“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;
Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord‘s anger come upon you.
Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord‘s anger.
For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.
And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.
I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border.
Therefore as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.
This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts.
The Lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.
Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword.
And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he shall uncover the cedar work.
This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.” – Zephaniah 2 (KJV)
1 Gather yourselves together; yes, gather together, you shameless[a] nation, 2 before the decree takes effect, before the day blows by like chaff, before the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you. 3 Seek the Lord, all you humble people of the earth who have carried out his commands. Seek righteousness. Seek humility. Maybe then you will be sheltered in the day of the Lord’s anger.
4 Yes, Gaza will be deserted, and Ashkelon will be desolate. Ashdod’s people will be driven out by noon, and Ekron will be uprooted. 5 Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, the nation of the Kerethites! The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, the land of the Philistines. I will destroy you so that no one is left alive! 6 The seacoast will become pastureland, with shelters for shepherds and sheep pens for flocks. 7 It will become the possession of those who remain from the house of Judah. Their flocks will pasture there. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down in the evening, because the Lord their God will take care of them. He will restore their fortunes.
8 I have heard the taunts from Moab and the insults from the Ammonites as they have taunted my people and made proud claims against their territory. 9 Therefore as I live, declares the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, Moab will become like Sodom, and the people of Ammon like Gomorrah, a patch of ground overgrown with weeds and a salt pit[b] that is desolate forever. The surviving remnant of my people will plunder them, and the remnant of my nation will take possession of their land. 10 This is what they will get for their pride, because they have taunted and talked arrogantly against the people of the Lord of Armies. 11 The Lord will be terrifying to them, when he will starve[c] all the gods of the earth. Then all the distant nations will bow down to him, each of them in their own country.
12 You Cushites,[d] you also will die by my sword.
13 Then he will stretch out his hand against the north and destroy Assyria. He will make Nineveh desolate, dry like the wilderness. 14 Flocks and herds will lie down there, with all sorts of other creatures. Screech owls and hedgehogs[e] will live among its columns. Owls will hoot through the windows. Rubble will cover the thresholds. Even the cedar beams will be exposed. 15 This was the smug city that lived securely, that said to herself, “I am all there is. There are none that compare to me.” What a heap of ruins she has become, a place for wild animals to lie down! Everyone who passes by taunts her and shakes his fist. – Zephaniah 2 (EHV)
[a] Zephaniah 2:1 Or perhaps worthless
[b] Zephaniah 2:9 The meaning of this term is uncertain.
[c] Zephaniah 2:11 The meaning of this term is uncertain.
[d] Zephaniah 2:12 Cush is the territory south of Egypt.
[e] Zephaniah 2:14 The identity of these animals is uncertain. The parallelism suggests two kinds of birds, but the second Hebrew word seems to refer to a hedgehog or porcupine.