This is the message that the Lord gave to Zephaniah. He was the son of Cushti, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah.*
This happened when Josiah, son of Amon, was king of Judah.
I will completely sweep away everything from the face of the earth, declares the Lord. 3
I will sweep away people and animals, I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. I will overthrow†
the wicked; I will destroy human beings from the face of the earth. 4
I will strike‡
Judah and everyone who lives in Jerusalem. I will destroy all that remains of their Baal worship along with their pagan priests so that even their names will be forgotten.§ 5
I will destroy those who go up to the rooftops to bow down before the sun, moon, and stars. They also bow down and swear allegiance to the Lord, but then they do the same to Milcom.* 6
I will destroy those who once worshiped the Lord but don't anymore. They don't seek the Lord or ask for my help.
Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is near: the Lord has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.† 8
Then on the day of the Lord's sacrifice I will punish the officials and the king's sons, and those who follow pagan ways‡
I will also punish those who jump over the threshold.§
On that day I will punish those who fill up their masters' houses using violence and deception. 10
On that day, declares the Lord, a cry of grief will come from the Fish Gate, a wailing from the Second Quarter, and a loud crash from the hills. 11
Those who live in the Market District*
will wail in sorrow, for all the merchants†
are destroyed, along with those who trade in silver. 12
At that time I will search through Jerusalem with lamps and I will punish those self-satisfied people, who are like wine left on its dregs, who say to themselves, “The Lord will not do good, nor will he do evil.”‡ 13
Their possessions will be looted; their houses will be demolished. They will build houses, but not live in them; they will plant vineyards, but not drink the wine.
The great day of the Lord is near and approaching rapidly. It will be a bitter day—even warriors will cry out loud. 15
It will be a day of anger,§
a day of trouble and distress, a day of disaster and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16
a day of trumpet calls and battle cries against fortified cities and watchtowers. 17
I will bring trouble on humanity, making them walk like blind people because they have sinned against the Lord. Their blood will be spilled like so much dust; their intestines like dung. 18
Their silver and their gold won't help to save them on the day of the Lord's anger. The whole earth will be burned up by the fire of his jealous*
anger. He will make sure the end of the people of the world is sudden and complete.