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Zephaniah 2:8-10

Context

2:8 “I have heard Moab’s taunts

and the Ammonites’ insults.

They 1  taunted my people

and verbally harassed those living in Judah. 2 

2:9 Therefore, as surely as I live,” says the Lord who commands armies, the God of Israel,

“be certain that Moab will become like Sodom

and the Ammonites like Gomorrah.

They will be overrun by weeds, 3 

filled with salt pits, 4 

and permanently desolate.

Those of my people who are left 5  will plunder their belongings; 6 

those who are left in Judah 7  will take possession of their land.”

2:10 This is how they will be repaid for their arrogance, 8 

for they taunted and verbally harassed 9  the people of the Lord who commands armies.

1 tn Heb “who.” A new sentence was begun here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

2 tn Heb “and they made great [their mouth?] against their territory.” Other possible translation options include (1) “they enlarged their own territory” (cf. NEB) and (2) “they bragged about [the size] of their own territory.”

3 tn The Hebrew text reads מִמְשַׁק חָרוּל (mimshaq kharul, “[?] of weeds”). The meaning of the first word is unknown. The present translation (“They will be overrun by weeds”) is speculative, based on the general sense of the context. For a defense of “overrun” on linguistic grounds, see R. D. Patterson, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (WEC), 347. Cf. NEB “a pile of weeds”; NIV “a place of weeds”; NRSV “a land possessed by nettles.”

4 tn The Hebrew text reads וּמִכְרֵה־מֶלַח (umikhreh-melakh, “and a [?] of salt”). The meaning of the first word is unclear, though “pit” (NASB, NIV, NRSV; NKJV “saltpit”), “mine,” and “heap” (cf. NEB “a rotting heap of saltwort”) are all options. The words “filled with” are supplied for clarification.

5 tn Or “The remnant of my people.”

6 tn Heb “them.” The actual object of the plundering, “their belongings,” has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “[the] nation.” For clarity the “nation” has been specified as “Judah” in the translation.

8 tn Heb “this is for them in place of their arrogance.”

9 tn Heb “made great [their mouth?] against” (cf. the last phrase of v. 8).



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