The Lord has prepared a sacrificial meal; 4
he has ritually purified 5 his guests.
1:8 “On the day of the Lord’s sacrificial meal,
I will punish the princes 6 and the king’s sons,
and all who wear foreign styles of clothing. 7
1:10 On that day,” says the Lord,
wailing from the city’s newer district, 13
and a loud crash 14 from the hills.
1:12 At that time I will search through Jerusalem with lamps.
I will punish the people who are entrenched in their sin, 20
those who think to themselves, 21
‘The Lord neither rewards nor punishes.’ 22
1:13 Their wealth will be stolen
and their houses ruined!
They will not live in the houses they have built,
nor will they drink the wine from the vineyards they have planted.
it is approaching very rapidly!
There will be a bitter sound on the Lord’s day of judgment;
at that time warriors will cry out in battle. 24
a day of distress and hardship,
a day of devastation and ruin,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and dark skies,
Judgment will fall on 28 the fortified cities and the high corner towers.
and they will stumble 30 like blind men,
for they have sinned against the Lord.
Their blood will be poured out like dirt;
1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them
in the day of the Lord’s angry judgment.
before the day of the Lord’s angry judgment overtakes you!
Maybe you will be protected 47 on the day of the Lord’s angry judgment.
1 tn Heb “Lord
2 tn Heb “the day of the
sn The origin of the concept of “the day of the
3 tn Or “near.”
4 tn Heb “a sacrifice.” This same word also occurs in the following verse.
sn Because a sacrificial meal presupposes the slaughter of animals, it is used here as a metaphor of the bloody judgment to come.
5 tn Or “consecrated” (ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
6 tn Or “officials” (NRSV, TEV); NLT “leaders.”
7 sn The very dress of the royal court, foreign styles of clothing, revealed the degree to which Judah had assimilated foreign customs.
9 tn The referent of “their master” is unclear. The king or a pagan god may be in view.
10 tn Heb “who fill…with violence and deceit.” The expression “violence and deceit” refers metonymically to the wealth taken by oppressive measures.
11 tn The words “will go up” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
13 tn Heb “from the second area.” This may refer to an area northwest of the temple where the rich lived (see Adele Berlin, Zephaniah [AB 25A], 86; cf. NASB, NRSV “the Second Quarter”; NIV “the New Quarter”).
14 tn Heb “great breaking.”
15 tn Heb “in the Mortar.” The Hebrew term מַכְתֵּשׁ (makhtesh, “mortar”) is apparently here the name of a low-lying area where economic activity took place.
16 tn Or perhaps “Canaanites.” Cf. BDB 489 s.v. I and II כְּנַעֲנִי. Translators have rendered the term either as “the merchant people” (KJV, NKJV), “the traders” (NRSV), “merchants” (NEB, NIV), or, alternatively, “the people of Canaan” (NASB).
17 tn Or “be destroyed.”
18 tn Heb “weigh out silver.”
20 tn Heb “who thicken on their sediment.” The imagery comes from wine making, where the wine, if allowed to remain on the sediment too long, will thicken into syrup. The image suggests that the people described here were complacent in their sinful behavior and interpreted the delay in judgment as divine apathy.
21 tn Heb “who say in their hearts.”
22 tn Heb “The
24 tn Heb “the sound of the day of the
25 tn Heb “a day of wrath.” The word “God’s” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
26 tn Heb “a ram’s horn.” By metonymy the Hebrew text mentions the trumpet (“ram’s horn”) in place of the sound it produces (“trumpet blasts”).
27 sn This description of the day of the
28 tn Heb “against.” The words “judgment will fall” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
30 tn Heb “walk.”
31 tn Some take the referent of “flesh” to be more specific here; cf. NEB (“bowels”), NAB (“brains”), NIV (“entrails”).
32 tn The words “will be scattered” are supplied in the translation for clarity based on the parallelism with “will be poured out” in the previous line.
33 tn Or “land” (cf. NEB). This same word also occurs at the end of the present verse.
34 tn Or “passion”; traditionally, “jealousy.”
35 tn Or “for.”
36 tn Heb “complete destruction, even terror, he will make.”
37 tn It is not certain where the
38 tn Heb “before the giving birth of a decree.” For various alternative readings, see J. J. M. Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (OTL), 187-88.
39 tn The second half of the line reads literally, “like chaff it passes by a day.” The translation above assumes the “day” is the brief time God is giving the nation to repent. The comparison of this quickly passing opportunity to chaff is consistent with the straw imagery of v. 1.
40 tn Heb “the fury of the anger of the
41 tn Heb “comes upon.” This phrase occurs twice in this verse.
42 tn Heb “seek the
43 tn Or “poor.” The precise referent of this Hebrew term is unclear. The word may refer to the economically poor or to the spiritually humble.
44 tn The present translation assumes the Hebrew term מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) here refers to God’s covenantal requirements and is a synonym for the Law. The word can mean “justice” and could refer more specifically to the principles of justice contained in the Law. In this case the phrase could be translated, “who have promoted the justice God demands.”
45 tn Heb “Seek what is right.”
46 tn Heb “Seek humility.”
47 tn Heb “hidden.” Cf. NEB “it may be that you will find shelter”; NRSV “perhaps you may be hidden.”