TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Zephaniah 2

1Gather together, gather, O nation without shame,

אהִתְקוֹשְׁשׁוּ וָקוֹשּׁוּ הַגּוֹי לֹא נִכְסָף׃

2Before the day the decree is born— The day flies by like chaff— Before the fierce anger Of Hashem overtakes you, Before the day of anger Of Hashem overtakes you.

בבְּטֶרֶם לֶדֶת חֹק כְּמֹץ עָבַר יוֹם בְּטֶרֶם לֹא־יָבוֹא עֲלֵיכֶם חֲרוֹן אַף־יְהֹוָה בְּטֶרֶם לֹא־יָבוֹא עֲלֵיכֶם יוֹם אַף־יְהֹוָה׃

3Seek Hashem,All you humble of the landWho have fulfilled His law;Seek righteousness,Seek humility.Perhaps you will find shelter On the day of Hashem's anger.

ba-k'-SHU et a-do-NAI kol an-VAY ha-A-retz a-SHER mish-pa-TO pa-A-lu ba-k'-shu TZE-dek ba-k'-SHU a-na-VAH u-LAI ti-sa-t'-RU b'-YOM af a-do-NAI

גבַּקְּשׁוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה כָּל־עַנְוֵי הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר מִשְׁפָּטוֹ פָּעָלוּ בַּקְּשׁוּ־צֶדֶק בַּקְּשׁוּ עֲנָוָה אוּלַי תִּסָּתְרוּ בְּיוֹם אַף־יְהֹוָה׃

 2:3  Seek Hashem, all you humble of the land

The “humble of the land” are the few who rejected idolatry, quietly serving God in the Land of Israel despite the hardships. Tzefanya encourages them to continue their loyalty to Hashem despite the decree of destruction and exile soon to take effect. He uses the command “seek” three times: To seek the Lord, to seek righteousness, and to seek humility. The three go together. One cannot seek God without striving for righteousness, or without behaving with humility, since the way we treat others automatically affects how we treat God. If they continue to seek out Hashem, “Perhaps you will find shelter on the day of Hashem’s anger.” Tzefanya teaches that the safest refuge from God’s anger is with Hashem Himself.

4Indeed, Azza shall be deserted And Ashkelon desolate; Ashdod's people shall be expelled in broad daylight, And Ekron shall be uprooted.

דכִּי עַזָּה עֲזוּבָה תִהְיֶה וְאַשְׁקְלוֹן לִשְׁמָמָה אַשְׁדּוֹד בַּצָּהֳרַיִם יְגָרְשׁוּהָ וְעֶקְרוֹן תֵּעָקֵר׃

5Ah, nation of Cherethites Who inhabit the seacoast! There is a word of Hashem against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines: I will lay you waste Without inhabitants.

ההוֹי יֹשְׁבֵי חֶבֶל הַיָּם גּוֹי כְּרֵתִים דְּבַר־יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיכֶם כְּנַעַן אֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְהַאֲבַדְתִּיךְ מֵאֵין יוֹשֵׁב׃

6The seacoast Cheroth shall become An abode for shepherds and folds for flocks,

ווְהָיְתָה חֶבֶל הַיָּם נְוׂת כְּרֹת רֹעִים וְגִדְרוֹת צֹאן׃

7And shall be a portion for the remnant of the House of Yehuda; On these [pastures] they shall graze [their flocks], They shall lie down at eventide In the houses of Ashkelon. For Hashem their God will take note of them And restore their fortunes.

זוְהָיָה חֶבֶל לִשְׁאֵרִית בֵּית יְהוּדָה עֲלֵיהֶם יִרְעוּן בְּבָתֵּי אַשְׁקְלוֹן בָּעֶרֶב יִרְבָּצוּן כִּי יִפְקְדֵם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְשָׁב שבותם [שְׁבִיתָם׃]

8I have heard the insults of Moab And the jeers of the Amonites, Who have insulted My people And gloated over their country.

חשָׁמַעְתִּי חֶרְפַּת מוֹאָב וְגִדּוּפֵי בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן אֲשֶׁר חֵרְפוּ אֶת־עַמִּי וַיַּגְדִּילוּ עַל־גְּבוּלָם׃

9Assuredly, as I live —declares the lord of Hosts, the God of Yisrael— Moab shall become like Sodom And the Amonites like Gomorrah: Clumps of weeds and patches of salt, And desolation evermore. The remnant of My people shall plunder them, The remainder o My nation shall possess them.

טלָכֵן חַי־אָנִי נְאֻם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־מוֹאָב כִּסְדֹם תִּהְיֶה וּבְנֵי עַמּוֹן כַּעֲמֹרָה מִמְשַׁק חָרוּל וּמִכְרֵה־מֶלַח וּשְׁמָמָה עַד־עוֹלָם שְׁאֵרִית עַמִּי יְבָזּוּם וְיֶתֶר גוי [גּוֹיִי] יִנְחָלוּם׃

10That is what they'll get for their haughtiness, For insulting and jeering At the people of the lord of Hosts.

יזֹאת לָהֶם תַּחַת גְּאוֹנָם כִּי חֵרְפוּ וַיַּגְדִּלוּ עַל־עַם יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת׃

11Hashem will show Himself terrible against them, Causing all the gods on earth to shrivel; And all the coastlands of the nations Shall bow down to Him— Every man in his own home.

יאנוֹרָא יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיהֶם כִּי רָזָה אֵת כָּל־אֱלֹהֵי הָאָרֶץ וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ־לוֹ אִישׁ מִמְּקוֹמוֹ כֹּל אִיֵּי הַגּוֹיִם׃

12You Cushites too— They shall be slain by My sword.

יבגַּם־אַתֶּם כּוּשִׁים חַלְלֵי חַרְבִּי הֵמָּה׃

13And He will stretch out His arm against the north And destroy Assyria; He will make Nineveh a desolation, Arid as the desert.

יגוְיֵט יָדוֹ עַל־צָפוֹן וִיאַבֵּד אֶת־אַשּׁוּר וְיָשֵׂם אֶת־נִינְוֵה לִשְׁמָמָה צִיָּה כַּמִּדְבָּר׃

14In it flocks shall lie down, Every species of beast, While jackdaws and owls roost on its capitals, The great owl hoots in the window, And the raven [croaks] on the threshold. For he has stripped its cedarwork bare.

ידוְרָבְצוּ בְתוֹכָהּ עֲדָרִים כָּל־חַיְתוֹ־גוֹי גַּם־קָאַת גַּם־קִפֹּד בְּכַפְתֹּרֶיהָ יָלִינוּ קוֹל יְשׁוֹרֵר בַּחַלּוֹן חֹרֶב בַּסַּף כִּי אַרְזָה עֵרָה׃

15Is this the gay city That dwelt secure, That thought in her heart, “I am, and there is none but me”? Alas, she is become a waste, A lair of wild beasts! Everyone who passes by her Hisses and gestures with his hand.

טוזֹאת הָעִיר הָעַלִּיזָה הַיּוֹשֶׁבֶת לָבֶטַח הָאֹמְרָה בִּלְבָבָהּ אֲנִי וְאַפְסִי עוֹד אֵיךְ הָיְתָה לְשַׁמָּה מַרְבֵּץ לַחַיָּה כֹּל עוֹבֵר עָלֶיהָ יִשְׁרֹק יָנִיעַ יָדוֹ׃