Zephaniah 2 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Lord Asks People to Change
2 Gather together, gather,
you ·unwanted [shameful; undesirable] people.
2 Do it before ·it’s too late [L the decree takes effect],
before ·you are blown away like chaff [or the day passes like chaff],
before the Lord’s ·terrible [fierce; burning] anger reaches you,
before the day of the Lord’s anger comes to you.
3 ·Come to [Seek] the Lord, all you who are ·not proud [humble; meek],
who obey his ·laws [commands].
·Do what is right [Seek righteousness]. ·Learn [Seek] to be humble.
Maybe you will ·escape [be protected; L be hidden]
on the day the Lord shows his anger.
Philistia Will Be Punished
4 ·No one will be left in the city of Gaza [L Gaza will be abandoned; C Gaza sounds like Hebrew for “abandoned”; all four of these were cities in Philistia],
and the city of Ashkelon will be ·destroyed [desolated; a heap of ruins].
Ashdod will be empty by noon,
and the people of Ekron will be ·chased away [L uprooted; C Ekron sounds like Hebrew for “uprooted”].
5 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] you who live by the ·Mediterranean Sea [L sea],
you ·Philistines [L nation of Cerethites; C either another name for the Philistines or a neighboring people group; the name suggests they came from the island of Crete; 2 Sam. 8:18; Ezek. 25:16]!
The word of the Lord is against you,
Canaan, land of the Philistines.
“I will destroy you
so that no ·one [inhabitant] will be left.”
6 The land by the ·Mediterranean Sea, in which you live [L sea],
will become pastures, ·fields [or shelters; or having wells] for shepherds, and pens for ·sheep [flocks].
7 It will ·belong to [L be for] the ·descendants of Judah who are left alive [L remnant of the house of Judah].
There they will ·let their sheep eat grass [graze; find pasture].
At night they will ·sleep [lay down]
in the houses of Ashkelon.
The Lord their God will ·pay attention to [care for] them
and will ·make their life good again [restore their fortunes; or return their exiles].
Moab and Ammon Will Be Punished
8 “I have heard the ·insults [taunts] of Moab[C the country]
and the ·threats [insults; reproach] of the ·people [L sons/descendants] of Ammon.
They have ·insulted [taunted] my people
and ·have taken [or harrassed; threatened; or boasted about] their ·land [borders].”
9 So the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says,
“As surely as I live,
Moab will ·be destroyed [L become] like Sodom,
and ·Ammon [L the sons/descendant of Ammon] will ·be destroyed [become] like Gomorrah [C two cities destroyed for their great wickedness; Gen. 19]—
a heap of weeds, a pit of salt,
and a ·ruin [wasteland] forever.
·Those of my people who are left alive [The remnant of my people] will ·take whatever they want from [plunder] them;
·those who are left from my nation [the survivors] will ·take their land [L inherit/possess them].”
10 This is what Moab and Ammon get for being proud,
because they ·insulted [taunted] and ·made fun of [boasted against] the people of the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
11 The Lord will ·frighten [terrify; be awesome against] them,
because he will ·destroy [or weaken; or starve] all the gods of the earth.
Then everyone in ·faraway places [or the coastlands of the nations]
will ·worship [bow down to] him wherever they are.
Cush and Assyria Will Be Destroyed
12 “You ·Cushites [Ethiopians] also
will be ·killed [slain] by my sword.”
13 Then the Lord will ·turn [L stretch out his hand] against the north
and destroy Assyria.
He will make Nineveh
a ·ruin [desolation] as dry as a desert.
14 Flocks and herds will lie down there,
and all ·wild animals [kinds of beasts].
The ·owls [horned owls; or pelicans] and ·crows [or screech owls; or hedgehogs] will sit
on ·the stone pillars [her columns/capitals].
The owl will hoot through the windows,
·trash [rubble; devastation] will be in the ·doorways [thresholds],
and the ·wooden boards [cedar work] of the buildings will be ·gone [or exposed].
15 This is the ·happy [boisterous; exultant] and ·safe [secure] city
that ·thinks [L said in her heart] ·there is no one else as strong as it is [L “I am it, and there is no one besides me”].
But what a ruin it will be,
a place where wild animals live.
All those who pass by will ·make fun [scoff; L hiss]
and shake their fists.