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Zephaniah 3 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed

How horrible it will be for that rebellious
and corrupt place, the city of violence.
It obeys no one.
It does not accept correction.
It does not trust the Lord.
It does not draw close to its God.
Its officials are ⌞like⌟ roaring lions.
Its judges are ⌞like⌟ wolves in the evening.
They leave nothing to gnaw on for the morning.
Its prophets are reckless and unfaithful.
Its priests contaminate what is holy.
They violate the teachings.
The righteous Lord is in that city.
He does no wrong.
He brings his judgment to light every morning.
He does not fail.
But those who are perverted are shameless.

“I will cut off the nations.
Their towers will be destroyed.
I will demolish their streets.
No one will walk through them.
Their cities will be completely destroyed.
Not a single person will be left.
No one will be living there.
I said ⌞to my people⌟,
‘You will fear me.
You will accept correction!’
Then their homeland would not be wiped out
even though I have punished them.
Still, they continued to be corrupt in everything they did.”
The Lord declares, “Just wait!
One day I will stand up as a witness.
I have decided to gather nations,
to bring kingdoms together,
and to pour my rage, my burning anger, on them.
The whole land will be consumed by my fiery fury.

Israel Will Turn Away from Sin

“Then I will give all people pure lips
to worship the Lord
and to serve him with one purpose.
10 From beyond the rivers of Sudan
my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring my offering.
11 On that day you will no longer be ashamed
of all your rebellious acts against me.
Then I will remove your arrogance
and never again will you act proud on my holy mountain.
12 So with you I will leave a faithful few, a humble and poor people.
They will seek refuge in the name of the Lord.
13 The faithful few in Israel will not do wrong, tell lies,
or use their tongues to deceive others.
They will graze their sheep and lie down,
and there will be no one to terrify them.”

Israel’s Joyful Song

14 Sing happily, people of Zion!
Shout loudly, Israel!
Celebrate and rejoice with all your heart, people of Jerusalem.
15 The Lord has reversed the judgments against you.
He has forced out your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is with you.
You will never fear disaster again.
16 On that day Jerusalem will be told,
“Do not be afraid, Zion!
Do not lose courage!”
17 The Lord your God is with you.
He is a hero who saves you.
He happily rejoices over you,
renews you with his love,
and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.

Israel Will Return Home

18 “I will gather those among you who are troubled because of the festivals.
They bear a burden of disgrace.
19 At that time
I will deal with all who have overpowered you.
I will rescue those who are lame.
I will gather those who have been scattered.
I will make them praised and famous in all the world,
though they had been ashamed.
20 At that time I will bring you ⌞home⌟.
Yes, at that time I will gather you together.
I will make you famous and praised among all the people of the earth
when I restore your fortunes right before your eyes,” says the Lord.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2019, 2020 by God’s Word to the Nations Mission Society. All rights reserved.

Zephaniah 3 New International Version (NIV)


Woe to the city of oppressors,
    rebellious and defiled!
She obeys no one,
    she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the Lord,
    she does not draw near to her God.
Her officials within her
    are roaring lions;
her rulers are evening wolves,
    who leave nothing for the morning.
Her prophets are unprincipled;
    they are treacherous people.
Her priests profane the sanctuary
    and do violence to the law.
The Lord within her is righteous;
    he does no wrong.
Morning by morning he dispenses his justice,
    and every new day he does not fail,
    yet the unrighteous know no shame.

Jerusalem Remains Unrepentant

“I have destroyed nations;
    their strongholds are demolished.
I have left their streets deserted,
    with no one passing through.
Their cities are laid waste;
    they are deserted and empty.
Of Jerusalem I thought,
    ‘Surely you will fear me
    and accept correction!’
Then her place of refuge[a] would not be destroyed,
    nor all my punishments come upon[b] her.
But they were still eager
    to act corruptly in all they did.
Therefore wait for me,”
    declares the Lord,
    “for the day I will stand up to testify.[c]
I have decided to assemble the nations,
    to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath on them—
    all my fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed
    by the fire of my jealous anger.

Restoration of Israel’s Remnant

“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
    that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
    and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush[d]
    my worshipers, my scattered people,
    will bring me offerings.
11 On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame
    for all the wrongs you have done to me,
because I will remove from you
    your arrogant boasters.
Never again will you be haughty
    on my holy hill.
12 But I will leave within you
    the meek and humble.
The remnant of Israel
    will trust in the name of the Lord.
13 They will do no wrong;
    they will tell no lies.
A deceitful tongue
    will not be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down
    and no one will make them afraid.

14 Sing, Daughter Zion;
    shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
    Daughter Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your punishment,
    he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
    never again will you fear any harm.
16 On that day
    they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
    do not let your hands hang limp.
17 The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

18 “I will remove from you
    all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,
    which is a burden and reproach for you.
19 At that time I will deal
    with all who oppressed you.
I will rescue the lame;
    I will gather the exiles.
I will give them praise and honor
    in every land where they have suffered shame.
20 At that time I will gather you;
    at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise
    among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes[e]
    before your very eyes,”
says the Lord.


  1. Zephaniah 3:7 Or her sanctuary
  2. Zephaniah 3:7 Or all those I appointed over
  3. Zephaniah 3:8 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew will rise up to plunder
  4. Zephaniah 3:10 That is, the upper Nile region
  5. Zephaniah 3:20 Or I bring back your captives
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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