Woe to Jerusalem, the Rebel
1 Woe to the city of tyrants,
rebellious and defiled.
2 It has not heeded any warning voice,
it has not accepted any correction.
It has not placed its trust in the Lord;
it has not drawn near to its God.
3 The officials within it
are roaring lions;
its judges are wolves of the wasteland
that leave nothing in reserve for the morning.
4 Its prophets are arrogant;
they are treacherous men.
Its priests have profaned what is holy
and done violence to the law.
5 The Lord within this city is just;
he does no wrong.
Morning after morning he renders judgment
unfailingly at dawn.
6 I have cut off nations;
their strongholds lie in ruins.
I have laid waste their streets
so that no one walks along them.
Their cities have been laid waste,
and now they are deserted,
7 I thought, “Surely you will now fear me
and be willing to accept correction.
You will not fail to realize
how I have inflicted punishments on you.”
However, they only seemed more eager
to make all their deeds corrupt.
8 Therefore, wait for me, says the Lord;
wait for the day when I stand up to accuse you.
For I am determined to gather nations
and assemble kingdoms
in order to pour forth my wrath upon them,
all the heat of my anger.
The entire earth will be consumed
by the fire of my jealousy.
Toward a Tomorrow of Exultance[a]
9 Then I will purify
the lips of my people,
so that all may call on
the name of the Lord
and serve him with one accord.
10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
my suppliants, my scattered ones,
will bring offerings to me.
11 On that day you will not be put to shame
as a result of all the deeds
by which you have rebelled against me.
For then I will remove from your midst
those who are proud and arrogant,
and then you will never again flaunt your pride
on my holy mountain.
12 For I will leave in your midst
those who are meek and humble;
they will seek refuge in the name of the Lord.
13 This remnant of Israel will do no wrong
and utter no lies.
Nor will a deceitful tongue
be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down,
and no one will cause them to be afraid.
14 Cry out with joy, daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O Israel.
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter, Jerusalem.
15 The Lord has canceled the punishments against you;
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you need never again fear any harm.
16 On that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior and a savior.
He will rejoice over you with gladness
and renew you through his love.
He will exult over you with shouts of joy
18 as on a day of festival.
I will remove your misfortune
so that you no longer will need to endure reproach.
19 At that time I will deal
with all those who oppress you.
I will rescue the lame
and gather the dispersed.
I will win for them praise and renown
throughout the whole world.
20 At that time I will gather you together
and bring you home.
For I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.
- Zephaniah 3:9 Despite the dark perspectives connected with the day of the Lord, Zephaniah follows the practice of the other prophets, in looking, now, to a future in which God will save his people, who will be renewed and gathered around him once again. Whatever may happen, it is certain that God’s plan intends life and not death.