Zephaniah 3:1 Ah,
She has been disobedient,
Has learned no lesson;…
The officials within her
Are roaring lions…
Her judges are wolves of the steppe;…
Her prophets are reckless,
Her priests profane what is holy…
Zephaniah 3:5 The wrong doer knows no shame.
This is addressed to an ancient city. I offer it as an example of the scriptural image of many cities as places of great evil. As always, the harshest criticisms are against the leaders; political, economic, religious, and otherwise:
Zephaniah 3:8 But
wait for Me – says the Lord –
for the day when I arise as an accuser:
when I decide to gather nations,
to bring kingdoms together.
To pour out my indignation on them,…
Zephaniah 3:9 For
then I will make the peoples of pure speech,
so that they will invoke the Lord by name,
and serve Him with one accord…
Zephaniah 3:11 In
You (Israel & Judah) will no longer be shamed for all the deeds
By which you have defied Me.
For then I will remove the proud and exultant within you,
And you will be haughty no more
In My holy land.
But I will leave within you
A poor, humble folk,
And they shall find refuge
In the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel
Shall do no wrong
Zephaniah 3:13 And speak no falsehood;…
Shout for joy, Fair Zion,
Cry aloud, O Israel!
Rejoice and be glad with all your heart,
The Lord has annulled the judgment against you
He has swept away your foes.
Israel’s Sovereign the Lord is within you;
You need fear misfortune no more.
When "the Lord" comes he will act as a judge of the nations whom he gathers together. The judgment is very negative and so he is an "accuser."
Reunited Israel will be "shamed no more" because the judgment against them for breaking their covenant with God will be "annulled," as if it never was. This will be done because the "proud and exultant" leaders will be "removed" from within Israel and, from within the world’s nations. It is very important to notice that the cause of the broken covenant is the presence and leadership of this same "proud and exultant" group who have led the majority of the people astray. The world will be getting a leadership transplant! Out with the bad and in with the good. Also, the poor and humble folk will find refuge in the Lord and are among the remnant. Among the remnant is the remnant of Israel who are Christians that have been perfected through the trial period and now "do no wrong" and "speak no falsehood." Also notice that "Israel’s Sovereign" dwells personally among the peoples of reunited Israel. I believe this to be Melchizedek, the new Planetary Sovereign. The next verse Zephaniah 3:16 through 3:20 (the end) is also regarding the Messianic period and covers similar territory to what we have just been over.
Next in line is the great prophet Jeremiah.