Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online

Sub Categories

    Back to Categories

    August 14    Scripture

    More Bible History

    Book of Zephaniah in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE LITERATURE I. The Author. 1. Name: The name "Zephaniah" (tsephanyah; Sophonias), which is borne by three other men mentioned in the Old Testament, means "Yah hides," or "Yah has hidden" or "treasured." "It suggests," says G. A. Smith, "the prophet's birth in the killing time of Manasseh" (2 Ki 21:16). 2. Ancestry: The ancestry of the prophet is carried back four generations (Zeph 1:1), which is unusual in the Old Testament (compare Isa 1:1; Hos 1:1); hence, it is thought, not without reason (Eiselen, Minor Prophets, 505), that the last-mentioned ancestor, Hezekiah, must have been a prominent man--indeed, no other than King Hezekiah of Judah, the contemporary of Isaiah and Micah. If Zephaniah was of royal blood, his condemnation of the royal princes (1:8) becomes of great interest. In a similar manner did Isaiah, who in all probability was of royal blood, condemn without hesitation the shortcomings and vices of the rulers and the court. An ancient tradition declares that Zephaniah was of the tribe of Simeon, which would make it impossible for him to be of royal blood; but the origin and value of this tradition are uncertain. Zephaniah lived in Judah; that he lived in Jerusalem is made probable by the statement in 1:4, "I will cut off .... from this place," as well as by his intimate knowledge of the topography of the city (1:10,11). 3. Life: For how long he continued his prophetic activity we do not know, but it is not improbable that, as in the case of Amos, his public activity was short, and that, after delivering his message of judgment in connection with a great political crisis, he retired to private life, though his interest in reforms may have continued (2 Ki 23:2)...

    Book of Zephaniah in Wikipedia The superscription of the Book of Zephaniah attributes its authorship to "Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah, in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah" (1:1, NRSV). All that is known of Zephaniah comes from the text. The superscription of the book is lengthier than most and contains two features. The name Cushi, Zephaniah’s father, means ‘Ethiopian’. In a society where genealogy was considered extremely important because of God's covenant with Abraham and his descendants, the author may have felt compelled to establish his Hebrew lineage. In fact, this lineage is traced back to Hezekiah, who was king of Judah. The author of Zephaniah does not shrink from condemning the Cushites or Ethiopians. Chapter 2:12 contains a succinct but unequivocal message: "You also, O Ethiopians, / Shall be killed by my sword." Zephaniah’s family connection with King Hezekiah may have also legitimized his harsh indictment of the royal city in 3:1-7...

    Chart of the Prophets of Israel and Judah God raised up certain "prophets" who were His mouthpieces. They would speak out against their sin and idolatry and would continually warn of God's judgment. Some of the prophets spoke out in the North and some in the South, but God was faithfully warning them of certain catastrophe if they would not turn to him.

    The Book of Zephaniah in Fausset's Bible Dictionary The bulk of the book forms the introduction to the grand closing consummation under Messiah (Zephaniah 1:2 to 3:8; Zephaniah 3:9-20). I. Threat of judgments (Zephaniah 1:2-7). On whom they shall fall (Zephaniah 1:8-11). Nearness and awfulness of the day of the Lord, and impossibility of escape (Zephaniah 1:12-18). Call to the apostate nation to repentance, and to the meek and righteous to exercise those graces which may avert the day of wrath (Zephaniah 2:1-3). Motive to it: God's coming judgments on Israel's foes, the Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites (the land of which three nations the remnant of Jehovah's people shall possess), Ethiopians, and Nineveh, which shall be a desolation; "He will famish all the gods of the earth (by destroying the nations worshipping them), and men shall worship Him" each in his own house (Zephaniah 2:4-15). The call being slighted and even Jerusalem being unreformed of her filthiness by the judgments on surrounding nations, the just God is constrained to chastise her (Zephaniah 3:1-7). In all this the Chaldaeans' name, the executioners of God's vengeance on Judah, is not mentioned as in Jeremiah, for the latter being nearer the fulfillment prophesies more explicitly. II. After her chastisement Jehovah invites the pious remnant of the Jews to wait upon Him, as He is about to interpose for Judah and Jerusalem against the nations gathered against her (Zechariah 12-14). "The remnant of Israel shall no longer do iniquity. The Lord her God shall rejoice over her with joy, and make her a praise among all people," who in consequence shall "all call upon Him and serve Him with one consent" (Zephaniah 3:8-20). The style is graphic and vivid, and the language pure and free from Aramaisms. Zephaniah 2:14 corresponds to Isaiah 34:11; Zephaniah 2:15 corresponds to Isaiah 47:8; Zephaniah 3:10 corresponds to Isaiah 18:1; Zephaniah 2:8 corresponds to Isaiah 16:6; Zephaniah 1:5 corresponds to Jeremiah 8:2; Zephaniah 1:12 corresponds to Jeremiah 48:11. Romans 15:6 apparently refers to Zephaniah 3:9.

    Zephaniah in Easton's Bible Dictionary Jehovah has concealed, or Jehovah of darkness. (1.) The son of Cushi, and great-grandson of Hezekiah, and the ninth in the order of the minor prophets. He prophesied in the days of Josiah, king of Judah (B.C. 641-610), and was contemporary with Jeremiah, with whom he had much in common. The book of his prophecies consists of: (a) An introduction (1:1-6), announcing the judgment of the world, and the judgment upon Israel, because of their transgressions. (b) The description of the judgment (1:7-18). (c) An exhortation to seek God while there is still time (2:1-3). (d) The announcement of judgment on the heathen (2:4-15). (e) The hopeless misery of Jerusalem (3:1-7). (f) The promise of salvation (3:8-20). (2.) The son of Maaseiah, the "second priest" in the reign of Zedekiah, often mentioned in Jeremiah as having been sent from the king to inquire (Jer. 21:1) regarding the coming woes which he had denounced, and to entreat the prophet's intercession that the judgment threatened might be averted (Jer. 29:25, 26, 29; 37:3; 52:24). He, along with some other captive Jews, was put to death by the king of Babylon "at Riblah in the land of Hamath" (2 Kings 25:21). (3.) A Kohathite ancestor of the prophet Samuel (1 Chr. 6:36). (4.) The father of Josiah, the priest who dwelt in Jerusalem when Darius issued the decree that the temple should be rebuilt (Zech. 6:10).

    Zephaniah in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("Jehovah hath hidden") (Psalm 27:5; Psalm 83:3). 1. Ninth of the minor prophets; "in the days of Josiah," between 642 and 611 B.C. "Son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah." The specification of his father, grandfather, and great grandfather, implies he was sprung from men of note. The omission of the designation "king," or "king of Judah," is against the notion that the "Hizkiah" means king Hezekiah (compare Proverbs 25:1; Isaiah 38:9). He prophesied in the former part of Josiah's reign. In Zephaniah 2:13-15 he foretells Nineveh's fall (625 B.C.), therefore his prophesying was before 625 B.C.; and in Zephaniah 1:4-6 threatens "cutting off" to "the remnant of Baal" and "the name of the frontCHEMARIMS with the priests "; see Hosea 10:5 margin, "and them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops, and them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham." Fulfilled by Josiah (2 Kings 23:4-5). Josiah's reformation was begun in the 12th year of his reign, and was completed in the 18th. Zephaniah in denouncing the different forms of idolatry paved the way for Josiah's work, and probably cooperated with the king from the 12th to the 18th year. Jewish tradition says that Zephaniah had as his colleagues Jeremiah, labouring in the thoroughfares and market places, and Huldah the prophetess in the college in Jerusalem. His position among the prophets, and his quotations from Joel, Amos, and Isaiah, indicate the correctness of the date assigned to him in Zephaniah 1:1. In Zephaniah 1:8, "I will punish the king's children" must refer to coming judgments on the foreseen idolatries of the younger members of the royal family (Jeremiah 22:19; Jeremiah 39:6; 2 Kings 23:31-32-36-37; 2 Chronicles 36:5-6; 2 Kings 20:18). Not only the masses, but even princes, should not escape the penalty of idolatry. "The remnant of Baal" (Zephaniah 1:4) implies that Josiah's reformation was already begun but not completed. 2. "The second priest" or sagan, next to the high priest. Son of Maaseiah. Sent by Zedekiah to consult Jeremiah (Jeremiah 21:1). Succeeded to Jehoiada who was in exile. Appealed to by Shemaiah in a letter from Babylon to punish Jeremiah with imprisonment and the stocks for declaring the captivity would be long (Jeremiah 29:25-26; Jeremiah 29:29). Zephaniah read the letter to Jeremiah. This fact and Shemaiah's upbraiding Zephaniah for want of zeal against Jeremiah imply that Zephaniah was less prejudiced against Jeremiah than the others. This was the reason for the king's choosing him as messenger to the prophet (Jeremiah 37:3). Slain by Nebuchadnezzar as an accomplice in Zedekiah's rebellion (Jeremiah 52:24; Jeremiah 52:27). Jeremiah 52:3. Father of Hen or Josiah (Zechariah 6:14). Zechariah 6:4. Ancestor of Samuel and Heman; a Kohathite Levite (1 Chronicles 6:36), called Uriel 1 Chronicles 6:24.

    Zephaniah in Smiths Bible Dictionary (hidden by Jehovah). 1. The ninth in order of the twelve minor prophets. His pedigree is traced to his fourth ancestor, Hezekiah, Zep 1:1 supposed to be the celebrated king of that name. The chief characteristics of this book are the unity and harmony of the composition, the grace, energy and dignity of its style, and the rapid and effective alternations of threats and promises. The general tone of the last portion is Messianic, but without any specific reference to the person of our Lord. The date of the book is given in the inscription--viz, the reign of Josiah, from 642 to 611 B.C. It is most probable moreover, that the prophecy was delivered before the eighteenth year of Josiah. 2. The son of Maaseiah, Jer 21:1 and sagan or second priest in the reign of Zedekiah. (B.C. 588.) He succeeded Jehoida, Jer 29:25,26 and was probably a ruler of the temple, whose office it was, among others, to punish pretenders to the gift of prophecy. Jer 29:29 On the capture of Jerusalem he was taken and slain at Riblah. Jer 52:24,27; 2Ki 25:18,21 3. Father of Josiah, 2, Zec 6:10 and of Hen, according to the reading of the received text of Zec 6:14

    Zephaniah in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE zef-a-ni'-a (tsephanyah, tsephanyahu, "Yah hath treasured"): (1) The prophet. See ZEPHANIAH, BOOK OF. (2) A Levite or priest (1 Ch 6:36 (Hebrew 6:21)), called in some genealogies "Uriel" (1 Ch 6:24; 15:5,11). (3) Judean father or fathers of various contemporaries of Zechariah, the prophet (Zec 6:10,14). (4) A priest, the second in rank in the days of Jeremiah. He was a leader of the "patriotic" party which opposed Jeremiah. Nevertheless, he was sent to the prophet as a messenger of King Zedekiah when Nebuchadnezzar was about to attack the city (Jer 21:1) and at other crises (Jer 37:3; compare 29:25,29; 2 Ki 25:18). That he continued to adhere to the policy of resistance against Babylonian authority is indicated by the fact that he was among the leaders of Israel taken by Nebuzaradan before the king of Babylon, and killed at Riblah (2 Ki 25:18 parallel Jer 52:24).