For similar introductions, see Hos 1.1; Joel 1.1; Mic 1.1; Hag 1.1; Zech 1.1
. Cushi means “Cushite”; “Cush” may refer to Ethiopia (2 Kings 19.9
), to Midian (Hab 3.7
), or to a region in Mesopotamia (Gen 2.13; 10.8–12
). Days of King Josiah, ca. 640–609 BCE (2 Kings 22.1–23.30
The scope of the destruction and the echoes of Genesis (cf. 1.2 with Gen 7.23
; the sequence humans, animals, birds, fish reverses the order of Gen 1.20–26
) suggest the undoing of creation (cf. Jer 4.23–26
Baal, a Canaanite deity.
Bow down on the roofs,
2 Kings 23.12; Jer 19.13; 32.29
. Host of the heavens, astral deities; Deut 4.19; 2 Kings 21.3; Jer 8.2
. Milcom, chief deity of Ammon.
cf. Hab 2.20
. A sacrifice, i.e., a slaughter of evildoers.
Leap over the threshold, a Philistine rite (1 Sam 5.5
Fish Gate (Neh 3.1–6; 12.39
), Second Quarter (2 Kings 22.14
), and “the Mortar” are locales in Jerusalem.
Traders, lit. “people of Canaan.”
Who rest complacently on their dregs, the Hebrew may mean “who become dull from (drinking) the wine that they have stored” (cf. Isa 25.6
A futility curse, i.e., one in which the connection between actions and their ordinary results is broken (cf. Deut 28.30–31
Zephaniah elaborates the preaching of Amos (Am 5.18–20; 8.9–14
) that the day of the LORD
will be dreadful for Israel as well as the nations. For similar descriptions, see Isa 13.9–13 and Joel 2.1–2
cf. Ezek 7.2–7
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