Zephaniah’s Prophecy

This is the word that the Lord spoke to Zephaniah, who was the son of Cushi, the grandson of Gedaliah, and the great-grandson of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. The Lord spoke his word in the days of Judah’s King Josiah, son of Amon.

The Lord Will Judge the Earth

“I will gather everything on the face of the earth

and put an end to it,” declares the Lord.

“I will put an end to humans and animals.

I will put an end to

the birds in the sky,

the fish in the sea,

and the sins that make people fall, together with the sinners.

I will remove all people from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.

The Lord Will Judge Judah

“I will use my power against Judah

and against those who live in Jerusalem.

I will remove the faithful few of Baal from this place

and the names of the pagan priests along with my priests.

I will remove those who worship all the stars in the sky on their rooftops

and those who worship by swearing loyalty to the Lord

while also swearing loyalty to the god Milcom.[a]

I will remove those who have turned away from following the Lord

and those who no longer seek the Lord or ask him for help.”

Be silent in the presence of the Almighty Lord,

because the day of the Lord is near.

The Lord has prepared a sacrifice.

He has invited his special guests.

“On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice I will punish the officials,

the king’s sons, and all who dress in foreign clothing.[b]

On that day I will punish all who jump over the doorway

and all who fill their master’s house with violence and deception.

10 On that day a loud cry will come from Fish Gate,

a howling from the Second Part of the city,

and a loud crashing sound from the hills,” declares the Lord.

11 “Howl, inhabitants of the Mortar,[c]

because all the merchants will be destroyed

and all who handle money will be killed.

12 “At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those

who are satisfied with their hardened lifestyle,

who think that the Lord won’t do anything—good or bad.

13 Their wealth will be looted.

Their homes will be demolished.

They will build houses, but they won’t live in them.

They will plant vineyards, but they won’t drink their wine.”

The Day of the Lord

14 The frightening day of the Lord is near.

It is near and coming very quickly.

Listen! Warriors will cry out bitterly on the day of the Lord.

15 That day will be a day of overflowing fury,

a day of trouble and distress,

a day of devastation and desolation,

a day of darkness and gloom,

a day of clouds and overcast skies,

16 a day of rams’ horns and battle cries

against the fortified cities

and against the high corner towers.

17 “I will bring such distress on humans that they will walk like they are blind,

because they have sinned against the Lord.”

Their blood will be poured out like dust

and their intestines like manure.

18 Their silver and their gold will not be able to rescue them

on the day of the Lord’s overflowing fury.

The whole earth will be consumed by his fiery anger,

because he will put an end, a frightening end,

to those who live on earth.


  1. 1:5 Or “to their king.”
  2. 1:8 Wearing foreign clothing was a sign of worshiping foreign gods.
  3. 1:10–11 The Mortar was in the northern part of Jerusalem, the Second Part of the city, which could be entered through the Fish Gate.