Scriptures

Complete Study Of The Book Of Zephaniah

Introduction

Zephaniah lived during one of the worst times in the history of Judah, under the evil reign of King Manasseh. The good news is, for Judah it won’t be long before Josiah begins his rule as king of the southern kingdom of Judah, and it was during his reformation when Zephaniah begins his work as a prophet, Zephaniah 1:1. This would date Zephaniah’s book between 639-609 B.C.

Josiah, 1 Kings 13:2, was only 8 years old when he began his reign, he was 15 years old when he studied the word of God and he was 20 years old when he started his religious reforms.

He did this in five areas

1.The temple. He cleared out all the material used for Baal worship.

2. The high places. Altars to Baal, the sun, moon and stars etc.

3. Jerusalem. That had altars at all the gates. Molech, human sacrifices. Zephaniah 1:10.

4. In homes. The people had trephines, mediums and wizards in their homes.

5. The people themselves. But he didn’t remove the idolatry from their hearts.

Josiah actually led Judah to religious and social reform, 2 Chronicles 34:1-3 / 2 Chronicles 34:29-34 / 2 Chronicles
35:1-19, but Zephaniah announces that these spiritual changes wouldn’t last very long. It would only be a matter of time when God’s people would turn away from God and His ways once again.

The northern kingdom of Israel was already in captivity, taken by the Assyrians but God was about to use the mighty Babylonians to punish His own people, Judah. Zephaniah and his contemporaries, Jeremiah and Habakkuk, were some of the prophets God used to pronounce this warning message.

Zephaniah condemns the idolatrous behaviour of the Canaanites and the Assyrians and announces judgment against the nations that surrounded Judah. Zephaniah also announces the destruction of Jerusalem but gives hope in terms that she will be restored again in the future.

The Prophet Zephaniah

Like most of the prophets, we don’t know a whole lot about their personal lives, but we do know that the name Zephaniah means, ‘hidden by God’, he was probably a member of the royal family of Judah and as a prophet, he prophesied in the days of Josiah. We also know that King Hezekiah was his great, great, grandfather, Zephaniah 1:1, hence why some call him ‘the royal prophet’. The theme of his message is simply this, ‘the day of the Lord is at hand’.

Outline

Judgment of the world, and the judgment upon Israel, because of their disobedience. Zephaniah 1:1-6
The description of the judgment. Zephaniah 1:7-18
An appeal to seek God while there is still time. Zephaniah 2:1-3
The announcement of judgment on the unbelievers. Zephaniah 2:4-15
The hopeless misery of Jerusalem. Zephaniah 3:1-7
The promise of salvation. Zephaniah 3:8-20

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Complete Study Of The Book Of Zephaniah  

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

John 5:24

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