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Zephaniah Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Zephaniah 3:1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!

Zephaniah 3:2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.

Zephaniah 3:3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

Zephaniah 3:4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

Zephaniah 3:5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.

Zephaniah 3:6 I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.

Zephaniah 3:7 I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.

Zephaniah 3:8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

assemble the kingdoms. In the last days, the armies of all the nations will be gathered at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16; 19:19), and will feel God's fierce anger (see also Joel 3:2, 11-16). Then, after the defeat of the Beast and his hosts, all the remaining people of the nations will be gathered before the Lord for judgment, with some entering the millennial kingdom, and others (probably most) sent into everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:31-46).

Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.

pure language. Reversing the miraculous confusion of tongues at Babel (Genesis 11:7-9), there will be a miraculous restoration of the primeval language to all people, as those judged righteous in Christ prepare to enter the millennial kingdom with Him. This is more than a mere cleansing of their unclean vocabularies.

Zephaniah 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

Zephaniah 3:11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.

Zephaniah 3:12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

Zephaniah 3:13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

Zephaniah 3:14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.

Zephaniah 3:15 The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

taken away thy judgments. In this glorious future day, all the judgments visited on Israel over the centuries (the Babylonian exile, the worldwide dispersion following the Roman destruction, etc.) will have been completed and removed. The unconditional promises given to Abraham, Jacob and David for the permanent establishment of Israel will be fulfilled and she will “not see evil any more.” Note also Zephaniah 3:19, 20.

midst of thee. Their Messiah king, the Lord Himself, will dwell in their midst in that day (Ezekiel 34:24; Zechariah 14:9, 16; Matthew 19:28; etc.).

Zephaniah 3:16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

with singing. Except for the time when Jesus sang a hymn with His disciples at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:30), this is the only place in the Bible where we read of God actually singing! This beautiful verse also reveals Him as a mighty God, a saving God, a loving God, a rejoicing God and a resting God! The great millennial kingdom age will be a time of joy and singing, and a time of resting, even for God!

Zephaniah 3:18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.

Zephaniah 3:19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.

Zephaniah 3:20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.

a praise among all people. For thousands of years, including today, the name Israelite or Jew has been a reproach and a byword in all nations. In the day when the Lord “turns back [their] captivity,” however, it will not be a reproach, but “a praise!”