1 Collect yourselves together, yes, gather together, O nation not desirable;
2 Before the decree bring forth, before the judgment 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 you the LORD, all you meek of the earth, which have wrought His ordinances (as in Isa. 58:2. Jer. 8:7); seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be you shall be hid (referring to Isa. 26:20, and the meaning of Zephaniah) in the day of the LORD'S anger.
C L1 4-7. Gaza. West. L2 8-11. Moab and Ammon. Est. L3 12. Ethiopians. South. L4 13-15. Assyria. North.
4 [My anger shall be upon Gaza says the Lord], For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a ruin: they shall drive out Ashdod (now Esdud. The same as Azotus in Acts 8:40) at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
5 Woe to 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 you, that there shall be no inhabitant.
6 And the sea coast shall be pastures and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
7 And the coast shall be for [a possession] to 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 (i.e. the remnant of Judah. Ref. Gen. 50:24. Ex. 3:16), and turn away their captivity.
8 "[My judgment shall come upon Moab], for I have heard the reproach of Moab (cp. Isa. 16 and 16. Jer. 48. Amos 2:1-3), and the revilings of the sons of Ammon (cp. Jer. 49:1-6. Amos 1:13-15), whereby they have reproached My People (see Judg. 11:12-28), and magnified themselves against their border.
9 Therefore as I live, says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom (ref. Gen. 19:24,25), and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles (ref. Deut. 29:23,&c.), and salt-pits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of My People shall spoil them, and the remnant of My nation shall inherit them.
10 This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts.
11 The LORD will be terrible to them: for He will cause to waste away all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship Him, every one from his place, even all the coast-lands of the nations.
12 You Ethiopians also, you shall be slain by My sword.
13 And He will stretch out His hand (idiom of executing judgment) against the north (i.e. Assyria, because although west of Canaan, the road and entrance was by the north), and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.
14 And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all kinds of the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the carved capitals of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for He shall uncover the cedar work (i.e. the the wainscoting).
15 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 passes by her shall hiss, and wag his hand." (Expression of derision.)