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Zephaniah 2:8-11

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.

2:11 The Lord will terrify them, 10 

for 11  he will weaken 12  all the gods of the earth.

All the distant nations will worship the Lord in their own lands. 13 

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).

10 tn Heb “will be awesome over [or, “against”] them.”

11 tn Or “certainly.”

12 tn The meaning of this rare Hebrew word is unclear. If the meaning is indeed “weaken,” then this line may be referring to the reduction of these gods’ territory through conquest (see Adele Berlin, Zephaniah [AB 25A], 110-11). Cf. NEB “reduce to beggary”; NASB “starve”; NIV “when he destroys”; NRSV “shrivel.”

13 tn Heb “and all the coastlands of the nations will worship [or, “bow down”] to him, each from his own place.”



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