Zephaniah 2
Contemporary English Version

Turn to the Lord

1You disgraceful nation,

gather around,

2before it's too late.

The Lord has set a time

when his fierce anger

will strike like a storm

and sweep you away.

3If you humbly obey the Lord,

then come and worship him.

If you do right and are humble,

perhaps you will be safe

on that day when the Lord

turns loose his anger.

Judgment on Philistia

4 Gaza and Ashkelon

will be deserted

and left in ruins.

Ashdod will be emptied

in broad daylight,

and Ekron+ uprooted.

5To you people of Philistia+

who live along the coast,

the Lord has this to say:

“I am now your enemy,

and I'll wipe you out!”

6Your seacoast will be changed

into pastureland

and sheep pens.+

7The Lord God hasn't forgotten

those survivors in Judah,

and he will help them—

his people will take your land

to use for pasture.

And when evening comes,

they will rest

in houses at Ashkelon.+

Judgment on Moab and Ammon

* 8 The Lord All-Powerful,

the God of Israel, said:

I've heard Moab and Ammon

insult my people

and threaten their nation.+

9 And so, I swear by my very life

that Moab and Ammon will end up

like Sodom and Gomorrah—

covered with thornbushes

and salt pits forever.

Then my people who survive

will take their land.

10This is how Moab and Ammon

will at last be repaid

for their pride—

and for sneering at the nation

that belongs to me,

the Lord All-Powerful.

11I will fiercely attack.

Then every god on this earth

will shrink to nothing,

and everyone of every nation

will bow down to me,

right where they are.

Judgment on Ethiopia

12 People of Ethiopia,+

the sword of the Lord

will slaughter you!

Judgment on Assyria

13 The Lord will reach to the north

to crush Assyria

and overthrow Nineveh.+

14Herds of wild animals

will live in its rubble;

all kinds of desert owls

will perch on its stones

and hoot in the windows.

Noisy ravens will be heard

inside its buildings,

stripped bare of cedar.+

15This is the glorious city

that felt secure and said,

“I am the only one!”

Now it's merely ruins,

a home for wild animals.

Every passerby simply sneers

and makes vulgar signs.


2.4 Gaza … Ekron: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath (not mentioned because it was already destroyed) were the five major Philistine towns.
2.5 people of Philistia: The Hebrew text also mentions “Canaan” and “Cherethites,” which are other ways of referring to the Philistines.
2.6 pens: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
2.7 Ashkelon: A Philistine town; see the note at 2.4.
2.8 threaten their nation: Or “boast about their own nation.”
2.12 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has “Cush,” which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
2.13 Nineveh: The capital of Assyria; Nineveh was protected by a moat filled with water from the nearby Tigris River.
2.14 stripped … cedar: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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