Judah’s Impending Judgment

The word of Yahweh that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.
“I will surely destroy everything

from the face of the earth”—a declaration of Yahweh.

“I will destroy humanity and beast;

I will destroy the birds of the sky

and the fish of the sea,

and the stumbling blocks[a] with the wicked.

And I will cut off humankind

from the face of the earth”—a declaration of Yahweh.

“And I will stretch out my hand against Judah

and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

And I will cut off from this place

the remnant of Baal,

and the name of idolatrous priests with the priests,[b]

and those who bow down on the rooftops

to the host of heaven,

and those who bow down, swearing to Yahweh

but also swearing by Milkom,[c]

and those who turned back from following[d] Yahweh,

and who did not seek Yahweh,

and did not inquire of him.”

Be silent before the Lord Yahweh,

for the day of Yahweh draws near,

for Yahweh has provided a sacrifice

and has consecrated his guests.

And it shall be that on the day of the sacrifice of Yahweh,

I will punish the officials

and the sons of the king

and those who dress in foreign clothing.

And on that day I will punish

all who leap over the threshold,

who fill up the house of their master

with violence and deceit.

10 “And there shall be on that day”—a declaration of Yahweh—

“a loud outcry[e] from the Fish Gate,

and a wailing from the Second District,

and a loud[f] crashing from the hills.

11 The inhabitants of the Mortar shall wail,

for all the traders have perished;

all who trade with silver have been cut off.

12 And it shall be that at that time

I will search Jerusalem with lamps,

and I will punish the men

whose senses are dulled from drinking,[g]

who say in their hearts,

‘Yahweh will not do good, nor will he do evil.’

13 Then their wealth shall be as plunder,

and their homes as desolation.

And they shall build their houses and not inhabit them,

and they shall plant vineyards and not drink their wine.”

14 The great day of Yahweh draws near;

it is near and coming very swiftly.

The sound of the day of Yahweh is bitterness;

there, a warrior cries out!

15 That day will be a day of wrath,

a day of trouble and distress,

a day of disaster and ruination,

a day of darkness and deep gloom,

a day of clouds[h] and thick clouds,[i]

16 a day of trumpet and trumpet blast

against the fortified cities

and against the high corner towers.

17 And I will bring distress to all humankind,

and they shall walk about like the blind,

for they sinned against Yahweh;

their blood shall be poured out like dust

and their entrails like dung.

18 Moreover, their silver and their gold

will not be able to save them

on the day of the wrath of Yahweh.

And in the fire of his zeal,

the whole land shall be consumed,

for a terrifying end he shall make

for all the inhabitants of the land.


  1. Zephaniah 1:3 A reference to idols
  2. Zephaniah 1:4 The last phrase, “with the priests,” may be a later explanatory gloss
  3. Zephaniah 1:5 Or “their king”
  4. Zephaniah 1:6 Literally “after”
  5. Zephaniah 1:10 Literally “voice of a cry of distress”
  6. Zephaniah 1:10 Or “great”
  7. Zephaniah 1:12 Literally “who are thickened with their dregs”
  8. Zephaniah 1:15 Hebrew “cloud”
  9. Zephaniah 1:15 Hebrew “cloud”