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Literature / Book of Zephaniah

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One of the books of the Minor Prophets that make up the Old Testament.


Structure of the book:

  • Prophecy of God's judgments (Zephaniah 1:1-2:3)
  • God's judgment of the nations (Zephaniah 2:4-3:8)
  • Promised blessings (Zephaniah 3:9-20)


Tropes:

  • Call-Back: In Zephaniah 2:9, God's judgements against Moab and the children of Ammon shall be in the respective manner of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: "I’ll wipe out those who worship the stars that they view from their housetops, those who bow down and swear to the Lord and who also swear by Milcom." (Zephaniah 1:5, International Standard Version)
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  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: God states a couple of times to the sinners that He will destroy everything in the world.
  • Money Is Not Power: God says in Zephaniah 1:18: "Moreover, their silver and their gold won't be able to deliver them on the day of the LORD's fury." (Common English Bible)
  • Mood Whiplash: For all of the chapters, God plans on carrying out His judgements against His people, until the conclusion in Zephaniah 3:14-20 where He announces hope and joy for His people through a song.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: What God plans on doing to the land of Judah in Zephaniah 1:2-13.
  • Sinister Minister: God speaks of Jerusalem: "Its prophets are arrogant and treacherous. Its priests have contaminated the sanctuary. They give perverse interpretations of the Law." (Zephaniah 3:4, International Standard Version)
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  • Vice City: Jerusalem as described in Zephaniah 3:1-5
    "Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
    She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.
    Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
    Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
    The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame."
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