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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Zephaniah 3

 

 

Verse 1

Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!

To her — Jerusalem.


Verse 2

She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.

The voice — Of God by his mercy and judgments crying aloud.


Verse 3

Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

Her princes — Persons of principal place and authority.

Lions — Which hunt for prey, and are ever affrighting or devouring.

Wolves — Insatiable and cruel, like wolves of the evening, whetted with hunger.

Gnaw not the bones — They leave nothing but the bones to be eaten on the morrow.


Verse 4

Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

Her prophet — So called, false prophets.

Light — Unstable and inconstant.

Violence to the law — Wresting it by perverse interpretation.


Verse 5

The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.

In the midst — Observing all.

Not do iniquity — He will judge them righteously.

Every morning — Daily he discovers his displeasure against the wicked.

Faileth not — Lets no season slip to convince them, by public and visible punishments.

The unjust — But the wicked Jews proceed without shame, and without fear.


Verse 6

I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.

The nations — Of old, the Canaanites, lastly the ten tribes, and later yet, the Assyrians.


Verse 7

I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.

I said — I thought (speaking after the manner of men).

Thou — O Jerusalem.

Fear me — For the many and great judgments executed upon others.

I punished them — In some measure.


Verse 8

Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

Therefore — Since you will not be amended.

Wait ye — Attend my resolution.

Until — Until I rise up to destroy first, and next to take the spoil.

Upon them — The incorrigible Jews.

Devoured — Consumed as if burnt up.

My jealousy — That jealousy wherewith God is jealous for his own glory.


Verse 9

For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.

A pure language — I will give them a pure way of worshipping me, the issue of a pure heart.


Verse 10

From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

My dispersed — The praying remnant of the scattered Jews shall return to their own land, and bring themselves an offering unto the Lord.


Verse 11

In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.

Thy doings — Thy sins formerly committed.

In thy pride — Proud formalists.

No more be haughty — Ye shall no more boast, because of the city, or the temple.


Verse 12

I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

Of thee — In Judea and Jerusalem.


Verse 13

The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

Shall feed — Shall enjoy peace and plenty.


Verse 15

The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

Taken away — Abolished, and put an end to the judgments thy sins brought upon thee.

Thine enemy — The Babylonian.

Is in the midst — He is returned to redeem and govern thee.

Any more — While thy carriage is as becomes my presence with thee, thou shalt neither fear, nor feel the like evils.


Verse 18

I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.

Sorrowful — That mourn their distance from the solemn worship of God.

Who are of thee — Thy children.

Reproach — The taunts of their enemies.


Verse 19

Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.

Undo — I will break their power and dissolve their kingdom.

That halteth — Who is in trouble and ready to fall.

Driven out — Into remote countries.


Verse 20

At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.

A praise — So the universal church of the first-born will be, in the great day. And then the Israel of God be made a name and a praise to all eternity.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Zephaniah 3:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/zephaniah-3.html. 1765.

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