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Zephaniah 3:1

Jerusalem

1 Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled!

Zephaniah 3:1 Images

Read Zephaniah 3:1 Using Other Translations

Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city!
What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem, the city of violence and crime!

What does Zephaniah 3:1 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Zephaniah 3:1

Woe to her that is filthy, and polluted
Meaning the city of Jerusalem, and its inhabitants; not as before the Babylonish captivity, but after their return from it, under the second temple, as Abarbinel owns; and even as in the times before and at the coming of Christ, and the preaching of his apostles among them; as the whole series of the prophecy, and the connection of the several parts of it, show; and there are such plain intimations of the conversion of the Gentiles, and of such a happy state of the Jews, in which they shall see evil no more, as can agree with no other times than the times of the Gospel, both the beginning and latter part of them. The character of this city, and its inhabitants, is, that it was "filthy", and polluted with murders, adulteries, oppression, rapine, and other sins: our Lord often calls them a wicked and an adulterous generation; and yet they pretended to great purity of life and manners; and they were pure in their own eyes, though not washed from their filthiness; they took much pains to make clean the outside of the cup, but within were full of impurity, ( Matthew 23:25-28 ) . In the margin it is, "woe to her that is gluttonous". The word is used for the craw or crop of a fowl, ( Leviticus 1:16 ) hence some render it F20 "woe to the craw"; to the city that is all craw, to which Jerusalem is compared for its devouring the wealth and substance of others. The Scribes and Pharisees in Christ's time are said to devour widows' houses, ( Matthew 23:14 ) and this seems to be the sin with which they were defiled, and here charged with. Some think the word signifies one that is publicly, infamous; either made a public example of, or openly exposed, as sometimes filthy harlots are; or rather one "that has made herself infamous" F21; by her sins and vices: to the oppressing city!
that oppressed the poor, the widow, and the fatherless. This may have respect to the inhabitants of Jerusalem stoning the prophets of the Lord sent unto them; to the discouragements they laid the followers of Christ under, by not suffering such to come to hear him that were inclined; threatening to cast them out of their synagogues if they professed him, which passed into a law; and to their killing the Lord of life and glory; and the persecution of his apostles, ministers, and people: see ( Matthew 23:13 Matthew 23:37 ) ( John 9:22 ) ( 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 ) . Some render it, "to the city a dove" F23; being like a silly dove without heart, as in ( Hosea 7:11 ) . R. Azariah F24 thinks Jerusalem is so called because in its works it was like Babylon, which had for its military sign on its standard a dove; (See Gill on Jeremiah 25:38) (See Gill on Jeremiah 46:16) (See Gill on Hosea 11:11) but the former sense is best.


FOOTNOTES:

F20 (harwm ywh) "vae ingluviei", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F21 (ouav th paradeigmatizomhnh) "vae huic quae infamatur", L'Empereur Not. in Mosis Kimchii (oidopozia) "ad scientiam", p. 174. so Drusius and Tarnovius.
F23 (hnwyh ryex) (poliv h peristera) , Sept.; "civitas columba", V. L.; so Syr. Ar. Jarchi, and other Jewish interpreters.
F24 Meor Enayin, c. 21. fol. 90. 1.
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