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More sins of Jerusalem (3:1-8)
Zephaniah now returns to consider further the sins of Jerusalem. Injustice and oppression are widespread, and people who are guilty of such evils take no notice of the prophet’s rebukes (3:1-2). Officials and judges are corrupt. More savage than lions and greedier than wolves, they favour only those who pay them well. Religious leaders are just as bad, and use their position to gain benefits for themselves (3-4).
Daily, God has showed the people what is right, but they are too absorbed in their own selfish pursuits to take any notice of him (5). He has punished other nations to show them the results of sin, but again it has made no difference. They merely increase their corruption (6-7). By reminding them of the certainty of final judgment, Zephaniah urges the people to repent before it is too late (8).
3:9-20 SALVATION FOR THE REPENTANT
When all the sinners have been destroyed, the humble who have previously turned from their sin (see 2:1-3) will then enjoy a new life of peace and blessing. In the midst of judgment there is mercy for the repentant. Cleansed sinners from all nations will worship and serve God with pure hearts (9-10). No longer will Jerusalem be characterized by the pride, rebellion, dishonesty and deceit of Zephaniah’s day. Wrongdoing will be removed from the community of God’s people (11-13).
Although God’s people may previously have had sorrow because of his punishments upon them, now they will have joy. They will dwell together with God, their king, without fear of further judgment (14-15). In view of this promising future, they are not to be lazy or discouraged, but alert and full of confidence. Defeat will be replaced by victory. God will take away their shame and in his love give them new life (16-18). Exiles will be gathered from the lands of their oppression and be established again in their own land. Under God’s rule they will share with him in receiving praise from the whole earth (19-20).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Zephaniah 3". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34