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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Tsephanyah', צְפִנְיָה [in the prolonged form Tsephanya'hu,

צְפִנְיָהוּ, 2 Kings 25:18], hidden of Jehovah; Sept. Σοφονίας v.r. [in 1 Chronicles] Σαφανίας, Vulg. Sophonias), the name of four Hebrews.

1. A Kohathite Levite, son of Tahath and father of Azariah, in the ancestry of the prophet Samuel (q.v.) and of Heman (1 Chronicles 6:36 [Heb. 21]); the same elsewhere (Heb. 21:24 [9]) called URIEL (See URIEL) (q.v.) the father of Uzziah.

2. A prophet of whom we have no information beyond what his book furnishes. In this (Zephaniah 1:1) he is said to have been "the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah," which last is usually regarded as the same with king Hezekiah. If so, he lived B.C. cir. 620. With this agrees the date, of his prophecy there given; namely, in the reign of Josiah. We do not elsewhere, however, read of an such son of Hezekiah as Amariah, and, so far as he record and probability go, Manasseh was his only son. (See ZEPHANIAH, BOOK OF).

3. The son of Maaseiah (Jeremiah 21:1) and sagan, or second priest, in the reign of Zedekiah. He succeeded Jehoiada (Jeremiah 29:29; Jeremiah 25:26), and was probably a ruler of the Temple, whose office it was, among others, to punish pretenders to the gift of prophecy. In this capacity, he was appealed to by Shenaiah the Nehelamite, in a letter from Babylon, to punish Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:29). Twice was he sent from Zedekiah to inquire of Jeremiah the issue of the siege of the city by the Chaldaeans (Jeremiah 21:1), and to implore him to intercede for the people (Jeremiah 37:3). On the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuzaradan, he was taken with Seraiah the high-priest and others, and slain at Riblah. (Jeremiah 52:24; Jeremiah 52:27; 2 Kings 25:18; 2 Kings 25:21). B.C. 588.

4. Father of Josiah 2 (Zechariah 6:10), and of Hen, according to the reading of the received text of Zechariah 6:14 as given in the A. V. B.C. ante 519. (See JOSIAH).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Zephaniah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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