Zephaniah

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians
A prophecy against Jerusalem, its surrounding countries, and the Assyrians, which was written around 640-BCE.
The curious case of the changing personal pronouns: Something 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 the pronouncements. And what we have come to realize is that God didn't personally speak to the Prophets.
Rather, He sent His message through a mediator who appears to be someone referred to as 'The Word.' And so, wherever we find changes in personal pronouns from the first to the third person,
we have interpreted this as meaning that the mediator is quoting God. 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 sea.

'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 who bow on their roofs
Before the [stars] in the skies,
As well as those who bow low
And swear their oaths by their masters,
Or those who swear oaths by their king.
6 For they have all turned from Jehovah,
And they are not seeking their Lord…
They do not stick closely [to Him].

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 the 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 who 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 they'll be given 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 be hears around your walled cities,
As well as around their 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 who dwell in this land.

Chapter 2

1 'So, gather and be bound together,
You nation that cannot be taught,
2 Before this day has passed 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 who have [moved there] from Crete.
For the Word of Jehovah is coming against you
(You Philistines in CanaAn's land),
And I'll destroy all the places where you dwell.

6 '[Your lands] will then be pastures for flocks…
They'll be safe havens for sheep.
7 And the lands of those who 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 return them from captivity.

8 'For 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's left of My people,
And be inherited by the remnant of My nation.

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

11 'Then before them, the Lord will appear
To destroy all the gods of those nations and lands,
And thereafter, they'll all bow before Him…
Each man within his own land,
As well as the gentiles of the islands.
12 And the Ethiopian peoples,
Will also be slain by my broadsword!

13 'Then I'll stretch out my hand toward the north,
And the Assyrians will 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
Still hopes that she can survive.

'For, she has said in her heart:
I am, and nothing can come after me!
But soon, she will no longer be…
She'll be a place where wild beasts will dwell,
So that all who then travel 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 His instructions, you chose not to follow…
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 for the next 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 sent 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 every place where they hide.

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

7 'For I told you to fear Me and do as I say,
So I wouldn't 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 I'll even ruin your gleanings,
said Jehovah.

8 'Then on the gathering of nations, I will 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 I'll bring just one tongue to that generation
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 who were scattered,
And they'll carry sacrifices to Me.

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,
And 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.
So, 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, cry out aloud…
Whole-heartedly [cry out in] joy…
JeruSalem's daughter, shout 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 look upon evil no longer!

16 'To JeruSalem, I'll say in 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.

18 'Then I'll gather back those who are broken,
And bring woe upon any who scorn you!
19 {Look!} In that time, I will act on your behalf…
I will save all those who were pressured
And welcome back those whom 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 before their eyes, I'll return you
From the places where they held you captive,
said Jehovah.'

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