Zephaniah

Voices for Revival – Study of Minor Prophets (Pre-Exilic Period)
Book of Zephaniah

Book on Zephaniah

Title:

The name Zephaniah literally means “Yahweh hides” or “Yahweh treasures up”.

Authorship:

Nothing is known about Zephaniah except what may be discovered in this prophecy. He is the great great grandson of King Hezekiah (v1:1), Zephaniah remains the only prophet of royal descent and also the only prophet related to the king under whose reign he prophesied (Josiah).

Date:

Zephaniah ministered during the reign of Josiah (640 – 609 BC) and since Nineveh had not yet fallen (v2:13 – 15), his prophecy pre-dates the fall of the great city in 612BC. Also, his preaching about the idolatrous practices in Judah and Jerusalem make it likely that his prophecy preceded Josiah’s reforms following the discovery of the book of the Law (622 BC).

Recipients:

Zephaniah’s preaching was directed towards the southern kingdom of Judah about 4 decades before Judah fell to Babylon.

Summary Statement:

Zephaniah prophesies the day of the LORD judgement upon Judah, the surrounding nations, and the entire earth to exhort Judah to repent because of God’s righteous character and His promise of a remnant in a national restoration.

Application:

If you insist on living like a pagan, then you will die like a pagan.

Key Themes:

Zephaniah's Key Themes

Judgement:

  • Destruction of Israel’s enemies (Zeph. 2 – 3).
  • Includes punishment of the rebellious and disobedient in the nation of Israel (Amos 5:18 – 20).
  • Could be in the same period as the Great Tribulations of Rev 6 – 19.
  • Ultimately the day of the Lord will end in destruction of the world (2 Peter 3:10).

Deliverance / Blessings:

  • Israel’s salvation from Gentile oppressors will occur through God who preserves and delivers a remnant of Israel (Zeph. 3:8 – 20).
  • Is to enable Israel to enter into the kingdom in which God will fulfill all His promises to Abraham.
  • Includes many blessings (Deut. 30:3 – 9) which also applies to Gentiles (Zeph. 3:9).
  • Final salvation after judgement will be in the new heaven and earth (2 Pet. 3:11 – 13).

Day of the Lord is:

“the time of Yahweh’s final intervention in history when He will judge the wicked, deliver the righteous, and establish His kingdom”.

Application:

Seek the Lord and focus on the promise of the eventual salvation for the Lord’s people