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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Zephaniah - Introduction

Two important events occurred during the reign of Josiah, when Zephaniah lived ( 1.1 ): Josiah's religious reform in 621 B.C.E. (see 2 Kgs. 22.1–23.30 ); and Assyria's complete disappearance as a power (see Introduction to Nahum ). Zephaniah seems to know of neither of these events (unless 2.13–15 reflects the second); he can, therefore, be dated shortly before 621 B.C.E.

Corruption is the order of the day, and the LORD must root it out. The “day of the LORD” will bring an end to all this wickedness, both in Judah ( 1.4–18 ) and in other nations ( 2.1–15 ). Guilt falls on the ruling elements, who have deliberately pursued illicit religious practices ( 1.4–6; 3.4–5 ) and oppressed the common people ( 3.1–3 ). In destroying those responsible for Israel's misery, the LORD will entrust the land to the poor and humble, who better deserve it ( 3.11–20 ).

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