Zephaniah 3: Words of Encouragement

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 189


A person who has sinned may be tempted to give up and think there is no way he or she can ever “come back.” Because of these feelings of discouragement, it is important not only to speak clearly about what the sinner did wrong but also to speak words of hope that the sinner may be encouraged to repent and look to a better future. Zephaniah 3 holds the Lord’s words of encouragement for the people of Judah.

Understanding the Scriptures

Zephaniah 3

Oppressing (v. 1)Taking unfair advantage of or causing someone distress 
Light (v. 4)Not serious in thinking about or performing duties 
Treacherous (v. 4)Turning against promises made to others 
Polluted the sanctuary (v. 4)Made the temple unclean 
Done violence (v. 4)Go against 
Corrupted all their doings (v. 7)Sinned in all they did 
Rise up to the prey (v. 8)Punish or destroy enemies 
With one consent (v. 9)In unity 
Suppliants (v. 10)Worshipers 
Dispersed (v. 10)Scattered 
Haughty (v. 11)Prideful 
Remnant (v. 13)Those remaining 
Judgments (v. 15)Punishments 
Slack (v. 16)Limp with discouragement 
Reproach (v. 18)Shame 
Turn back (v. 20)Release 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Zephaniah 3.

Activity A iconTell What Impresses You

Zephaniah 3:8–20 describes the latter days and the wonderful way the Lord will bring His covenant people back to Him after their being scattered and taken captive because of their sins. As you read these verses, think about how they might apply to people today who need to come back to the Lord or who are worried and fearful about the last days. Write at least two truths the Lord said in this chapter that impress you the most, and explain why.