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 <<  Zefanya 3 >> 

1Woe betide the tyrant city, filthy and foul!

2She heeded no warning voice, took no rebuke to heart; she did not put her trust in the LORD, nor did she draw near to her God.

3The leaders within her were roaring lions, her rulers wolves of the plain that left nothing over till morning.

4Her prophets were reckless and perfidious; her priests profaned the sanctuary and did violence to the law.

5But the LORD in her midst is just; he does no wrong; morning after morning he gives his judgement, every day without fail; yet the wrongdoer knows no shame.

6I have wiped out this arrogant people; their bastions are demolished. I have destroyed their streets; no one walks along them. Their cities are laid waste, abandoned and unpeopled.

7I said, “Surely she will fear me; she will take my instruction to heart, all the commands I laid on her that her dwelling-place might escape destruction.” But they hastened all the more to perform their evil deeds.

8Therefore wait for me, says the LORD, wait for the day when I stand up to accuse you; I have decided to gather nations and assemble kingdoms, in order to pour my wrath on them, all my burning anger; the whole earth will be consumed by the fire of my jealousy.

9Then I shall restore pure lips to all peoples, that they may invoke the LORD by name and serve him with one accord.

10My worshippers, dispersed beyond the rivers of Cush, will bring offerings to me.

A remnant preserved

11ON that day, Jerusalem, you will not be put to shame for any of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me, because I shall rid you then of your proud and arrogant citizens, and never again will you flaunt your pride on my holy mountain.

12I shall leave a remnant in you, lowly and poor people. The survivors in Israel will find refuge in the LORD's name.

13They will do no wrong, nor speak lies; no words of deceit will pass their lips; they will feed and lie down with no one to terrify them.

14Zion, cry out for joy; raise the shout of triumph, Israel; be glad, rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem!

15The LORD has averted your punishment, he has swept away your foes. Israel, the LORD is among you as king; never again need you fear disaster.

16On that day this must be the message to Jerusalem: Fear not, Zion, let not your hands hang limp.

17The LORD your God is in your midst, a warrior who will keep you safe. He will rejoice over you and be glad; he will show you his love once more; he will exult over you with a shout of joy

18as on a festal day. I shall take away your cries of woe and you will no longer endure reproach.

19When that time comes; I shall deal with all who oppress you; I shall rescue the lost and gather the dispersed. I shall win for my people praise and renown throughout the whole world.

20When that time comes I shall gather you and bring you home. I shall win you renown and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes. It is the LORD who speaks.

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