This is the word of the Lord that came through Zephaniah while Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, who was the son of Gedaliah. Gedaliah was the son of Amariah, who was the son of Hezekiah.
"I will sweep away everything from the earth," says the Lord.
"I will sweep away the people and animals; I will destroy the birds in the air and the fish of the sea. I will ruin the evil people, and I will remove human beings from the earth," says the Lord.
"I will punish Judah and all the people living in Jerusalem. I will remove from this place all signs of Baal, the false priests, and the other priests.
I will destroy those who worship the stars from the roofs, and those who worship and make promises by both the Lord and the god Molech,
and those who turned away from the Lord, and those who quit following the Lord and praying to him for direction.
Be silent before the Lord God, because the Lord's day for judging people is coming soon. The Lord has prepared a sacrifice; he has made holy his invited guests.
On the day of the Lord's sacrifice, I, the Lord, will punish the princes and the king's sons and all those who wear foreign clothes.
On that day I will punish those who worship Dagon, those who hurt others and tell lies in the temples of their gods.
"On that day," says the Lord, "a cry will be heard at the Fish Gate. A wail will come from the new area of the city, and a loud crash will echo from the hills.
Cry, you people living in the market area, because all the merchants will be dead; all the silver traders will be gone.
At that time I, the Lord, will search Jerusalem with lamps. I will punish those who are satisfied with themselves, who think, 'The Lord won't help us or punish us.'
Their wealth will be stolen and their houses destroyed. They may build houses, but they will not live in them. They may plant vineyards, but they will not drink any wine from them.
"The Lord's day of judging is coming soon; it is near and coming fast. The cry will be very sad on the day of the Lord; even soldiers will cry.
That day will be a day of anger, a day of terror and trouble, a day of destruction and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,
a day of alarms and battle cries. 'Attack the strong, walled cities! Attack the corner towers!'
I will make life hard on the people; they will walk around like the blind, because they have sinned against the Lord. Their blood will be poured out like dust, and their insides will be dumped like trash.
On the day that God will show his anger, neither their silver nor gold will save them. that will burn up the whole world; suddenly he will bring an end, yes, an end to everyone on earth."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.