Zephaniah 1:17

17 I will bring 1distress on men So that they will walk 2like the blind, Because they have sinned against the LORD; And their 3blood will be poured out like dust And their 4flesh like dung.

Zephaniah 1:17 Meaning and Commentary

Zephaniah 1:17

And I will bring distress upon men
Not upon men in general, but particularly on the men of Judea, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; and especially those that were in the fenced cities and high towers; and who might think themselves safe and secure; but, being besieged, should be distressed with famine and pestilence, and with the enemy; and more especially when stormed, and a breach made, and the enemy just entering: that they shall walk like blind men;
not knowing which way to go, where to turn themselves, what methods to take, or course to steer, no more than a blind man. The phrase is expressive of their being at their wits' ends, void of all thought and consultation: because they have sinned against the Lord;
and therefore he gives them up, not only into the hand of the enemy, but unto an infatuation of spirit, and a judicial blindness of mind: and their blood shall be poured out as dust;
in great quantities, like that, without any regard to it, without showing any mercy, and as if it was of no more value than the dust of the earth. The Targum is,

``their blood shall be poured out into the dust;''
or on it, and be drunk up by it: and their flesh as the dung;
or their carcasses, as the same paraphrase; that is, their dead bodies shall lie unburied, and rot, and putrefy, and shall be cast upon fields like dung, to fatten them. The word for "flesh", in the Hebrew language, signifies bread or food; because dead bodies are food for worms; but in the Arabic language, as Aben Ezra and Jarchi observe, it signifies "flesh".

Zephaniah 1:17 In-Context

15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers.
17 I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the LORD ; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the LORD'S wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Jeremiah 10:18
  • 2. Deuteronomy 28:29
  • 3. Ezekiel 24:7, 8
  • 4. Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 9:22