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Chapter 1

1 The word of Yahweh which was to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the Son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, the king of Judah.

     2 “I will utterly take away everything from upon the face of the earth—the declaration of Yahweh.

     3 I will take away man and beast. I will take away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea and the stumbling blocks along with the wicked,

     and I will cut off man from upon the face of the earth—the declaration of Yahweh.

     4 I will stretch out with my hand against Judah and against all of those living in Jerusalem.

     I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal, the name of the idol priests along with the priests,

     5 those who are bowing down on the housetops to the army of the heavens,

     and those who bow down, who swear by Yahweh and also swear upon Milcom, [1]

     6 and those who turn from after Yahweh, and who do not search for Yahweh and do not seek him.”

     7 Be silent before the Lord Yahweh! For the day of Yahweh is near.

     For Yahweh has prepared the sacrifice and set apart his invited ones.

     8 “It will happen on the day of Yahweh’s sacrifice,

     I will visit upon the officials and upon the sons of the king,

     and upon everyone who dresses in foreign clothes.

     9 I will also visit upon all those who leap upon the threshold in that day,

     those who fill the house of their master with violence and deceit.

     10 It will happen on that day—the declaration of Yahweh—

     a sound of a cry from the Fish Gate, a wailing from the Second {District},

     and a great ruin from the hills.

     11 Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar District,

     for all the people of Canaan will be destroyed, all of those who weigh silver will be cut off.

     12 And it will happen at that time,

     I will search Jerusalem with lamps and visit upon the men

     who are thickening on their sediment, who are saying in their heart,

     ‘Yahweh will not do good and he will not do wrong.’

     13 And it will happen, their wealth will be for plunder, and their houses will be for a ruin.

     And they will build houses but not reside, and plant vineyards but not drink their wine.

     14 The great day of Yahweh is near, near and hurrying quickly!

     The sound of the day of Yahweh; bitter is the one crying out there, a warrior!

     15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish,

     a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom,

     a day of clouds and gloomy skies.

     16 A day of a trumpet blast and a battle cry

     against the fortified cities and against the high towers.

     17 For I will bring distress upon mankind, and they will walk like the blind,

     for they have sinned against Yahweh.

     Their blood will be poured out like dust, and their inner parts like dung.

     18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them

     on the day of the wrath of Yahweh. In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed.

     For, a destruction—surely it will be hastened—he will make all the inhabitants of the earth.”

1:5 [1] The Hebrew text has by their king , but some modern versions read by Milcom , the name of a pagan god that many people worshiped.

Chapter 2

     1 Gather yourselves together! Gather, O undesired nation,

     2 before the decree is brought forth, {and} that day passes like chaff,

     before the burning anger of Yahweh comes upon you, before the day of the anger of Yahweh comes upon you.

     3 Seek Yahweh, all you humble ones of the earth who do his commands.

     Seek righteousness. Seek humility.

     Perhaps you will be hidden on the day of the anger of Yahweh.

     4 For Gaza will be abandoned, and Ashkelon for a ruin.

     Ashdod, at noon, they will drive her out, and Ekron will be uprooted!

     5 Woe to those living in the territory of the sea, the nation of the Kerethites! The word of Yahweh is against you,

     O Canaan, land of the Philistines. I will destroy you {so that} there is no one residing.

     6 Then the territory of the sea will be pastures of meadows of the shepherds, and pens of flocks.

     7 The territory will be for the remnant of the house of Judah.

     They will shepherd upon them, in the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down in the evening,

     for Yahweh their God will care for them and return their fortunes.

     8 “I have heard the reproach of Moab and the reviling of the sons of Ammon

     when they reproached my people and made themselves great against their border.

     9 Therefore, as I live—the declaration of Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel—

     {I swear} that Moab will become like Sodom, and the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah,

     a place overgrown with nettles and salt pits, and a ruin forever.

     The remnant of my people will plunder them, and the remainder of my nation will take possession of them.”

10 This will be to them in place of their pride, for they taunted and made themselves great against the people of Yahweh of armies. 11 Yahweh will be feared among them, for he will make all the gods of the earth lean. The coastal nations will bow down to him, every man from his own place.

     12 Also you, O Cushites, they will be pierced of my sword,

     13 and he will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria,

     and he will make Nineveh a ruin, a dry place like the desert.

     14 Then herds will lie down in her midst, every animal of the nations,

     both the desert owl and the hedgehog will rest on her pillars.

     A call will sing out in the windows, devastation will be in the doorways. For the woodwork will be exposed.

     15 This is the exultant city that lived securely,

     that said in her heart, “I am, and another there is not besides me.”

     How she has become a dreadful thing, a dwelling-place for beasts.

     Everyone passing by will hiss and shake his fist at her.

Chapter 3

     1 Woe to the rebellious and defiled city, the one that is oppressing.

     2 She does not listen to any voice, she does not accept correction.

     She does not trust in Yahweh, she does not draw near to her God.

     3 Her officials are roaring lions in her midst.

     Her judges are evening wolves, they do not gnaw until the morning.

     4 Her prophets are reckless and treacherous men.

     Her priests profane what is holy and do violence to the law.

     5 Yahweh is righteous in her midst. He does not do injustice.

     Morning by morning he will give his justice for light, he does not fail. Yet the unrighteous do not know shame.

     6 “I have cut off nations, their towers have been desolated.

     I have destroyed their streets, no one passes over them.

     Their cities are ruined, without a man, there is no one residing.

     7 I said, ‘Surely you shall fear me and receive correction.

     Then her dwelling will not be cut off {by} everything that I have visited upon her.’

     However, they awoke early, they corrupted all their deeds.

     8 Therefore wait for me—the declaration of Yahweh—for the day of my rising up for plunder.

     For my decision {is} to gather the nations, to assemble the kingdoms,

     to pour out on them my indignation—all of the burning of my anger.

     For in the fire of my jealousy all of the earth will be consumed. [1]

     9 Then I will give to the peoples purified lips,

     {for} all of them to call upon the name of Yahweh {and} to serve him {as} one shoulder.

     10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my scattered ones, will bring my offerings.

     11 In that day you will not be put to shame because of all of your deeds by which you rebelled against me,

     but at that time I will remove from your midst your proud, exalting ones,

     and no longer will you be acting arrogantly on my holy mountain.

     12 And I will leave in your midst a humble and weak people,

     and they will seek refuge in the name of Yahweh.

     13 The remnant of Israel will not do injustice and they will not speak lies,

     and a tongue of deceit will not be found in their mouth.

     But they will graze and lie down, and there will be no trembling.”

     14 Shout joyfully, O daughter of Zion! Cheer loudly, O Israel!

     Rejoice and exult with your whole heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

     15 Yahweh has taken away your judgments, he has removed your enemies.

     The king of Israel, Yahweh, is in your midst. You will never again fear harm!

     16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem,

     “Do not fear, O Zion! Do not let your hands become limp!

     17 Yahweh your God is in your midst, the strong one will bring salvation.

     He will rejoice over you with gladness, he will make quiet with his love.

     He will exult over you with rejoicing.

     18 The grieved of the festivals I removed from you,

     they are a tribute to her, a reproach. [2]

     19 Behold, I am dealing with all your oppressors in this time.

     I will rescue the lame and gather up those casted out.

     I will appoint them for praise, and their shame for a name in all the earth.

     20 At that time I will bring you, in the time of my gathering you.

     Then I will appoint you for a name and for praise among all the peoples of the earth, in my restoring your fortunes before your eyes,”

     says Yahweh.

3:8 [1] The Hebrew text as until the day that I rise up to seize the prey . However, some ancient and modern versions have until the day that I rise up as a witness .
3:18 [2] This verse is very difficult to understand, and modern versions translate it in many different ways.