The book of Zephaniah.
Counted among the prophets.
None on site.
CCEL: Zephaniah (Hebrew only).
Swete LXX (Greek only).
Gateway (English only).
HTML Bible: Zephaniah (Hebrew and English).
HTML Bible: Zephaniah
(Latin Vulgate only).
Zhubert (Greek and English).
Kata Pi BHS: Zephaniah (Hebrew and English).
Kata Pi LXX: Zephaniah (Greek and English).
Sacred Texts: Zephaniah (polyglot).
Zephaniah at the OT Gateway.
Zephaniah in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Zephaniah at Kata Pi (Oesterly and Robinson).
Zephaniah from the Plymouth Brethren.
Introduction to Zephaniah (David Malick).
Outline of Zephaniah (David Malick).
From Manasseh to the Deuteronomic Reform
The book of Zephaniah ranks among the
latter prophets in the Jewish scriptures.
The book was originally written in Hebrew, but the ancient Greek
translation known as the Septuagint
(abbreviated LXX) is also a very important witness to the text.
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the book of Zephaniah:
Ralph P. Smith writes: "Most scholars prefer a date before Josiah's reform
in 621 B.C. for Zephaniah's ministry because Zephaniah denounced syncretistic
practices, Baal worship, and child sacrifice which were prevalent during Manasseh's
reign (1:4-9, 11-12; 3:1-4). By denouncing such practices Zephaniah could have
been a contributing influence in bringing about reform. . . . Kapelrud supports
the traditional early date. He points to the reference to Nineveh (2:13-15)
which had not yet fallen. Nineveh fell in 612 B.C. The syncretistic worshi reflected
in 1:4-5 also points to a pre-reform date as does the references to Moab, Ammon
and the Philistine cities. . . . In light of our present information it is probably
best to see Assyria as the enemy and assign a date of ca. 627 B.C. to the book
of Zephaniah." (Micah-Malachi, pp. 121-123)
Elizabeth Achtemeier writes: "But Judah also needed a religious renewal.
Assyrian domination of the kingdom during the reigns of Josiah's predecessors
Manasseh (698-642 B.C.) and Amon (642-640 B.C.) had brought with it foreign
customs and pagan deities. Canaanite Baal worship flourished, with its abominable
practices of sacred prostitution and child sacrifice, and those prophets who
objected were persecuted or killed. Josiah therefore instituted a widespread
religious reform based on the book of Deuteronomy in which all worship was centralized
in Jerusalem and pagan cults and priests were removed. Deuteronomy became the
law of the land, and the covenant with the Lord was renewed. The first two chapters
of Zephaniah reflect the corruption in Judah before this reform. The last chapter
reflects the reform's failure." (Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 742)
Jay G. Williams writes: "Chapter 1:1 also gives the genealogy of Zephaniah,
the longest genealogy of any of the prophets. Probably the lineage given is
as long as it is to make known that his great-great grandfather was none other
than Hezekiah, the king. In other words, Zephaniah was a son of David. It is
significant, therefore, that in his description of Judah's hope he says nothing
about a Messianic Son of David." (Understanding the Old Testament,
James King West writes: "No Old Testament prophet, other than those anonymous
figures whose words are now embodied within the Isaiah collection, qualifies
more readily for a place among Isaiah's disciples than does Zephaniah. Among
the more significant of their common elements are the portrayals of Assyria's
evil and Yahweh's control over the pagan empire's destiny; the concentration
on pride as the cardinal sin; the assurance that quietness, trust, and humility
are the needful human graces; and the persistent hope for Zion and the remnant.
Zephaniah's forceful oracles are proof enough that the brilliant gains established
by eighth-century prophecy had survived without major loss the long period of
prophetic quiescence." (Introduction to the Old Testament, pp. 295-296)