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Old Testament Survey

Zephaniah




Key Verses

1:7
1:12
1:14, 15
2:3


Key Chapters

Chapter 3


Key Concepts

Day of the Lord


Thoughts for Reading

Do the people listen to Zephaniah
How do you know?


Zeph. 1:14-15
The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

The prophet’s name means “hidden of God.”

Title -- Author

Unique among the prophets, Zephaniah’s introduction traces his ancestry back four generations (1:1). He is the Son of Cushi, the Son of Gedaliah, the Son of Amariah, the Son of Hezekiah. This may be the famous king of Judah (716-687 B.C.). The author places himself during the reign of Josiah, king of Judah (641-609 B.C.). The prophet anticipates the fall of Nineveh (Zeph 2:13-15), so his message comes before 612 B.C. He preaches to the people of Judah. Since the message seems to come before the reforms of Josiah, this would date the message before 622 B.C.

We might wander if the reforms and revival under Josiah arose out of the preaching of this great prophet.

This is the book about The Day of the Lord, a theme which also is found in Obadiah, Joel, and Ezekiel. The term “Day of the Lord” occurs some 23 times in this short book. This is the time when the Lord will come and destroy the evil around His people, delivering His people from their bondage. Zephaniah looks to the local aspects of this prophecy, judgment on Assyria and Babylon, but this merely foreshadows the ultimate judgment and deliverance of God’s people which the Messiah will bring.

PURPOSE

Coming on the heals of the reigns of Manasseh and Amon, Judah is spiritually dull. God must judge the unfaithfulness of Judah’s ruler. But, there is a message of hope in this judgment as the Day of the Lord is also the time when God will deliver Israel as a complete nation. This is a message of hope to the remnant of Judah as the restoration is promised and judgment issued against the surrounding nations (Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Assyria, Ethiopians/Egyptians).

A simple outline of Zephaniah is:

Jesus in Zephaniah

This book, like many of the other minor prophets has no direct mention of or prophecy about Christ. He is pictured though in the ideas of the Righteous One of Israel (3:5) and as their King (3;15).

Zeph. 2:3
Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord&s anger.

Are you pessimistic, always looking for the Day of the Lord?

Or, are you optimistic, looking toward the great Coming of the Lord?

 

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December 7, 2019

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