God's Message to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. It came during the reign of Josiah son of Amon, who was king of Judah:
"I'm going to make a clean sweep of the earth, a thorough housecleaning." God's Decree.
"Men and women and animals, including birds and fish - Anything and everything that causes sin - will go, but especially people.
"I'll start with Judah and everybody who lives in Jerusalem. I'll sweep the place clean of every trace of the sex-and-religion Baal shrines and their priests.
I'll get rid of the people who sneak up to their rooftops at night to worship the star gods and goddesses; Also those who continue to worship God but cover their bases by worshiping other king-gods as well;
Not to mention those who've dumped God altogether, no longer giving him a thought or offering a prayer.
"Quiet now! Reverent silence before me, God, the Master! Time's up. My Judgment Day is near: The Holy Day is all set, the invited guests made holy.
On the Holy Day, God's Judgment Day, I will punish the leaders and the royal sons; I will punish those who dress up like foreign priests and priestesses,
Who introduce pagan prayers and practices; And I'll punish all who import pagan superstitions that turn holy places into hellholes.
Judgment Day!" God's Decree! "Cries of panic from the city's Fish Gate, Cries of terror from the city's Second Quarter, sounds of great crashing from the hills!
Wail, you shopkeepers on Market Street! Moneymaking has had its day. The god Money is dead.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)