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Zephaniah 2 (New Living Translation)

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1 Gather together and pray, you shameless nation. 2 Gather while there is still time, before judgment begins and your opportunity is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the LORD falls and the terrible day of the LORD's anger begins. 3 Beg the LORD to save you -- all you who are humble, all you who uphold justice. Walk humbly and do what is right. Perhaps even yet the LORD will protect you from his anger on that day of destruction. 4 Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron -- these Philistine cities, too, will be rooted out and left in desolation. 5 And how terrible it will be for you Philistines a who live along the coast and in the land of Canaan, for this judgment is against you, too! The LORD will destroy you until not one of you is left. 6 The coastal area will become a pasture, a place of shepherd camps and enclosures for sheep. 7 The few survivors of the tribe of Judah will pasture there. They will lie down to rest in the abandoned houses in Ashkelon. For the LORD their God will visit his people in kindness and restore their prosperity again. 8 "I have heard the taunts of the people of Moab and Ammon, mocking my people and invading their borders. 9 Now, as surely as I live," says the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, "Moab and Ammon will be destroyed as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah. Their land will become a place of stinging nettles, salt pits, and eternal desolation. Those of my people who are left will plunder them and take their land." 10 They will receive the wages of their pride, for they have scoffed at the people of the LORD Almighty. 11 The LORD will terrify them as he destroys all the gods in the land. Then people from nations around the world will worship the LORD, each in their own land. 12 "You Ethiopians b will also be slaughtered by my sword," says the LORD. 13 And the LORD will strike the lands of the north with his fist. He will destroy Assyria and make its great capital, Nineveh, a desolate wasteland, parched like a desert. 14 The city that once was so proud will become a pasture for sheep and cattle. All sorts of wild animals will settle there. Owls of many kinds will live among the ruins of its palaces, hooting from the gaping windows. Rubble will block all the doorways, and the cedar paneling will lie open to the wind and weather. 15 This is the fate of that boisterous city, once so secure. "In all the world there is no city as great as I," it boasted. But now, look how it has become an utter ruin, a place where animals live! Everyone passing that way will laugh in derision or shake a defiant fist.
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