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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Outline for Zephaniah

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I. Judgment of Judah and Jerusalem, Chapter 1

II. Judgment of the earth and of all nations, Chapters 2:13:8

III. Judgments removed; kingdom established, Chapter 3:9-20


I. Judgment of Judah and Jerusalem, Chapter 1

v. 1 — Zephaniah completely identifies himself and his time (see WRITER and TIME).

v. 2 — Worldwide devastation is predicted. The Book of the Revelation confirms this and places the time as the Great Tribulation.

v. 3 — All living creatures are included in the judgment.

v. 4 — Judah and Jerusalem are singled out for judgment.

v. 5 — The reason for the judgment is idolatry — three types of idolatry are mentioned.

v. 6 — Also they have turned completely from God. Two classes are mentioned: backsliders and those who were never saved.

v. 7 — “The day of the LORD” is judgment (see TWO THOUGHTS, also notes on Joel 1:15). Here the coming of Nebuchadnezzar is treated as a picture of the day of the LORD.
“Hold thy peace” means to hush; to keep still.

v. 8 — The “sacrifice” is the judgment of Judah.

v. 10 — “That day” is the day of the LORD.

v. 12 — Evidently this is one of the first groups that said that God was dead. They were the self-sufficient of an affluent society.

v. 13 — This marks the end of prosperity and the beginning of a depression.

vv. 14, 15 — This is a doleful, dreary, and dreadful picture of the Great Tribulation.

v. 16 — It is a day of fear.

v. 17 — Sin of man brings the judgment.

v. 18 — There will be no deliverance. Silver and gold are their gods, and they are powerless to save.

II. Judgment of the earth and of all nations, Chapters 2:13:8

Chapter 2

v. 1 — A call to Israel to come together to plead for deliverance from the wrath of the day of the LORD.
“Not desired” means that they were insensible to the shame of their sinful condition.

v. 2 — This is a brief but vivid description of the day of the LORD.

v. 3 — The call is extended to the inhabitants of the earth who in meekness seek the Lord.

vv. 4-11 — This is judgment upon surrounding enemy nations and their idols.

v. 12 — Judgment on Ethiopia.

vv. 13-15 — Judgment on Assyria (literally fulfilled).

Chapter 3

vv. 1-5 — Judgment on Jerusalem. Judgment is in ratio to her privilege.

vv. 6-8 — Judgment on all nations — this is Armageddon, which ends with the return of Christ to the earth.

III. Judgments removed; kingdom established, Chapter 3:9-20

v. 9 — This does not mean there will be one language for the entire world, although there may be only one language — perhaps the language on the other side of the Tower of Babel. The thought here is “pure” in the sense of the removal of the filthy, profane, and nasty language. The “four letter words” will disappear.

vv. 10-12 — These are kingdom conditions.

vv. 13-16 — The remnant of Israel enters the kingdom. Their attitude and speech are changed. Fear is removed. The Lord Jesus Christ reigns over them personally. This refers to the second coming of Christ.

v. 17 — This verse is the key of the book. This is the white light in a black background. The purpose of judgment is not vindictive, but to cleanse and purify in order that blessing and goodness might ensue from the ordeal. (See author’s booklet, “The Dark Side of Love.”)

vv. 18-20 — This describes kingdom conditions.

Notes for Zephaniah ← Prior Section
Notes for Haggai Next Section →
Notes for Habakkuk ← Prior Book
Notes for Haggai Next Book →
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