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Bible Commentaries
Zephaniah 3

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Zep 3:1. The prophet now resumes his accusations against Jerusalem. The filth and pollution refers chiefly to her conduct towards false gods andĀ· her unjust treatment of her unfortunate citizens in private stations of life.

Verse 2

Zep 3:2. There were four things that Jerusalem should have done that she did not do, namely, obeyed, received, trusted and drew not near to her God. This combination of failures resulted in the anger of the Lord till he determined to bring swift judgment upon the city and its surrounding territory.

Verse 3

Zep 3:3. The leading men in Jerusalem were so cruel toward their brethren that they were compared to roaring lions. Evening wolves. A beast that had been without food all day would be especially ravenous. Moffatt renders the last clause, "leave not a bone till the morning," which agrees with the context that describes a greedy beast.

Verse 4

Zep 3:4. Light and treacherous means they are frivolous and unreliable. Such a prophet would refuse to be serious concerning the danger overhanging the nation. Tbe priests made a mere formality of the services and violated the law whenever it would interfere with their plots against the common people.

Verse 5

Zep 3:5. The Just Lord is a significant term in view of the conditions. It denotes that a severe chastisement is to be meted out against these wicked princes. God's disapproval of the corruptions is made known every day, yet the unjust leaders are not impressed thereby but continue in their wickedness.

Verse 6

Zep 3:6. Have cut off is past tense in form but is a prediction of the doom about to come trom the Lord. The watchtowers at the cities were destined to be thrown down and the streets exposed to the passing enemy.

Verse 7

Zep 3:7. I said, etc., denotes that God expected the people to be impressed with theĀ· importance of His judgments, yet they continued on in their evil Course. Their keenness to do evil is indicated by the words they rose early and corrupted all their doings.

Verse 8

Zep 3:8. This long verse is only a prediction of the captivity of the nation that was just due. God had warned and exhorted his people by the faithful prophets, but they would not give heed thereto and hence He was determined to bring complete and prompt judgment upon tbe nation. All the earth is a figure of speech and denotes that the whole territory of Judah was to be devastated by the invading forces.

Verse 9

Zep 3:9. From this verse through the rest of the chapter the prophet deals with the effects the captivity was to have on the people and then of their return from the exile. A pure language means the people will speak in proper words concerning the true God of their nation and ot the world. They will praise Him as being the just and holy One instead of the idols they had served in their home land before the captivlty.

Verse 10

Zep 3:10. The main captivity was In the land of Babylon, but God had some people scattered in various other parts ot the world, even in Ethiopia beyond Egypt. These dispersed people were to learn of the restoration of the service In Jerusalem and come forth to that place with their offerings for the divine service.

Verse 11

Zep 3:11. In that day not be ashamed might seem to disagree with other statements upon that subject, but the explanation is in the words later in the verse. The proud leaders wlll have been taken away and the ones remaining will have a feeling of satisfaction toward God because of their renewal of freedom in their own country.

Verse 12

Zep 3:12. The afflicted and poor people were the ones who had been mistreated by the princes and false prophets. Tbese were to be restored to their native land so that they could resume the holy service.

Verse 13

Zep 3:13. The remnant are the ones designated tn Ezr 2:64. Shall not do iniquity is the prediction that idolatry will have been eradicated from the practices of the people by the effects of the captivIty. The other good things mentioned in the verse were to result also trom the purifying effects ot the captivity.

Verse 14

Zep 3:14. Daughter of Zion is an endearing term tor Jerusalem and her people. She is bidden to sing and reo joice and that is because her people were to be released trom the Babylonian captivity.

Verse 15

Zep 3:15. Taken away thy judgments refers to the reversal or the state of servitude that had been imposed upon the nation for its sins. The enemy (Babylon) was overthrown and God's people were relieved from the oppression.

Verse 16

Zep 3:16. Zion was a special spot in Jerusalem that was used as the headquarters for the kings. The return from captivity was to bring JOY again to the place.

Verse 17

Zep 3:17. The success of Zion was to be assured by the presence of the Lord who had never ceased to love His people. He is mighty and will enable the natton to express its joy by singing the Lord's praises.

Verse 18

Zep 3:18. Solemn assembly pertaIns to the national gathering in the name of the Lord. And such meetings had heen discontinued during the captivity.

Verse 19

Zep 3:19. Undo all that afflict thee denotes the overthrow of the heathen who had oppressed Israel. Her that halteth refers to the nation of God that had been held back by the chastisement from proceeding in the regular services of Jerusalem.

Verse 20

Zep 3:20. The gist of this verse is in the words when I turn back your captivily. The exile in Babylon was decreed by the Lord as a punishment upon his people for their sin of idolatry. When that event had accomplished the Lord's purpose it was decreed and predicted that the nation would return home.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Zephaniah 3". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/zephaniah-3.html. 1952.
 
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