Bible: Zephaniah 3

Jerusalem is Corrupt

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

the city filled with oppressors is finished! 2 

3:2 She is disobedient; 3 

she refuses correction. 4 

She does not trust the Lord;

she does not seek the advice of 5  her God.

3:3 Her princes 6  are as fierce as roaring lions; 7 

her rulers 8  are as hungry as wolves in the desert, 9 

who completely devour their prey by morning. 10 

3:4 Her prophets are proud; 11 

they are deceitful men.

Her priests defile what is holy; 12 

they break God’s laws. 13 

3:5 The just Lord resides 14  within her;

he commits no unjust acts. 15 

Every morning he reveals 16  his justice.

At dawn he appears without fail. 17 

Yet the unjust know no shame.

The Lord’s Judgment will Purify

3:6I destroyed 18  nations;

their walled cities 19  are in ruins.

I turned their streets into ruins;

no one passes through them.

Their cities are desolate; 20 

no one lives there. 21 

3:7 I thought, 22  ‘Certainly you will respect 23  me!

Now you will accept correction!’

If she had done so, her home 24  would not be destroyed 25 

by all the punishments I have threatened. 26 

But they eagerly sinned

in everything they did. 27 

3:8 Therefore you must wait patiently 28  for me,” says the Lord,

“for the day when I attack and take plunder. 29 

I have decided 30  to gather nations together

and assemble kingdoms,

so I can pour out my fury on them –

all my raging anger.

For 31  the whole earth will be consumed

by my fiery anger.

3:9 Know for sure that I will then enable

the nations to give me acceptable praise. 32 

All of them will invoke the Lord’s name when they pray, 33 

and will worship him in unison. 34 

3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, 35 

those who pray to me 36  will bring me tribute.

3:11 In that day you 37  will not be ashamed of all your rebelliousness against me, 38 

for then I will remove from your midst those who proudly boast, 39 

and you will never again be arrogant on my holy hill.

3:12 I will leave in your midst a humble and meek group of people, 40 

and they will find safety in the Lord’s presence. 41 

3:13 The Israelites who remain 42  will not act deceitfully.

They will not lie,

and a deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouth.

Indeed, they will graze peacefully like sheep 43  and lie down;

no one will terrify them.”

3:14 Shout for joy, Daughter Zion! 44 

Shout out, Israel!

Be happy and boast with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!

3:15 The Lord has removed the judgment against you; 45 

he has turned back your enemy.

Israel’s king, the Lord, is in your midst!

You no longer need to fear disaster.

3:16 On that day they will say 46  to Jerusalem,

Don’t be afraid, Zion!

Your hands must not be paralyzed from panic! 47 

3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst;

he is a warrior who can deliver.

He takes great delight in you; 48 

he renews you by his love; 49 

he shouts for joy over you.” 50 

3:18As for those who grieve because they cannot attend the festivals

I took them away from you;

they became tribute and were a source of shame to you. 51 

3:19 Look, at that time I will deal with those who mistreated you.

I will rescue the lame sheep 52 

and gather together the scattered sheep.

I will take away their humiliation

and make the whole earth admire and respect them. 53 

3:20 At that time I will lead you

at the time I gather you together. 54 

Be sure of this! 55  I will make all the nations of the earth respect and admire you 56 

when you see me restore you,” 57  says the Lord.

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