Zephaniah 2


The prophet, having declared the judgments which were ready to

fall on his people, earnestly exhorts them to repentance, that

these judgments may be averted, 1-3.

He then foretells the fate of other neighbouring and hostile

nations: the Philistines, 4-7;

Moabites and Ammonites, 8-11;

Ethiopians, 12;

and Assyrians, 13.

In the close of the chapter we have a prophecy against Nineveh.

These predictions were accomplished chiefly by the conquests of



Verse 1. Gather yourselves] Others, sift yourselves. Separate

the chaff from the wheat, before the judgments of God fall upon

you. O nation not desired-unlovely, not delighted in; hated

because of your sin. The Israelites are addressed.

Verse 3. Ye meek of the earth] anavey, ye oppressed

and humbled of the land.

It may be ye shall be hid] The sword has not a commission

against you. Ask God, and he will be a refuge to you from the

storm and from the tempest.

Verse 4. Gaza shall be forsaken] This prophecy is against the

Philistines. They had been greatly harassed by the kings of

Egypt; but were completely ruined by Nebuchadnezzar, who took all

Phoenicia from the Egyptians; and about the time of his taking

Tyre, devastated all the seignories of the Philistines. This ruin

we have seen foretold by the other prophets, and have already

remarked its exact fulfilment.

Verse 5. The sea-coasts, the nation of the Cherethites] The

sea-coasts mean all the country lying on the Mediterranean coast

from Egypt to Joppa and Gaza. The Cherethites-the Cretans who were

probably a colony of the Phoenicians. See on 1Sa 30:14, and

Am 9:7.

Verse 6. And the sea-coasts shall be dwellings] Newcome

considers keroth as a proper name, not cottages or folds.

The Septuagint have κρητη, Crete, and so has the Syriac.

Abp. Secker notes, Alibi non extat , et forte notat patriam

των . "The word is not found elsewhere, and probably it

is the name of the country of the Cherethim."

Verse 7. The coast shall be for the remnant] Several

devastations fell on the Philistines. Gaza was ruined by the army

of Alexander the Great, and the Maccabees finally accomplished all

that was predicted by the prophets against this invariably wicked

people. They lost their polity, and were at last obliged to

receive circumcision.

Verse 8. I have heard the reproach of Moab] God punished them

for the cruel part they had taken in the persecutions of the Jews;

for when they lay under the displeasure of God, these nations

insulted them in the most provoking manner. See on Am 1:13, and

the parallel texts in the margin.

Verse 9. The breeding of nettles] That is, their land shall

become desolate, and be a place for nettles, thorns, &c., to

flourish in, for want of cultivation.

Verse 10. Because they have reproached] See on Zep 2:8.

Verse 11. He will famish all the gods of the earth] They shall

have no more sacrifices; their worship shall be entirely

destroyed. Idolaters supposed that their gods actually fed on the

fumes and spirituous exhalations that arose from the

burnt-offerings which they made unto their idols. It is in

reference to this opinion that the Lord says, "He will famish all

the gods of the land."

Verse 12. Ye Ethiopians also] Nebuchadnezzar subdued these. See

Jer 46:2, 9; Eze 30:4, 10. See also on Am 9:1-7.

Verse 13. He will-destroy Assyria] He will overthrow the empire,

and Nineveh, their metropolitan city. See on Jonah and Nahum.

Verse 14. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her] Nineveh

was so completely destroyed, that its situation is not at present

even known. The present city of Mossoul is supposed to be in the

vicinity of the place where this ancient city stood.

The cormorant kaath; and the bittern, kippod.

These Newcome translates, "The pelican and the porcupine."

Their voice shall sing in the windows] The windows shall be all

demolished; wild fowl shall build their nests in them, and shall

be seen coming from their sills, and the fine cedar ceilings shall

be exposed to the weather, and by and by crumble to dust. See the

note on Isa 34:11, 14, where nearly the same terms are used.

I have in another place introduced a remarkable couplet quoted

by Sir W. Jones from a Persian poet, which speaks of desolation in

nearly the same terms.



"The spider holds the veil in the palace of Caesar:

The owl stands sentinel in the watchtower of Afrasiab."

Verse 15. This is the rejoicing city] The city in which mirth,

jocularity, and pleasure, reigned without interruption.

And wag his hand] Will point her out as a mark and monument of

Divine displeasure.

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