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Zephaniah
Zephaniah urges the people to repent.

Zephaniah

This quiz, Zephaniah, looks at the fate of the Gentiles.

The ninth of the Minor Prophets, and the thirty-sixth book in the Bible is the Book of Zephaniah. Zephaniah was the great-great-grandson of Hezekiah, the good and godly King of Judah. The prophet lived during the reign of the later King Josiah, who was also a good king, reviving his realm's worship of God.

Zephaniah warns about God's coming day of judgement, starting with Judah, then moving on to the surrounding Gentile (non-Jewish) nations. But as with the other prophets, Zephaniah goes on to tell us of God's promise to return His people's status in the future.

All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Authorised King James Version.
1.
The opening verses of Zephaniah are a stark warning of what God intends. He says that He will destroy which four things?
Hills, mountains, rivers and seas
Men, animals, birds and fish
Forests, woods, winds and breezes
Herds, flocks, crops and vines
God's punishment for Judah will be severe.

Zephaniah 1:1-3
"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.
I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord.
I will consume man and beast;
I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea,
and the stumblingblocks with the wicked;
and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord"
2.
Zephaniah tells us of God's coming judgement on the Judeans who worship false gods, those who once worshipped God but no longer do, and which other group of people?
Those who have never been to the temple
Those who sacrifice children
Those who have never searched for God
Those who are uncircumcised
God is disappointed at what has become of His chosen people. They worship other gods, the stars and planets, or no god at all.

Zephaniah 1:4-6
"I will also stretch out mine hand upon 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 Chemarims with the priests;
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;
and them that are turned back from the Lord;
and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for him"
3.
In his book, Zephaniah refers to one particular day 23 times. What does he call this day?
The Day of Justice
The Day of Redemption
The Day of Judgement
The Day of the Lord
Here is just one of the times Zephaniah uses the term:

Zephaniah 1:7
"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 sacrifice,
he hath bid his guests."

4.
Through Zephaniah, God warns that he will punish all those who wear what?
Foreign clothes
Expensive clothes
Priests clothes
Revealing clothes
God wanted the people to wear simple clothes, like their ancestors, not the expensive fancy clothes of foreigners. Zephaniah feared that foreign influences were eroding the Jewish faith.

Zephaniah 1:8-9
"And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice,
that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children,
and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.
In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold,
which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit"
5.
Zephaniah describes the Day of the Lord as one full of catastrophe against "the fenced cities and against the high..." what?
Against the high kings
Against the high towers
Against the high and mighty
Against the high walls
Even the fortified places will not be spared from God's wrath.

Zephaniah 1:15-16
"That day is a day of wrath,
a day of trouble and distress,
a day of wasteness and desolation,
a day of darkness and gloominess,
a day of clouds and thick darkness,
a day of the trumpet and alarm
against the fenced cities, and against the high towers"
6.
Zephaniah urges the people to repent. He says that if they search for God, righteousness and one more thing they may yet be spared. What is this third thing Zephaniah urges them to seek?
Obedience/lawfulness
Love/compassion
Justice/fairness
Humility/meekness
Zephaniah urges everyone to change their ways before it is too late.

Zephaniah 2:1-3
"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together,
O nation not desired;
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.
Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth,
which have wrought his judgment;
seek righteousness, seek meekness:
it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger"
7.
Zephaniah talks not only of judgement against the Israelites, but also against their neighbours. One city in particular is told that it shall become desolate and a home for wild animals. Which city is this?
Nineveh
Babylon
Ur
Mount Edom
Once the mightiest city on earth, Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, is to become ruins.

Zephaniah 2:13-15
"And he will stretch out his hand against the north,
and destroy Assyria;
and will make Nineveh a desolation,
and dry like a wilderness.
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her,
all the beasts of the nations:
both the 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.
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 beasts to lie down in!
every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand"
8.
Zephaniah turns his attention back to Judah, and the city of Jerusalem. He condemns the prophets and the priests, but also which other two groups?
The kings and the ministers
The wives and the mothers
The princes and the judges
The merchants and the traders
The princes and judges are compared to lions and wolves, both predatory, whilst the prophets pursue their own ends and the priests defy the holy laws.

Zephaniah 3:1-4
"Woe to her that is filthy and polluted,
to the oppressing city!
She obeyed not the voice;
she received not correction;
she trusted not in the Lord;
she drew not near to her God.
Her princes within her are roaring lions;
her judges are evening wolves;
they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons:
her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
they have done violence to the law"
9.
Zephaniah gives us a description of God's future kingdom on earth. God says that he will give the people a pure what?
A pure heart
A pure language
A pure mind
A pure soul
This is so that all may worship God in unity after the Jews who were dispersed around the world have returned home.

Zephaniah 3:9-10
"For then will I turn to the people a pure language,
that they may all call upon the name of the Lord,
to serve him with one consent.
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants,
even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering"
10.
In his last verse Zephaniah tells the Jews that God will one day make their name worthy of what?
Reward
Homage
Honour
Praise
All people on earth will worship God when His kingdom comes, and the Jewish people themselves shall be worthy of praise.

Zephaniah 3:20
"At that time will I bring you again,
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"

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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