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Zephaniah 3 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

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1 How horrible it will be for that rebellious and corrupt place, the city of violence. 2 It obeys no one. It does not accept correction. It does not trust the LORD. It does not draw close to its God. 3 Its officials are [like] roaring lions. Its judges are [like] wolves in the evening. They leave nothing to gnaw on for the morning. 4 Its prophets are reckless and unfaithful. Its priests contaminate what is holy. They violate the teachings. 5 The righteous LORD is in that city. He does no wrong. He brings his judgment to light every morning. He does not fail. But those who are perverted are shameless. 6 "I will cut off the nations. Their towers will be destroyed. I will demolish their streets. No one will walk through them. Their cities will be completely destroyed. Not a single person will be left. No one will be living there. 7 I said [to my people], 'You will fear me. You will accept correction!' Then their homeland would not be wiped out even though I have punished them. Still, they continued to be corrupt in everything they did." 8 The LORD declares, "Just wait! One day I will stand up as a witness. I have decided to gather nations, to bring kingdoms together, and to pour my rage, my burning anger, on them. The whole land will be consumed by my fiery fury. 9 "Then I will give all people pure lips to worship the LORD and to serve him with one purpose. 10 From beyond the rivers of Sudan my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring my offering. 11 On that day you will no longer be ashamed of all your rebellious acts against me. Then I will remove your arrogance and never again will you act proud on my holy mountain. 12 So with you I will leave a faithful few, a humble and poor people. They will seek refuge in the name of the LORD. 13 The faithful few in Israel will not do wrong, tell lies, or use their tongues to deceive others. They will graze their sheep and lie down, and there will be no one to terrify them." 14 Sing happily, people of Zion! Shout loudly, Israel! Celebrate and rejoice with all your heart, people of Jerusalem. 15 The LORD has reversed the judgments against you. He has forced out your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is with you. You will never fear disaster again. 16 On that day Jerusalem will be told, "Do not be afraid, Zion! Do not lose courage!" 17 The LORD your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy. 18 "I will gather those among you who are troubled because of the festivals. They bear a burden of disgrace. 19 At that time I will deal with all who have overpowered you. I will rescue those who are lame. I will gather those who have been scattered. I will make them praised and famous in all the world, though they had been ashamed. 20 At that time I will bring you [home]. Yes, at that time I will gather you together. I will make you famous and praised among all the people of the earth when I restore your fortunes right before your eyes," says the LORD.
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