Zephaniah 1 (New International Reader's Version)

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1 A message came to Zephaniah from the Lord. He was the son of Cushi. Cushi was the son of Gedaliah. Gedaliah was the son of Amariah. Amariah was the son of King Hezekiah. The LORD spoke to Zephaniah during the rule of Josiah. He was king of Judah and the son of Amon.

The LORD Will Judge the World

2 "I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth," announces the Lord. 3 "I will destroy people and animals alike. I will wipe out the birds of the air and the fish in the waters. I will destroy sinful people along with their gods. I will wipe man off the face of the earth," announces the Lord.

The LORD Warns Judah

4 "I will reach out my powerful hand against Judah. I will punish all those who live in Jerusalem. I will cut off from that place what is left of Baal worship. The officials and priests who serve other gods will be removed. 5 I will wipe out those who bow down on their roofs to worship all of the stars. I will destroy those who take oaths not only in my name but also in the name of Molech. 6 I will cut off those who stop following me. They no longer look to me or ask me for advice. 7 Be silent in front of me. I am the LORD and King. The day of the LORD is near. I have prepared a sacrifice. I have set apart for myself the people I invited. 8 When my sacrifice is ready to be offered, I will punish the princes and the king's sons. I will also judge all those who follow the practices of other nations. 9 At that time I will punish all those who worship other gods. They fill the temples of their gods with lies and other harmful things. 10 "At that time people at the Fish Gate in Jerusalem will cry out," announces the Lord. "So will those at the New Quarter. The buildings on the hills will come crashing down with a loud noise. 11 Cry out, you who live in the market places. All of your merchants will be wiped out. Those who trade in silver will be destroyed. 12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps. I will punish those who are so contented. They are like wine that has not been shaken up. They think, 'The LORD won't do anything. It doesn't matter whether it's good or bad.' 13 Their wealth will be stolen. Their houses will be destroyed. They will build houses. But they will not live in them. They will plant vineyards. But they will not drink the wine they produce.

The Day of the LORD Is Coming

14 "The great day of the LORD is near. In fact, it is coming quickly. Listen! The cries on that day will be bitter. Even soldiers will cry out in fear. 15 At that time I will pour out my anger. There will be great suffering and pain. It will be a day of horrible trouble. It will be a time of darkness and gloom. It will be filled with the blackest clouds. 16 Trumpet blasts and battle cries will be heard. Soldiers will attack cities that have forts and corner towers. 17 I will bring trouble on the people. They will trip and fall as if they were blind. They have sinned against me. Their blood will be poured out like dust. Their bodies will lie rotting on the ground. 18 Their silver and gold will not be able to save them on the day I pour out my anger. The whole world will be burned up when my jealous anger blazes out. Everyone who lives on earth will come to a sudden end."
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