Zephaniah Chapter 3 Does Not Refer to End Times

Let us first read. I have put in bold key words that lets us know that this prophecy has already been fulfilled. We must keep in mind the setting of the scripture. The Jews were in captivity because of their iniquity.

Zephaniah 3

[1] Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
[2] She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.
[3] Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
[4] Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[10] From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[14] Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
[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.
[16] In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
[17] The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
[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.
[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.
[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.

People assume that because the phrase “all people of the earth” is present in a text of scripture that it automatically refers to end times. The text of Zephaniah proclaims the prophecy would be fulfilled when God turned back the captivity of the Jews. The context of the fulfillment of the prophecy is clearly concerning the Babylonian captivity of the Jews which is made clear by chapter 2 of Zephaniah.

Zephaniah 2:1-7
“[1] Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;
[2] 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.
[3] 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.
[4] For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
[5] 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.
[6] And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
[7] 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.”

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