Devotional Commentary on Zephaniah 3


When Zephaniah entered chapter 3, he intended to describe the remnant. The wayward remnant were those who did not obey (verse 2a); not accept reproof (verse 2b); not trust the Lord (verse 2c); not draw near to God (verse 2d).

The blacklist goes on: the princes are like lions, judges like wolves. “They did not leave over the bones for morning”. They were fierce against the innocent. Violent in their pursuit.

The prophets are unstable; treacherous people; priests have profaned the sanctuary; priests removed the Torah (verse 4).

When the Law of God is supplanted by popular jurisprudence then the sanctuary of the Lord is profaned. LGBTQH embedded in modern globalism is a philosophy that originated from satanic endeavors to substitute the Law of God with man’s self-image of “kindness and equity in a humanism way”. It was the same in the days of Jezebel and Ahab. Wrapped up with it is pluralism and ecumenism. Jezebel’s role of highpriestess for the Baal prophets was increased due to these axioms. It is no different in our own day.

When Christ was in the midst of people He committed no injustice “The Lord is just in her midst, He commits no injustice in the morning.” (verse 5). In morning He brings His judgment to light (verse 5). There is a double “in the morning” here in one sentence. Very unusual in Scripture. On the other hand, the one who commits injustice knows no shame. Their actions are the opposite of Christ.

God is in communication with Himself about what He did in history with the empires of the world: “I have cut off nations…” (verse 6).

God decided their time in and switched them off when done.

“I have destroyed their streets….” “Their cities have become waste….”

That was with the evil empires of the world.

It is true that when one excavate the capitals of past empires, Ur, Boghazkoy of the Hittites, Ebla, Mari, Ugarit, Tyre, Nippur, Babylon, Niniveh, there are only skeletons but no inhabitants. The empire is almost forgotten under sand and dust until archaeology opens the history.

In contrast to the cities of evil empires that were cut off, the remnant of the Lord were not cut off (verse 7). “Her dwelling shall not be cut off all that I [the Lord] ordained upon her”.

The Lord expected a positive change but they did not and corrupted their deeds.

The wayward remnant is talked about here.

The Lord then said that they, the house of God, should wait until He will rise up to meet in the Investigative Judgment with the faithful and their deeds since the future 1844 Judgment starts (verse 8).

Christ is the Advocate since 1844 but the day will come when He will finish and then come to reward those who passed the scrutiny of the stigma removal in the heavenly court now ongoing. Christ as King of Glory will appear at the Second coming and after 1000 years Christ the Warrior Messiah shall assemble evil nations “For it is My judgment to assemble nations, to gather kingdoms, to pour out My fury upon them, yea, all the kindling of My wrath, for with the fire [of the Hell event] of My jealousy all the earth shall be consumed” (verse 8).

This is the executive judgment of the evil after the investigative judgment of the saints. There will be those who are saying that I am reading into the text what is not there. The Qumran text, Pesher Habakkuk also read an investigative judgment to precede an investigative judgment similar to what 1 Peter 4:17 is indicating. An article of mine on this will soon appear.

At that time after the Hell event when the Book of Revelation says that a new heaven and earth will be created by God for the saints, then verse 9 kicks in: “For then I will convert the peoples to a pure language that all of them call in the name of the Lord to worship Him of one accord”. Unity and harmony at last and that forever. The people’s narratives are all clean of past memories with the evil loved ones eradicated forever so that a clean thinking and similar language is created for the faithful at that time.

Delitzsch in 1884: 164-165 had a similar mind that at the Second Coming these verses of saved from all heathen nations will come to pass.

They will be of one accord since all the weed is burnt and eradicated. There will be no relativism but unity. One accord, not many accords. Not a multiplicity of views but harmony and synchronization. Not culture over the Bible and Bible over culture hand in hand seen as unity through kind tolerance of each other’s differences, but Bible over culture only.

This will be a miracle from the Lord.

At that time, faithful worshippers from “the other side of the rivers of Cush” which Delitzsch saw as the Nile but Cush was the country at that time that included Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia. Other side of the rivers of Cush could be more south in Africa so that faithful people south of Ethiopia will be “My supplicants”. Indeed Southern Africa will be “My scattered ones” and “they shall bring Me an offering” probably of songs since they have the beautiful talent of singing.

Before the Door of Mercy closes a shaking of the faithful remnant tree will take place and the bad fruit will drop out (verse 11). A sifting or shaking process will take place among the faithful at the End Time “for then I will remove from your midst those who rejoice in your pride and you shall no longer continue to be haughty on My holy mount.”

Ellen White says of the faithful: “Only obedience to the requirements of Heaven will keep man from apostasy.” Ellen White, Prophets and Kings, page 83 as cited in the Sabbath School Quarterly on Minor Prophets and Zephaniah by mrs. F. D. Chase in 1944 page 21.

The ones that will remain after the Great Shaking is humble and poor people: “And I will leave over in your midst a humble and poor people, and they shall take shelter in the name of the Lord” (verse 12).

Because they received the seal of the Latter Rain and be perfected at the time of the Closing of the Door of Mercy, therefore “the remnant of [spiritual] Israel shall neither commit injustice nor speak lies, neither shall deceitful speech be found in their mouths, for they shall graze and lie down, with no one to cause them to shudder” (verse 13). During the Time of Trouble that will be a time of shuddering of the evil, the faithful are safe and sound also the prophet Isaiah indicated.

In perfection the remnant are asked to sing: “Rejoice and jubilate with all your heart O daughter of [New] Jerusalem” (verse 14). “The Lord has removed your afflictions” (verse 15). As perfected saints there are no more afflictions. There is no more an enemy.

Ellen White says of this time: “The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” Ellen White, The Great Controversy, page 678 as cited in the Sabbath School Quarterly on Minor Prophets and Zephaniah by mrs. F. D. Chase in 1944 page 21.

Christ comes at the Second Coming and indeed “The King of [spiritual] Israel, the Lord, is in your midst you shall no longer fear evil” (verse 15) The Second Coming of Christ is a paradigm shift for the saints.

“The Lord God is in your midst [heavenly Zion] a Mighty One Who will save”. He as Warrior Messiah will execute the Hell fire to extinguish Satan and all evil to create a new heavens and earth.

“He will rejoice over you with joy” (verse 17). “He will be silent in His love” (verse 17). “He will jubilate over you with song”. Christ will sing a song in heaven! It is the Song of the Lamb.

At that time “those who are removed from the appointed season [1000 years or millennium] I have destroyed [in Hell fire at the end of this period]” (verse 18).

These were the loved ones and related to the true remnant but they as the wayward remnant “was a burden of shame upon her [remnant]”.

Destruction is promised against anyone who during the Time of Trouble intends to afflict the faithful (verse 19).

The faithful one who limps, who stray, will be made to praise and they will be made popular (verse 19).

At the Second Advent when Michael stood up and the Messiah coming [as also Rabbi Abarbanel and Mezudath David saw when they said “at that time, the time of the Messiah, I will bring you to your land”] it is then that verse 20 is applicable.

“At that time I will bring you, and at that time I will gather you” for when the resurrection takes place there is a bringing of people from the graves to meet the living in the air before they meet Christ together. No one is before the other. At the same time they meet Christ in the air.

They will be made a name and be praised among all peoples of the earth when their captivities will be restored “before your eyes” said the Lord. The evil will say: “Mountains fall on us”. The saved are restored. Rabbi Abarbanel also suggested that it refers to the resurrection. Rabbi Mezudath David also understood it to be the resurrection: “You will rise up from the grave and witness the ingathering of the exiles”.

Delitzsch in 1884: 164 says that verse 20 will be full realized at the Second Coming of Christ.


Dear God

We are fascinated by the wonderful resurrection event that Zephaniah is outlining here, the vision of eternal joy. We want to be totally part of it with all our loved ones we pray for. In Jesus Name. Amen.