v1: “The word of the LORD that came …” the same opening were also used by Hosea, Joel and Micah. This book, just like all the books in the bible, was written by the Holy Spirit through His chosen vessel, the prophets of God
v1: Zephaniah was the only prophet whose lineage is traced by to four generations. Probably because he was great grandson of King Hezekiah
v2: “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth” Judgment on the whole earth
v3: The judgment is in reverse order from Creation. Men, animals, birds and fish will be swept away.
v3: “The wicked”, the judgment will only for the wicked. All men are sinners, but those who put their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ will be clothed with righteousness (Rom 3:23-24).
v4: change from judgment to the world to judgment to Judah and Jerusalem
v4: Baal was the Canaanite god of fertility whom many in Israel had worshiped in the time of the judges (Jud 2:13), King Ahab (1 Kings 16:32) and King Manasseh.
v4: Two kind of priests are mentioned:
1) pagan priests are non-Levitical priests who worshipped idols, King Josiah did remove pagan priests in 2 Kings 23:5.
2) Idolatrous priests are Levitical priests who workshop idols.
v5-6: Three kinds of people are mentioned
those who worshipped starry host
those who worshipped the LORD and also worshipped Molech
Molech was the chief god of the Ammonites (1 Kings 11:33). The Jews were sacrificing children to Molech (Jer 32:35, 2 Kings 16:3, 21:6)
those who neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him
v7: “the day of the LORD” this is the first of 19 references to the day of the LORD in this book
v7: “prepared a sacrifice” meaning the Jews
v7: “consecrated those he has invited” meaning the Babylonians
v8: The princes and clad like the latest fashions from Nineveh and Babylon. Their outward appearances also reveal their heart. They had absorbed foreign values and practices.
v9: “stepping on the threshold” could mean one of the following:
followed the Philistines’ superstition (1 Sam 5:5)
suddenly leaped into others’ homes to steal and offered the plunder to their gods
v12: God will search the city, no one does not believe in Him (the LORD will do nothing, either good or bad) will go unpunished.
v13: They will not live long enough to enjoy their houses and vinepards
v14: “The great day of the LORD” is a day of judgement
605 BC first exiles to Babylon
597 BC second exiles to Babylon
586 BC finial exiles to Babylon
v16: Attacks will come to Jerusalem and the other Jew’s cities
v17: The reason of this judgement: “They have sinned against the LORD”
v18: money cannot save us from God’s judgment, only the blood of Jesus Christ could save us
v18: “the whole world will be consumed” prophesy changed from near term to end times.