Memory Verse
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Zephaniah 2:1–3

The cry of the book of Zephaniah is to seek the Lord while He may be found, for judgment is coming. 

The prophet Zephaniah affirms that God will gather all people for judgment if they do not repent. The striking ferocity and comprehensive judgment of God is illustrated in this book, which takes place on the heels of a revival. The revival produced external changes, but in many of the people, it did not reach their hearts and transform their lives. 

Hymn: Rejoice, the Lord Is King
Sheet Music
Top 5 Facts to Remember
  1. According to Zephaniah, the only way to escape God’s wrath is to “Seek the Lord” (Zeph. 2:3).
  2. The Lord promised to destroy Nineveh, a city so secure that she could say of herself, “I am it, and there is none besides me” (Zeph. 2:15).
  3. Jerusalem’s rulers are described as “roaring lions” and “evening wolves” (Zeph. 3:3).
  4. Unlike Jerusalem’s wicked leaders, the Lord brings His justice to light every morning (Zeph. 3:3–5).
  5. The Lord promises to remove the proud from His holy mountain so that only the meek and humble remain (Zeph. 3:11–12).
Theme: God’s Judgment on All Nations

In Zephaniah, God is glorifying Himself through His judgment on all nations, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.

Author: Zephaniah

The author identifies himself as Zephaniah, Hezekiah’s great-great-grandson (Zeph. 1:1).

Time of Writing: 635–625 B.C.

Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of Josiah (Zeph. 1:1), who ruled Judah from 641 to 609 B.C. Since Zephaniah’s prophecy appears to precede the fall of Nineveh (Zeph. 2:13–15)—which took place in 612 B.C.—the most probable time of writing for Zephaniah would be 641–612 B.C

Key Verses:

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men
Who are settled in complacency,
Who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good,
Nor will He do evil.’
Therefore their goods shall become booty,
And their houses a desolation;
They shall build houses, but not inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine.
“The great day of the Lord is near;
It is near and hastens quickly.
The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter;
There the mighty men shall cry out.
That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of devastation and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
A day of trumpet and alarm
Against the fortified cities
And against the high towers.”

Zephaniah 1:12–16

  1. God punishes those who syncretize His worship with the worship of idols.
  2. The temporal judgments on this earth are types of the final judgment to come.
  3. The Lord will punish and destroy the wicked.
  4. Repent and seek the Lord, or His wrath will be poured out upon you on Judgment Day.
  5. The Lord will preserve His people.
  6. The people of God are meant to be a holy people.
Christ in Zephaniah:
  1. The King of Israel (Zeph. 3:15)
  2. The Mighty One (Zeph. 3:17)
  1. Look Inward: Judgment Against Judah (Zeph. 1:1–2:2)
  2. Look Outward: Judgment Against All the Nations (Zeph. 2:3–3:8)
  3. Look Forward: Restoration of Jews and Gentiles (Zeph. 3:9–3:20)
Study Questions

Who was Zephaniah’s great, great grandfather?
Hezekiah (Zeph. 1:1).

When did Zephaniah prophesy?
In the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah (Zeph. 1:1).

What did the Lord say He would consume?
Everything in the land (Zeph. 1:2–3).

What is the call that Zephaniah makes to the nations?
He tells them to seek the Lord (Zeph. 2:1–3).

What city would Moab become like? 
Sodom (Zeph. 2:9).

What were the sins of Jerusalem?
She was rebellious and polluted (Zeph. 3:1–2).

What qualities does Zephaniah ascribe to the remnant?
Meekness, humbleness, righteousness, and truthfulness (Zeph. 3:12–13).

Why are the people of God called to rejoice?
Because the Lord is in their midst (Zeph. 3:14–15).

© 2017 NCFIC