Reading Through The Bible - ZEPHANIAH

Some Books of the bible are very short and some are very long but this one is one of the shortest.


36th book of the OT 
36th book of the Bible

It starts with a declaration that this is the Word of the Lord which came through Zephaniah as we see in chapter 1 v 1

What is it?

The Book of Zephaniah is one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament which means it is Prophecy.
It is the 9th out of the 12 minor prophets.

How Long is it?

It has 3 chapters.

When was it Written?

It is was written between 635 & 625 BC

Because ch. 1 v 1 gives us a good deal of detail about Zephaniah the historians can be more sure of the timescale for this book.

"The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah."

Who Wrote it?


The name Zephaniah means "Treasured by God"

The first verse of this book tells us who Zephaniah was

"....... Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah ........."

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of King Josiah, the king of Judah from 640 to 609 BC"

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"Zephaniah was probably a contemporary of HabakkukNahum, and Jeremiah."
"The punishment that he foretells plays out in the books of KingsChronicles and Jeremiah."


Who was it Written to?

The people of Judah.

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"Like the book of Joel, Zephaniah takes a “bad news first” approach: he begins with the coming destruction of Jerusalem, discusses the downfall and restoration of the outside nations, and finishes with the promise that Judah and Israel will be restored.

Why was it Written? 

It was written as a warning about the Day of the Lord 

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"Zephaniah preached his message during the rule of King Josiah, who had initiated religious reform in all of Judah and some surrounding territories. At this time, the nation as a whole was obeying God’s laws and turning from idols (2 Chr 34:33). Since the land was obeying God, one might ask, “Whom was Zephaniah warning, then?”

His warnings seem to better resonate with the next generation of Judah. After Josiah dies in battle, his sons take the throne for 22 years. They disobey the Lord, they stir up trouble with Babylon, and they disregard the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 36:27–2937:1–2). Plus, the priests and citizens defile God’s temple (2 Chr 36:14). 
In light of this, Zephaniah’s message makes sense. "

What is notable about this book? 

Zephaniah mentions the "Day of the Lord" more than any other Old Testament Prophet. 

How does it end?

Although the main emphasis throughout is of warning of what will happen in the Day of the Lord in chapter 3 we do see some exhortation that God is not wrecking only vengeance but that He loves His people especially in verse 17


What format does this book take? 

The Overview Bible  tells us the following 

  1. Desolation and discipline on Judah (Zep 1)
  2. Desolation on the surrounding nations (Zep 2)
  3. The Lord’s remnant from the nations (Zep 3:1–11)
  4. The Lord’s remnant from Israel (Zep 3:12–20)

You can also see my Pastor's  Bible Study video on Zephaniah