Zephaniah (Ch 1-3)

Zephaniah the son of Cushi, which would be the most ancient of the prophets, and to be contemporary with Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Amaziah and Uzziah, kings of Judah, about the year 625 BC when he is expressly said to prophesy in the days of Josiah. Its theme is the great day of judgement, the Day of the Lord, or the Lord’s Day, upon Judah and Jerusalem, as well as upon the entire world in graphic details. His name, which is compounded of Saphon, to hide, and Yah the Lord, signifies the secrets of the Lord. 

Zephaniah 1

1 The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. — the word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah, the son of Cushi; when the name of a prophet and his father’s name are mentioned, he is a prophet, the son of a prophet; or whether a prince, a person of some great family, or maybe of the blood royal;

— the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, four representative members from his ancestry being given, in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, there were but three generations from him to Josiah, in whose days Zephaniah prophesied as though it is very probable that these progenitors of the prophet were men of note and character.

“I will utterly consume all things from off the face of the land,” saith the Lord. — the Lord of host will utterly consume all things from off the land, sweeping it off the face of the earth in an utter devastation.

“I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land,” saith the Lord. — God will make His judgement to consume man and beast, even the creatures being affected by the universality of the decision; 

He will consume the fowls of the heaven and the fishes of the sea and the stumbling-blocks with the wicked, that is, whatever men have offended and transgressed with together with the objects of their idolatry; He will cut off man from off the land, certainly destroying them off the face of the earth, in a great fiery destruction.

“I will also stretch out Mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarim with the priests, — God will also stretch out his hand upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for the people of the land followed the inhabitants of the capital in their transgressions; and He will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, 

for there were still such as adhered to his idolatrous worship, and the name of the Chemarim, the idol-priests, those engaged in the worship of Baal, with the priests, for these also had polluted themselves and were therefore destined for destruction;

— a parallel Scripture in Malachi 3:2 speaks of a “refiner’s fire” that shall purify the sons of Levi; hence within 700 years later, both the Boethusians, who hailed from Egyptian’s “idolatrous priests” and the Hellenised Sadducees, who played harlotry with the Greek gods of Zeus and goddess Athena, were consumed in the AD 70 inferno. The Boethusians and the Sadducees were members of two Jewish sects that kept a heretic passover, and that flourished for a century or so before their destruction in the prophesied refiner’s purification of the Levites;

— the Essene/Qumran has their own 364 day solar calendar totally at odds with the calendrics of the Sanhedrin; they acted presumptuously by repudiating the Calendar that God has instituted through His Word; they, too, were wiped out during the AD 70 inferno.

and them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops, and them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Milcom, — and them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops, had a full view of the host of heaven, regarding the Sun, Moon and Stars as their gods; and them that worship and that swear by the Lord and that swear by their pagan deity, Malcham, so that they tried to combine the service of the true God and that of Baal, solemnly pledging themselves to the latter’s service;

a parallel in Jeremiah 8:2 the heads of the twenty-four courses of the priesthood, led by the high priest, making up the “twenty five men” were not only worshipping the SUN: they were doing so in the very temple of God, with their backs turned upon the presence of God!

— today, we all honor the host of heaven with a pagan-named week and a paganised monthly calendar; and more than 98.5 percent of Christians are honouring the Sun by observing Sunday worship. They have “their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the SUN toward the east; whose Godly penalty is to be “cut off” to death (verse 3) – ’till they die (more at the end).

and them that are turned back from the Lord, and those that have not sought the Lord nor inquired for Him.” — and them that are turned back from the Lord, their backs against the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, worshipping the Sun; and those that have not sought the Lord nor enquired for Him, both the openly wicked and the irreligious or else seeking advice from other gods: Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek or Roman.

Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God, for the day of the Lord is at hand. For the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice; He hath bidden His guests. — hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God! ready to submit to His judgment as outlined above; for the day of the Lord—the Lord’s Day; as in Revelation 1:10; not Sunday but the day of His Judgement—is at hand, when His punishment must strike the transgressors soon; 

— for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, the Jewish nation itself, his people the Jews, who were to fall to his justice, to atone for the injury done to their sins, He hath bid His guests, namely, the world-powers, the Chaldeans, the greeks, the Romans and their allies, all ready to devour Judah.

“And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. — and it shall came to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, when His punishment is put into effect, that the Lord of host will punish the princes, the mighty ones, the dignitaries of state, and the king’s children, all those belonging to the royal family;

— and all such as are clothed with strange apparel, their dress showing that they were estranged from the national spirit and customs; the Targum says, “and upon all those that make a noise at the worship of idols.”

9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. — in the same day also God will punish all those that leap over the threshold, namely, that of the temple of Dagon, the idol of the Philistines, 1 Samuel 5:5 which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit; 

this also sounds like a dramatic transformed pale-looking cancer-denying Mike Pompeo CIA’s “We lie, we cheat, we stole” in bringing power, wealth, money and influence, unjustly acquired through “violence and deceit” into the houses of the Pentagon which they hope to get away with impunity, for the moment at least.

10 “And it shall come to pass in that day,” saith the Lord, “that there shall be the noise of a cry from the Fish Gate, and a howling from the Second, and a great crashing from the hills. — and it shall come to pass in that day, the Lord’s Day, saith the Lord, that there shall be the noise of a cry, of a woeful shout, from the fish-gate, that through which the road to Joppa passed;

— and an howling from the second, from the lower city, where the attack of the enemy would be launched, and a great crashing from the hills, those extending upward from the lower city. The Lord set out to punish, and His Judgement was thorough, as it always is in the case of such as refuse to heed His warning.

11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. — howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, meaning the mortar, a small section of Jerusalem, so called because it presented a depression or hollow; the Targum says differently, “howl, all ye that dwell in the valley of Kidron;”

— for all the merchant people are cut down, entirely destroyed; all they that bear silver, the traders laden with silver, who occupied that part of the lower city, are cut off by the sword of the enemy.

12 And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their dregs, that say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.’ — and it shall come to pass at that time that the Lord of host will search Jerusalem with candles, investigating even the dark and hidden corners, so that not one of the wrong-doers is overlooked, and punish the men that are settled on their lees, like old wine which is not drawn off, a fit picture of moral and religious indifference, Jeremiah 48:11,

— that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil, which is a flat denial of his providence; saying that he takes no notice of what is done by men on earth, whether good or bad; and neither rewards the one, nor punishes the other. So the Targum says, “it is not the good pleasure of God to do good to the righteous, or to do evil to the wicked;” that is, there is no need of worry, matters will go on as they always have been.

13 Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation. They shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.” — therefore their wealth will be plundered by the enemies, and their houses a desolation, in the overthrow of the city; 

— they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them, the destruction taking place before they can move into them, and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. Cf Amos 5:11Micah 6:15.

14 The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hasteneth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. — the great Day of the Lord, “the Lord’s Day” as in Revelation 1:10; not Sunday but the day of His Judgement, is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, there will be no further delay, even the voice of the day of the Lord, or “Hark! the day of Yehovah”

— the mighty man shall cry there bitterly, the mighty men within the city of Jerusalem besieged, as was in AD 70; the Boethusian and Sadducaic elites of Jerusalem, crying in bitter lamentation, because he cannot save themselves, but must yield to the foe.

15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of waste and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, — that day is a day of wrath and judgement, Cf Isaiah 19:18, a day of trouble and distress, of anguish and pressure, Job 15:24, a day of wasteness and desolation, of the greatest devastation, a day of darkness and gloominess, Joel 2:2, a day of clouds and thick darkness, Deuteronomy 4:11,

16 a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers. — a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, in proclaiming God’s power upon a sinful people, in the war-signal of desolation and against the high towers, these signify their princes, magistrates and great men, well-protected by the battlements of their forts.

17 “And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.” — and the Lord of host will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, not knowing which way to go, groping about in a futile effort to escape from existing evils;

— because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, in endless quantities, and their flesh as the dung, or their carcasses, that is, their dead bodies shall lie unburied, and rot and putrefy and shall be cast upon fields like dung, to fatten them. 

18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, for He indeed shall make a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. — neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them; like the Medes when they took on Babylon, Isaiah 13:17 in the day of the Lord’s wrath, they would not be able to buy themselves off when His fury is once set in motion;

— but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, His indignation jealous for His honor; for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land, consuming them with a suddenness which they had not anticipated. Even so will the Day of Wrath come upon a world which, as a whole, is not prepared for the coming of the Lord’s Day of Judgement. Cf Matthew 24:44.

Zephaniah 2

1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired, — Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, to call a solemn assembly, to gather the people, priests, and elders, together, to some one place, as for a penitential assembly with earnest self-examination, O nation not desired, literally, that does not grow pale,” not desirable to God, which till now has felt no sense of shame,

— Rashi: O nation that has no desire: That has no desire to return to the Torah.

before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’S anger come upon you! — before the decree bring forth, when, according to God’s plan, the day of judgement upon Judah would suddenly come, before the day pass as the chaff, coming on quickly as when the wind carries the chaff along, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you, as it surely would if they would not show the proper repentance;

— the Targum explains more fully, “before the decree of the house of judgement come out upon you, and ye be like chaff which the wind blows away, and like a shadow which passes from before the day,” like the Boethusian and Sadducaic elites during the AD 70 inferno; see Psalms 1:4.

Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgement; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’S anger. — seek ye the Lord, in proper repentance, all ye meek of the earth, the humble of the land, those who were still disposed to he guided by His will, which have wrought His judgement, observed His right, trying to fulfill the decrees of His holy Word; seek righteousness, with ever greater truth and sincerity, seek meekness, with all humility, with a constant sense of their own unworthiness; 

— it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger, so that the Lord would make use of mercy rather than in wrath and fierce anger and save them in the general overthrow. This exhortation is now supported by a reference to the doom of many nations;

— the Targum of the whole says, “seek the fear of the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, who do the judgements of his will; seek truth, seek meekness; it may be there will be a protection for you on the day of the Lord’s anger.”

For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation; they shall drive out Ashdod at the noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up. — for Gaza shall be forsaken, overthrown and forgotten. and Ashkelon a desolation; they shall drive out Ashdod, the chief seat of the worship of Dagon, at the noon day, since she would be helpless even at midday, so that there would be no need of resorting to a night attack, and Ekron shall be rooted up. The four Philistine city-states here mentioned are clearly representative of the entire country.

Woe unto the inhabitants of the seacoast, the nation of the Cherethites! The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, the land of the Philistines: “I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.” — Woe unto the inhabitants of the seacoast, of the plains along the Mediterranean sea, the nation of the Cherethites, for a part of the Philistines, at least, traced their descent to the ancient people of Crete; the word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, the word Canaan here applied chiefly to the lowlands of Palestine to the west; the Lord of host will even destroy thee that there shall be no inhabitant, the nation as such to be destroyed;

Rashi: the nation of Cherethites: the people liable to destruction. Who are the inhabitants of the seacoast of Canaan, the land of the Philistines? The Philistines, who dwell on the coast of the western sea, in the west of Eretz lsrael, within its boundaries. Although Jonathan explains this phrase homiletically as [the nation of] destruction, the nation of the Cherethites is a province of the Philistines; its name is Cherethi. So Scripture states (I Sam. 30:14) regarding Ziklag: “We made a raid upon the south of the Cherethites, etc.” Jonathan translates: on the south of Cherethi. Below (ibid. 30:16) it is written: “Because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.”

note – this seacoast in Cherethites is destined for destruction; yet the same seacoast in the next verses are prophesied to be a place of refuge for shepherds and folds of flocks – the remnant of the house of Judah, for the Lord their God shall visit them and return them from captivity!

And the seacoast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. — and the seacoast, then teeming with the life of rich commercial cities, shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, dugouts and shanties, or places for pastures where they would carry on the work of their calling, and folds for flocks, the land reverting to the use of nomads;

Rashi: breakfast nooks for shepherds: a temporary dwelling where the shepherds eat bread in the morning. כְּרֹת is an expression related to (II Kings 6:23) “He prepared for them a lavish feast.”

Yavne, where it is a “dwellings and cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks” on the Mediterranean coast, seems to fit this verse perfectly in a subtle way by God of referring to this seacoast!

Yavne, near the Coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah

And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon. In the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening; for the Lord their God shall visit them, and return them from captivity. — and the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah, those whom the Lord would lead hack to their own country; the Pharisees of the House of Hillel; they escaped to Yavne on the Mediterranean coast and, later, his followers re-emerged as Rabbinic Jews, who established the Hillel Calendar; they shall feed thereupon, making the country a pasture-ground; their God shall visit them, to make the nucleus of a renewed people, members of the Jewish nation that returned;

Rashi: And it shall be a lot for the remnant of the house of Judah: And that border shall be a lot for the remnant. This חֶבֶל is an expression of a lot. In this manner, Jonathan rendered: And it shall be a lot for the remnant of the house of Judah.

— with them the Jews are also embedded with the Oral Law, the knowledge of where the Vowels are in the Scriptures (which were then written only in consonants and no spaces nor punctuations); and how and when to use them; Romans 3:1-4; see a Study here and here; that’s why God provide a refuge for them; and bring them back from captivity!

“I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached My people, and magnified themselves against their border. — the Lord of host have heard the reproach of Moab, Cf Jeremiah 48:27, and the revilings of the children of Amman, two people that descended from Lot, east of Jordan and of the Dead Sea, but later became the enemies of God’s people and made known their hostility in bitter blasphemies;

— whereby they have reproached God’s people, in proud mockery and scorn, they spoke reproachfully of the land of Israel, and magnified themselves against their border, acted violently against the boundary of the Lord’s people, constantly attempting to get into possession of some of Israel’s territory;

— Rashi: who taunted My people: When [the people of] Israel were being led into exile toward the land of the Chaldeans, and they were passing through Ammon and Moab, and they would see Israel weeping, sighing, and crying out, they would taunt them and say, “Why are you suffering? Aren’t you going to your father’s house? Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the river from earliest times.” (Josh. 24:2).

Therefore as I live,” saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah” even the breeding of nettles and salt pits, and a perpetual desolation. The residue of My people shall despoil them, and the remnant of My people shall possess them.” — therefore as the Lord of host lives, the God of Israel, the supreme Ruler of the world, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Amman as Gomorrah, being overwhelmed by the destruction which was the fate of their ancestor’s cities;

— even the breeding of nettles, a plant with pointed leave; a weed growing only in desolate places, and salt-pits, on the shore of the Dead Sea, and a perpetual desolation, a waste, barren and uncultivated; a desert until the end of time; the residue of God’s people shall spoil them, take possession of their land, and the remnant of His people shall possess them; that is, the Jews, the remnant of them that returned from Babylon: these events being typical of the destruction of the sinners in contrast to the redemption of the Lord’s people;

— Rashi: for Moab shall be like Sodom: You, too, shall return to your previous dwelling. Was not your father, Lot, from Sodom?

10 This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts. — this shall they have for their (that of the Moabites and Ammonites) pride, in proper retaliation for the manner in which they had dealt with Yehovah’s people, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts; they spoke contemptibly of them, of their nation and religion.

11 The Lord will be fearsome unto them; for He will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship Him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. — the Lord will be terrible unto the Moabites and Ammonites; dealing with them in a manner which is hound to strike terror to their hearts; for He will famish, make them extremely hungry, or destroy;

— all the gods of the earth, all the idols in which men placed their trust: Dagon, Chemosh, Molech, Bel, Astarte, Mithra or Mitra (the Sun-God whose birthday many drunks honor and celebrate on December 25th), Zeus and others; called “gods of the earth” in distinction from the God of heaven; and men shall worship these earthly gods, acknowledging their supremacy, everyone from his place, Protestants or Catholics alike, even all the isles of the heathen, that is, men from every nation of the earth.

12 “Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by My sword.” — ye Ethiopians also, not just Ethiopians in Africa but all beyond Egypt, ye shall be slain by My Sword, an instrument in the hand of God for punishing all the nations of the earth.

13 And He will stretch out His hand against the north and destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh a desolation and dry like a wilderness. — and the Lord of host will stretch out His hand against the North and destroy Assyria, powerful though it was at that time, and will make Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, Jonah 1:2, a desolation, although it was then surrounded by a network of irrigation canals, and dry like a wilderness.

14 And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it: their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for He shall uncover the cedar work. — and flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, the former great city had been leveled to the ground and reverted back to a pasture-ground, all the beasts of the nations, beasts of all kinds in droves or great masses; 

— both the cormorant, the pelicans, and the bittern, or hedge-hog, shall lodge in the upper lintels of it, on the capitals of pillars standing in the midst of the ruins; their voice shall sing in the windows, or, “hark how tile singer sings in the window,” where he has built his nest; desolation, or dirt, shall be in the thresholds; for the Lord of hosts shall uncover the cedar work, all the beautiful cedar paneling of their palaces the Lord has torn away, and it has fallen into decay;

— Rashi: for the cedarwork has been destroyed: For he has uprooted its cedars, as in (Ps. 137:7) “Raze it, raze it.” Jonathan rendered: And they demolished its roof. That is the roof of the house that is ceiled with cedar; even stone houses are ceiled with boards of wood.

15 This is the rejoicing city that dwelt without care, that said in her heart, “I am, and there is none besides me.” How she has become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! Every one that passeth by her shall hiss and wag his hand. — this is the rejoicing city, where shouts of gaiety were heard without ceasing, that dwelt carelessly, in perfect security;

— that said in her heart, in proud self-confidence, I am, and there is none beside me. How is she become a desolation, a deserted place, a place for beasts to lie down in, a lair for the animals of the desert. Everyone that passeth by her shall hiss and wag his head, in scorn and derision, both astonished and gratified at the overthrow of the proud city, a consequence of the ending in which the Lord carried out His judgements upon His enemies.

Zephaniah 3

1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! — Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, meaning the city of Jerusalem, and its inhabitants; not just before the Babylonish captivity, but after their return, under the second temple, stubborn and full of uncleanness.

She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God. — she obeyed not the voice of his servants the prophets, paying no attention to the Lord’s admonitions; she received not correction, the instruction or discipline which was intended to be of benefit to her; she trusted not in the Lord, placing no confidence in His exhortations and promises; she drew not near to her God, she has become indifferent to Yehovah.

Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves, they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. — her princes within her are roaring lions, bent upon rapine and murder; her judges are evening wolves of civil magistrates in common; the members of the Sanhedrin; their princes with their mouths like ravening and roaring lions driven forth by hunger in the evening, their greed being insatiable; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow, that is, they leave not the bones till the morning; they are so hungry that they eat up bones and all at once, their voracious appetite causing them to devour their victims instantly.

Her prophets are light and treacherous persons; her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. — her false prophets are light and treacherous, dishonest, unscrupulous, boastful and faithless; her priests have polluted the Sanctuary, desecrating the Temple by their neglect of the prescribed sacrifices or by their blasphemous manner in offering them; they have done violence to the Law, simply setting aside the precepts of God whose guardians they were supposed to be.

The just Lord is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: Every morning doth He bring His judgement to light, He faileth not. But the unjust knoweth no shame. — the just Lord is in the midst thereof, He, the righteous One, having left nothing untried; He will not do iniquity, He commits no wrong; every morning doth He bring His judgement to light, giving evidence of the justice of all His dealings; 

— He faileth not, no blame, therefore, rests on Him. But the unjust knoweth no shame, the wicked people of Jerusalem are not influenced either by the example of God or by His threat of punishment.

“I have cut off the nations; their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by; their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is no inhabitant. — the Lord of host have cut off the nations, also as an act of warning for Israel; their towers are desolate, their walls and fortresses leveled to the ground; the Lord made their streets waste, the roads obliterated, that none passeth by their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant, all this being done, in part at least, to serve as an example of warning to the people of Jerusalem and Judah.

I said, ‘Surely thou wilt fear Me, thou wilt receive instruction’—so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them; but they rose early and corrupted all their doings. — the Lord of host said, Surely thou wilt fear Me, the kindness and tenderness of the warning being emphasized; thou wilt receive instruction, if only thou wouldst suffer thyself to be taught!

— so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever the Lord of host punished them, or, “in accordance with all that the Lord had appointed them” that is, Yehovah hoped still to have mercy on them, so that He would not have to send the threatened punishment; but they rose early, zealous for their wicked works, and corrupted all their doings, they were eager to speed their perverted actions, their infamous deeds. Thus many a godless person refuses to heed the Lord’s call to repentance and deliberately plunges all the more deeply into transgressions of every kind.

“Therefore wait ye upon Me,” saith the Lord, “until the day that I rise up to the prey; for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy. — therefore wait ye upon the Lord, this merciful invitation being extended to all who will still listen to His words, until the day that the Lord rise up to the prey, when He pours out His wrath upon the nations; 

— for His determination is to gather the nations, to carry out His punishment upon them, that the Lord may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them His indignation, even all His fierce anger, all the burning wrath which He has stored tip against them; 

— for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of His jealousy, by the zeal which He would show on His Day of Judgement. That is the promise of the Millenium, the elimination of the enemies as a factor in interfering with the progress of the Lord’s Kingdom;

— as in Joel 3:16, “the earth will shake” or here “all the earth shall be devoured with the fire” that is, the whole world will be given a Mount Sinai experience as the children had when they came out of Egypt; so that the fear of the Lord will always be embedded in them, all the nations of the world to fear Him; Exodus 19:16-1820:18-21.

For then will I return to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord. — for then will the Lord of host turn to the people a pure language, by purifying their sinful lips and thereby enabling them to call upon Him with pure lips, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, Yehovah, in the true unity of a common faith to serve Him with one consent, literally, “with one shoulder,” all bearing together the pleasant yoke of our great God.

10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My suppliants—even the daughter of My dispersed—shall bring Mine offering. — from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, from the remotest corners of the earth, the Lord’s suppliants, those who would worship Jehovah in spirit and in truth, even the daughter of His dispersed, gained for the Lord from the midst of a strange nation, shall bring His offering, turning to Him with true worship.

11 “In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings wherein thou hast transgressed against Me; for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of My holy mountain. — in that day shalt thou, the restored Israel, the Kingdom of God, not be ashamed for all thy doings wherein thou hast transgressed against Him, there being no more occasion for such a feeling; 

— for then the Lord of host will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, the wicked and blasphemous whom the prophet had described at the beginning of the Chapter, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of His holy mountain, all boastfulness and pride being eliminated in favor of a meek and humble submission to Yehovah’s reign of mercy.

12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. — the Lord of host will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, one fully conscious of its absolute dependence upon the grace and mercy of the covenant God, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord, Yehovah, placing all their confidence in Him alone.

13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity nor speak lies, neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” — the remnant of Israel, the nucleus of the Church, which would become the stock of the Kingdom of God, shall not do iniquity, not willfully serve wickedness, nor speak lies, becoming guilty of deliberate falsehood, 

— neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth, particularly so far as false doctrine is concerned; for they shall feed, of the rich pasture offered by the Good Shepherd, and lie down, in calm satisfaction, and none shall make them afraid. Cf Micah 7:14; Psalms 23.

14 Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! — Sing, O daughter of Zion, the Kingdom of God; shout, O Israel, namely, the spiritual Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem, for the communion of the saints is established in the Jerusalem which is above. Cf Galatians 4:26.

15 The Lord hath taken away thy judgments; He hath cast out thine enemy. The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more. — the Lord of host hath taken away thy judgements, the sentences of condemnation which had rightly been spoken upon her on account of her sins; 

— He hath cast out thine enemy, sweeping away the world-power which personified all the hostile forces of the world. The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee, namely, in the person of the Messiah; thou shalt not see evil any more, His blessings removing everything that might bring evil.

16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, “Fear thou not”; and to Zion, “Let not thine hands be slack. — in that day, in the great Messianic period, it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not, this being the fundamental note of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, no more weird stories from either the paganised Christmas or Easter shows; and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack, namely, in terror at the prospect of danger and affliction from without.

17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” — the Lord, thy God, the Lord of host in the midst of thee is mighty, not at a dim distance, but in the closest proximity, and powerful to help; He will save, that’s His name Yeshua, He is the Savior; 

— He will rejoice over thee with joy, in His delight over the renewal of the marriage covenant between Himself and His Church; He will rest in His love, in quiet satisfaction; He will joy over thee, after His meditation has proved so satisfactory, with singing. Moreover, the Lord will let all humble and afflicted partake of His joy.

18 “I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. — the Lord of host will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, mourning far from the festive gathering when the Lord would make His salvation known, who are of thee, they were of the same family and descent, but were now far removed from the visible congregation of the Lord, to whom the reproach of it was a burden, who felt the weight of their captivity among the heathen nations.

19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee; and I will save her that is halt, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. — behold, at that time, in the Millenium, the Lord of host will undo all that afflict thee, dealing with the oppressors according to His justice; and He will save her that halteth, heal the limping, and gather her that was driven out, those who were dispersed; 

— and He will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame, so that the name of the Lord’s people would be celebrated everywhere.

20 At that time will I bring you back, even in the time that I gather you; for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I bring back your captives before your eyes,” saith the Lord. — at that time will the Lord of host bring you again, the calling of the Lord to join His Kingdom being an act of His mercy, even in the time that I gather you, in His Kingdom; 

— for He will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when He turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord. The fulfillment of this prophecy is clearly found in the gathering of the Kingdom, its members being called from the various nations of the earth, and the consummation and climax will be reached in the eventual complete deliverance from this present evil world as the Kingdom of God opens its portals.

~~~

Facing the East, worship the host of heaven (Zephaniah 15); worshipping the Sun:

— the worship of heavenly bodies was against God’s will which Moses had warned the people (Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:3, whose penalty is to be stoned to death, Deuteronomy 17:5 ’till they die). Those 25 men in Ezekiel 8:16 corrupted themselves by worshipping the sun; and so the Targum renders it, “and, lo, they corrupted themselves, worshipping facing the east the sun; their backs toward the temple of the Lord” — they turned their backs against the most holy place; which is an aggravation of their impiety; casting the utmost contempt for God:

Moses’ warnings in Deuteronomy 17

3 And [if you] hath gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, 4 and it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it and inquired diligently, and behold, it be true and the thing certain that such abomination is wrought in Israel, 5 then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman who has committed that wicked thing unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones till they die. Deuteronomy 17:3-5

The following quotation show that the first Christians understood the Sabbath but were made forbidden and gathered for worship on Sunday: “Christians should not Judaize and should not be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord’s day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians” (Canon 29 AD 360);

— also, Days of the Week Names: “Sunday” is the Sun’s day and “Monday” is the Moon’s day. “Tuesday” is Tiw’s day; Tiw is an Anglo-Saxon god of war. “Wednesday” comes from Woden, the Anglo-Saxon king of the gods; in Saxon the name is Wodnesdaeg. “Thursday” is Thursdaeg, Thor’s day; Thor is a Norse god of thunder, lightning and storms. “Friday” is Frigedaeg, Frigga’s day; Frigg is a Norse goddess of home, marriage and fertility. “Saturday” is Saeterndaeg, Saturn’s day; Saturn is an ancient Roman god of fun and feasting;

— Months of the Year Names: January (derived from the Latin Januarius) is to honor their Roman gods Janus; and March, named for Mars, is the Roman mighty god of war; February is derived from the Februa festival or its eponymous februa (“purifications, expiatory offerings”); April relates to what the Romans called the month Aprilis; from a word meaning “to open” and further back from Aphrodite, the Greek name for the goddess of love. May – named for Maia, is the Roman goddess of spring and growth;

— June is a name attributed to Juno, the female mighty wife of Jupiter in Roman mythology. She is also called the “Queen of Heaven” and “Queen of Mighty Ones.” July is to honor Julius Caesar; the Roman Senate named it “Julius” in honor of Roman emperor Julius Caesar. August honor Julius Caesar’s successor, the emperor Augustus; and the months September, October, November, and December are archaic adjectives derived from the ordinal numbers 7 to 10;

— do you think we can get away from His wrath and judgement by repudiating His Word and His Calendar; adopping paganisation and get away with impunity?

— today, more than 98.5 percent of Christians are honouring the Sun by observing Sunday worship. They have “their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the SUN toward the east; whose Godly penalty is to be stoned to death – ’till they die.

— also, following the SUN-worshipping Samaritans, most Church of God Communities are showing their contempt for God by having their “wavesheaf offering” and Pentecost on a Sunday; always on a Sunday. And these are supposedly in God’s Sanctuary, but God says He is a jealous God, so these pretentious Christians could be spewed out of His mouth! A death penalty – ’till they die!

~ by Joel Huan on January 26, 2022.

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