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Zephaniah

OVERVIEW

Book 36 of 39 in The Old Testament

Zephaniah

Zephaniah, the last of the pre-exile minor prophets, prophesies of the destruction of Judah because of its wickedness, and also prophesies of God’s restoration. k.

Author & date

According to the first verse Zephaniah tells us his lineage, tracing it back to Hizkiah, which many commentators identify as king Hezekiah.

Zephaniah identifies for us the time period of his prophecy, and it was in the days of the last godly king of Judah- Josiah.

Outline

A. The Day of the Lord, Ch.1:1-2:3

  1. Setting   1:1
    • The man
    • The Time
  2. That to be consumed 1:2-6
    • All things
    • Also Judah
  3. Judgement on Judah 1:7-13
    • A prepared sacrifice
    • Those to be punished
    • Noise of a cry
    • Jerusalem searched
  4. The day of the Lord’s wrath 1:14-18
    • Its Closeness
    • Its Comprehensiveness
    • Its Completeness
  5. Call to repentance 2:1-3
    • Nation not desired
    • All the meek

B. The Stumbling blocks Consumed, Ch.2:4-3:4

  1. The surrounding Nations 2:4-15
    • The Philistines
    • Moab and Amon
    • Ethiopia
    • Assyria
  2. The inhabitants of Jerusalem 3:1-4
    • The city
    • The leaders

C. The Lord in the Midst, Ch.3:5-20

  1. The Righteous Lord, 3:5-8
    • The Unfailing One
    • The one that Judges
  2. The Turning Lord, 3:9-13
    • Calling on the Lord
    • The Remnant of Israel
  3. The Majestic Lord, 3:14-20
    • He is King
    • He is Mighty
    • He will Gather

notes

a. The Day of the Lord

The key phrase being ‘The day of the Lord’, appearing some seven times in this short book.

  1. For the day of the Lord is at hand   Ch.1:7
  2. It shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice Ch.1:8
  3. The great day of the Lord  is near … Ch.1:14a
  4. …even the voice of the day of the Lord  Ch.1:14b
  5. neither silver nor gold shall be able to deliver in the day of the Lord’s wrath  Ch.1:18
  6. …before the day of the Lord’s anger Ch.2:2
  7. ……in the day of the Lord’s anger  Ch.2:3

b. Josiah’s reformation

Josiah was  8 years old on succession, at 16 he began to seek God . At 20 he purged Judah, and began repairing the temple some 6 years later. During which the book of the Law was rediscovered.

When presented with the book of the Law Josiah humble himself and inquired of the prophetess Huldah.   She prophesied;

  1. God would bring all the curses of the Law of Moses  upon the place and its inhabitants  because of idolatry.
  2. However, because Josiah humbled himself before God, he will not see the evil God has planned for it.

It is thought that Josiah’s reformation was a result of Zephaniah prophesying earlier in his reign.