Zephaniah 3:1-20, NLT
Jerusalem’s Rebellion and Redemption
1What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem,
the city of violence and crime!
2No one can tell it anything;
it refuses all correction.
It does not trust in the Lord
or draw near to its God.
3Its leaders are like roaring lions
hunting for their victims.
Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time,
who by dawn have left no trace of their prey.
4Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain.
Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions.
5But the Lord is still there in the city,
and he does no wrong.
Day by day he hands down justice,
and he does not fail.
But the wicked know no shame.
6“I have wiped out many nations,
devastating their fortress walls and towers.
Their streets are now deserted;
their cities lie in silent ruin.
There are no survivors—
none at all.
7I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now!
Surely they will listen to my warnings.
Then I won’t need to strike again,
destroying their homes.’
But no, they get up early
to continue their evil deeds.
8Therefore, be patient,” says the Lord.
“Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations.
For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth
and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them.
All the earth will be devoured
by the fire of my jealousy.
9“Then I will purify the speech of all people,
so that everyone can worship the Lord together.
10My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia*3:10 Hebrew Cush.
will come to present their offerings.
11On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed,
for you will no longer be rebels against me.
I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you.
There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain.
12Those who are left will be the lowly and humble,
for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.
13The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;
they will never tell lies or deceive one another.
They will eat and sleep in safety,
and no one will make them afraid.”
14Sing, O daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment
and will disperse the armies of your enemy.
And the Lord himself, the King of Israel,
will live among you!
At last your troubles will be over,
and you will never again fear disaster.
16On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be,
“Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid!
17For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.*3:17 Or He will be silent in his love. Greek and Syriac versions read He will renew you with his love.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
18“I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals;
you will be disgraced no more.*3:18 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
19And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you.
I will save the weak and helpless ones;
I will bring together
those who were chased away.
I will give glory and fame to my former exiles,
wherever they have been mocked and shamed.
20On that day I will gather you together
and bring you home again.
I will give you a good name, a name of distinction,
among all the nations of the earth,
as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”