From the Greek Septuagint text as used by First Century Christians
A prophecy against Jerusalem, its surrounding countries, and the Assyrians, which was written around 640-BCE.
Is it poetry or isn’t it poetry?
Something that only a Bible translator would notice is that whenever God or His spokesperson are quoted, the words were in the form of Hebrew poetry,
since there is a definite cadence that can be noted in the original language. Therefore, because this is the chosen style of God, we have rendered it as it should be, in poetic verse.
Why did God and His spokesperson communicate through poetry?
Because poetic words provide memory aids that can be easily recalled to mind, so that the messages could be spread throughout the population via the most common medium of communication at the time, song.

The curious case of the changing personal pronouns:
Another thing that all translators notice when translating the words of the Prophets is the constant changing of the personal pronouns from the first to the third person in many of the pronouncements.
And what we have come to realize is that God didn’t personally speak to the Prophets. Rather, He sent His messages through a mediator, who appears to have been referred to as ‘The Word’ throughout the text.

Who Was Actually Talking?
You will notice herein that the text often changes to a quotation and then even to italics. WHY?
Understand that there are actually THREE voices being represented here… that of the Prophet, that of the angel who is bring the message from God, and the words of God Himself (which is usually overlooked in other Bibles).
How can we tell the difference? From the TENSES in which each verse is written.
If it is the Prophet speaking, he is talking about what was happing or what will be happening to his people.
If it is the angel (the Word) speaking, he is speaking of God in the third person.
And if it is God speaking, He is talking in the first person about what He will do.
Did we get it all right? Probably not, but it has been an honest attempt at doing so.

Chapter 1

1 The The Word of Jehovah came to ZephaniAh (the son of Cushi, grandson of GedaliAh, and great-grandson of AmariAh, the son of HezekiAh) in the days of JosiAh (the son of Amon) the king of Judah, and said:

2 ‘When it comes to being in want,
Let all on the face of the earth be in want,’ said the Lord!
3 ‘Let men and their cattle all be in want;
Let things that fly in the sky be in want,
As well as the fish in the seas.

‘May the irreverent all become ill
Because of their lawless deeds;
For, from the land, I’ll remove them,’ said the Lord.

4 ‘Then over Judah and Jerusalem
I will stretch out my hand,
And the name of BaAl, I’ll remove from this place,
Along with the names of his priests
And the things dedicated [to him].

5 ‘[I’ll remove] all those that bow on their roofs
Before the [stars] in the skies,
As well as those that bow low
And swear their oaths by their masters,
Or those that swear oaths by their king.
6 For, they have all turned from Jehovah,
And they are not seeking their Lord…
[To Him], they haven’t stuck closely.

7 ‘So be cautious before Jehovah [your] God,
For the Day of the Lord is at hand!
Jehovah has readied His [great] sacrifice,
And made His Chosen One holy.

8 ‘For the day of sacrifice will arrive
When I will take vengeance upon all their rulers,
As well as on the house of their king,
And on those who wear foreign clothes.

9 ‘When I take vengeance, you’ll see it;
For, it will come to the gates in that day
Of those filling the House of Jehovah
With their treacherous, ungodly ways.

10 ‘And in that day,’ said the Lord,
‘There’ll come the sounds of cries from the gates…
[The sounds] of people that are being stabbed through.
And from the second quarter, the screams of the women,
As the battles rage on in the hills.

11 ‘So wail, all you who dwell in this place
That soon will be cut to pieces.
For [as happened] to the people of CanaAn;
Those who carry silver will be slaughtered!

12 ‘And in that day;
I’ll search JeruSalem through with a lamp
And take vengeance upon all the people
Who’ve paid no attention to my orders,
And on those who have said in their hearts,
Jehovah will do neither evil nor good!

13 ‘Then I’ll give them the power to ravage
And ruin all of your houses.
So, you will build homes in which you won’t live,
And plant vineyards, from which you won’t drink the wine.

14 ‘For the Day of the Lord has approached…
Yes, it will come very soon!
And the sounds of the Day of the Lord
Are ordered to be bitter and harsh.

15 ‘It will be a day of His rage;
A day of distress and affliction;
A day of misery and extinction;
A day of dimness and darkness;
A day of clouds and [thick] fog.

16 ‘It’ll be a day when the trumpets are blown,
And cries will arise from all your walled cities,
As well as from your high towers.
17 For, I will squeeze out the people,
And then they will walk like the blind
Because of their sins against [God].

‘I’ll pour their blood out in the dust,
And I’ll [pour] their flesh out like dung.
18 Then their silver and gold will not save them
In the Day of the Rage of Jehovah.
For the fire of His zeal will consume the whole land.

‘In a diligent way, He will bring it
Upon all those that dwell in this land.

Chapter 2

1 ‘So, gather and be bound together,
You nation that cannot be taught,
2 Before this day passes by like a blossom…
Before [God’s] wrath has come upon you…
Before the day of His anger and rage.

3 ‘So, seek Jehovah, you meek of the earth…
Seek what is righteous and fair!
Give truthful answers to all,
And tell them to hide in the Day of God’s wrath.

4 ‘For, it will bring plundering to Gaza,
And AshKelon will be wiped away.
AshDod will fall at mid-day,
And EkRon will soon be uprooted.

5 ‘Woe to you in the lands by the sea…
All you that have [moved there] from Crete.
For the Word of Jehovah is coming against you
(You Philistines within CanaAn’s land),
And I’ll destroy all the places where you dwell.

6 ‘[Your lands] will become pastures for flocks…
They’ll be safe havens for sheep.
7 And the lands of those that dwell by the sea
Will be given to the remnants of Judah.

‘AshKelon’s homes will then become [pens]
Where sheep will rest [in the heat of the day].
Then the sons of Judah, Jehovah will visit,
And from captivity, return them.

8For I’ve heard the scorning of Moab
And of their mistreatment by AmMon’s sons
When they berated My people,
And forced themselves over My borders.

9 ‘Because of this, as I live;
Says IsraEl’s God, Jehovah of Armies,
Moab will soon be like Sodom,
And the sons of AmMon, like GomorRah.

‘Damascus will also come to its end
And be heaps of salt through the age!
They’ll be plundered by what remain of My people…
They’ll be inherited by the remnant of My nation.

10 ‘This will happen because of their insolent ways…
Because they berated [God’s people],
And because they put themselves higher
Than Jehovah, the Almighty God.

11 ‘Then before them, the Lord will appear
To destroy the gods of those nations and countries,
And thereafter, they’ll all bow before him…
Each man within his own land
And the gentiles that live in the islands.

12 ‘Then, the Ethiopian peoples;
I will put to death with my broadsword!
13 And I’ll stretch out my hand toward the north,
Then the Assyrians too, will be wiped away…
I’ll turn Nineveh into a desert!

14 ‘Flocks will then feed in her midst
Beside the wild beasts of the land.
Chameleons and hedgehogs will live in her fretwork,
Wild beasts will roar in her ditches,
And crows will nest in her gates.

‘But because she has been a tall cedar,
15 This city that has paid no attention
Will still have hope that she can survive.

‘For, she has said in her heart:
I am, and after me, there will be no others!
But soon, she won’t be anymore…
She’ll be a place where wild beasts will dwell,
And all that thereafter go through her
Will whistle and just wring their hands.

Chapter 3

1 ‘And you, O great city of [JeruSalem]…
O my dove, whom I have repurchased;
2 To His voice, you just wouldn’t listen,
And you chose not to follow His orders…
Upon Jehovah, you wouldn’t rely…
You refused to turn back to your God.

3 ‘So your rulers are like roaring lions,
And your judges are like Arabian wolves
That leave nothing over ‘til morning.

4 ‘Your prophets are all wanton liars
[Whose words] are blown by the winds.
And [God’s] Holy Things are profaned by your priests
Who have no respect for His Laws.

5 ‘But among you, Jehovah’s been righteous
No way has He been unjust…
Each morning, He sends you justice and light.
But, nothing is hidden from Him,
And He doesn’t put up with injustice.

‘So the wicked will all come to shame,
6 And He will tear down your proud,
Then destroy all the places where they hide.

‘He’ll also wipe away all your roads,
So that no one will pass through your cities.
Then all of your towns will be wiped away…
No one will dwell there, because they’ll be gone!

7I told you to fear Me and do as I say,
So I would not have to destroy you.
But now, prepare for the vengeance
That I will be bringing upon you.
For, I will rise early and reap,
And even your gleanings, I’ll ruin,
said Jehovah.

8Then, upon the gathering of nations,
I will thereafter pass judgment,
And I’ll pour out My rage on their kings…
Yes, all of My anger and rage
And the fire of My zeal will consume them.

9 ‘Then, to that generation, I’ll bring just one language
So that all can call on the name of the Lord
And serve him under one yoke.

10 ‘From the ends of Ethiopia’s rivers
I’ll welcome back those that were scattered,
And to Me, they’ll bring sacrifices.

11 ‘In that Day, you won’t be disgraced
By the disrespect that you’ve shown Me.
For I’ll remove your insolent ways
And the careless attitudes that you’ve shown…
Then about My Holy Mountain, you’ll boast once again.

12 ‘But among you, I’ll leave the humble and meek
(Those who respect the name of the Lord).
13 And this remnant of IsraEl will not be unrighteous…
Of vain things, they will not speak,
And no way will their tongues then deceive.
Then they will eat as they lie in their beds,
And no one will make them afraid.

14 ‘So rejoice, O daughter of Zion…
O JeruSalem’s daughter, shout loudly…
Whole-heartedly [cry out in] joy…
JeruSalem’s daughter, yell in delight!
15 For Jehovah has removed your offenses
And ransomed you from your enemy’s hands.
For IsraEl’s King, Jehovah, is with you,
So you’ll no longer see any evil!

16 ‘To JeruSalem, I’ll say at that time:
Be courageous, O Zion,
And don’t let your hands become weak!
17 For Jehovah your God is among you…
The Almighty has brought you salvation!

‘Then, He will spread gladness among you,
And because He cares, He’ll revive you.
He’ll be as glad and delighted with you
As He was in the days of your holiday feasts.

18Then I’ll gather back those that are broken,
And bring woe upon any that scorn you!
19 {Look!} In that time, I will act on your behalf…
I will save all those that were pressured,
And I’ll welcome back those that I once pushed away.
Then I’ll make them [a people] of boasting and fame
In every place throughout the whole earth.

20 ‘At that time, your enemies will all be disgraced
And I’ll do whatever you think to be good;
Because, in that time, I’ll accept you…
I’ll make you famous and reasons to boast
Before the rest of the nations on earth.
For in front of their eyes, I’ll return you
From the places where they once held you captive,
said Jehovah.’

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