surrounding nations will be judged, Zephaniah 2:4-15, the remnant of God’s people will be favored, Zephaniah 2:7-9.

Chapter 3 begins with the awful indictment against Jerusalem. Four times it says, “she has not…,” and that the princes, prophets, and priests all act wickedly against God, Zephaniah 3:1-4.

Then Zephaniah contrasts the wicked Jerusalem with the righteous Lord, Zephaniah 3:5-7, who will make a complete end of the nations at their gathering for their final judgment, Zephaniah 3:6-8. 

At this time the Lord will restore to the peoples a pure language, likely Hebrew, so that all may call on the name of the Lord and universally serve Him with one accord, Zephaniah 3:9-13. It will be Babel reversed, Genesis 11:1-9. As a side note, Zephaniah 3:8 is the only verse in the Old Testament that has all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, including the five final letters (sofits). Some feel the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language in the 1920s, fulfilled this. 

The Lord is righteous in Jerusalem’s midst, Zephaniah 3:5, and will leave in her midst a meek and humble people, a treasured remnant that will do no unrighteousness, Zephaniah 3:12-13. Twice in the book, Zephaniah says, “Lord is in your midst,” as the Lord promises to do special things for His people, Zephaniah 3:15-17. He will give salvation, security, rest, and joy. In Zephaniah 3:18-20 God promises to personally restore His people. Eight times He says, “I will.” 

The message of Zephaniah is that God treasures His people to gather and restore them.

July 03 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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