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
Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of
The Argument - Seeing the great rebellion of the people, and
that there was now no hope of amendment, he gives notice of
the great judgment of God, which was at hand, showing that
their country would be utterly destroyed, and they would be
carried away captives by the Babylonians. Yet for the comfort
of the faithful he prophesied of God's vengeance against their
enemies, such as the Philistines, Moabites, Assyrians, and
others, to assure them that God had a continual care over them.
And as the wicked would be punished for their sins and
transgressions, so he exhorts the godly to patience, and to
trust to find mercy by reason of the free promise of God made
to Abraham: and therefore quietly to wait until God shows them
the effect of that grace, by which in the end they should be
gathered to him, and counted as his people and children.
1:3 I will consume man and beast; I will consume the a 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 the LORD.
(a) Not that God was angry with these dumb creatures, but
because man was so wicked for whose cause they were
created, God makes them to take part of the punishments
1:4 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 b Chemarims
with the priests;
(b) Who were an order of superstitious priests appointed to
minister in the service of Baal, and were as his special
chaplains; read (2Ki 23:5, Ho 10:5).
1:5 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 c Malcham;
(c) He alludes to their idol Molech, which was forbidden;
read (Le 20:2), yet they called him their king, and
made him as a god: therefore he here notes those that
will both say they worship God, and yet will swear by
idols and serve them: which faltering is here condemned,
as in (Eze 20:39, 1Ki 18:21, 2Ki 17:33).
1:8 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 d strange
(d) Meaning, the courtiers, who did imitate the strange
apparel of other nations to win their favour by it, and
to appear glorious in the eyes of all others; read
1:9 In the same day also will I punish all those that e leap
on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with
violence and deceit.
(e) He means the servants of the rulers who invade other
men's houses, and rejoice and leap for joy, when they
can get any gain to please their master with.
1:10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD,
[that there shall be] the noise of a cry from the f fish
gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing
from the hills.
(f) Signifying that all the corners of the city of
Jerusalem would be full of trouble.
1:11 Howl, ye inhabitants of g Maktesh, for all the merchant
people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.
(g) This is meant of the street of the merchants which was
lower than the rest of the place around it.
1:12 And it shall come to pass at that time, [that] I will
search Jerusalem with h candles, and punish the men that
are settled i on their lees: that say in their heart, The
LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
(h) So that nothing will escape me.
(i) By their prosperity they are hardened in their
1:14 The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and
hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD:
k the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
(k) They that trusted in their own strength and condemned
the Prophets of God.