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Zephaniah 1:3-4

Context

1:3 “I will destroy people and animals;

I will destroy the birds in the sky

and the fish in the sea.

(The idolatrous images of these creatures will be destroyed along with evil people.) 1 

I will remove 2  humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord.

1:4 “I will attack 3  Judah

and all who live in Jerusalem. 4 

I will remove 5  from this place every trace of Baal worship, 6 

as well as the very memory 7  of the pagan priests. 8 

1 tn Heb “And the stumbling blocks [or, “ruins”] with the evil”; or “the things that make the evil stumble.” The line does not appear in the original form of the LXX; it may be a later scribal addition. The present translation assumes the “stumbling blocks” are idolatrous images of animals, birds, and fish. See J. J. M. Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (OTL), 167, and Adele Berlin, Zephaniah (AB), 73-74.

2 tn Heb “cut off.”

3 tn Heb “I will stretch out my hand against,” is an idiom for hostile action.

4 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

5 tn Heb “cut off.”

6 tn Heb “the remnant of Baal.”

7 tn Heb “name.” Here the “name” is figurative for the memory of those who bear it.

8 tc Heb “of the pagan priests and priests.” The first word (כְּמָרִים, kÿmarim) refers to idolatrous priests in its two other appearances in the OT (2 Kgs 23:5, Hos 10:5), while the second word (כֹּהֲנִים, kohanim) is the normal term for “priest” and is used of both legitimate and illegitimate priests in the OT. It is likely that the second term, which is omitted in the LXX, is a later scribal addition to the Hebrew text, defining the extremely rare word that precedes (see J. J. M. Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah [OTL], 167-68; cf. also NEB, NRSV). Some argue that both words are original; among the modern English versions that include both are NASB and NIV. Possibly the first word refers to outright pagan priests, while the second has in view once-legitimate priests of the Lord who had drifted into idolatrous practices. Another option is found in Adele Berlin, who translates, “the idolatrous priests among the priests,” understanding the second word as giving the general category of which the idolatrous priests are a part (Zephaniah [AB 25A], 75).



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