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And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:

The son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah,

The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying,

And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.

And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Pray now unto the LORD our God for us.

And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:

The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;

And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

Introduction to II Kings The division between I Kings and II Kings is seemingly quite arbitrary; originally the two were one book. The second book continues the history of Judah and Israel until their eventual captivities. Like I Kings, the book of II Kings was probably compiled from records of the earlier prophets by Jeremiah or one of the later prophets of Judah. The ministries of Elijah and Elisha constitute the dominant subject of the first third of the book. The portion of the history devoted to Israel is sad in the extreme, with one ungodly king after another leading the people away from God, until finally the Assyrians destroyed their land and carried the people off into captivity. The last king of Israel was Hoshea (II Kings 17). There were, of course, believers and faithful servants of God in the northern kingdom during all those years of spiritual decline and apostasy. The most notable were the prophets Elijah and Elisha, but two of the prophets of the Biblical canon also had ministries primarily in Israel. Hosea’s initial ministry to Israel was during the long reign of Jeroboam II, but it evidently continued even beyond Israel’s exile into Assyria (Hosea 1:1). The prophet Amos was a contemporary of Hosea who also ministered especially in the northern kingdom of Israel (sometimes called Ephraim). In Judah, several of the kings were God-fearing men, and Hezekiah and Josiah in particular led in great national revivals. Of the writing prophets, those whose ministry was mainly centered in Judah were—in more or less chronological order—Obadiah, Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah and Jeremiah. Isaiah, in the days of Ahaz and Hezekiah, and Jeremiah, during the last days of the kingdom under Josiah and the kings who briefly followed him, had especially significant influence on the kings and the nation as a whole. No doubt because of the influence of these prophets, and the several God-fearing kings of Judah, God allowed Judah to remain in the land for about 130 years after Israel had been carried away to Assyria. Eventually, however, even Judah became so wicked and apostate, especially under her final kings (Jehoiakim, Jeconiah and Zedekiah) that God sent Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon to destroy Jerusalem with its temple and to carry the king and all the leaders of the people into exile and captivity in Babylon. There were other godly prophets and priests in both Israel and Judah, of course, besides those whose prophecies have been preserved in the Bible. Some among these, no doubt, were the original writers of the records now incorporated in the books of Kings. The last of them, Jeremiah, quite possibly was the man who compiled and edited all of these earlier documents into their present, divinely inspired form.

22:14 Huldah the prophetess. Both Jeremiah and Zephaniah began their prophetic ministries during the reign of King Josiah. At this time, however, early in his reign, the only true prophet available in Jerusalem was actually a prophetess. She did, however, have an authentic word for Josiah from the Lord.

35:25 And Jeremiah lamented. This is the first specific reference to the prophet Jeremiah who first prophesied in the reign of Josiah, continuing under the successive kings until the exile. Other prophets contemporary with Jeremiah during this period were Nahum (prophesying the imminent defeat of Nineveh and the Assyrians), Habakkuk (predicting the imminent Babylonian invasion of Judah), and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:1).

47:4 Philistines. For other prophecies against these perennial enemies of Israel, see Isaiah 14:29-31; Ezekiel 25:15-17; Amos 1:6-8; and Zephaniah 2:4-7. Nebuchadnezzar, as prophesied, essentially destroyed Philistia as a viable nation.

48:1 Against Moab. This long chapter is fully given to pronouncing God’s imminent judgment on Moab and its various towns. Other prophecies against Moab are given in Isaiah 15–16, Ezekiel 25:8-11, Zephaniah 2:8-11, and others, but this is the longest and most comprehensive.

25:7 I will destroy thee. See also Ezekiel 25:2,10, and Zephaniah 2:9. Unlike Israel, whose existence was guaranteed forever, the Ammonites have been thoroughly extinguished as a distinctive people, though now amalgamated with Arabs.

25:11 judgments upon Moab. See also Jeremiah 48, Amos 2:1-3, and Zephaniah 2:8-10. Like Ammon, Moab was descended from Lot, was a very prosperous country for two thousand years or more, and was always at enmity with Israel. Like Ammon, God eventually judged her for this, and her land was taken over by Bedouins and became quite desolate for centuries. Also like Ammon, however, God promised an eventual restoration of Moab in the latter days (Jeremiah 48:47), even though (like Ammon) she would have been “destroyed from being a people” (Jeremiah 48:42). This means, evidently, that Moab would never again be a distinct people, for her descendants, like those of Ammon, have been amalgamated with the Jordanian Arabs.

2:20 keep silence. Men should stand in mute humility at the very thought of the omnipotent, omniscient God. Instead they, like the pagan Babylonians and the apostate Jews, presume to disobey Him, to find substitutes for Him, to rail against Him, or more often simply to ignore Him in their own clamorous pursuit of wealth and pleasure. Soon may come the proclamation: “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the LORD is at hand” (Zephaniah 1:7).

Introduction to Zephaniah The book of Zephaniah contains both dark pictures of impending doom on Judah and also bright glimpses of a glorious distant future under the reign of Messiah. It is a beautifully written study in contrasts, with both severe warnings and glorious promises. Zephaniah himself prophesied during the reign of Josiah, and thus was a contemporary of Jeremiah. It seems likely that his warnings may have contributed to the revival that took place under Josiah, and thus were written during the early years of his reign. Jeremiah then came on the scene during the later years of both Josiah and Zephaniah. Zephaniah’s name means “Jehovah has treasured.” Zephaniah was, according to his introductory verse (Zephaniah 1:1), a great, great grandson of good king Hezekiah, and so was in Judah’s royal family. He presumably lived and prophesied in Jerusalem. In addition to prophesying of Judah’s coming judgment because of her own wickedness, Zephaniah foretold imminent judgments on other nations that were even more wicked—including Philistia (Zephaniah 2:4-7), Moab and Ammon (Zephaniah 2:8-11), Ethiopia (Zephaniah 2:12) and especially Assyria (Zephaniah 2:13-15). Nevertheless his book closes with a wonderful prophecy concerning the future Messianic kingdom when all nations will serve the Lord, and restored Israel will finally be “a name and a praise among all people of the earth” (Zephaniah 3:20).

1:2 utterly consume. The burden of Zephaniah’s prophecy is the coming destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the armies of Babylon. However, as is often the case with the prophets, near and far fulfillments are blended together, and one must be careful in distinguishing them. Much of his prophecy, especially Zephaniah 3:9-20, deals with the future glories of the kingdom age following the great tribulation.

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