Zephaniah 1

1This is the message that the Lord gave to Zephaniah. Zephaniah received this message during the time that Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cush. Cush was the son of Gedaliah. Gedaliah was the son of Amariah. Amariah was the son of Hezekiah. 2The Lord says, “I will destroy everything on earth! 3I will destroy all the people and all the animals. I will destroy the birds in the air and the fish in the sea. I will destroy the evil people and all the things that make them sin. I will remove all people from the earth.” The Lord said those things! 4˻The Lord said,˼ “I will punish Judah and the people living in Jerusalem. I will remove these things from that place: I will remove the last signs of Baal worship. I will remove the priests and all the people that 5go on their roofs to worship the stars. People will forget about those false priests. Some people say they worship me. Those people promised to worship me, but now they worship the false god Milcom. So I will remove those people from that place. 6Some people turned away from the Lord. They quit following me. Those people stopped asking the Lord for help. So I will remove those people from that place.” 7Be silent before the Lord my Master! Why? Because the Lord’s day for judging the people is coming soon! The Lord has prepared his sacrifice and he has told his invited guests to get ready. 8˻The Lord said,˼ “On the Lord’s day of sacrifice, I will punish the king’s sons and other leaders. I will punish all the people wearing clothes from other countries. 9At that time, I will punish all the people that jump over the threshold. I will punish the people that fill their master’s house with lies and violence.” 10The Lord also said, “At that time, people will be calling for help at Fish Gate in Jerusalem. People will be crying in the other parts of town. And the people will hear loud noises of things being destroyed in the hills around the city. 11You people living in the lower part of town will cry. Why? Because all the businessmen and rich merchants will be destroyed. 12“At that time, I will take a lamp and search through Jerusalem. I will find all the people that are satisfied to live their own way. Those people say, 'The Lord does nothing. He does not help and he does not hurt!’ I will find those people and I will punish them! 13Then other people will take their wealth and destroy their houses. At that time, people that built houses will not live in them and people that planted fields of grapes will not drink the wine from those grapes—˻other people will get those things˼.” 14The Lord’s special day for judging is coming soon! That day is near and coming fast. People will hear very sad sounds on the Lord’s special day of judgment. Even strong soldiers will cry! 15God will show his anger at that time. It will be a time of terrible troubles. It will be a time of destruction. It will be a time of darkness—a black, cloudy, and stormy day. 16It will be ˻like a time of war when˼ people hear horns and trumpets in the defense towers and protected cities. 17˻The Lord said,˼ “I will make life very hard on the people. People will walk around like blind men that don’t know where they are going. Why? Because those people sinned against the Lord. ˻Many people will be killed.˼ Their blood will be spilled on the ground. Their dead bodies will lie like dung on the ground. 18Their gold and silver won’t help them! At that time, the Lord will become very upset and angry. The Lord will destroy the whole world! The Lord will completely destroy everyone on earth!”

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