What you get in the Casual English Bible’s Zephaniah Atlas are
- 7 high definition maps in 3D style, for immediate download as PDFs.
Zephaniah is the only prophet to climb four generations up his family tree. He may have done this to name-drop his most famous relative: King Hezekiah.
“Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, grandson of Gedaliah, great-grandson of Amariah, and great-great-grandson of Hezekiah” (Zephaniah 1:1).
If this Hezekiah was King Hezekiah, then Zephaniah was also related to the current king, Josiah. All kings of Judah descended from King David.
But other scholars say if Zephaniah wanted to name-drop his great-great grandpa King Hezekiah, he would have made it clear which Hezekiah he was talking about because Hezekiah was a common name.
Zephaniah prophesied during the last generation of Israelites in Judah before Babylonian invaders, in 586 BC, erased it from the world map and deported many survivors to what is now Iraq. Zephaniah ministered during the reign of King Josiah (ruled 640-609 BC.) Josiah was a religious reformer. He tore down shrines and worship centers devoted to other gods. But his effort seemed too little, too late. It didn’t stop the Babylonians, which the prophets described as God’s punishment of Judah.
Zephaniah lived and ministered in the southern Jewish nation of Judah, headquartered out of Jerusalem. The northern Jewish nation of Israel had been gone for about 70 years, wiped off the map by Assyrian invaders from what is now northern Iraq in 722 BC.
This short prophecy of 53 verses is a “last chance to repent” message for Judah—a nation stubborn and independent toward God and anyone else who told them what to do.
Israelite ancestors of today’s Jewish people developed the reputation for rebelliousness among empires that tried to control them. They rebelled when Assyria, Babylon, and Persian put the squeeze on them for tax money like a bully steals lunch money. Israelites didn’t like bullies.
They didn’t seem to care much for God’s rules, either.
Too bad, Zephaniah essentially says. If they don’t fall in line, they’re going fall in the dirt. He quotes God saying,
“I’m going to kill everything.
I’m going to sweep the earth clean.
I’ll kill all the people and animals,
birds of the sky, and fish of the sea” (Zephaniah 1:2-3).
That’s the reverse of Creation. People and animals die in the reverse order that Genesis says God created them (Genesis 1:20, 24, 27).
In addition to the Zephaniah Bible Atlas
Best resource for comparing other Bible translations: Bible Gateway. This isn’t an ad. It’s a recommendation from the Casual English Bible.
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