Return to Front Page

Introduction to the Books of the Bible

Return to

Contents Page





BOOK : Zephaniah

Description : Warnings to idolatrous Judah and Jerusalem and hope for the faithful ones.

Author: Zephaniah, a prophet, possible of royal family

Date written : Somewhere between 627 and 609BC

Chapters : 3



Brief Synopsis:

•  Zephaniah's main theme is the coming of the day of the Lord, a day of judgment on the sins of Judah and Jerusalem.
•  Yet in the midst of the nation there is always a faithful remnant and they will be saved.

Outline :


1:1 The prophet
1:4-18 God's Judgment Coming on Judah

1:2,3     General judgment

1:4-6     Condemnation of the Idolaters in Judah & Jerusalem  

1:7-13   Judgment that will bring wailing in the city   

1:14-18 The Day of the judgment through invasion

2:1-3:8 God's Judgment Coming on the Nations

2:1-3     Call to Repentance

2:4-15   Judgment on Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Cush, & Assyria     

3:1-5     Judgment on Jerusalem

3:6-8     Jerusalem 's Refusal to Repent 

3:9-20 Yet Redemption of the Remnant

3:9-13    A Remnant will be purified and restored

3:14-17   Rejoicing in the City

3:18-20   The Nation Restored


Key Verses :


The prophet from a royal line

1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah

Purging judgment to remove idolatry from Judah and Jerusalem

1:4 I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem . I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal, the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests
1:9 On that day I will punish all who avoid stepping on the threshold, who fill the temple of their gods with violence and deceit

The judgment will be by invasion

1:14 The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there.

The humble are called to repentance to seek salvation

2:3 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.

Jerusalem had refused to repent

3:7 I said to the city, `Surely you will fear me and accept correction!' Then her dwelling would not be cut off, nor all my punishments come upon her. But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did.

Yet at the end the Lord will save the faithful remnant

3:13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid."
3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."


Concluding Comments


•  At first sight this seems a short book of condemnation but of course the role of the prophet was to face the nation with its shortcomings (idolatry) and warn that if not dealt with the Law had warned that God would bring disciplinary judgment on them.
•  It looks, initially at least, as if the judgment is a foregone conclusion, but there will be a faithful remnant in the midst of the unfaithful nation, and that remnant will be saved.
•  Understand that wherever there is warning of judgment there is always hope provided for the faithful remnant, for the Lord always looks to preserve His faithful ones.



Additional Resources on this site: