Neviim Akharonim: Tzefanyahu (צפניהוּ  /  צפניה) / Zepheniah Chapter 1

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The Day of Hashem's anger is coming

1:1 Dvar YHWH (יהוה) which came unto Tzefanyahu (צפניהוּ  /  צפניה) ben Kushi (כּוּשׁי), ben G'edalyah, ben Amaryah, ben Hizkiyah, in the days of Yoshiyahu (יאשׁיּהוּ  /  יאשׁיּה) ben Amon, melekh Yehudah.

1:2 I will utterly consume all [things] from off the earth, saith YHWH (יהוה).

1:3 I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith YHWH (יהוה).

1:4 I will also stretch out mine hand upon Yehudah, and upon all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, [and] the name of the Kemarim with the priests;

1:5 And them that shachad (bow down to) the tz'va haShomayim (Army of Heaven) upon the housetops; and them that shachad (bow down to) [and] that swear by YHWH (יהוה), and that swear by Malkam;

1:6 And them that are turned back from YHWH (יהוה); and [those] that have not sought YHWH (יהוה), nor enquired for him.

1:7 Hold thy peace (keep silence) at the presence of Adonay YHWH (יהוה): for the day of YHWH (יהוה) [is] at hand: for YHWH (יהוה) hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.

1:8 And it shall come to pass in the day of YHWH (יהוה)'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.

1:9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit.

1:10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith YHWH (יהוה), [that there shall be] the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.

1:11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.

1:12 And it shall come to pass at that time, [that] I will search Yerushalayim with lamps, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, YHWH (יהוה) will not do good, neither will he do evil.

1:13 Therefore their goods shall become a booty(spoil), 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.

1:14 Ha Yom YHWH (יהוה) hagadol [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the Yom YHWH (יהוה): the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

1:15 That day [is] Yom Evrah, Yom Tzarah and Metzukah , a Yom of Shoah and Meshoah , a Yom of Choshech and Afelah , a Yom of Anan and Arafel, (see below notes)

1:16 A day of the Shofar and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.

1:17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against YHWH (יהוה): and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.

1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of YHWH (יהוה)'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

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Profile study

Tzefanyah (צפניהוּ  /  צפניה) Yehovah has treasured  was the son of Kushi (כּוּשׁי) meaning "their blackness" mention in Jer 36:14  an ancestor of Yehudi . Tzefanyahu  ministered during the reign of Yoshiyahu (640 -609 BC)

  1. The Ninth in order of the 12 minor Neviim; descendant of Melekh Chizkiyah (hyqzx) of Yehudah and Navi in the time of Melekh Yoshiyahu of Yehudah
  2. son of Maaseiah and second kohen in the reign of Melekh Tzedekyah of Yehudah; succeeded YehoiYada and an officer of the temple; slain at Riblah on the capture of Yerushalayim
  3. father of Yoshiyahu and Hen in the time of the Navi ZeKaryahu
  4. He is a Levyim

Tzefanyahu (צפניהוּ  /  צפניה) is a sroll of vivid contrasts. compared to others Neviim, he paints a darker picture of Hashem's misphat, and a brighter picture of Yisrael's future glory. This extreme contrast reflects the divided religious loyalties of the people of Yehudah. Their worship of Yehovah was often mixed with pagan practices which were abominable to Hashem. Hashem's judement on this divided camp is called the day of Yehovah and makes up the theme of the scroll. Another key element of Tzefanyahu (צפניהוּ  /  צפניה)'s teaching is the concept of a remnant that is protected in the "day of Yehovah" .

Scripture Outline

1. Hashem's determination to execute judgment (Perek 1)

2. Yehudah is call to Teshuvah (2:1-3)

3. The Doom of the Goyim Nations (2:4-15)

4. WOE Pronounced on Yerushalayim (3:1-7)

5. Message of comfort to the Faithful Remnant (3:8-20)

What are these idols?

Malkam מלכּום  /  מלכּם malkâm  /  milkôm Milcom = “great king” 1) the god of the Ammonites and Phoenicians to whom some Israelites sacrificed their infants in the valley of Hinnom 1a) also ‘Molech’ 2) a Benjamite, son of Shaharaim by his wife Hodesh.

Kemarim  כּמרkamar 1) priest, idolatrous priest see II Kgs 23:5

Maktesh  Literally, The Mortar, a depression in Yerushalayim where the bazaars were. “a mortar” or “deep hollow” 1) a hollow or valley evidently in the greater Jerusalem area

The Great day the YHWH's wrath