Zephaniah 3:4

4 Her prophets are unprincipled; they are treacherous people. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law.

Read Zephaniah 3:4 Using Other Translations

Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men; her priests profane what is holy; they do violence to the law.
Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain. Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions.

What does Zephaniah 3:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Zephaniah 3:4

Her prophets [are] light [and treacherous persons
The false prophets, as the Targum and Kimchi explain it: these seem to design the lawyers spoken of in the New Testament, whose business it was to interpret the law to the people; these were "light" men, good for nothing, of no worth and value; light in knowledge, as Kimchi gives the sense of the word; men of no brains; empty headed men, that had no substantial knowledge; giddy, unstable, and inconstant, and compliant with the humours and vices of the people; men of no gravity in their countenance, speech, and conversation. Schultens F1, from the use of the word in the Arabic language, renders it "proud", as these men were, proud boasters; for, though they had but a superficial knowledge of things, they boasted of much, and carried it with a haughty and insolent air to the common people: and they were "treacherous" to God, and to his truths, and to the souls of men, and took away the key of knowledge from them; and particularly were so to Christ, of whom they were the betrayers and murderers, delivering him up into the hands of the Gentiles to be scourged and crucified, ( Matthew 20:18 Matthew 20:19 ) : her priests have polluted the sanctuary;
the temple; by selling, or suffering to be sold in it, various things, whereby it became a den of thieves, which once was called a house of prayer, ( Matthew 21:12 Matthew 21:13 ) and also our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the sanctuary or temple was a type, by denying, blaspheming, and reproaching him, and by shedding his blood: they have done violence to the law;
by not teaching it as they should; and by their false glosses, senses, and interpretations of it; and by the traditions of the elders they preferred unto it, and whereby they made it void; see ( Matthew 5:1-48 ) and ( Matthew 15:1-39 ) .


F1 Animadv. Philol. in Job, p. 144.
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