Devotional Commentary on Zephaniah 1


One hardly starts to read Zephaniah when it is necessary to ask why this lengthy connection with dignitaries of the past is necessary? His great-great-grandfather was Hezekiah the king who played a role in Judah between 727-684 BCE. The date of birth of Amariah was probably ca. 712 BCE and Gedaliah ca. 690 BCE and Cushi ca. 675 BCE and then Zephaniah ca. 650 BCE so that he was ca. 30 years old in 620 BCE, the time of Josiah the king of Judah (verse 1).

The answer is that Zephaniah is of royal blood, blue blood and thus a dignified prophet.

God starts to speak in verse 2 and what is to follow is a description of the Hell-event, the ultimate judgment of all nations through all generations of earths history at one punishing event.

I will totally destroy everything from the face of the earth.

Delitzsch came to this verse and said that the way to salvation leads through judgment and he had in mind the degenerate theocracy as well (1884: 126). Adventists saw the biblical doctrine of the Investigative Judgment of the house of God first before the Latter Rain is poured out to fill up the gap created by those sifted out of the Investigative Judgment. Only later after the Second Coming and the millennium the Hell event or final absolute executive judgment will take place. Zephaniah knew all this.

Humans, animals, birds, fish, stumbling blocks and the wicked will all be destroyed (verse 3). This is contra environmentalism trying to create a safe world because the picture from the prophets concerning the eschaton is a destructive one in that glorious day.

I will cut off man from the face of the earth (verse 3).

Hell will be totally destructive of all the old earth, man and biology and zoology. All fauna and flora will come to an end despite environmentalism.

A blacklist follow then set up by God: remnant of Baal, bad priests, astronomy and stargazers, religion mixers or pluralists who swear by the Lord and swear in Milkom (verse 5), the wayward those who turn away from following the Lord, atheists, secularists and nihilists those who did not seek the Lord nor inquire after Him (verse 6).

The Day of the Lord is announced (verse 7).

For the Lord has prepared a slaughter, He has invited called out ones, Remnant (verse 7). This preparation is a very functional word also used in Daniel 8 for the preparation of a place in the sanctuary, nikon, mekon. God invited guests to the wedding or heavenly banquet, Jesus told in one of His parables. This slaughter at the Hell event will be on the unfaithful princes, kings sons and upon those who wear gentile garb (verse 8). People who wear the wrong dress for the heavenly banquet. Their fashion style is populist attractiveness instead of truth. They are not wearing the robe of Christs Righteousness. The faithful remnant is the guest invited.

The blacklist is not finished yet. Landgrabbers by the Third World occupiers with nationalization pushdrives bewitched by a demonic grab theft fever (verse 9), people from the west, east and south (verse 10), Canaan and the wealthy (verse 11), God Himself will search Jerusalem with candles and visit mens hearts and thoughts I will visit upon the men who are settled on their lees who say in their heart: The Lord shall do neither good nor harm’” (verse 12). It shows that the Lord is visiting in the night. That is why candles are mentioned.

Now Zephaniah wants to give an endtime scenario before the Second Coming of Christ (verse 13):

Wealth will become booty, restlessness, migrations, fleeing, wars in many places.

The great day of the Lord is near (verse 14). This is indicative that the Day of the Lord did not come yet it is only near so that the events described in verse 13 is prior to this Day of the Lord.

The last events will be swift, Ellen White says and that is what Zephaniah is saying too: the great day of the Lord is near, it is near and hastens greatly (verse 14).

That day is a day of wrath (verse 15). Which day? The Time of Trouble before the Second Coming of the Lord, before the Hell event which is the Day of the Lord. Before the Advent of Christ during the little time of trouble preceding the closing of the Door of Mercy which kick-in the Time of Trouble or Time of Jacobs Trouble, a day of trouble and distress, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds ad thick darkness, a day of shofar and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers (verses 15-16). It is a day of chaos globally. And I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like the blind for they have sinned against the Lord (verse 17). When the four angels at the four winds are set loose to bring destruction on the earth it will be a fierce time for the wicked. And their blood shall be shed like dust and their flesh like dung (verse 17).

Blind? Spiritual blindness is a signal of the church of Laodicea. Their silver and gold will not help them on the day of the Lords wrath. Valuables will be useless. Pension schemes will not help. Stock in China will not help. Dollars in Swiss-banks will not help. The 98 billion dollars of Facebook owners will be useless. Bitcoin wealth will not help. It cannot save them from the wrath of the Lord.

The scene of the wrath of the Lord is described in Revelation 20 and also here in Zephaniah verse 18 and the fire [Hell event] of His passion the entire earth shall be consumed for an end, yea, a sudden end, He shall make of all the inhabitants of the earth.


Dear Lord

Zephaniah speaks of our day and his message is so timely. We do not want to sin against You and we want to be on the right side of this future dilemma. Accept our consecration, in Jesus Name. Amen.