Zephaniah 3

Woe To Jerusalem And The Nations

1Woe (judgment is coming) to her who is rebellious and defiled,
The tyrannical city [Jerusalem]!
2She did not listen and heed the voice [of God];
She accepted no correction.
She did not trust in the LORD [but trusted her own power];
She did not draw near to her God [but to the pagan gods of Baal or Molech].
3Her officials within her are roaring lions;
Her judges are [as hungry as] the wolves at evening,
They leave nothing for the morning.
4Her prophets are reckless and treacherous men;
Her priests have profaned the sanctuary;
They have done violence to the law [by pretending their word is God’s word].
5The LORD is righteous within her;
He will do no injustice.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He does not fail.
But the unjust person knows no shame.
6“I [the LORD] have cut off and destroyed nations [as a warning to Judah];
Their corner towers (battlements) are in ruins.
I have made their streets desolate
So that no one passes by;
Their cities are destroyed
So that there is no man, there is no inhabitant.
7“I said, ‘Most certainly you will [reverently] fear Me;
Accept correction.’
So Jerusalem’s dwelling will not be cut off
In accordance with all that I have appointed concerning her [punishment],
But they were eager [even rising early] to make all their deeds corrupt.
8“Therefore [you of the godly remnant of Judah, patiently] wait for Me,” declares the LORD,
“[Wait] for the day when I rise up as a witness [against the nations].
For it is My decision and My right to gather the nations,
To assemble kingdoms,
To pour out on them My indignation,
All [the heat of] My burning anger;
For [in that day] all the earth shall be consumed
By the fire of My zeal.
9“Then I will give to the peoples [clear and pure speech from] purified lips [which reflect their purified hearts],
That all of them may call on the name of the LORD,
To serve Him shoulder to shoulder (united).
10“From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
My worshipers, [the descendants of] My dispersed ones,
Will bring My offerings.
11“On that day you [Israel] will feel no shame
Because of all your acts
By which you have rebelled and sinned against Me;
Then I will remove from among you
Your rejoicing ones who delight in their pride;
And you will never again behave arrogantly
On My holy mountain [Mount Zion].
A Remnant of Israel 12“But I will leave among you
A humble and lowly people,
And they will take refuge and trust confidently in the name of the LORD.
13“The remnant of Israel will do no wrong
Nor speak lies,
Nor will a deceitful tongue
Be found in their mouths;
For they will eat and lie down
With no one to make them tremble and feel afraid.”
14Shout for joy, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O Israel!
Rejoice, be in high spirits and glory with all your heart,
O Daughter of Jerusalem [in that day]!
15The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
He has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, even the LORD [Himself], is in your midst;
You will no longer fear disaster.
16In that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not be afraid, O Zion;
Do not let your hands fall limp.
17“The LORD your God is in your midst,
A Warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with joy;
He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins],
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
18“I will gather those [Israelites in captivity] who grieve about the appointed feasts—
They came from you, [O Zion];
On whom the reproach [of exile] is a burden.
19“Behold, at that time I am going to deal
With all your oppressors;
I will save the lame
And gather the scattered,
And I will turn their shame into praise and renown
In every land [where they have suffered].
20“At that time I will bring you in,
Yes, at the time I gather you together;
For I will make you a name and a praise
Among all the peoples of the earth
When I restore your fortunes [and freedom] before your eyes,”
Says the LORD.