Zephaniah 2
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Gather yourselves together yea gather together O shameless nation;

א  הִתְקוֹשְׁשׁוּ וָקוֹשּׁוּ הַגּוֹי לֹא נִכְסָף.

2  Before the decree bring forth the day when one passeth as the chaff before the fierce anger of Hashem come upon you before the day of Hashem’S anger come upon you.

ב  בְּטֶרֶם לֶדֶת חֹק כְּמֹץ עָבַר יוֹם בְּטֶרֶם לֹא יָבוֹא עֲלֵיכֶם חֲרוֹן אַף יְהוָה בְּטֶרֶם לֹא יָבוֹא עֲלֵיכֶם יוֹם אַף יְהוָה.

3  Seek ye Hashem all ye humble of the earth that have executed His ordinance; seek righteousness seek humility. It may be ye shall be hid in 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

ג  בַּקְּשׁוּ אֶת יְהוָה כָּל עַנְוֵי הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר מִשְׁפָּטוֹ פָּעָלוּ בַּקְּשׁוּ צֶדֶק בַּקְּשׁוּ עֲנָוָה אוּלַי תִּסָּתְרוּ בְּיוֹם אַף יְהוָה.

2:3  Seek ye the LORD, all ye humble of the earth

The “humble of the earth” are the few who rejected idolatry, quietly serving God in the Land of Israel despite all hardships. Zephaniah encourages them to continue their loyalty to the Lord 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 the Lord. If they continue to seek out the Lord, “It may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” Zephaniah teaches that the safest refuge from God’s anger is with God himself.

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4  For Azzah shall be forsaken and Ashkelon a desolation; they shall drive out Ashdod at the noonday and Ekron shall be rooted up.

ד  כִּי עַזָּה עֲזוּבָה תִהְיֶה וְאַשְׁקְלוֹן לִשְׁמָמָה אַשְׁדּוֹד בַּצָּהֳרַיִם יְגָרְשׁוּהָ וְעֶקְרוֹן תֵּעָקֵר.

5  Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea-coast the nation of the Cherethites! the word of Hashem is against you O Canaan the land of the Plishtim; I will even destroy thee that there shall be no inhabitant.

ה  הוֹי יֹשְׁבֵי חֶבֶל הַיָּם גּוֹי כְּרֵתִים דְּבַר יְהוָה עֲלֵיכֶם כְּנַעַן אֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְהַאֲבַדְתִּיךְ מֵאֵין יוֹשֵׁב.

6  And the sea-coast shall be pastures even meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks.

ו  וְהָיְתָה חֶבֶל הַיָּם נְו‍ֹת כְּרֹת רֹעִים וְגִדְרוֹת צֹאן.

7  And it shall be a portion for the remnant of the house of Yehudah whereon they shall feed; in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening; for Hashem their God will remember them and turn their captivity.

ז  וְהָיָה חֶבֶל לִשְׁאֵרִית בֵּית יְהוּדָה עֲלֵיהֶם יִרְעוּן בְּבָתֵּי אַשְׁקְלוֹן בָּעֶרֶב יִרְבָּצוּן כִּי יִפְקְדֵם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְשָׁב שבותם (שְׁבִיתָם).

8  I have heard the taunt of Moav and the revilings of the children of Amon wherewith they have taunted My people and spoken boastfully concerning their border.

ח  שָׁמַעְתִּי חֶרְפַּת מוֹאָב וְגִדֻּפֵי בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן אֲשֶׁר חֵרְפוּ אֶת עַמִּי וַיַּגְדִּילוּ עַל גְּבוּלָם.

9  Therefore as I live saith Hashem of hosts the God of Yisrael: Surely Moav shall be as Sodom and the children of Amon as Gomorrah even the breeding-place of nettles and saltpits and a desolation for ever; the residue of My people shall spoil them and the remnant of My nation shall inherit them.

ט  לָכֵן חַי אָנִי נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי מוֹאָב כִּסְדֹם תִּהְיֶה וּבְנֵי עַמּוֹן כַּעֲמֹרָה מִמְשַׁק חָרוּל וּמִכְרֵה מֶלַח וּשְׁמָמָה עַד עוֹלָם שְׁאֵרִית עַמִּי יְבָזּוּם וְיֶתֶר גּוֹיִ יִנְחָלוּם.

10  This shall they have for their pride because they have taunted and spoken boastfully against the people of Hashem of hosts.

י  זֹאת לָהֶם תַּחַת גְּאוֹנָם כִּי חֵרְפוּ וַיַּגְדִּלוּ עַל עַם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת.

11  Hashem will be terrible unto them; for He will famish all the gods of the earth; then shall all the isles of the nations worship Him every one from its place.

יא  נוֹרָא יְהוָה עֲלֵיהֶם כִּי רָזָה אֵת כָּל אֱלֹהֵי הָאָרֶץ וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לוֹ אִישׁ מִמְּקוֹמוֹ כֹּל אִיֵּי הַגּוֹיִם.

12  Ye Ethiopians also ye shall be slain by My sword.

יב  גַּם אַתֶּם כּוּשִׁים חַלְלֵי חַרְבִּי הֵמָּה.

13  And He will stretch out His hand against the north and destroy Ashur; and will make Ninveh a desolation and dry like the wilderness.

יג  וְיֵט יָדוֹ עַל צָפוֹן וִיאַבֵּד אֶת אַשּׁוּר וְיָשֵׂם אֶת נִינְוֵה לִשְׁמָמָה צִיָּה כַּמִּדְבָּר.

14  And all beasts of every kind shall lie down in the midst of her in herds; both the pelican and the bittern shall lodge in the capitals thereof; voices shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the posts; for the cedar-work thereof shall be uncovered.

יד  וְרָבְצוּ בְתוֹכָהּ עֲדָרִים כָּל חַיְתוֹ גוֹי גַּם קָאַת גַּם קִפֹּד בְּכַפְתֹּרֶיהָ יָלִינוּ קוֹל יְשׁוֹרֵר בַּחַלּוֹן חֹרֶב בַּסַּף כִּי אַרְזָה עֵרָה.

15  This is the joyous city that dwelt without care that said in her heart: ‘I am and there is none else beside me’; how is she become a desolation a place for beasts to lie down in! Every one that passeth by her shall hiss and wag his hand.

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

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Zephaniah 1
Zephaniah 3

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The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bibleā„¢.

  • “11 The LORD will be terrible unto them; for He will famish all the gods of the earth; then shall all the isles of the nations worship Him every one from its place.”
    All of the earth will know Elohim, the One True God, our Creator and they will worship Him. We know that He will set up His Kingdom in Y’rushalyem. What a glorious day that will be!
    Baruch Hashem.

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Zephaniah 2