Zephaniah

Zephaniah 3:1-7 The Wickedness Of Jerusalem.

The prophet now brings the word of the LORD against Jerusalem, the “rebellious and polluted…oppressing city” (v. 1)! “The general accusation of 1:17 now becomes specific. Jerusalem’s sins were particularly heinous because they were committed against the righteous covenant God who had graciously revealed Himself to His people (v. 5; Amos 2:4, 10-12; 3:2)” (NGSB. p.1456). There was a progression in their backsliding, and it started in abandoning the word. “She has not obeyed His voice…received instruction…trusted in the LORD…drawn near to her God” (v. 2). Her princes behaved like untamed wild beast, devouring everything in sight (v. 3 Cf. Jer. 5:8; Ezek. 22:27; Hab. 1:8).

Her prophets and priests were no better, so that all three offices were filled with corrupt and base persons, polluting the sanctuary, and doing “violence to the law” (v. 4 Cf. Ezek. 22:26; Hos. 9:7; Mal. 2:7-8). Even though this was the case with the people, the LORD did not stop being righteous, never failing to bring His justice to light, “but the unjust knows no shame” (v. 5 Cf. Jer. 3:3). The nations have been made desolate, and one would have thought that Judah and Jerusalem would have taken heed, but they did not, for they were also corrupt (vv. 6-7 Cf. Gen. 6:12; Jer. 8:6). “The people ignored God’s voice revealed in the law (Dt. 31:9-13), through the prophets (Jer. 7:23-28; Hag. 1:12), and through the sages (Prov. 1:8)” (Ibid. p.1456).

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