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Zephaniah 3:14-20 – Redemptive Celebration

Summary

The remnant of the judged people is reconstituted as a singing, celebrating community with God in their midst to protect them and to restore their reputation.

Analysis

The transformation of the judged and reconstituted people of God is expressed in boundless promises on God's part. The punishments of the Day of the Lord are withdrawn and punishing enemies are removed. The embarrassing loss of community life will be removed. The taunts and boasting of the nations over against Judah in its judged state are turned into praise and honor. The Lord is now a warrior working for them, not against them. God's own rebuke is removed by God. No mention is made of any repentance on the part of the people-they are the lame, oppressed, shamed exiles who have been remade by God into a meek, humble, pure-tongued people. All there is for the people to do is to sing, shout aloud, be glad, and rejoice. In fact, the Lord is already delighting and rejoicing over them (3:17). "Join the chorus" is the concluding message of Zephaniah.

Zephaniah 3:14-20

A Song of Joy


14 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
   shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
   O daughter Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgements against you,
   he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
   you shall fear disaster no more.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
   do not let your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
   a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
   he will renew you* in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
18   as on a day of festival.*
I will remove disaster from you,*
   so that you will not bear reproach for it.
19 I will deal with all your oppressors
   at that time.
And I will save the lame
   and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
   and renown in all the earth.
20 At that time I will bring you home,
   at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
   among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
   before your eyes, says the Lord.

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10 February 2011

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