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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Zephaniah Chapter 2

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Zephaniah
Date Penned: BC 640-521
Overview: A Warning for Judah to Repent (c 1-3)
Theme: The Day of Wrath (c 1-2)
Message: Zephaniah predicts the Destruction of Judah (v 1-15)

Zephaniah: Chapter 2 Commentary
     

(1:1) There was still time for the people to avert God's judgement. They simply had to turn from their sins, humble themselves, and obey God. The Old Testament prophets announced news of destruction, but they also offered the only means of escape and protection - turning from sin and walking with God. (Micah 6)


(2:2-3) God's judgement against Judah came with ample warning, so the people had no excuse. God told them to (1) pray together ("gather yourselves together") (2) beg to be saved ("seek righteousness") (3) humbly do what is right ("seek meekness"). As God warned Judah, so he also warns us concerning the final day of judgement. We must (1) pray for forgiveness of sin, (2) ask God to bring us into his heavenly Kingdom, and (3) humbly obey him. At the end of time when God comes to judge you cannot say, "But no one told me" Turn to the Lord today for salvation.

(2:4) God's judgement on the nations is universal - no one will escape. He judges his own people for their sins. But he also judges the surrounding nations for their wickedness, their idolatry, and their treatment of his people.

(2:5-6) The four cities mentioned are in Philistia, the nation southwest of Judah on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Age-old enemies of Israel from the days of Joshua, they were known for their cruelty. God judged them for their idolatry and their constant taunting of Israel. These four cities were four of the five capitals. The fifth (Gath) had probably already been destroyed.

(2:7) All the prophets, even while prophesying doom and destruction, spoke of a remnant - a small group of God's people who remain faithful to him and whom God will restore to the land, Although God said he would destroy Judah, he also promised to save a remnant, keeping his original covenant to preserve Abraham's descendants (Genesis 17) God is Holy, and he cannot allow sin to continue, But he also is Faithful to his promises. He cannot stay angry forever with Israel, or with you, if you are his child, because he loves his children, and always seeks their good.

(2:8) The Moabites and Ammonites lived to the east of Judah, and they often attacked Judah, These nations worship Chemosh and Motech (1 Kings 3) God would judge them for their wickedness and for their treatment of his people.

(2:9-11) Judah had been taunted and mocked by the neighboring nations. Moab and Ammon, but God reminded them that he had "heard the reproach and reviling's" and they would be punished for their pride. At times the whole world seems to mock God and ridicule those who have faith in him. When you are mocked or ridiculed, remember that God hears and he will answer. Eventually, in God's timing, justice will be served. The nations of Moab and Ammon traced their roots to Lod's incest with his daughters after they escaped the destruction of the evil Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19) Ironically, Moab and Ammon would face the same kind of "perpetual desolation" that God sent those evil cities. Sodom and Gomorrah were so completely destroyed.

(2:12) Ethiopia, at the southern end of the Red Sea, controlled Egypt at this time. No one can escape reserved judgement. The Ethiopians were "slain by God's Sword" when the Assyrians invaded Egypt in 670 BC

(2:13) Zephaniah mentioned the large nation to the south and then moved to the nation of the north, Assyria. Now Assyria was still the strongest military power of the day and, although declining, it dominated the world for 3 centuries, destroying anyone in its path. Nineveh the large capital city, was considered impregnable. Zephaniah predicted, and it was, wiped out in 612 BC by the Babylonians, who would become the next world power.

(2:14-15) To predict the destruction of Nineveh 10 years before it happened would be equivalent to predicting the destruction of Tokyo, Moscow, or New York. Nineveh was the Middle Eastern center for culture, technology, and beauty. It had great libraries buildings, and a vast irrigation system that created lush gardens in the city. The city wall was 60 miles long, 100 feet high, and over 30 feet wide and was fortified with 1500 towers. Yet the entire city was destroyed so completely that its very existence was questioned until it was discovered, with great difficulty, by 19th century archaeologists. Nineveh had become a pastureland.

 

 


Dave Burnette's Life Application

God's Simple Soultion

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Zephaniah with Chapter 2. In our text today we see a reoccurring theme of Old Testament prophets as they announce the news of judgement with the simple solution of humbling yourself, repent or turn from your sin, and obey God. In making application we see God's simple solution for your life, humility-repentance-and obedience to have a home in Heaven and forgiveness of sin. How about you? Have you been saved? Let us learn from our text today and the warning of Zephaniah and the other prophets who all delivered God's simple Soultion for a happy healthy life both here and for eternity.

 

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Zephaniah 2

Zephaniah 2

 1Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;

 2Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD's anger come upon you.

 3Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.

 4For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.

 5Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.

 6And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.

 7And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.

 8I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border.

 9Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.

 10This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts.

 11The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.

 12Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword.

 13And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.

 14And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he shall uncover the cedar work.

 15This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.