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Relationship to Old Testament. Zephaniah is one of the "Minor Prophets" of the Old Testament. The relationship of Zephaniah to the Old Testament as a whole, and to the other minor prophets in particular, is discussed at Old Testament: Organization.
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Zephaniah include:
This heading should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
A broader treatment of the history of ancient Israel, including Zephaniah, is found at Old Testament: Historical Overview.
This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- It has been noted that Obadiah prophesied the destruction of Edom; Amos, the Northern Kingdom of Israel; Zephaniah, the Southern Kingdom of Judah; Ezekiel, Egypt; Nahum, Assyria; Jeremiah, Babylon; and Daniel the rise and fall of several world powers including Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, followed by the eventual setting up of the kingdom of God.
Complete outline and page map
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A. Judgment against Jerusalem at Day of the Lord unless it repents (1:1-2:3)
- Lord will utterly consume earth and cut off man (2-3)
- Lord will stretch his hand out and cut off idolaters and apostates of Judah (4-6)
- Lord will punish the proud, violent and dishonest in the day of his sacrifice (7-9)
- in that day he will cut off the merchant classes of Jerusalem (10-11)
- at that time the comfortable will be searched out and lose their possessions (12-13)
- the day of the Lord’s wrath approaches because men have sinned against the Lord (14-18)
- ● Judah should seek the Lord and his righteousness to hide from the day of his anger (1-3)
B. Judgment for Judah will be poured out on all nations (2:4-15)
- West: Judah shall possess Philistia (4-7)
- East: Lord’s people shall possess Ammon & Moab (8-10)
- the Lord will be terrible to all idolaters (11)
- South: Egypt shall be slain by the sword (12)
- North: Assyria shall be a desolation for wild beasts (13-15)
A'. Judgment for Jerusalem must wait because it did not repent (3:1-8)
- Woe to filthy Jerusalem that oppresses and would not receive correction (1-2)
- Jerusalem’s political and religious leaders are wicked (3-4)
- the Lord is righteous, but the wicked see no need to repent (5)
- the Lord has cut off the wicked nations (6)
- ● surely Jerusalem would receive instruction, but despite chastisement it did not, so restoration is delayed (7-8)
B'. Righteous remnant will be restored (3:9-20)
- in that day a dispersed remnant will be purged and pastured, no more shame (9-13)
- rejoice O daughter of Jerusalem, fear not, the Lord is in thy midst (14-17)
- the Lord will gather and restore a righteous remnant, honor in place of shame (18-20)
The pivot points are at the end of the A sections (2:1-3; 3:8). In the first (2:1-3), the warning is to repent to survive the day of the Lord against sinners. In the second (3:8), Israel will not take instruction, so it will have to wait for redemption until the Day of the Lord.
In second section (2:4-15) the destruction in all four directions is representative of the four corners of the earth, or all nations.
Points to ponder
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I have a question
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This heading is for listing links and print resources, including those cited in the notes. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Amplified • The Amplified Bible, 1987 update
- NASB • New American Standard Bible, 1995 update
- NIV • New International Version
- RSV • Revised Standard Version
Joseph Smith Translation
The Joseph Smith Translation made no changes to the book of Zephaniah.
- Wayment, Thomas A., ed. The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 218-19. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2009. (ISBN 1606411314) BX8630.A2 2009
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Zephaniah: The Day of the Lord's Wrath." In Old Testament: First Kings to Malachi (Institute Manual), vol. 2, third ed. (PDF version), ch. 21, p. 223-24. Salt Lake City, Utah: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003.
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves, such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word. In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources are preferable to footnotes.
- Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 218-19.
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