Zephaniah Chapter Three

The Purification Of Jerusalem

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In our study of Zephaniah chapter three, we will look at the purification of the city of Jerusalem and the coming reign of God's people from the city. In chapter two, we saw God's judgment on the nations surrounding Israel and now we see God's judgment come home to the city of Jerusalem.

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Zephaniah 3:1

Woe to her who is filthy, defiled; woe to the tyrant city!

Purification is the removal of something that does not belong and here we see the sin that does not belong in the city of Jerusalem. We see that God's people had become polluted by the ways of the world and have ignored the poor among them. In our world today, it seems that everyone (even Christians) are out to get all that they can and to store up wealth for themselves. This is often accomplished on the backs of the poor and that is why the city is called "the tyrant city".

Zephaniah 3:2

She wouldn't listen to the voice, wouldn't receive correction; she didn't trust in ADONAI, didn't draw close to her God.

For many years, God has sent prophets to his people in the city and so they have heard the word of God. He has even sent partial judgment and yet the people do not turn to God. Even today, we see that the city trusts more in the military might of nations than in the protection of God.

Zephaniah 3:3

Her leaders there with her are roaring lions, her judges desert wolves, who don't leave even a bone for tomorrow.

We see that God describes the leaders of the city as making a lot of noise about prosperity and helping the poor but in reality they are working day and night to get all that they can for themselves.

Zephaniah 3:4

Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men; her cohanim profane the holy and do violence to Torah.

The priests have become corrupt and twist the word of God for their own benefit. Meanwhile, the prophets that are sent to give the priests a message of correction do not share the message with them. Instead, they tell the priests what they want to hear in order to gain personal wealth. This sounds like what has happened and is happening even now among God's people.

Zephaniah 3:5

ADONAI, who is righteous, is there among them; he never does anything wrong. Every morning he renders his judgment, every morning, without fail; yet the wrongdoer knows no shame.

Jerusalem is the city of God and he is right and just in everything that he does. Therefore, it is easy to see that this corruption is out of place in his city. Even so, the people have no shame and openly continue in their sinful ways.

Zephaniah 3:6

"I have cut off nations, their battlements are ruined; I have made their streets ruins, no one walks in them. Their cities are destroyed, abandoned, unpeopled.

This verse refers to what is commonly known as the Great Tribulation. During this time, God will bring judgment on the nations in hopes that many people will accept Yeshua Messiah as their Lord and Savior.

Zephaniah 3:7

I said, 'Surely now you will fear me, you will receive correction'; so that her place will not be cut off by all the punishments I brought on her. But no, they only grew all the more eager to be corrupt in all that they do.

This judgment of the surrounding nations was meant to be a wake up call for God's people. If they would only repent and turn back to God, this judgment would not fall upon them but they will refuse.

Zephaniah 3:8

Therefore, wait for me," says ADONAI, "for the day when I rise to witness against you, when I decide to assemble nations, to gather kingdoms together, to pour on them my indignation, all my furious anger; for all the earth will be consumed in the fire of my passion.

God is going to call the nations together to come against Yeshua Messiah. Those that have followed the beast and the false prophet will be killed and the beast and false prophet will be cast into hell (see Revelation 19). This removal of those that actively oppose God will usher in what is known as the Millennial Reign.

Zephaniah 3:9

For then I will change the peoples, so that they will have pure lips, to call on the name of ADONAI, all of them, and serve him with one accord.

At this time, Satan will be bound and his influence will be removed from the earth for a time. No longer will his blasphemies be heard and all men will have the opportunity to see that salvation comes through Yeshua Messiah and not through the works of man. Christians will be a shining example in the city of Jerusalem.

Zephaniah 3:10

Even from beyond Ethiopia's rivers they will bring those who petition me, the daughter of my dispersed as my offering.

During this millennial reign, God's people will be gathered from the ends of the earth to Jerusalem.

Zephaniah 3:11 & 12

When that day comes, you will not be ashamed of everything you have done, committing wrongs against me; for then I will remove from among you those of you who take joy in arrogance; you will no longer be full of pride on my holy mountain. I will leave among you a poor and afflicted people, who will find their refuge in the name of ADONAI."

We see that only those who have put their trust in Yeshua Messiah and his blood as the payment for their sins will be in the city. Human pride must be dealt with for only the humble can see the need for a Savior and accept the gift of salvation.

Zephaniah 3:13-15

The remnant of Isra'el will not do wrong, nor will they speak lies, nor will there be found in their mouths a tongue given over to deceit; for they will be able to graze and lie down, with no one to disturb them. Sing, daughter of Tziyon! Shout, Isra'el! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Yerushalayim! ADONAI has removed the judgments against you, he has expelled your enemy; the king of Isra'el, ADONAI, is right there with you. You no longer need to fear that anything bad will happen.

This purified Jerusalem will be filled with a pure people. These people have been purified by the blood of the Lamb and they will be full of rejoicing. Yeshua will be with us in this pure city and he drives away all fear as he is the conqueror of all the enemies. The peace of Jerusalem is coming and his name is Yeshua Messiah!

Zephaniah 3:16 & 17

On that day, it will be said to Yerushalayim, "Do not fear, Tziyon! don't let your hands droop down. ADONAI your God is right there with you, as a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you and be glad, he will be silent in his love, he will shout over you with joy."

We will not be idle in Jerusalem but will be working for the Lord. Yeshua will be there to reign with us and there will be peace and singing.

Zephaniah 3:18-20

"I will gather those of yours who grieve over the appointed feasts and bear the burden of reproach. When that time comes, I will deal with all those who oppress you. I will save her who is lame, gather her who was driven away, and make them whose shame spread over the earth the object of praise and renown. When that time comes, I will bring you in; when that time comes, I will gather you and make you the object of fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth - when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes," says ADONAI.

During this thousand year reign, God's people will be raised up as a shining example. They will be drawn back to Jerusalem and be honored there as well as in the lands that they had been living in.

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