Zephaniah 1:11

11 Wail, you who live in the market district[a] ; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with[b] silver will be destroyed.

Zephaniah 1:11 in Other Translations

11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.
11 Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar! For all the traders are no more; all who weigh out silver are cut off.
11 Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area, for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed.
11 Wail, you shopkeepers on Market Street! Moneymaking has had its day. The god Money is dead.
11 Wail, you residents of the Hollow, for all the merchants will be silenced; all those loaded with silver will be cut off.

Zephaniah 1:11 Meaning and Commentary

Zephaniah 1:11

Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh
The name of a street in Jerusalem, as Aben Ezra; perhaps it lay low in the hollow of the city, and in the form of a mortar, from whence it might have its name, as the word F17 signifies; which is used both for a hollow place and for a mortar, ( Judges 15:19 ) ( Proverbs 27:22 ) unless it might be so called from such persons dwelling in it, that used mortars for spice, and other things. The Targum is,

``howl, all ye that dwell in the valley of Kidron;''
and Jerom thinks the valley of Siloah is intended, which is the same; which, Adrichomius F18 says, was broad, deep, and dark, and surrounded the temple in manner of a foss, or ditch; and was disposed in the form of a mortar, called in Hebrew "machtes"; in Latin, "pila"; in which merchants and tradesmen of all kinds dwelt. It is thought by others to be the same which Josephus F19 calls "the valley of the cheese mongers", which lay between the two hills Zion and Acra. The reason of their howling is, for all the merchant people are cut down;
either cut to pieces by the sword of the enemy, and become silent, as the word F20 sometimes signifies, and the Vulgate Latin version here renders it; become so by death, and laid in the silent grave, and no more concerned in merchandise; or else stripped of all their wealth and goods by the enemy, and so cut down, broke, and become bankrupt, and could trade no more. The word for merchant signifies a Canaanite; and the Targum paraphrases it thus,
``for all the people are broken, whose works are like the works of the people of the land of Canaan:''
all they that bear silver are cut off;
that have large quantities of it, and carry it to market to buy goods with it as merchants; these shall be cut off, and so a great loss to trade, and a cause of howling and lamentation; or such that wear it in their garments, embroidered with it; or rather in their purses, who are loaded with this thick clay, abound with it. The Targum is,
``all that are rich in substance shall be destroyed.''


F17 (vtkmh) "mortarii", Vatablus, Tigurine version; "cavi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "loci concavi", Calvin.
F18 Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 163.
F19 De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 1.
F20 (hmdn) "conticuit", V. L. "in silentium redactus est", Drusius.

Zephaniah 1:11 In-Context

9 On that day I will punish all who avoid stepping on the threshold,who fill the temple of their gods with violence and deceit.
10 “On that day,” declares the LORD, “a cry will go up from the Fish Gate, wailing from the New Quarter, and a loud crash from the hills.
11 Wail, you who live in the market district ; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with silver will be destroyed.
12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.’
13 Their wealth will be plundered, their houses demolished. Though they build houses, they will not live in them; though they plant vineyards, they will not drink the wine.”

Cross References 2

Footnotes 2

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.