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Zephaniah



Zephaniah, chapter 3, New English Translation

Chapter 3


   Jerusalem is Corrupt
   1 The filthy, stained city is as good as dead; the city filled with oppressors is finished!
   2 She is disobedient; she refuses correction. She does not trust the LORD; she does not seek the advice of her God.
   3 Her princes are as fierce as roaring lions; her rulers are as hungry as wolves in the desert, who completely devour their prey by morning.
   4 Her prophets are proud; they are deceitful men. Her priests defile what is holy; they break God's laws.
   5 The just LORD resides within her; he commits no unjust acts. Every morning he reveals his justice. At dawn he appears without fail. Yet the unjust know no shame.
   The LORD's Judgment will Purify
   6 "I destroyed nations; their walled cities are in ruins. I turned their streets into ruins; no one passes through them. Their cities are desolate; no one lives there.
   7 I thought, 'Certainly you will respect me! Now you will accept correction!' If she had done so, her home would not be destroyed by all the punishments I have threatened. But they eagerly sinned in everything they did.
   8 Therefore you must wait patiently for me," says the LORD, "for the day when I attack and take plunder. I have decided to gather nations together and assemble kingdoms, so I can pour out my fury on them - all my raging anger. For the whole earth will be consumed by my fiery anger.
   9 Know for sure that I will then enable the nations to give me acceptable praise. All of them will invoke the LORD's name when they pray, and will worship him in unison.
   10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, those who pray to me will bring me tribute.
   11 In that day you will not be ashamed of all your rebelliousness against me, for then I will remove from your midst those who proudly boast, and you will never again be arrogant on my holy hill.
   12 I will leave in your midst a humble and meek group of people, and they will find safety in the LORD's presence.
   13 The Israelites who remain will not act deceitfully. They will not lie, and a deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouth. Indeed, they will graze peacefully like sheep and lie down; no one will terrify them."
   14 Shout for joy, Daughter Zion! Shout out, Israel! Be happy and boast with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!
   15 The LORD has removed the judgment against you; he has turned back your enemy. Israel's king, the LORD, is in your midst! You no longer need to fear disaster.
   16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem, "Don't be afraid, Zion! Your hands must not be paralyzed from panic!
   17 The LORD your God is in your midst; he is a warrior who can deliver. He takes great delight in you; he renews you by his love; he shouts for joy over you."
   18 "As for those who grieve because they cannot attend the festivals - I took them away from you; they became tribute and were a source of shame to you.
   19 Look, at that time I will deal with those who mistreated you. I will rescue the lame sheep and gather together the scattered sheep. I will take away their humiliation and make the whole earth admire and respect them.
   20 At that time I will lead you - at the time I gather you together. Be sure of this! I will make all the nations of the earth respect and admire you when you see me restore you," says the LORD.
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