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by Paul E. Kretzmann
The Book Of The Prophet Zephaniah
The prophet Zephaniah ("Jehovah hides") himself traces his family back to Hizkiah, or Hezekiah, and there seems to be little doubt that this is the king of that name and that Zephaniah was of royal descent. He prophesied under King Josiah, and was therefore a contemporary of Jeremiah, of Habakkuk, and of the prophetess Huldah, in the last half of the seventh century before Christ. The date of his book may safely be placed at about the year 625 B. C. His preaching, of which a summary is offered in his book, strongly supported the king in his work of reforming the Jewish Church. The Book of Zephaniah offers his prophecies in a condensed form and in a continuous discourse. Its theme is the great day of Jehovah's judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem, as well as upon the entire sinful world. But his powerful, at times overwhelmingly impressive call to repentance concludes with a most cheering promise of salvation through the Messiah. The style of the book, though not uniformly sublime, is graphic and vivid in the presentation of details. There are passages which agree to a remarkable extent with the sayings of former prophets, a factor which supports the brotherhood existing between the inspired men of that day. The comforting promises of the third Chapter are the outstanding feature of the entire book.
the Second Week of Advent