Bible: Zephaniah 2:4-3:7

Judgment on Surrounding Nations

2:4 Indeed, 1  Gaza will be deserted 2 

and Ashkelon will become a heap of ruins. 3 

Invaders will drive away the people of Ashdod by noon, 4 

and Ekron will be overthrown. 5 

2:5 Those who live by the sea, the people who came from Crete, 6  are as good as dead. 7 

The Lord has decreed your downfall, 8  Canaan, land of the Philistines:

“I will destroy everyone who lives there! 9 

2:6 The seacoast 10  will be used as pasture lands 11  by the shepherds

and as pens for their flocks.

2:7 Those who are left from the kingdom of Judah 12  will take possession of it. 13 

By the sea 14  they 15  will graze,

in the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down in the evening,

for the Lord their God will intervene for them 16  and restore their prosperity. 17 

2:8I have heard Moab’s taunts

and the Ammonitesinsults.

They 18  taunted my people

and verbally harassed those living in Judah. 19 

2:9 Therefore, as surely as I live,” says the Lord who commands armies, the God of Israel,

be certain that Moab will become like Sodom

and the Ammonites like Gomorrah.

They will be overrun by weeds, 20 

filled with salt pits, 21 

and permanently desolate.

Those of my people who are left 22  will plunder their belongings; 23 

those who are left in Judah 24  will take possession of their land.”

2:10 This is how they will be repaid for their arrogance, 25 

for they taunted and verbally harassed 26  the people of the Lord who commands armies.

2:11 The Lord will terrify them, 27 

for 28  he will weaken 29  all the gods of the earth.

All the distant nations will worship the Lord in their own lands. 30 

2:12You 31  Ethiopians 32  will also die by my sword! 33 

2:13 The Lord 34  will attack the north 35 

and destroy Assyria.

He will make Nineveh a heap of ruins;

it will be as barren 36  as the desert.

2:14 Flocks and herds 37  will lie down in the middle of it,

as well as every kind of wild animal. 38 

Owls 39  will sleep in the tops of its support pillars;

they will hoot through the windows. 40 

Rubble will cover the thresholds; 41 

even the cedar work 42  will be exposed to the elements. 43 

2:15 This is how the once-proud city will end up 44 

the city that was so secure. 45 

She thought to herself, 46  “I am unique! No one can compare to me!” 47 

What a heap of ruins she has become, a place where wild animals live!

Everyone who passes by her taunts her 48  and shakes his fist. 49 

Jerusalem is Corrupt

3:1 The filthy, 50  stained city is as good as dead;

the city filled with oppressors is finished! 51 

3:2 She is disobedient; 52 

she refuses correction. 53 

She does not trust the Lord;

she does not seek the advice of 54  her God.

3:3 Her princes 55  are as fierce as roaring lions; 56 

her rulers 57  are as hungry as wolves in the desert, 58 

who completely devour their prey by morning. 59 

3:4 Her prophets are proud; 60 

they are deceitful men.

Her priests defile what is holy; 61 

they break God’s laws. 62 

3:5 The just Lord resides 63  within her;

he commits no unjust acts. 64 

Every morning he reveals 65  his justice.

At dawn he appears without fail. 66 

Yet the unjust know no shame.

The Lord’s Judgment will Purify

3:6I destroyed 67  nations;

their walled cities 68  are in ruins.

I turned their streets into ruins;

no one passes through them.

Their cities are desolate; 69 

no one lives there. 70 

3:7 I thought, 71  ‘Certainly you will respect 72  me!

Now you will accept correction!’

If she had done so, her home 73  would not be destroyed 74 

by all the punishments I have threatened. 75 

But they eagerly sinned

in everything they did. 76 

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