Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ZEPHANIAH\\

This book in some Hebrew copies is called "Sepher Zephaniah", the Book
of Zephaniah. Its title, in the Vulgate Latin version, is, the Prophecy
of Zephaniah; and, in the Syriac version, the Prophecy of the Prophet
Zephaniah; and so the Arabic version calls him a prophet; and he is the
last of the minor prophets that prophesied before the Babylonish
captivity. The time of his prophesying, as well as his, parentage, are
expressed \\#Zep 1:1\\, and therefore need not be inquired into; only
the sad mistake of Hobbes {a} may be observed, who makes him to be the
most ancient of the prophets, and to be contemporary with Amaziah and
Uzziah, kings of Judah, when he is expressly said to prophesy in the
days of Josiah. Pseudo-Epiphanius {b} calls him a prophet of Sarabatha,
of a mountain of that name, and says he was of the tribe of Simeon; and
in this Isidore {c} agrees with him; and both affirm that he died and
was buried in his own native place; but the author of the Cippi
Hebraici {d} says he was buried at Geba, in Mount Lebanon, in the midst
of a cave shut up, where his school continues; and from which place the
clouds never depart, and where also are flowing fountains. His name,
according to Jerom, signifies either "the Lord's watch tower", or
"watchman"; or else "the secret of the Lord"; or, "his hidden one";
deriving his name, either from \^hpu\^, which signifies to "look out",
as a watchman from his tower; or from \^Npu\^, "to hide"; which latter
derivation is best; and some interpret it "a revealer of the secrets",
or "hidden things, of the Lord"; and take it to be much the same with
Zaphnathpaaneah, the name given to Joseph by Pharaoh, \\#Ge 41:45\\,
and is of the same signification: but Hillerus {e} interprets the name
of Zephaniah, "the Lord hid himself"; which agrees with the times in
which he lived. That this prophecy was wrote by himself, there need be
no doubt of; nor of the authenticity of it, being always received by
the Jewish synagogue as authentic; and as it appears to be from its
style and manner of composition; from the subject matter of it agreeing
with other parts of Scripture, especially with Jeremiah and Ezekiel;
and from the accomplishment of various prophecies in it. There are
indeed some spurious things which have been ascribed to him, as the
"analepsis" or assumption of Zephaniah the prophet, and the prophecy of
Zephaniah, consisting of six hundred verses; but these are apocryphal,
and have no likeness to this prophecy; in which he foretells the
destruction of the Jews by the Chaldeans for their sins, which he
inveighs against, and calls them to repentance for them, as also the
ruin of many other nations, all which came to pass; as well as he
prophesies of the calling of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the
Jews, and of the comfortable state of the church in Gospel times, and
especially in the latter day.

{a} Leviathan, c. 33.
{b} De Prophet. Vita & Interitu, c. 19.
{c} De Vita & Morte Sanct. c. 48.
{d} P. 50. Ed. Hottinger.
{e} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 471, 952.

\\INTRODUCTION TO ZEPHANIAH 1\\

After the title of the book, \\#Zep 1:1\\, follows the Lord's threatening of
the land of Judea with an utter consumption of it, and of all creatures
in it, for the sins of its inhabitants, especially their idolatry and
apostasy, \\#Zep 1:2-6\\, and this is represented under the notion of a
sacrifice, to which guests are bid; and which even princes, and those of
the blood royal, should not escape, nor ministers of state, or such who
filled their masters' houses with violence, \\#Zep 1:7-9\\. Some particular
places are mentioned, where there should be a great noise of crying and
howling, and especially Jerusalem, which should be diligently searched,
and its goods become a booty, and its houses desolate, \\#Zep 1:10-13\\.
This destruction is spoken of as near at hand, and is described as very
terrible and distressing, \\#Zep 1:14-17\\ and as inevitable; nothing would
be able to deliver from it, \\#Zep 1:18\\.