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Zephaniah 3:18-20

Context

3:18 “As for those who grieve because they cannot attend the festivals –

I took them away from you;

they became tribute and were a source of shame to you. 1 

3:19 Look, at that time I will deal with those who mistreated you.

I will rescue the lame sheep 2 

and gather together the scattered sheep.

I will take away their humiliation

and make the whole earth admire and respect them. 3 

3:20 At that time I will lead you –

at the time I gather you together. 4 

Be sure of this! 5  I will make all the nations of the earth respect and admire you 6 

when you see me restore you,” 7  says the Lord.

1 tn Heb “The ones grieving from an assembly I gathered from you they were, tribute upon her, a reproach.” Any translation of this difficult verse must be provisional at best. The present translation assumes three things: (1) The preposition מִן (min) prefixed to “assembly” is causal (the individuals are sorrowing because of the assemblies or festivals they are no longer able to hold). (2) מַשְׂאֵת (maset) means “tribute” and refers to the exiled people being treated as the spoils of warfare (see R. D. Patterson, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah [WEC], 385-86). (3) The third feminine singular suffix refers to personified Jerusalem, which is addressed earlier in the verse (the pronominal suffix in “from you” is second feminine singular). For other interpretive options see Adele Berlin, Zephaniah (AB 25A), 146.

2 tn The word “sheep” is supplied for clarification. As in Mic 4:6-7, the exiles are here pictured as injured and scattered sheep whom the divine shepherd rescues from danger.

3 tn Heb “I will make them into praise and a name, in all the earth, their shame.” The present translation assumes that “their shame” specifies “them” and that “name” stands here for a good reputation.

4 tn In this line the second person pronoun is masculine plural, indicating that the exiles are addressed.

5 tn Or “for.”

6 tn Heb “I will make you into a name and praise among all the peoples of the earth.” Here the word “name” carries the nuance of “good reputation.”

7 tn Heb “when I restore your fortunes to your eyes.” See the note on the phrase “restore them” in 2:7.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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