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The Prophecy of Zephaniah

The prophecy of Zephaniah is divided into three chapters that include a total of 53 verses. For your convenience links to the New International Version text of the prophecy are provided.
Zephaniah 1:1-18 (NIV)
Zephaniah 2:1-15 (NIV)
Zephaniah 3:1-20 (NIV)

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Summary of the Prophecy of Zephaniah

Zephaniah's prophecy begins with a seven generation genealogy that links Zephaniah to royal ancestry in Judah and then identifies the time as being that of the reign of King Josiah (1:1). He then launches into his message without further introduction.

His message is clearly one of impending judgment (1:2-3) with a focus on Judah and Jerusalem (1:4-13). The warning includes specific references to local neighbourhoods in Jerusalem as well as emphasizing the thoroughness with which God will root out those who deserve judgment. The message then assigns a specific designation, "the great day of the Lord", to this coming judgment (1:14-2:3).

Judah, however, is not going to be the only region to be subjected to judgment but it will also include Gaza and the Philistines (2:4-7), the region of Moab and the Ammonites (2:8-11), the Cushites (2:12) and also Assyria (2:13-15).

The focus of Zephaniah's warning then returns to Jerusalem (3:1-8). Despite the severity of the judgment to be inflicted Zephaniah promises that there will be relief for those who call on the name of the Lord (3:9-13) and that a remnant will be spared. The prophecy ends with the faithful people of God being called to rejoice in the Lord's grace and assures those who are faithful that they will be restored (3:14-20).

Exploring the text of Zephaniah

Now that you have read a brief summary of the prophecy of Zephaniah it is time to click on and review the Simplified Approach to Bible Study. When you have reviewed the five steps it is time to start applying them to the text of the prophecy of Zephaniah.

Some Internet Resources

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Notes on Zephaniah from NIV Study Bible

Zephaniah: Background by David Graves

Zephaniah by Arrend Remmers

Zephaniah: Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

A Commentary on Zephaniah by John Calvin

Zephaniah: The Royal Prophet by Jon W. Quinn

A Commentary by Hampton Keathley.