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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Zephaniah 2

Verses 1-7

Zephaniah 2. Doom on Philistia [Moab and Ammon], Ethiopia, and Assyria.

Zephaniah 2:1-7 . Having spent its rage on Judah, the storm of Divine judgment sweeps south by the Philistian sea-board, uprooting cities and their inhabitants, driving them off like chaff, and leaving the once fertile plain a pasturage for shepherds and folds for flocks.

Zephaniah 2:1 . The meaning of the first words is highly uncertain. An attractive suggestion yields, “ Get you shame, yea, be abashed, O nation unabashed,” the reference being to the Philistines, rather than Judah, as many scholars maintain.

Zephaniah 2:2 . The text here is both corrupt and overladen. The original should perhaps be reduced to read, “ Ere ye become fine dust, as chaff which passeth away.”

Zephaniah 2:3 . A late interpolation, offering escape for the meek and humble (of Judah).

Zephaniah 2:4 . “ As for Ashdod— by noon-day (after but a morning’ s siege) they shall rout her.”

Zephaniah 2:5 . Cherethites: a parallel designation of the Philistines, in allusion to their Cretan origin (p. 56, 1 Samuel 30:14 *, Ezekiel 25:16).

Zephaniah 2:6 . Here also the text is overladen. Read simply, “ And thou shalt become pastures for shepherds and folds for flocks.”

Zephaniah 2:7 . The first and last clauses are clearly post-exilic additions (after the manner of Zephaniah 2:3), turning the prophecy into a glorification of “ the remnant of Judah.” The original may have read as follows: “ By the seashore shall they feed; in the houses of Ashkelon at even shall they lay them down.”

Verses 8-10

Zephaniah 2:8-10 . Into the natural context of the passage a later writer has woven a prophecy of vengeance on Moab and Ammon for their revilings and insults heaped upon Judah (on the day of Jerusalem’ s downfall), For this their land shall become waste as Sodom and Gomorrah, a perpetual desolation, overrun by nettles and saltpits, while the remnant of Judah shall plunder them and hold them in bondage.

Zephaniah 2:9 . a possession: an obscure word, probably meaning “ inherited by.”— The desolation of Sodom and Gomorrah was proverbial ( cf. Isaiah 1:9).

Zephaniah 2:11 . A still later addition, universalising the judgment, but following it up with a prophecy of Yahweh s world-wide reign.

Zephaniah 2:12 . Probably the original sequel to the oracle of doom ( Zephaniah 2:1-7). The natural path of the storm would be through Egypt to Ethiopia; but the doom on Egypt is absent, while even that on Ethiopia is suspiciously brief. The prophecy may have been curtailed in process of redaction.

Zephaniah 2:13-15 . While one arm of the devastating flood has passed through Palestine to Egypt and Ethiopia, another sweeps north to Assyria, overwhelming the proud capital Nineveh, making her a desolation, the haunt of lonely herds and creatures of the waste.

Zephaniah 2:14 . For “ beasts of the nations” read “ beasts of the field” (LXX).— For qol, “ voice,” read kos, the little owl that haunted ruins ( cf. Psalms 102:6), and for horeb, “ drought” ( mg.), read ‘ oreb, “ the raven” (LXX): thus, “ The owl shall hoot in the window, the raven at the doorstep” ( cf. Isaiah 34:11). The closing phrase is a mere dittograph to the opening words of Zephaniah 2:15.— On the desolation of Nineveh cf. Nahum 2:11 ff.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Zephaniah 2". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/zephaniah-2.html. 1919.