19 February, 2017
Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — introduction of Zephaniah
Study 0 From the Book of Zephaniah is: The Introduction of the book Zephaniah
Zephaniah prophesied in the reign of Josiah, and probably in the early years of that reign, before Josiah began his religious reforms. For when Zephaniah delivered his message, idolatrous, customs, which Josiah abolished, were still openly practised (cf., e. g. 1: 4, 5 with 2 Ki. 23: 4, 5). Zephaniah was therefore a contemporary of Jeremiah and possibly began his ministry somewhat earlier. If the Hezekiah from whom his descent is trace (1:1) was, as many think probable, the king of that name, then Zephaniah was related to the royal house.
The theme of his prophecy is the day of the Lord, which was about to break. It is pictured as a day of terrible judgment, under the imagery of war and invasion, in which Judah and Jerusalem would be thoroughly purged of those who practiced wickedness. But, the judgement would embrace all nations; it was to be a day of universal judgement.
When the judgment was completed there would be a remnant of Israel, a lowly but upright people who, trusting in the Lord would rejoice in His favour. Zephaniah foresaw also that other nations, would ‘call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord’ (3:9). His message is marked by breadth of view and profound insight, and charged with an ardent vehemence of moral passion.
Zephaniah’s word received a striking fulfillment in the fall of Nineveh, and a quarter of a century later in the fall of Jerusalem. But, the fulfillment is not yet complete. The final day of God’s judgment has yet to come.