Zephaniah 1

1 I am Zephaniah, the son of Cushi, the grandson of Gedaliah, the great-grandson of Amariah, and the great-great-grandson of Hezekiah.
When Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah, the Lord gave me this message.

Judgment on Judah

2 I, the Lord, now promise
    to destroy everything
        on this earth—
3 people and animals,
        birds and fish.
    Everyone who is evil
        will crash to the ground,
    and I will wipe out
        the entire human race.
4 I will reach out to punish
        Judah and Jerusalem—
    nothing will remain
        of the god Baal;
    nothing will be remembered
        of his pagan priests.
5 Not a trace will be found
    of those who worship stars
        from their rooftops,
    or bow down to the god Milcom,
    while claiming loyalty
        to me, the Lord.
6 Nothing will remain of anyone
    who has turned away
        and rejected me.

7 Be silent! I am the Lord God,
        and the time is near.
    I am preparing
    to sacrifice my people
        and to invite my guests.
8 On that day I will punish
    national leaders
        and sons of the king,
    along with all who follow
        foreign customs.
9 I will punish worshipers
        of pagan gods
    and cruel palace officials
        who abuse their power.

10 I, the Lord, promise
        that on that day
    noisy crying will be heard
    from Fish Gate, New Town,
        and Upper Hills.
11 Everyone in Lower Hollow
        will mourn loudly,
    because merchants
    and money changers
        will be wiped out.
12 I’ll search Jerusalem with lamps
        and punish those people
    who sit there unworried
        while thinking,
    “The Lord won’t do anything,
        good or bad.”
13 Their possessions will be taken,
        their homes left in ruins.
    They won’t get to live
        in the houses they build,
    or drink wine from the grapes
        in their own vineyards.

A Terrible Day

14 The great day of the Lord
        is coming soon, very soon.
    On that terrible day,
    fearsome shouts of warriors
        will be heard everywhere.
15 It will be a time of anger—
        of trouble and torment,
    of disaster and destruction,
        of darkness and despair,
    of storm clouds and shadows,
16 of trumpet calls
        and battle cries
    against fortified cities
        and mighty fortresses.

17 The Lord warns everyone
        who has sinned against him,
    “I’ll strike you blind!
    Then your blood and your insides
        will gush out like vomit.
18 Not even your silver or gold
    can save you on that day
        when I, the Lord, am angry.
    My anger will flare up
        like a furious fire
    scorching the earth
        and everyone on it.”

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary