Zephaniah means one who is hidden (protected) by Yahweh
God will judge Judah, and all of the nations around her for their sins. After that, he will bring Judah back from exile, and call Gentile nations to follow Him. This is the book of the Day of the LORD. There are 7 occurrences out of 53 verses.
Target: Judah, and to a lesser extent the nations around it who would be judged by God using Babylon
- Contemporary of Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Nahum
- During the reign of Josiah
- Prior to the destruction of Assyria, like Nahum
Famous verses and fragments
3:9, 3:14, 3:17
- During whose reign did Zephaniah prophesy?
- During what part of the reign? Does it matter?
- What are the two main divisions of the book?
- Of what nature is his prophecy and for whom was it intended?
- Did God kill everything? (1:2-3) What does He mean?
- What particular sorts of people was He going to judge? (1:4-13)
- Of what dreadful day does Zephaniah warn Jerusalem? What historical events fulfilled the prophecy?
- What should we think about the phrase “The Day of the LORD?” (1:7-2:3)
- What things that are commonly relied on would not help them in the Day of the LORD?
- Against what nations is judgment pronounced in Zephaniah? (2:4-3:7)
- How would Judah fare in the judgment of other nations?
- What will be the fate of Nineveh? What vice lay at the root of her evil-doing?
- Is Judah much better? Why is judgment coming to them? (3:1-7)
- What comforting message does Zephaniah bring? (3:8-13) How will Judah and the nations change?
- What are the main emphases of the song of rejoicing at the end? (3:14-20)