Her Prophets and Priests
Have Done Violence to the LAW
1:1 The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.
We must, therefore, place this prophecy about the beginning of the reign of Josiah, or from b.c. 640 to b.c. 609. But see the chronological notes.
2 I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord.
3 I will consume (Perseus, Gemini, Argo, Sagittarius, Virgo, Bootes, Centaur, Hercules, Ophiuchus, Aquarius) man and (Taurus, Canis Minor, Argo, Ursa Minor, Sagittarius, Capricorn), beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven (Cygnus, Aquila), and the (Capricorn) fishes of the sea, and the (lunar and solar) stumbling blocks with the wicked: and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord.
4 I will also stretch out mine hand upon (Gemini) Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the (Gemini) Chemarims with the priests;
5 And them (Gemini) that worship the (lunar, solar and stars) host of heaven upon the housetops; and them (Gemini) that worship and that swear (Gemini, Bootes, Perseus, Cepheus, Hercules) by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham;
6 And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for him.
7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a (solar) sacrifice, he hath bid his (Zodiac) guests.
He hath bid his guests - The Babylonians, to whom he has given a commission to destroy you. In all festivals sacrifices,
1. The victims were offered to God, and their blood poured out before the altar.
2. The people who were invited feasted upon the sacrifice. See on Isaiah 34:6 (note).
8 And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's (solar fiery) sacrifice, that I will punish the (Gemini) princes, and the king's (Gemini) children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.
and all such as are clothed with strange apparel; either which they put on in honour of the idols they worshipped, as Jarchi; so the heathens wore one sort of garments for one idol, and another sort for another; or these were men of a pharisaical cast, who wore garments different from others, that they might be thought to be very holy and religious, which sense is mentioned by Kimchi; or they were such, which he also observes, who, seeing some to have plenty of good clothes, stole them from them, and put them on; or such who arrayed themselves in garments that did not belong to their sex, men put on women's garments, and women clothed themselves with men's, and both strange apparel; or rather this points at such persons, who, in their apparel, imitated the fashions and customs of foreign nations; which probably began with the king's children and courtiers, and were followed by others.
9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold (Perseus, Taurus), which fill their masters' houses with (red radius) violence and deceit.
whose idol Dagon was: but it seems better to interpret it of such, who, seeing houses full of good things, in a rude, bold, insolent manner, thrust themselves, or jumped into them, and took away what they pleased; or when they returned to their masters' houses with their spoil, who set them on, and encouraged them in these practices, leaped over the threshold for joy of what they had got, as Aben Ezra observes;
10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that there shall be the (red radius) noise of a cry from the (Capricorn) fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.
11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the (Gemini) merchant people are cut down; all they (Gemini) that bear (lunar) silver are cut off.
Maktesh - Calmet says this signifies a mortar, or a rock in form of a mortar, and was the name of a quarter of Jerusalem where they hulled rice, corn, etc., according to St. Jerome. Some think the city of Jerusalem is meant, where the inhabitants should be beat and pounded to death as grain is pounded in a mortar.
They that bear silver - The merchants, moneychangers, usurers, rich men.
12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with (red radius solar and lunar) candles, and punish the (Gemini) men that are settled on their lees: that (red radius line) say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil.
13 Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their (red radius) houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.
13. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, &c.—Fulfilling the prophecy in De 28:30, 39 (compare Am 5:11).
14 The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the (Argo or Gemini or Ophiuchus) mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of (black Zodiac) darkness and gloominess, a day of (Milky Way) clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of the (red radius with solar and lunar bell ends) trumpet and alarm against the (red radius) fenced cities, and against the (Milky Way) high towers.
17 And I will bring distress upon (Gemini, Aquarius, Hercules, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, etc.) men, that they shall walk like blind men (Bootes with a long red cane), because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be (red radius) poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
18 Neither their (lunar) silver nor their (solar) gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the (solar) fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you.
3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye (Bootes, Gemini, Argo, Perseus, Cepheus, Sagittarius, Centaur, Virgo) meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness (obedience to Bible), seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.
4 For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up (570 B.C.).
5 Woe unto the (Gemini) inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.
6 And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for (Gemini) shepherds, and folds for (Taurus) flocks.
7 And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.
8 I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the (red radius line) revilings of the (Gemini) children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my (Gemini) people, and magnified themselves against their border.
9 Therefore as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the (Gemini) children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my (Gemini) people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my (Gemini) people shall possess them.
10 This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the (Gemini) people of the Lord of hosts.
11 The Lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and (Gemini) men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.
12 Ye (Gemini) Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my (red radius) sword (570 B.C.).
But such a blow as that foretold by Jeremiah and Ezekiel must have fallen heavily upon the allies of Egypt. We have no details, for the Egyptians would not, and did not tell of the calamities and disgraces of their country. No one does. Josephus, however, briefly but distinctly says , that after Nebuchadnezzar had in the 23rd year of his reign, the 5th after the destruction of Jerusalem, "reduced into subjection Moab and Ammon, he invaded Egypt, with a view to subdue it," "killed its then king, and having set up another, captured for the second time the Jews in it and carried them to Babylon." The memory of the devastation by Nebuchadnezzar lived on apparently in Egypt, and is a recognized fact among the Muslim historians, who had no interest in the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy, of which it does not appear that they even knew.
Bokht-nasar (Nebuchadnezzar), they say , "made war on the son of Nechas (Necho), slew him and ruined the city of Memphis" and many other cities of Egypt: he carried the inhabitants captive, without leaving one, so that Egypt remained waste forty years without one inhabitant." Another says , The refuge which the king of Egypt granted to the Jews who fled from Nebuchadnezzar brought this war upon it: for he took them under his protection and would not give them up to their enemy. Nebuchadnezzar, in revenge, marched against the king of Egypt and destroyed the country." "One may be certain," says a good authority , "that the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar was a tradition generally spread in Egypt and questioned by no one."
Ethiopia was then involved, as an ally, and as far as its contingent was concerned, in the war, in which Nebuchadnezzar desolated Egypt for those 40 years. But, although this fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel, Isaiah, some sixty years before Zephaniah, prophesied a direct conquest of Ethiopia. I "have given," God says, "Egypt as thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee" Isaiah 43:3.
13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation (612 B.C.), and dry like a wilderness.
14 And (Capricorn) flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the (Cygnus) cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he shall uncover the cedar work.
15 This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for (Capricorn) beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.
2 She (Virgo) obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God.
3 Her (Gemini) princes within her are (Argo; Leo Minor) roaring lions; her judges are (Centaur and Ursa Minor) evening wolves; they gnaw not the (red radius) bones till the morrow.
4 Her (Gemini) prophets are light and treacherous persons: her (Ophiuchus and Hercules) priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
5 The just Lord (Cepheus) is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
6 I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.
7 I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.
8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
9 For then will I turn to the (Gemini, etc.) people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent (2026 A.D.).
10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the (Virgo) daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine (lunar) offering.
11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor (Gemini) people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall (Ophiuchus, Argo, Gemini, Leo Minor) feed and (Capricorn) lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
14 Sing, O (Virgo) daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O (Virgo) daughter of Jerusalem.
15 The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee (2026 A.D.): and I will save her (Virgo) that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
20 At that time will I bring you again (2026A.D.), even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.