Devotional Commentary on Zephaniah 2


Zephaniah is vividly outlining what will happen to the wicked at the Hell event when they will be cut off forever. In this chapter, he wants the faithful remnant to gather together and make life and death decisions before [betherem] this Day of the Lord arrives (verse 2, 3 times repeated).

They need to seek the Lord, seek righteousness and seek humility (verse 3).

The advantage of seeking these three items is “perhaps you will be concealed on the Day of the Lord’s wrath” (verse 3). Concealed on that day is protection, security, salvation, joy and happiness.

Then Zephaniah said that as you see the areas of Israel now, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron they all will be uprooted (verse 4). They received much punishment from the Assyrians in history in successive attacks.

The texts are discussed by someone I have personally met, Stephan Timm in his book on Moabites. He discussed the successive attacks of Assyria on these cities between 723-650 BCE and the cuneiform texts recording these events.

But that is not what Zephaniah is talking about. Zephaniah does not reflect on the past. He is talking about the future. “I will destroy you so that there shall be not an inhabitant” (verse 5).

In the newly created world by God after the Hell event for the faithful, at the coastland shall be a grazefield for sheep and shepherds (verse 6).

“And it shall be a lot for the remnant of the house of [spiritual] Judah, whereupon they shall pasture” (verse 7).

They shall rest in Ashkelon for the Lord shall return their captivity and “visit upon them” (verse 7). God walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve before the Fall and was looking for them after the Fall.

God said that He heard the evil words from Moab and Ammon, which is presentday Jordan, “who taunted My people” (verse 8).

Current Israel and the Jews there is not per se “My people”. It is a faithful relationship that goes through the Messiah, Christ Jesus and He is the only door to the Father and any future inheritance. All promises goes through Him.

They “aggrandize themselves on their [faithful Israel’s] border” (verse 8). It is a fact that the Wafk admin of Jordan has controlled the structures of the Temple area which are built upon a Jewish foundation built by Herod the Jewish king around the time Christ was born. That is more than 680 years before the Dome of the Rock was built on this foundation. There is no proper narrative to explain why Islam and that Caliph of that year in 684 BCE built the Dome of the Rock on a Jewish holy site. How should anyone react when a Christian church is built on top of a Mosque? Or a Mosque on top of a Christian church? Or any of these structures on top of a pagan temple? The issue becomes very complex now. The issue becomes very messy when the participants in the debate knows very well the reality of the background but refuse to admit fault and refuse to give up past errors as not a proper approach for the future.

Jordan or Moab shall be as Sodom, which was of course burnt with fire (verse 9). The children of Ammon will be like Gemorrah (also Jordan). Amman is the current capital of Jordan. “Desolation forever” (verse 9). Not a good picture for the future.

“The remnant of My people shall plunder them and the remnant of My nation shall inherit them” (verse 9). This is not a reference to a fulfillment what Trump have declared contrary to Wafk objectives about Jerusalem as capital of Israel. This is in the eschaton after the Hell event when God creates a new heaven and new earth. That area now known to be Jordan will be for the faithful in those days after the Millennium.

Somehow Jordan has “aggrandized themselves” over the people of the Lord of Hosts (verse 10). King Hussein of Jordan was always a friend of Adventists in the Madaba Plains Project and at Heshbon or Heshban. That is if Adventists are the people of the Lord of Hosts and King Hussein showing the opposite attitude mentioned here in Zephaniah. Is this a future attitude of Jordan that we are still going to experience?

The Warrior Messiah Christ “weakened all the gods of the earth” (verse 11). “Every man shall prostrate himself to Him from his place, all the isles of the nations” (verse 11). This is the whole world and those faithful from every region of this globe.

Cushites will also be the slain in the Hell event (verse 12). Cushites are Somalia, Sudan who will also suffer.

The Lord will turn His hand and the north, Assyria and Niniveh will be made nothing (verse 13).

So desolate they will be that flocks of wild shall lie down there and owls and pelicans (verse 14). The cedarwork so wellknown about them would have been destroyed in future.

The “Babylon” of all empires: Niniveh in Assyrian times, Tyre later, Ur in 2004 BCE, Nippur, Larsa, Shushan, Athens, Alexandria, Rome, Vatican, New York. All of them have one thing in common. They are the gateways of the “gods” where ecumenism and pluralism and globalism were cherished as the equality kindness of humanity for everlasting peace slogan.

They all said in their hearts: “I am and there is none besides me”. Kim Jung Un said that he has a button for nuclear attack on his desk and Trump answered, my button is bigger than yours and mine works.

After the Hell event in the eschaton all faithful will pass by and ask: “How did it become desolate?”

They shall hiss and wave with the hand.

All empires will come to an end then.


Dear God

Zephaniah wants to explain to us the futility of current empires and regimes and that in the eschaton they will become naught. But worthiness is in You and a relationship with You. Keep us there in Jesus Name. Amen.