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Wednesday, February 20 2013
Zephaniah: A Day Of The Trumpet
Zephaniah, from the Hebrew name pronounced tsef-awn-yaw, meaning secret of the LORD, was a prophet of, and to, the kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah) in the years before Judah's fall to Babylon. Although Zephaniah is generally not as well-known as another prophet of that same time, Jeremiah (see Jeremiah: The Prophet's Conception), 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 [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] 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)
Israel and Judah were intended as a physical prototype of spiritual Israel - a people called out from all of the nations of the world (see A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan, The Syrian Marriage Wells and Ruth: Building The House Of Israel) to form a nation holy to the LORD (something that physical Israel never fulfilled) that will be fulfilled in all the world upon the Savior's return (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?). 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.
Studies For The Book Of Zephaniah
Fact Finder: How will a trumpet be involved in the Messiah's return?
This Day In History, February 20
1339: The Battle of Parabiago between the Milanese army and the St. George's (San Giorgio) Mercenaries of Lodrisio Visconti.
1547: Edward VI was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
1579: Sir Nicholas Bacon died at age 70. He was a high official in the government of Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) and the father of the philosopher Francis Bacon.
1685: Rene-Robert Cavelier established Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay, thereby establishing France's claim to Texas.
1653: During the first English-Dutch War, the Dutch fleet under Van Tromp fought the British at the Battle of Portland.
1707: Aurangzeb died at age 89. He was the last of the great Mughal emperors of India (1658-1707). Under him the Mughal empire reached its greatest extent, although his policies helped lead to its end.
1790: Holy Roman emperor Joseph II died at age 49 (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1811: Austria declared itself bankrupt.
1831: Polish revolutionaries defeated the Russians at the Battle of Growchow.
1862: William Lincoln, age 11, son of President Abraham Lincoln, died at the White House.
1895: Frederick Douglas, escaped slave and U.S. antislavery leader, died at age 78.
1920: At the end of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), when Britain inherited the Middle East nations that had been under the Ottoman Empire for centuries (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire), Britain recognized the government of Trans-Jordan (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).
1938: British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden resigned in protest because of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1943: During the Second World War, U.S. movie studio executives agreed to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies and integrate nationalistic and political propaganda in "entertainment" films (a practice that has never stopped).
1947: Louis Mountbatten was appointed the last British Viceroy of India.
1959: "Black Friday" for the Canadian aviation industry of the 1950s.
Prime Minister John Diefenbaker ended the CF-105 Arrow project - one of the fastest, most advanced fighters in human history (fighter aircraft designed and built over 40 years later are still inferior to the Arrow in some performance characteristics). With a top speed of over 1,500 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 58,500 feet (the modern-day McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet, that Canada uses today, has a top speed of only 1,300 mph and service ceiling of 50,000 feet - an Arrow could literally fly circles around a full-throttle present-day F-18), the Arrow was designed for the Royal Canadian Air Force to intercept and destroy Soviet nuclear bombers, and their fighter escorts, on route to targets in Canada and the United States, as they were entering the vast Canadian air space over the remote Arctic (Canada spent the "Cold War" years "sandwiched" between the 2 superpowers, with the U.S. on its southern border and the U.S.S.R. on its northern border).
Five Arrows were flying (two and a half times the speed of sound in the 1950s), five more were near completion, and another twenty six were on order when Diefenbaker cancelled the project. The stated reasons: high cost per aircraft (which would have been greatly reduced in full production) and a decision to use a promised by U.S. President Eisenhower missile-based defense (which was never delivered, or even produced - in 2012, over 40 years later, the U.S. is still trying to create an effective "missile defense shield").
Diefenbaker also ordered (for which many Canadians to this day are still struggling to forgive him, even though Diefenbaker died in 1979) every completed and in-production Arrow cut into pieces and scrapped - despite a persistent, but fanciful, legend that a defiant Canadian air force Arrow pilot rescued one, just hours before it was scheduled to be cut up, by flying it out of the base in Toronto, without authorization, in the middle of the night, to a private air field somewhere in Canada (at low altitude so that it could not be tracked on radar, and no other aircraft in existence could catch it) where it remains today, after a supersonic low-level "buzzing" of Canada's capital city, Ottawa, including the Prime Minister's residence in which Diefenbaker was reportedly awakened by the thundering, plaster-cracking sonic booms of the legendary "Arrow that got away."
All prototypes and blueprints were also deliberately destroyed. 15,000 production jobs were lost, plus another 35,000 jobs in spinoff industries. Many of the Canadian Arrow engineers left Canada, never to return. They found work all over the world, with several going to NASA where some elements of Arrow technology were successfully used in the Apollo moon landings and various other projects of the US space program including the Space Shuttle.
1962: John Glenn became the second U.S. astronaut in space (after Alan Shepherd in May 1961) and the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth (Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, in April 1961).
1965: Charles Woolley died at age 80. The British archaeologist spent over 40 years in the field; he excavated Ur of the Chaldees (birthplace of Abraham; see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees) and discovered the ancient Sumerian civilization.
1984: Harris Shoerats, the oldest man in Britain, died at age 111.
1986: The Soviet space station Mir was launched into Earth orbit.
1990: Soviet Parliamentary leaders proposed a draft law which would allow the republics the right to break away from the Soviet Union.