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by Frederick Brotherton Meyer
Outline of Zephaniah
“The Day of the Lord”
I. A Day of Judgment,Zephaniah 1:1-18; Zephaniah 1:1-18 ; Zephaniah 2:1-15 ; Zephaniah 3:1-8
1. Upon the Whole Earth , Zephaniah 1:1-3
2. Upon Particular Nations , Zephaniah 1:4-18 ; Zephaniah 2:1-15 ; Zephaniah 3:1-8
(1) Judah and Jerusalem,Zephaniah 1:4-18; Zephaniah 1:4-18
(Call to Repentance),Zephaniah 2:1-3; Zephaniah 2:1-3
(2) Philistia, Moab, Amnion, Ethiopia, and Assyria, Zephaniah 2:4-15
(3) Princes, Prophets, and Priests of Jerusalem,Zephaniah 3:1-7; Zephaniah 3:1-7
(Call to Repentance),Zephaniah 3:8; Zephaniah 3:8
II. A Day op Hope, Zephaniah 3:9-20
1. All Nations to Be Taught the Worship of God , Zephaniah 3:9-10
2. The Cleansing of Israel , Zephaniah 3:11-13
3. God’s Gracious Reign , Zephaniah 3:14-20
Introduction to Zephaniah
Zephaniah may have been a great-great-grandson of Hezekiah, Zephaniah 1:1 , r.v. He prophesied during the reign of Josiah, probably before the discovery of the Book of the Law, as the evils which he denounced were then removed by the king.
Zephaniah is the prophet of the Day of the Lord. He does not, like Obadiah, Nahum, or Habakkuk, deal with the downfall of any one nation; he is instead a prophet of universal judgment. His message to the nations is parallel to the words of Jesus: “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” Luke 13:4-5 .
Zephaniah declares that all nations, even Judah itself, will fall under the divine wrath if they continue to defy the divine law. But his message is more than one of judgment. He shows that God is working for the salvation of mankind and that following judgment there will be revealed new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.
e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of Zephaniah in the printed edition
Review Questions on Zephaniah
( a ) What are the two main divisions of the book?
( b ) Against what nations is judgment pronounced?
( c ) During whose reign did Zephaniah prophesy?
( d ) Of what nature is his prophecy and for whom was it intended?
( e ) What comforting message does Zephaniah bring?
Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments.
1. Of what dreadful day does Zephaniah warn Jerusalem? What historical events fulfilled the prophecy?
2. What has been the fate of Nineveh? What vice lay at the root of her evil-doing?
3. With what song of rejoicing does the book end?
the Fourth Week after Epiphany