1. What opportunity was given before the fierce anger of the Lord came upon them?
They could seek the Lord, righteousness, etc.: “(1) Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; (2) 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. (3) Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger” (Zephaniah 2:1-3).
- The gathering together was to hear the decree (i.e. Genesis 49:2, Deuteronomy 4:10, and Nehemiah 8:1).
- In chapter one, we read about Judah (Zephaniah 1:4) and the day of wrath coming upon Jerusalem (Zephaniah 1:12-15).
- While the Lord is about to declare judgment on other nations, the message is being declared to His people that are “not desired” (Jeremiah 12:7-9).
- Stepping back to the message of destruction from chapter one, and that day pass as the chaff (Hosea 13:1-3), the invitation to change was presented.
- Seek the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:29, I Chronicles 28:9, and Isaiah 55:6-7).
- Meek [humble; lowly] of the earth (Psalms 25:8-9 and James 4:6-10).
- Hid in the day of the Lord’s anger (Psalms 85:2 and Romans 4:7-8).
2. What was said about Gaza, Ashkelon, the sea coast, the Cherethites, Canaan, and the land of the Philistines?
“(4) For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. (5) Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, 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” (Zephaniah 2:4-5).
- Jeremiah 47:1-7 and Ezekiel 25:15-17
3. What was left for the remnant of the house of Judah?
The coast: “(6) And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. (7) 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 turn away their captivity” (Zephaniah 2:6-7).
- The Lord was going to turn away the captivity of Judah (Jeremiah 23:1-3 and Jeremiah 29:10-14).
4. What problem existed with the Moabites and the Ammonites?
They reproached God’s people in their pride: “(8) 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. (9) 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 saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them. (10) This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts” (Zephaniah 2:8-10).
- The reproach of Moab (Ezekiel 25:8-11).
- The revilings of the children of Ammon (Ezekiel 25:3-7).
- These are the descendants of Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19:30-38).
- Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed (Genesis 18:23-19:29; cf. Jude 1:7).
- Perpetual desolations meant they were not coming back (Ezekiel 35:9).
- Their reproach of the Lord’s people was as though they were reproaching the Lord Himself (Zechariah 2:8-9 and Acts 9:1-4).
5. Was the Lord going to be pleasant with the Moabites and the Ammonites?
No, TERRIBLE: “The LORD will be terrible 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” (Zephaniah 2:11).
- Terrible (Psalms 66:1-7 and Psalms 76:8-12).
- Famish [wax lean] the gods of the earth (Isaiah 2:17-18 and Ezekiel 30:13).
- To turn from idols to God (cf. Ezekiel 14:6).
6. What do we read about the Ethiopians and the Assyrians?
“(12) Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword. (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. (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. (15) This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand” (Zephaniah 2:12-15).
- Ethiopia (Isaiah 18:1-7 and Jeremiah 46:9-10).
- Assyria and the city therein of Nineveh (Isaiah 10:5-19).
- At one point, Nineveh repented (Jonah 3:1-10).
- Arrogance, pride, overconfidence all result in humbling at some point (Isaiah 2:11-12 and Isaiah 47:8-11).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.