11 They offer only superficial help for the hurt my dear people have suffered. They say, “Everything will be all right!” But everything is not all right. 12 Are they ashamed because they have done such disgusting things? No, they are not at all ashamed! They do not even know how to blush. So they will die just like others have died. They will be brought to ruin when I punish them, says the Lord. 13 I will sweep away their harvests31, says the Lord. There will be no grapes on their vines. There will be no figs on their fig trees. Even the leaves on their trees will wither. The crops that I gave them will be taken away.’” 14 The people say, “Why are we just sitting here? Let us gather together inside the fortified cities. Let us at least die there fighting, since the Lord our God has condemned us to die. He has condemned us to drink the poison waters of judgment because we have sinned against him. 15 We hoped for good fortune, but nothing good has come of it.We hoped for a time of relief, but instead we experience terror.
1 This is the Lord’s message that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah during the time of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah: 2 “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth2,” says the Lord. 3 “I will destroy people and animals; I will destroy the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea. (The idolatrous images of these creatures will be destroyed along with evil people.) I will remove humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord. 4 “I will attack Judah and all who live in Jerusalem. I will remove from this place every trace of Baal worship, as well as the very memory of the pagan priests.
Notes and References
"... We turn now to a fourth ambiguous infinitive absolute, in Zephaniah 1:2. It is very similar to that found in Jeremiah 8:13. Here, Zephaniah opens his prophecy with the words: 'I will make an end to everything from the face of the earth' ... Zephaniah, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, employed the two roots side by side in order to prophesy with a polysemous punch. The context and imagery of Zephaniah's speech suppmt this. The meaning 'sweep away' for the expression is bolstered by the twice repeated use of the root in verse 3 ... The reader, who accepts the meaning 'sweep away,' finds reassurance soon afterwards when God pronounccs His doom: 'And I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth.' The similarity in phraseology serves to reinforce the connection to 1:2. Notc how the predicate 'mankind from the face of the earth' appears in both thc opening line and the end of v. 3 and acts as a kind of inclusio ..."
Noegel, Scott B. A Slip of the Reader and Not the Reed: (Infinitive Absolutes with Divergent Finite Forms) (pp. 93-100) Jewish Bible Quarterly 26/2, 1998
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