Zephaniah – The Prophet who foretells The Day of the Lord


The Book of Zephaniah starts with king Josiah, one of the few good kings and ends with the King of kings – Yeshua/Jesus, who will rule with equality and equity on this earth.

The name Zephaniah means Yahweh hides or has hidden and may have a reference to the fact that the prophet was kept from Manasseh’s atrocities.

The prophet is speaking principally to Judah around 630 to 625 B.C. for the northern 10 Tribes have been in captivity for nearly one hundred years, but God’s Word is unto all generations to learn from and to pay very careful attention to.


The purpose of Zephaniah’s prophecy is to set forth what The Day of the Lord will mean to ungodly Judah, the World Powers and for the godly remnant. His theme then is The Day of the Lord is a ‘day of judgment and restoration’ and the prophet uses the term 7 times! No other prophet paints such a dark picture of God’s judgment and no other prophet paints such a bright future of Israel’s golden age during Messiah’s Millennium Rule. At this time of God’s judgment the false remnant of Baal worshipping (and all other forms of idol or foolish humanistic worship) will be totally destroyed (Chapter 1) along with the God rejecting nations (Chapter 2). Only the true remnant of Israel will be saved (Chapter 3:8-20). Once again we can see the prophetic pen of Paul confirming this where he writes for the Lord – ‘Not all Israel are Israel’ in Romans 9:6 and then all Israel (being the remnant) will be saved in Romans 11:26. We can also cross reference these verses with Zechariah 13:8-9.

Teaching Outline:

1. THE LORD’S DECREE – though His Prophet – Chapter 1 verse1.

2. THE LORD’S DECISION – Chapter 1 verses 2 to 6.

A) The Devouring Flame 

    1. It will be a Consuming fire – verses 2 to 3a.
    2. It will be a Cleansing fire – verse 3b.
    3. And finally it will be a Conquering fire – verses 3c to 4a.

 B) The Deceitful, Devious and Defiling Doctrines 

    1. Immorality (Baal worship) – verse 4b.
    2. Astrology (The worship of the Hosts of Heaven) – verse 5a.
    3. Insincerity (Swearing oaths by the Lord and also Milcom) – verse 5b.
    4. Cruelty (Sacrificing children to Molech) – verse 5c.
    5. Apostasy (Turning back to sin) – verse 6a.
    6. Infidelity (Not seeking the Lord‘s ways) – verse 6b.

3. THE DAY OF THE LORD – Chapter 1:7 to Chapter 3:8.

A) The Proclaimer – Chapter 1 verse 7.

B) The People – Chapter 1 verses 8 to 13.

    1. The Royal Rebels – verse 8.
    2. The Sin Seekers – verse 9.
    3. The Money Makers – verses 10 to 11.
    4. The Leisure Lovers – verses 12 to 13.

C) The Period –  Chapter 2 verses 14 to 18.

    1. Its Nearness – verse 14.
    2. Its Nature – verses 15 to 18.

To fulfill prophecy – verses 15 to 16
To finally punish – verse 17.
To fully purge – verse 18.

D) The Places (The Countries involved) – Chapter 2 verses 1 to 15.

    1. Judah (in the middle) – verses 1 to 3.
    2. Philistia (to the West) – verses 4 to 7.
    3. Moab and Ammon (to the East) – verses 8 to 11.
    4. Ethiopia (to the South) – verse 12.
    5. Assyria (to the North) – verses 13 to 15.

E) The Polluted (The Capital – Jerusalem) – Chapter 3 verses 1 to 4.

    1. The People – verses 1 to 2.
    2. The Princes – verse 3.
    3. The Prophets – verse 4a.
    4. The Priests – verse 4b.

F) The Punishment (The Culprits – Jew and Gentile) – Chapter 3 verses 5 to 8.

    1. No regard towards God – verse 5.
    2. No response towards God – verse 6.
    3. No repentance towards God – verse 7.
    4. No remembrance towards God   – verse 8. (The prophetic plan to assemble the nations for  judgment as outlined by the Prophets of God.)

4. THE DELIVERANCE OF THE LORD – Chapter 3 verses 9 to 20.

A) Israel’s restoration to her language – verses 9 to 10.

B) Israel’s repentance before her Lord – verses 11.

C) Israel’s remnant before her Lord – verses 12 to 13.

D) Israel’s rejoicing before her Lord – verse 14.

E) Israel’s renewal before her Lord – verse 15.

F) Israel’s Redeemer rejoices over her – verses 16 to 17.

G) Israel’s regeneration and re-gathering to her Lord – verses 18 to 20.



Our Lord and God is always dealing with a remnant that believe. Zephaniah stood up in  holiness of life and in boldness towards his God and King to preach at a crucial time – ‘for such a time as this’ just as with Esther (a type of the Church). We then are called in like manner to stand and preach a message that does not –

Compromise and Conform.

To do so brings –

Contamination and Corruption.

So many within and especially without are ignorant of the darkness that blinds, of the defilement from worldly living, of the distress, devastation, desolation, doom and destruction that is coming. Death is an eternal darkness …. What more can be said!

We have a choice – the Devil or the Deliverer of our souls who died that we may live. To the Lord Jesus then, the Lord of light, life, love and liberty to all who believe.


Date : 02/02/2020    

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