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Zephaniah 3

The Future of Jerusalem (3:1–20)

4 In verse 7, the Lord is speaking ironically; He is describing what will happen to Judah as if He were describing an Old Testament sacrifice. The Babylonians will be consecrated—set apart, appointed—to act as agents of the Lord’s judgment.

5 The expression to avoid stepping on the threshold (verse 9) meant to “enter a pagan temple.” This saying probably originated with the events described in 1 Samuel 5:4–5.

6 For other prophecies concerning the Philistines, see Isaiah 14:28–32; Jeremiah 47:1–7; Amos 1:6–8.

7 For other prophecies concerning Moab and Ammon, see Jeremiah 48:1–47; 49:1–6; Ezekiel 25:111; Amos 1:13–15; 2:1–3.

8 For other prophecies concerning the Cushites and Egyptians, see Isaiah Chapters 18–20.

9 Other prophecies concerning Assyria and Nineveh are found in the books of Jonah and Nahum.

10 Notice that the threatened judgment on Judah’s neighbors is so certain that God speaks of it in the past tense, as if it had already happened: “I have cut off nations” (verse 6).

11 Note that God’s judgments and punishments are not just destructive; they are also redemptive. At the very time God is judging the wicked, He is also redeeming (delivering) the humble, those who trust in Him. For further discussion of redemption, see Exodus 13:11–16 and comment; Word List: Redemption.

12 In verse 18, God promises to remove the sorrows for the appointed feasts. This probably refers to the sorrow that the godly exiles experienced when they could not longer attend the “appointed feasts” in Jerusalem (see Exodus 23:14–17). In the restored Jerusalem, those “sorrows” will come to an end.

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