Zephaniah 3:7

7 Of Jerusalem I thought, ‘Surely you will fear me and accept correction!’ Then her place of refugea would not be destroyed, nor all my punishments come uponb her. But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did.

Read Zephaniah 3:7 Using Other Translations

I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.
I said, 'Surely you will fear me; you will accept correction. Then your dwelling would not be cut off according to all that I have appointed against you.' But all the more they were eager to make all their deeds corrupt.
I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now! Surely they will listen to my warnings. Then I won’t need to strike again, destroying their homes.’ But no, they get up early to continue their evil deeds.

What does Zephaniah 3:7 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Zephaniah 3:7

I said, Surely thou wilt fear me
This is spoken after the manner of men; as if God should say within himself, and reason in his own mind, upon a view of things, surely the people of the Jews will take notice of my judgments executed on other nations, and will stand in awe of me on account of them; and fear to offend me, lest the same calamities should come upon them; this, humanly speaking, might be reasonably thought would be the case: thou wilt receive instruction;
by these judgments, taking warning by them; repent, reform, and amend, and thereby escape the like: so their dwelling should not be cut off;
or, "its dwelling"; the dwelling of the city of Jerusalem, the houses in it; the dwelling places of the inhabitants of it; the singular being put for the plural; unless the temple should be meant, as Abendana interprets it; and so it may be rendered "his dwelling" F3; their house, which was left desolate to them, because they feared not the Lord; nor received instruction by the example of others; nor repented of their sins, and altered their course of life; which, if done, their dwelling would have been preserved, ( Matthew 23:38 ) : howsoever I punished them;
or "visited" F4 them; chastised them in a gentle manner, in order to reform them, but in vain. Some render it, "all which I committed to them" F5; the oracles of God, his word and ordinances, his promises, and the blessings of his goodness, which he deposited with them, in order to do them good, and bring them to repentance. The Targum is,

``all the good things which I have said unto them (or promised them), I will bring unto them;''
and to the same sense Jarchi. The goodness of God should have brought them to repentance, yet it did not: but they rose early, [and] corrupted all their doings;
they were diligent and industrious eager and early, in the commission of sins, in doing corrupt and abominable works; receiving and tenaciously adhering to the traditions of the elders; seeking to establish their own righteousness, not submitting to Christ's; rejecting him the true Messiah; blaspheming his doctrines, despising his ordinances, and persecuting his people; besides other vices, which abounded among them; for which the wrath of God came upon them to the uttermost, as expressed in the following verse, ( Zephaniah 3:8 ) .
FOOTNOTES:

F3 (hnwem) "habitaculum; [vel] habitatio ejus", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Burkius; "mansio ejus", Cocceius.
F4 (ytdqp) "visitavi", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus.
F5 "Omne id quod commendavi illi", Cocceius.
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