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Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Zephaniah 1

 

 

Verse 1

Lord. Thus the prophets insinuate that they are not the authors but the ministers of God's word. (Worthington)


Verse 2

Gather, &c. That is, I will assuredly take away and wholly consume, either by captivity or death, both men and beasts out of this land. (Challoner) --- To gather commonly implies a benefit, but the sequel shews that the contrary is here meant. (Worthington) --- It often signifies to kill or bury, Jeremias viii. 2. The whole country round Judea to Babylon, shall be a sepulchre for men and beasts, Osee iv. 3. (Calmet)


Verse 3

Sea: the waters and air shall be pestilential. (Haydock) --- St. Jerome frequently observes that when a country is depopulated, as the Roman empire was in his days, the most fertile regions were soon abandoned even by beasts and birds. --- Meet. Septuagint, "be weak." Hebrew, "I will gather (Calmet; Protestants, "consume;" Haydock) scandals (or idols) with the wicked." (Symmachus)


Verse 4

Baal. Josias had not yet begun his reformation, 4 Kings xxiii. 4. (Calmet) --- At least he had not brought it to perfection, though from his infancy he had encouraged religion. (Haydock) --- Wardens of the temples of the idols. Ædituos, in Hebrew, the Cemarim, that is such as kindle the fires or burn incense. (Challoner) --- Literally, "the blacks, (Haydock) or those in black," whether it alludes to their clothes or to the colour of their bodies, in consequence of their going almost naked. Camilli, which may be derived from this root, (Calmet) cemarim, (Haydock) in Tuscan, signifies priests, or rather (Calmet) children who went naked before them. (Macrobius iii. 8.) --- The priests of Baal appeared in this manner, and cut themselves, (3 Kings xviii. 28.) committing great indecencies, while God ordered his ministers to be clothed in white with the utmost gravity. (Calmet) --- The very remembrance of such idols and priests shall be abolished, Osee ii. 16. They were designed for the worship of fire. Baal was the sun. (Haydock)


Verse 5

Houses. The roofs were flat. Josias afterwards reformed this abuse, 4 Kings xxiii. 5. (Calmet) --- It continued among the Arabs. (Strabo xvii.) --- Melchom. The idol of the Ammonites. (Challoner) --- Those who join idols with God do not worship Him indeed. (Worthington) --- Swearing was an act of religion, Matthew v. 33. God will not allow his glory to be given to another. Such lame worship or divided hearts he rejects, 3 Kings xviii. 21. (Calmet)


Verse 7

Silent. Hebrew has, (Haydock) an interjection, (St. Jerome) like our hush. (Haydock) --- This denotes the importance of what he is going to say. --- Guests. The blood of the wicked is his victim, Jeremias xlvi. 10., and Ezechiel xxxix. 17. (Calmet) --- The day of punishment is commonly styled the day of the Lord, Isaias ii., and 1 Corinthians iii. (Worthington)


Verse 8

Victim. Hebrew, "sacrifice." But Manuscript 1. Camb. has, "in that day, says the Lord," eeva nam being substituted for zebach, (Haydock) which is "a very remarkable variation." In ver. 7, it has Jehovah Elohim printed Adonai Jehovah. (Kennicott) --- Princes. After the death of Josias all fell to ruin. His sons were deposed, and led into captivity with the chief nobility and priests, who were richly adorned, and imitated the manners of idolaters, or kept the garments of the poor, Exodus xxii. 26., and Deuteronomy xxii. 5, 11, &c. (Calmet) --- All the posterity of Josias was afflicted. Joachaz died in Egypt; Joakim was harassed and put to death; Sedezias taken, and his eyes put out, when his children had been slain. Jechonias, or Joachin, was detained in prison at Babylon for a long time. (Worthington)


Verse 9

Entereth the temple, as if to shew themselves, Amos vi. 1. Hebrew, "jumpeth over," &c., denoting the Philistines. (Chaldean) (1 Kings v. 5.) (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "I will take vengeance on all openly before the gate in that day," (Haydock) on all who have cast themselves out of the Church. (St. Jerome) --- Lord. Hebrew, of their masters with," &c. This may relate to the Philistines, (Calmet) or to those who made the house of God a place of traffic, (Matthew xxi. 13.) and offered victims unjustly acquired. (Haydock)


Verse 10

Gate, looking towards Joppe. (St. Jerome) --- The news of the defeat at Mageddo came this way, or the cries of the Philistines were heard. (Calmet) --- Second. A part of the city so called, (Challoner) built by Manasses on the same side of the city, 2 Paralipomenon xxxiii. 14. (Calmet)


Verse 11

The Morter: (Maktesh) a valley in or near Jerusalem. (Challoner) --- All the people shall suffer in the city. (Sanctius) (Tirinus) --- Mactes was rendered famous by Samson, (Judges xv. 19.) and was in or near the country of the Philistines, who seem to be designated. The original is variously interpreted. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "of the city cut in pieces, because all the people resemble Chanaan." (Haydock) Chanaan. So he calls the Jews, from their following the wicked ways of the Chanaanites. (Challoner) --- The merchants (Grotius) are confounded, or (Haydock) the Philistines are still meant. (Calmet)


Verse 12

Lamps, with the utmost diligence, (Luke xv. 8.) so that none shall escape even in the most filthy places. (Calmet) --- The Romans found many Jews in the common sewers. (Josephus, Jewish Wars vii. 16, 20, and 26.) --- Lees. That is, the wealthy, and such as live at their ease, resting upon their riches, like wine upon the lees. (Challoner) --- Evil, denying Providence. (Calmet)


Verse 13

Strength. Children or riches. (Haydock)


Verse 14

Near. When all these miseries shall overtake the wicked, (Worthington) after the death of Josias, 4 Kings xxi. 14. (Calmet) --- The mighty. Septuagint, "and dreadful, powerful is the day of," &c. --- Meet. Protestants, "cry bitterly." (Haydock)


Verse 15

Day, is a day. The repetition elegantly describes the great danger. (Worthington)


Verse 16

Trumpet, when Nachao came and deposed Joachas.


Verse 17

Blind. Not knowing what course to take, Deuteronomy xxviii. 29., and Isaias lix. 10. (Calmet) --- Such will be the horror preceding judgment. (Haydock)


Verse 18

Gold. Ezechiel vii. 19. Thus the Medes despised riches, Isaias xiii. 17. (Calmet) --- Jealousy. God regarded the synagogue as his spouse. (Menochius) --- "If he loved not the soul of man, he would not be jealous of it." (St. Jerome) (Haydock)


Verse 19

CHAPTER I.

 


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Bibliography Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Zephaniah 1:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/zephaniah-1.html. 1859.

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