The Prophets: Zephaniah
Zephaniah, from the Hebrew name pronounced tsef-awn-yaw, meaning secret of the LORD, was a prophet of, and to, The Southern Kingdom of "Judah" (see The Prophets: North and South) in the years leading up to Judah's fall to Babylon. Although he's not as well-known as another prophet of that same time, Jeremiah, the prophecies of Zephaniah are just as "major" as any other because the words that all of the prophets of the LORD spoke were those of the LORD - from Whom there is nothing "minor" (i.e. some classify the prophets into "major" and "minor," usually based on the length of their books).
"1:1 The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah." (Zephaniah 1:1 KJV)
"1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
1:16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
1:17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." (Zephaniah 1:14-18 KJV)
"For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD"
Israel and Judah were intended as a physical prototype of spiritual "Israel" (see Physical and Spiritual Israel) that will be fulfilled in all the world upon the Savior's return. As spoken of by all of the other prophets, Zephaniah was given to describe that future time.
"3:1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! 3:2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD [see Trust]; she drew not near to her God.
3:3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves [see also The Warning About Grievous Wolves]; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. 3:4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons [see False Prophets]: her priests have polluted the Sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. 3:5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
3:6 I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.
3:7 I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.
3:8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy [see Why Is The Lord Jealous?].
3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language [see also Speaking In Tongues], that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. 3:11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride [see The Two Kinds Of Pride], and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. 3:12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. 3:13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid [see Swords Into Plowshares].
3:14 Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. 3:15 The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. 3:16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion [see Zionism], Let not thine hands be slack. 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
3:18 I will gather them [see Spiritual and Physical Gatherings] that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. 3:19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
3:20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD." (Zephaniah 3:1-20 KJV)
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