1[1-3] This is the word of Yahweh which came to Zephaniah, the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, ruler of Judah. I’ll totally take away everything from off the land, says Yahweh. I’ll take away human and animal. I’ll take away the birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, and the ruins along with those guilty of sin. I’ll destroy humanity from off the land, says Yahweh.
[4-6] I’ll come against Judah, and against all the people of Jerusalem. I’ll destroy what’s left of those who worship falsely from this place and the name of their ungodly priests, those who worship the creations of the sky on their rooftops, those who worship and make promises by Yahweh and also by the ruler (Malcham), those who have stopped following Yahweh, and those who haven’t wanted Yahweh nor asked for God.
[7-10] Don’t say a word at the presence of Yahweh God, for the day of Yahweh is near. For Yahweh has gotten a sacrifice ready and has dedicated the guests. In the day of Yahweh’s sacrifice, I’ll punish all the leaders, the ruler’s children, and all those who wear foreign clothing. In that day, I’ll punish all those who burst through the door, who fill My house with violence and lies. In that day, says Yahweh, there will be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, loud crying from the second quarter, and a great crashing sound from the hills.
[11-13] Cry, you people of Maktesh, for all those who sell are upset! All those who have a lot of money are ruined. At that time, I’ll search Jerusalem with lights, and I’ll punish those who are pleased with themselves, who say in their heart, “Yahweh won’t do good, nor do evil.” Their wealth will become someone else’s, and their houses will be destroyed. Yes, they’ll build houses, but won’t live them. They’ll plant vineyards, but won’t drink their wine.
[14-18] The great day of Yahweh is near. It’s near, and coming soon. When the sound of the day of Yahweh comes, the strong ones will bitterly cry. That day is a day of great anger, a day of pain and suffering, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of gloom and darkness, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the sound of alarm and war against the protected cities, and against the strong buildings. I’ll bring pain on the people, so that they’ll walk like the blind, because they’ve sinned against Yahweh, and their blood will be poured out like dust, and their bodies like waste. Their money won’t be able to save them in the day of Yahweh’s great anger. The whole land will be destroyed by the burning of God’s jealousy, who will make an end, yes, a terrible end, of all those who live in the land.
2[1-3] Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, you nation that isn’t wanted, before the set time when the day passes by as the wind, before the great anger of Yahweh comes on you, before the day of Yahweh’s anger comes on you. Ask for Yahweh, all you humble of the land, who have kept God’s laws. Ask for goodness. Ask for humility. Maybe you won’t be seen in the day of Yahweh’s anger.
[4-7] Gaza will be deserted, and Ashkelon (Askelon) a ruin. They’ll drive out Ashdod (Esdud) at noonday, and Ekron will be uprooted. Sorrow will come to the people of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites (Philistines, Cretans?)! The word of Yahweh is against you, Canaan (Phoenicians), the land of the Philistines. I’ll destroy you, and there will be no one left. The sea coast will be fields, with cottages for animal keepers and fences for flocks. What’s left of the house of Judah will have the coast. They’ll want their fields. In the houses of Ashkelon (Askelon), they’ll sleep at night, for Yahweh, their God, will visit them, and free them.
[8-11] I’ve heard the shame of Moab (descendants of Lot), and the insults of the children of Ammon (descendants of Lot), with which they’ve shamed My people, and selfishly crossed their border. So as I live, says the God of All Creation, the God of Israel, surely Moab and Ammon will be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah, where weeds will grow, and salt pits will be, and will be a ruin forever. What’s left of My people will take what’s theirs, and the survivors of My nation will get their land. This they’ll get for their pride, because they’ve shamed My people and selfishly come against the people of the God of All Creation. Yahweh will be feared by them, who will destroy all the false gods of the land. They’ll worship God, everyone wherever they are, all the countries of the peoples.
[12-15] The Cushites (Ethiopians) will also be killed by My punishment. I’ll come against the north, destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh (Capital of Assyria) a ruin, and dry like the desert. Herds will sleep in it, all the animals of the peoples. Both the pelican and the porcupine will live in it. Their noise will echo through the windows. Ruin will be in the doorway, and the cedar beams will be seen. This is the joyous city that lived carelessly, and said in their hearts, “I am, and no one else matters but me.” How they have become a ruin, a place for animals to sleep in! Everyone who passes by will whistle, and wave their hands.
3[1-4] Sorrow will come to those who are rebellious and unfit from the violent city! The didn’t obey the voice of God. They wouldn’t be corrected. They didn’t trust in Yahweh. They didn’t come near to their God. The officials they have are like roaring lions. Their judges are like wolves in the night. They leave nothing until the next day. Their preachers think more of themselves than they should and can’t be trusted. Their rulers have made the place of worship unfit. They’ve taught the law wrongly.
[5-7] Yahweh, who is with them, is good and won’t do anything wrong. Every morning God brings justice to light. God won’t fail, but the unjust know no shame. “I’ve destroyed nations. Their strong buildings are empty. I’ve made their streets empty, so that no one passes by. Their cities are destroyed, so that there’s no human being left in them. I said, ‘Just show Me respect and be corrected, so that your homes won’t be destroyed, as to all that I’ve said about them.’ But they rose early and everything they did was evil.”
[8-12] So Yahweh says, “Wait for Me until the day that I come against them, for I intend to gather the nations, that I may bring together the realms, to give them My punishment, and all My great anger, for all their land will be destroyed with the burning of My jealousy. For then I’ll cleanse the lips of the peoples that they may all call on the Name of Yahweh, to serve God shoulder to shoulder. From beyond the rivers of Cush (Ethiopia), My worshipers, the church of My scattered people, will bring My offering. In that day you won’t be disappointed for all your doings, in which you have sinned against me; for then I’ll take from you those who celebrate in pride, and you won’t be proud in My holy mountain. But I’ll leave you a troubled and poor people, who will find safety in the Name of Yahweh.
[13-16] What’s left of Israel won’t sin, nor tell lies, nor will a false word be found in their mouth, for they’ll eat and sleep, and no one will make them afraid.” Sing, people of Zion! Shout, Israel! Be glad and celebrate with all your heart, people of Jerusalem. Yahweh has taken away your time of judgment. God has thrown out your enemy. The Ruler of Israel, Yahweh, is with you. You won’t be afraid of evil any more. In that day, it will be said to Jerusalem, “Don’t be afraid, Zion. Be strong.”
[17-20] Yahweh your God, is with you, who is strong, and will save you, and celebrate over you with joy. God will stop in love for you and celebrate over you with singing. Those who don’t like the set days of celebrations, I’ll take from you. They only trouble and shame you. See, at that time I’ll deal with all those who trouble you, and I’ll save those who are weak, and gather those who were driven away. I’ll give them praise and honor, whose shame has been known around the world. At that time, I’ll bring you in, and at that time I’ll gather you back; I’ll give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring you back from where you were taken, before your very eyes, says Yahweh.