Expanded Biblical Comments / Ebc36 - Zephaniah

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Zephaniah

Zephaniah 1

Zephaniah 1:3

Fowls of the heaven -- The most execrable, the vultures of society. C162, C187; R817:3

Satan and his agents. R2634:6, R5406:5

Fishes of the sea -- Men not under religious restraint. R333:1

Men of the world, of every kind. C214

See also Rev. 19:17, 18; Rev. 18:18:4, 2.

Zephaniah 1:7

A sacrifice -- A slaughter in the time of trouble. A315

Hath bid his guests -- "Come and gather yourselves to ether unto the supper of the great God." (Rev. 19:17) A315

Zephaniah 1:8

The LORD'S sacrifice -- The Lord's slaughter. A315

With strange apparel -- With imported clothing. A315

Zephaniah 1:9

Also will I punish -- Not only a great overthrow of wealth and power, but also a punishment of those used as the instruments of destruction, for their equally unrighteous course. A315

On the threshold -- Over the threshold, as marauders. A315

Zephaniah 1:14

Day of the LORD -- The forepart of the Millennium. B33, B40

That period of time in which God's Kingdom, under Christ, is to be gradually "set up" in the earth, while the kingdoms of this world are passing away and Satan's power and influence over men are being bound. A307

It is called the "Day of Jehovah" because, though Christ, with royal title and power, will be present as Jehovah's representative, it is more as the General of Jehovah than as the Prince of Peace. A307

Though addressed to Israel and Jerusalem more or less directly, the connections show that all mankind is included in the complete fulfilment. A315

Is near -- It has, indeed, begun, and the heat of human passion is growing more and more intense daily. The great time of trouble is very near. R3215:6

Hasteth greatly -- Matters culminate quickly in the Day of Jehovah. B99

Even the voice -- Even the uproar. A316

The sound. R2216:1

The cries of the oppressed and discontented. R2216:1

Sounding into the ears of the civilized world through the daily press. R2216:3

Coming from various quarters and swelling into the mighty roar of the sea class (Luke 21:25)--a voice that will not be heard. R2216:6

The mighty man -- The rich and those who employ labor-- this is their day of trouble in an especial degree. R1676:5

Rich men, chief captains or kings, and the mighty men of the nominal churches who have deceived themselves. R683:6

Cry there bitterly -- Shriek bitterly. A316

Because their delusions will all be swept away. R683:6

"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for the miseries which shall corn upon you." (Jas. 5:1-4) R3107:6, R668:5

Zephaniah 1:15

That day -- The Day of Vengeance, the time of trouble. D655

Day of wrath -- A term applied to a period of 40 years in the close of the Jewish age, and to a similar period of trouble in the end of the Gospel age. A139

So extreme is the trouble that the world is said to be burned up by the Lord's anger. R26:2, R268:6, R592:3, R409:5

When the world will have an illustration of its own money-mad condition. R4522:2

"For all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." (Zeph. 3:8) R3935:2, R4627:3, R5364:1, R5863:6

Yet the mind that grasps only the idea of anger, or supposes divine malice, seriously errs. A308

Trouble and distress -- Distress and anxiety. A316

Upon the world and nominal church, though its earliest dawning light will be full of comfort and cheer to the saints who see, beyond the trouble, the glorious reign and blessings promised. B40

What wonder that a revolution of such proportions, and necessitating such great changes, should cause trouble. A307

We expect that this distress and trouble will come about, in a natural way, by a rising of the people goaded to desperation. R26:2, R409:5, R592:5

A day of darkness -- In that day of horror and darkness, men shall come to learn their need of a strong arm to deliver them. Their pride and self-sufficiency will be humbled in the dust. R5537:6

Not the same day as that mentioned in Zech. 14:2,6, when "the light shall not be bright, nor the darkness thick." D655

And gloominess -- Obscurity, uncertainty and foreboding, as well as present distress. A316

A day of clouds -- A day of trouble. R153:2, R264:5; A316

Symbolizing the gathering of the trouble epoch. Storm clouds, giving evidence that the vitiated and corrupt "air" is to be changed; and we rejoice that it will be pure after the storm. R264:5, R256:1, R153:2

Thick darkness -- Tempestuous gloom. A316

Zephaniah 1:16

Of the trumpet -- The seventh symbolic trumpet which sounds throughout this day of trouble--also called the Trump of God, because connected with the events of this Day of the Lord. A316

And alarm -- Clamorous and conflicting denunciations. A316

The high towers -- The strong and well-entrenched governments. A316; R5537:5

Zephaniah 1:17

Walk like blind men -- Groping in uncertainty, not knowing what course to pursue. A316

Zephaniah 1:18

Neither their silver -- Neither "Free Silver" nor Protective Tariff, therefore, can claim to be remedies for present and impending evils, but merely palliatives. D473

Nor their gold -- Nor bank notes, nor bonds. F554; D329

"They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed." (Ezek. 7:19) F554

To deliver them -- In 1898 a miller in Italy Publicly thanked the virgin for dear bread, and then threw his money in the street in a vain attempt to pacify the mob that came to take his life. R2384:2

"Thou fool! this night thy soul shall be required of thee. Then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?" (Luke 12:15-20) D273

In the day -- The Day of Vengeance. D329, D385, D473

Of the LORD'S wrath -- Though previously wealth could furnish ease and every luxury. A316

The whole land -- The social fabric. R5364:1

Shall be devoured -- Not people; the destruction is that of government life. R26:2

Fire of his jealousy -- Fire of his zeal, not literal fire. A317, R5442:4

Symbolic of the great social, financial and religious trouble which will overwhelm "the present evil world" and usher in the Millennium. R3074:6, R1615:5, R5733:4

Burning and destroying everything antagonistic to his righteousness. R5532:4, R4628:1

To try every man's work; when those who daub together wood, hay and stubble shall suffer loss, and yet "be saved, so as by fire." (1 Cor. 3:11-15) R505:5*, R5916:1, R4628:1

Permitted by God to turn the hearts of men to himself. R350:3*

Anarchy, the destruction which will sweep the whole world and usher in Messiah's Kingdom. R5364:1

Not merely of destruction, but also of purification. R5442:4

Must burn fiercely to consume the giant evils so entrenched in the world. R5442:4

Of all them -- Of all the wealthy, in the sense that wealth will cease to be wealth. A316

Zephaniah 2

Zephaniah 2:1

O nation -- The Royal Priesthood, the Holy Nation. R996:4

Not desired -- Despised by the world because of your faithfulness to God and the truth. R996:4

Zephaniah 2:2

Bring forth -- Before the decree brings forth its results. R996:4

Before the day -- The day of trouble. A334

Pass as the chaff -- As fire consuming chaff; quickly in comparison with the slow operation of past ages. A334; R996:4

Come upon you -- There is no hope held out that this trouble can be averted. D540

Zephaniah 2:3

Seek ye the LORD -- Exhorting the better elements of the world, not the Church, which is accounted worthy to escape those things coming upon the world. D68, R4997:4, R2021:1, R5041:6

Let him present himself wholly to God that he may know and do God's will, and thus prepare himself for the ushering in of the Kingdom. HG516:4

All ye -- A class of the world not spirit-begotten. Q719:1; R5041:6, R1607:5

Meek of the earth -- The humble of the world in general. A334; D68; F555

As well as the Body of Christ. A334

This class should include all mature children of the consecrated ones who have been rightly taught in the precepts of the Lord. F555

Few are in the attitude of mind to hear this message. OV86:4

No doubt the trouble will be equally upon the poor; but to them it will seem less severe since they have been accustomed to less. SM191:2

"Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." (Isa. 24:6) R5041:6

Wrought his judgment -- His will. A334

Who love justice and pursue peace. A334; D540

Seek righteousness -- Justice. PD92/107

The right, the truth. R996:4

Practice righteousness, truth, godliness, kindness, benevolence, justice; trust in the Lord; seek to walk in his ways. R2564:5

The wise policy, to say nothing of principle, is to deal justly, generously and kindly with our fellow-men in every rank and condition of life. D67

The Lord will be pleased to select from among such penitent seekers of righteousness some as substitutes to complete his elect Church. R2564:5

Such will be the ones most ready to welcome our King and his Kingdom. R2564:5

Instead of seeking a non-existent place of safety, let us bring our selves in to a condition of safety. R2021:1; F554

Seek meekness -- For those who are not seeking after righteousness and meekness, it will be better for them to go through the trouble in order to prepare them for the great blessing to come later. R5864:2

Seek the right and seek it meekly--the time is short. R996:5

The more meek and righteous men may be, the better they will be prepared for the awful shock and terrible distress of that day of trouble. R4997:5

During the time of trouble, for the first time in the world's history there will be a premium on meekness, patience, love, gentleness, goodness. R1963:6

Rely on the Lord and not on carnal weapons. SM191:2

It may be -- As a consequence of seeking righteousness and meekness. R1607:5

Ye shall be hid -- Partly hid. A334

Protected from at least some measure of trouble. R2021:1, R5864:2, R1607:5

In the French Revolution, which was a type of the Day of Vengeance, favors were shown to the just, generous and kind, and extreme wrath was visited upon oppressors. D67, D68

Not the Great Company--for they shall suffer the destruction of the flesh in this time of trouble. R5041:6, R1963:6

As the three Hebrews were preserved in the fiery furnace. R5041:6

Their manner of life, habits of thought and action, sympathies for the right, and appreciation of the Bible account of the trouble and its outcome, will all conspire to make them suffer less than others. A334

Words of wisdom to the world in general. The Little Flock is promised that they shall escape all those things coming upon the world. (Luke 21:36) D68

Day of the LORD'S anger -- The anarchy of the French Revolution and the anarchy which overthrew the Jewish nation in AD70 are Scriptural illustrations of what may be expected soon. PD92/107

Against that evil day, we warn men that they repent and develop meekness and righteousness. R4433:1

Zephaniah 2:15

The rejoicing city -- Babylon, Christendom. D527

Zephaniah 3

Zephaniah 3:1

The oppressing city -- Babylon, Christendom. D527

Zephaniah 3:8

Wait ye upon me -- We are to wait on him in all things and not take matters into our own hands. OV287:3; R5112:6; CR168:6

Have full confidence in God that his methods are best in every way. OV62:1; R5203:3

The Lord's times and seasons are best for us, and any attempt on our part to push ourselves in advance of the Lord's will would be sure to react unfavorably. R5672:3

Now is the time for patience and for remembering that Socialism cannot do for the world what it desires and teaches. R4135:1

"Be patient, therefore, brethren." (Jas. 5:7) SM191:2; R1520:1

Jehovah says to the Church: "I shall attend to this matter myself." R4990:2

Wait for his time. God has a plan that is surely working itself out. R4135:1

God's people must not interfere with the powers that be. SM191:2; R5526:5

God's people are forewarned not to use carnal weapons and not to trust in such weapons in the hands of others. The trust of God's people is to be in God. R5733:4, R5526:5

It is not the duty of every one of the Lord's people today to become public reprovers of public officials, even though they may see unrighteousness practiced. R3424:5

Do not avenge yourselves on those who legally oppress you, but wait for justice. R1607:4

We are not to demand justice, but to be sympathetic and forbearing. R1607:4, R4899:3

We should neither advocate the coming revolution, nor take part in it. R1607:4

Let us seek to subdue and calm the passions of men in the coming strife and do nothing to augment them, pointing out that the worst government is better than no government, and that we have, in fact, the best of all earthly governments. OV287:2

Do not attempt to force husbands, wives, parents and children up to the line of perfect justice toward you. R4899:3

As young David was content to wait God's time for bringing him to the throne; and not as Jeroboam, possessed of more confidence in himself than trust in God. R4723:3

Until the day -- The time of trouble. R4627:3

The Day of Wrath. HG417:6

Not a 24-hour day. R2971:3; A334, A138

That I rise up -- "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." (Rom. 12:19) R5574:2

To the prey -- All opposers of his righteous course. R1913:2

My determination -- His plan declared. R794:4*

Gather the nations -- All the nations. R1785:5

By God permitting them to work out their own selfish propensities. R5526:5; D271

The peoples of all nations, in opposition to present governments. A317

Drawn together by rapid communication systems. R5526:5; D270; HG417:6

Preparatory to the transfer of earth's dominion to "him whose right it is"--Immanuel. (Ezek. 21:27) D271

The opposing hosts of the last final conflict are gathering at the present time--forming one vast community of general interests--commercially, financially and politically. Q769:3, Q849:T Since mankind are sinners by nature, their cooperation is most likely to be along selfish lines, therefore most likely to be evil. R5161:1

Selfishness has gathered the nations and has been preparing them for the predicted, fast-approaching retribution. D271

Not only contributing to the severity of the judgment, but also making it impossible for any to escape, thus making the great tribulation short as well as decisive. D272

May assemble -- May draw together the kingdoms. A317

The world of mankind is being brought into close touch; barriers of language are being broken down, etc. R5161:1

In the only manner in which they could be assembled, in common interest and activity; but not in brotherly love. D271

The kingdoms -- Unite them for common safety, so that the trouble will be upon all, and all will fall. A317

To pour upon them -- The kingdoms. A317

Mine Indignation -- The Lord's indignation will burn hotly against all unrighteousness, all iniquity, all falsehood; that these may be thoroughly removed. SM57:1

It is the "Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty." (Rev. 16:14) D528

All my fierce anger -- By permitting Satan and his legions to have a great deal of power on earth. R2189:4

The natural result of sin. R350:3*

For all the earth -- The entire present social fabric. A317, A318; B162; D13, D272; SM58:2; R5364:1, R5526:4, R2543:6, R1607:5, R668:1; HG515:5

The world that now is. (2Pet. 3:7) D271

Including the nations beyond Christendom, for they are bound together by commercial and other interests, and justly so; for they have failed to appreciate what light they have seen. D27

A fire of anarchy will completely consume earthly governments and Churchianity. R2565:4

Everything evil, both root and branch. (Mal. 4:1) R4628:4, R2844:5, R2544:1

Shall be devoured -- As Israel was "burned to the lowest hell." (Deut. 32:22) E357

All evil principles of government and society manifested and destroyed as a necessary preparation for the coming blessing. R188:5

All the giants of vice and selfishness. D370

The utter destruction of humanity is not meant. R5364:1

Consumed. The tares will cease to be tares; they will cease to claim for their worldly systems the name "Christendom." C148, C149

With the fire -- Wrath, indignation; the great trouble of the Day of the Lord with which this age will end. B162; C148; D269, D370, D528; R4628:1

Of truth. R794:4*

Knowledge is bringing on the restless social conditions. R5526:5

the fire of God's righteous anger. R5863:6, R5532:4; OV58:3, OV86:1, OV323:3

The Lord's anger will burn against all kinds of injustice and iniquity. R4628:1, R2844:5

Which must consume all the giant evils so entrenched in the world. R5442:4

Devouring the political, financial, social and religious structure of the world. R5733:4, R3935:2, R2565:4, R1644:5, R1615:5

The fire of God's zeal is a forcible symbol, representing the intensity of the trouble and the destruction which will envelop the whole earth. A317

Trouble, strife, confusion. R5526:5, R5364:1, R5161:5; SM58:2

Fire represents the destruction of whatever is burned--tares, dross, earth (social organization), or whatever it may be. A318

Not merely to destroy, but especially to purify. R3684:4, R5442:4

The same fire spoken of by Peter, through which the world is to pass at this next great dispensational change. HGI8:5, HG19:4

Anarchy. D271; HG398:6, HG417:6

Which will come about in a very natural manner. R26:2, R2971:4

Into which the "tare" class of Christendom will be cast. R2565:1, R2543:6

A necessary preparation for the glorious reign of righteousness that shall immediately succeed it. R5989:2, R1913:2, R188:5

This symbolic burning will be the new missionary method by which the Church glorified, with her Head, will "bring in everlasting righteousness." (Dan. 9:24) R2463:1

So great is the trouble here described that the world is said to be burned up by the Lord's anger. R26:2, R268:6, R409:5, R592:3

The same fire of the Lord's anger against every evil thing will continue to burn throughout the entire Millennial age, destroying some found unworthy of life eternal. R2544:1

Not literal fire, as proven by the next sentence, indicating surviving people. R4627:3, R4990:2, R5733:4 R3935:2, R5364:4, R2971:3, R2543:6, R1814:1; SM58:3; OV58:3; Q777:1

See also comments on Zeph. 1:15, 18. Of my jealousy -- Of my zeal. A317; C148; OV86:1

Or, anger, justice. R1814:1, R1785:5

Or, zeal for righteousness. R2971:4

Zephaniah 3:9

For then -- After this destruction of the kingdoms and the present social order in the time of trouble. A317; D529; R5733:4, R3414:5, R1607:5

When the harvest ends; when Jesus begins his reign as Mediator of the New covenant, and Babylon is no longer. R5827:2, R5823:3, R4627:6, R5920:4

After men shall have been humbled and made ready to hear and heed his counsel. D519

As a consequence of the preceding terrible judgments upon the nations. HG18:5

After the storm comes the sunshine. HGI9:5

Turn to the people -- The masses. SM145:1

Who are therefore not destroyed by the fire, and who are also shown to be unconverted at the time it takes place. A317, R4627:6, R5364:1

Not (as some hold) the saints, who, after the earth has melted and cooled off, will return to earth and build houses and inhabit them. A317

Implying a cessation of death, a stopping of the proceedings against those waiting to go into this prison-house. Q216:4

A pure language -- The pure word of truth, uncontaminated by human tradition. A317; SM145:1; R2994:4, R5161:5, R5364:4, R5097:6

Instead of a confused message: the contradiction of creeds of heathenism and Churchianity (Babylon). OV253:2; SM58:3, SM145:1; R4627:6, R2994:4, R5364:4; F123, F710

A pure message. R4627:3, R5097:6, R5364:1, R5823:3; OV324:T, SM58:3

Unmixed with falsity and error, as now. R996:5

The confusion of doctrines will all terminate with this present age. R5161:5

Man's communications with each other will no longer be selfish, but pure, truthful and loving. D272; R1520:4

The pure Gospel of the Love, Justice and Mercy of God. OV86:1; CR408:5

A clear declaration of the divine will and plan of salvation. R5442:4, R3684:4

A pure method. Q430:3

A language of sincerity. Love will then mean love. R1520:4

The Lord, now speaking in anger, will then speak words of comfort and mercy to chastened hearts. R5823:3

It will be the work of the thousand years of Messiah's reign to make known the pure message of God. R4390:3, R5733:4

A pure word of instruction, which they can understand. R2994:4

The unadulterated truth. R1785:5; D529

One manner of communication. R794:4*

The "still, small voice" (1 Kings 19:12), or "voice of Eden," as Luther's translation puts it. R5753:2, R5752:3, R5733:4, R3414:5; SM796:T The "voice of Eden" will be heard bringing the message which will be "the desire of all nations." (Hag. 2:7) R5753:2

As typified by Elisha's purifying the brackish waters at their foundation by casting in a handful of salt. (2 Kings 2:19-22) R5780:2

Call -- Recognize our Lord as the great teacher. SM59:T To serve him -- Being prepared by having experienced the misrule of the "Prince of this world." R268:6

Will this ever come? Yes!--the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. R5112:6

When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isa. 26:9) SM701:1

The scourging, the curse of Elijah (Mal. 4:5, 6), the symbolic fire, will accomplish for mankind in a short time what the message of Elijah failed to accomplish. OV324:T With one consent -- Then " every knee shall bow and every tongue confess." (Isa. 45:23) R5098:1

Zephaniah 3:11

My holy mountain -- Kingdom. A318

Zephaniah 3:13

Remnant of Israel -- Of both houses, natural and spiritual. R518:5*

Zephaniah 3:18

The solemn assembly -- There are some who see many of these things but follow afar off; but when the tribulation gets heavy enough, they will be separated and gathered. R519:1*