Author: Zephaniah, son of Cushi
Date Written: 640-609 BC
Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of Josiah, king of
The book of Zephaniah is a short announcement of God's impending judgment on Judah (1:2-2:3) and the surrounding nations (2:4-3:8) with a note of hope for restoration at the end (3:9-20). The book takes up many themes found in the other prophets: judgment, restoration and the in-gathering of the nations. Zephaniah lived under Josiah between the Assyrian conquest of
The message of Zephaniah is in harmony with the other prophets. He announces the Lord's severe judgment against
Zephaniah takes us from a terrifying message of judgment where God will "utterly sweep everything away" (1:2) to a beautiful picture of a loving relationship with God wherein he will "rejoice over you with gladness" (3:17). He points to the immediate future as full of suffering and judgment, but the ultimate future as a time of glorious restoration. As Christians, we can embrace the message of Zephaniah by humbly accepting the redemptive sufferings of human life while seeking the Lord, his righteousness and humility. Yet we anticipate a coming glorious age in which he will "restore our fortunes" (see 3:20) and we will see him face to face.
By Mark Giszczak