Read 205.) Zephaniah 1:1 thru 3:20. Okay, before I start, let me say, in my 44 1/2 years since my conversion unto Christ, I don’t believe that I have ever once heard a message or lesson from out of Zephaniah, the 8th of the Minor Writing Prophets. Have you? So, who was Zephaniah, and what did he write? From the first verse, we can identify his time as during the reign of King Josiah, whom we just learned had come to Judah’s throne. His reign was from 640 to 609 BC. So, it’s safe to say that Zephaniah prophesied for the Lord right around 630 BC. Of keen interest to us will be that though he writes to Judah of their sin and impending judgment, the real principal themes of his book are clearly more of the Tribulation and Millennium yet to come! The word clues that this is so are everywhere! I think I see 1:2 thru 2:5 as the Tribulation. That entire passage no doubt has a reference to the soon coming of Babylon against Judah, which takes place in about 25 more years, but clearly this is talking of that time, when all the world unites, to take out Israel, and affect the ‘Final Solution’ against them in the End Times.
Chapter 2, verses 6 and 7, are a Millennial reprieve and respite of sorts, before going right back into the Tribulation, with 2:8 thru 12. Because He names Moab and Ammon, we understand that He is speaking of modern-day Jordan, and Israel’s other surrounding Arabic Islamic neighbors. It is clear, however, that with 2:13, the prophet comes to his own time, and is referring directly to the destruction of ruling empire Assyria by rising Babylon, which took place in 612 BC. This continues to chapter’s end.
Chapter 3, then goes to Jerusalem in his day, and the reason for their soon judgment. This extends from verse 1, thru verse 7. But, verse 8 is a whole ‘nother matter, and so many clues are present, that this is also a Tribulation passage. See that? But, everything, after verse 8, is all, every word, an incredibly hope-filled promise of a glorious future to be filled-full in the time of the Millennial Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, after His Second Coming. Jesus will return! And, when He does so, all this will become reality. There is a truly glorious future that awaits remnant Israel, when her True King returns. But, Israel must first endure a time of terribly intense Tribulation, and we are about to learn a many great details of that… as we commence to read of the last prophet to Judah, before God swept them away by means of Babylon. This will be the Second Major Writing Prophet, Jeremiah. Next! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell