Zephaniah 3:17

17 1The LORD your God is in your midst, 2a mighty one who will save; 3he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

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Zephaniah 3:17 Meaning and Commentary

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty
Every word carries in it something very encouraging to the church and people of God; and is an antidote against those fears and faintings they are subject to; Christ "is in the midst of" them; near at hand to support and supply them, to assist and strengthen them, to protect and defend them; he is not only near by his essential presence, which is everywhere; and by his providential presence, which is concerned with all his creatures; but by his gracious presence, peculiar to his church and people; and which gives them unspeakable joy, and is a sufficient security from all fears and dismayings; see ( Isaiah 41:10 ) and he, who is in the midst of them, is the Lord, Jehovah, the Being of beings, eternal, immutable, and all sufficient, possessed of all divine perfections; and their "God", God in their nature, "Immanuel", God with us; and who is "mighty", the Almighty God, the mighty Mediator, who has all power in heaven and earth; and, as man, the man of God's right hand, made strong for himself, and so able to save his people to the uttermost; to deliver them out of the hands of every enemy; to raise up his interest when ever so low, and to maintain and support it; to help and assist his people in every duty and service he calls them to: he will save;
he is as willing to save as he is able; he readily undertook in counsel and covenant to save the chosen ones; he came in the fulness of time to seek and to save that which was lost; he has wrought out salvation for them, and sees that it is applied unto them, and will come again to put them into the full possession of it: he saves them freely, fully, and everlastingly; he saves them from sin, Satan, the law, hell and wrath, and every spiritual enemy; nor has the church of Christ anything to fear from any temporal enemy; the converted Jews will have no reason to fear the Turk that will come against them with a vast army; for Christ, who will be in the midst of them, and at the head of them, will save them from him; to which salvation this passage has chiefly a respect; he will rejoice over thee with joy;
with exceeding great joy, not to be conceived of, or expressed; as a bridegroom rejoiceth over his bride: this will be the time of the open marriage of the Lamb with the Jewish church; and there will be strong expressions of joy on this occasion; Christ will rejoice over them to do them good; and there will be such singular instances of his goodness to them as will abundantly show the joy he will have in them: he will rest in his love;
continue in his love, without any variation or change; nothing shall separate from it; it shall always remain the same; he will take up his contentment and satisfaction in it; he will solace himself with it; it will be a pleasing thing to him to love his people, and to show it to them; he will take the utmost complacency and delight in expressing his love by words and deeds unto them: or, as some render it, "he will be silent because of his love" F18; and not upbraid them with their sins; or reprove, correct, and chastise them in his hot displeasure; or say one word in a way of vindictive wrath: and he "will make" all others "silent"; every enemy, or whatever is contrary to them; such is his great love to them F19; he will forgive their iniquities, and cover their sins, and in love to them cast them behind his back: or, "will be dumb" F20; and not speak; as sometimes persons, when their affections are strong, and their hearts are filled with love at the sight of one they bear a great regard unto, are not able to speak a word. The phrase expresses the greatness of Christ's love to his people; the strength, fulness, and continuance of it: words seem to be wanted, and more are added: he will joy over thee with singing;
there is a pleonasm of joy in Christ's heart towards his people, and so a redundancy in his expression of it; he rejoices with joy, and joys with singing; which shows how delighted he is with his people, as they are his chosen, redeemed, and called ones; as they have his own righteousness upon them, and his own grace in them; they are his "Hephzibah", in whom he delights; his "Beulah", to whom he is married; and it is his love of complacency and delight, which is the source of all the grace and glory he bestows upon them; see ( Isaiah 62:3-5 ) ( Luke 15:23-25 ) .


F18 (wtbhab vyrxy) "silebit", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Calvin; so Ben Melech; "tacebit", Munster, Cocceius.
F19 So Burkius.
F20 "Obmutescet", so some in Drusius.

Zephaniah 3:17 In-Context

15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.
17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.

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Cross References 3

  • 1. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 2. [Isaiah 63:1]
  • 3. Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 32:41
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.