Zephaniah 2

Judah Summoned to Repent


Judah and Jerusalem Judged Along With the Nations

1 Gather together, gather yourselves together, you shameful nation,
2 before the decree takes effect and that day passes like windblown chaff, before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the LORD’s wrath comes upon you.
3 Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD’s anger.


4 Gaza will be abandoned and Ashkelon left in ruins. At midday Ashdod will be emptied and Ekron uprooted.
5 Woe to you who live by the sea, you Kerethite people; the word of the LORD is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines. He says, “I will destroy you, and none will be left.”
6 The land by the sea will become pastures having wells for shepherds and pens for flocks.
7 That land will belong to the remnant of the people of Judah; there they will find pasture. In the evening they will lie down in the houses of Ashkelon. The LORD their God will care for them; he will restore their fortunes.[a]

Moab and Ammon

8 “I have heard the insults of Moab and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people and made threats against their land.
9 Therefore, as surely as I live,” declares the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, “surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah— a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.”
10 This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the LORD Almighty.
11 The LORD will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him, all of them in their own lands.


12 “You Cushites,[b] too, will be slain by my sword.”


13 He will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria, leaving Nineveh utterly desolate and dry as the desert.
14 Flocks and herds will lie down there, creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows, rubble will fill the doorways, the beams of cedar will be exposed.
15 This is the city of revelry that lived in safety. She said to herself, “I am the one! And there is none besides me.” What a ruin she has become, a lair for wild beasts! All who pass by her scoff and shake their fists.

Zephaniah 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

An exhortation to repentance. (1-3) Judgments upon other nations. (4-15)

Verses 1-3 The prophet calls to national repentance, as the only way to prevent national ruin. A nation not desiring, that has not desires toward God, is not desirous of his favour and grace, has no mind to repent and reform. Or, not desirable, not having any thing to recommend them to God; to whom God might justly say, Depart from me; but he says, Gather together to me that you may seek my face. We know what God's decree will bring against impenitent sinners, therefore it highly concerns all to repent in the accepted time. How careful should we all be to seek peace with God, before the Holy Spirit withdraws from us, or ceases to strive with us; before the day of grace is over, or the day of life; before our everlasting state is determined! Let the poor, despised, and afflicted, seek the Lord, and seek to understand and keep his commandments better, that they may be more humbled for their sins. The chief hope of deliverance from national judgments rests upon prayer.

Verses 4-15 Those are really in a woful condition who have the word of the Lord against them, for no word of his shall fall to the ground. God will restore his people to their rights, though long kept from them. It has been the common lot of God's people, in all ages, to be reproached and reviled. God shall be worshipped, not only by all Israel, and the strangers who join them, but by the heathen. Remote nations must be reckoned with for the wrongs done to God's people. The sufferings of the insolent and haughty in prosperity, are unpitied and unlamented. But all the desolations of flourishing nations will make way for the overturning Satan's kingdom. Let us improve our advantages, and expect the performance of every promise, praying that our Father's name may be hallowed every where, over all the earth.

Cross References 50

  • 1. 2 Chronicles 20:4; Joel 1:14
  • 2. S Jeremiah 3:3; Jeremiah 6:15
  • 3. Isaiah 17:13; Hosea 13:3
  • 4. S Jeremiah 10:25; S Lamentations 4:11
  • 5. S Jeremiah 4:4; S Ezekiel 7:19
  • 6. S Amos 5:6
  • 7. S Isaiah 1:17
  • 8. Psalms 45:4; Amos 5:14-15
  • 9. Psalms 57:1
  • 10. S Genesis 10:19; S Am 1:6,7-8; Zechariah 9:5-7
  • 11. Jeremiah 47:5
  • 12. S 1 Samuel 30:14; Ezekiel 25:16
  • 13. S Leviticus 26:31; Amos 3:1
  • 14. S Isaiah 14:30
  • 15. S Isaiah 5:17
  • 16. S Genesis 45:7
  • 17. S Deuteronomy 30:3; Psalms 126:4; Jeremiah 32:44; S Hosea 6:11; S Joel 3:1; Amos 1:6-8
  • 18. S Jeremiah 48:27
  • 19. S Genesis 19:37; S Isaiah 16:6
  • 20. S Ezekiel 21:28
  • 21. Ezekiel 25:3
  • 22. S Lamentations 3:61
  • 23. S Deuteronomy 23:6; Isa 15:1-16:14; Jeremiah 48:1-47; Ezekiel 25:8-11
  • 24. Deuteronomy 29:23; Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 49:18
  • 25. Jeremiah 49:1-6; Ezekiel 25:1-7
  • 26. S Isaiah 11:14
  • 27. S 2 Kings 19:31
  • 28. S Amos 2:1-3
  • 29. S Job 40:12; S Isaiah 16:6">Isaiah 16:6; Isaiah 16:6">Isaiah 16:6
  • 30. S Jeremiah 48:27
  • 31. S Psalms 9:6
  • 32. S Joel 2:11
  • 33. S Zephaniah 1:4
  • 34. S 1 Chronicles 19:1; Ezekiel 25:6-7
  • 35. Psalms 86:9; S Isaiah 12:4; Zephaniah 3:9
  • 36. S Genesis 10:6; S Isaiah 18:1; Isaiah 20:4
  • 37. S Jeremiah 46:10
  • 38. S Isaiah 10:5
  • 39. S Genesis 10:11; S Nahum 1:1
  • 40. S Micah 5:6; Zechariah 10:11
  • 41. S Isaiah 5:17
  • 42. S Isaiah 14:23
  • 43. Revelation 18:2
  • 44. S Psalms 102:6
  • 45. S Isaiah 32:9
  • 46. Isaiah 47:8
  • 47. Ezekiel 28:2
  • 48. Jeremiah 49:33
  • 49. S Isaiah 28:22; S Nahum 3:19
  • 50. S Ezekiel 27:36

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "will bring back their captives"
  • [b]. That is, people from the upper Nile region

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the prophet exhorts the Jews to repentance; and foretells the destruction of several neighbouring nations. The body of the people of the Jews in general are first called upon to gather together and humble themselves, who were a people neither desirable, nor deserving of the favours of God, nor desirous of them, Zep 2:1 and to this they are pressed, from the consideration of God's decree of vengeance being ready to bring forth and break forth upon them, Zep 2:2 and then the few godly among them are exhorted to seek the Lord, and what is agreeable to him; since there was at least a probability of their being protected by him in a time of general calamity, Zep 2:3 and that the destruction of this people might appear the more certain, and that they might have no dependence on their neighbours, the prophet proceeds to predict the ruin of several of them, particularly the Philistines; several places belonging to them are by name mentioned, and the whole land threatened with desolation; the maritime part of it to be only inhabited by shepherds and their flocks; and afterwards the coast possessed by the Jews, on their return from their captivity, Zep 2:4-7. Next the Moabites and Ammonites are prophesied of; whose destruction should come upon them for their pride, and for their contempt and reviling of the people of God; and which should be like that of Sodom and Gomorrah; and would issue in the abolition of idolatry, and the setting up of the worship of God in their country, and elsewhere, Zep 2:8-11. As for the Ethiopians, they should be slain with the sword, Zep 2:12 and the whole monarchy of Assyria, with Nineveh the metropolis of it, should be utterly laid waste, and become a desolation, and a wilderness; and the habitation, not only of flocks, but of beasts and birds of prey, Zep 2:13-15.

Zephaniah 2 Commentaries

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