|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:14-18 This warning of approaching destruction, is enough to make the sinners in Zion tremble; it refers to the great day of the Lord, the day in which he will show himself by taking vengeance on them. This day of the Lord is very near; it is a day of God's wrath, wrath to the utmost. It will be a day of trouble and distress to sinners. Let them not be laid asleep by the patience of God. What is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? And what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Let us flee from the wrath to come, and choose the good part that shall never be taken from us; then we shall be prepared for every event; nothing shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Verses 14-18. - § 5. To arouse the self-confident sinners, the prophet here enlarges upon the near approach and terrible nature of this coming judgment. Verse 14. - Having signified the victims of the judgment, Zephaniah recurs to what he had said in ver. 7, and enforces upon his hearers its near approach. The great day of the Lord (Joel 2:1, 11). Even the voice of the day of the Lord. The day is so close at hand, that the sound of its coming can be heard. Some translate, "Hark! the day of Jehovah." The mighty man shall cry (crieth) there bitterly. There, on the battlefield, the hero is panic-stricken, and cries out for fear. The Greek and Latin Versions connect "bitter" with the former clause. Thus the Vulgate, Vox dies Domini amara; Septuagint, Φωνὴ ἡμέρας Κυρίου πικρὰ καὶ σκληρὰ τέτακται, "The voice of the day of the Lord is made bitter and harsh."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly,.... Not the day of judgment, but the day of God's vengeance upon the Jews, which yet bore some resemblance to that day of the Lord, and it may be therefore so called; as the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans had some likeness to it, and therefore the signs of the one and of the other are given together by our Lord in Matthew 24:1 and this was a day in which he would do great things, by the Chaldeans, and against the Jews; and this is represented as very "near"; and repeated again for the confirmation of it, and to arouse the thoughtless and careless about it, and who put away this evil day far from them; yea, it is said to make great haste, and to fly away swiftly, even faster than time usually does; though in common it has wings ascribed unto it:
even the voice of the day of the Lord; in which the Lord's voice will be heard; not his voice of grace and mercy, as in the day of salvation; but of wrath and vengeance, which will be terrible; hence it follows:
the mighty men shall cry there bitterly; not the voice of the mighty men besieging the city, making a hideous noise to animate the soldiers in making the assault, as some; but the mighty men within the city of Jerusalem besieged, who, when they see the city broken up, would be in the utmost terror, and cry bitterly, like women and children, being quite dismayed and dispirited; even the men of war upon the walls, and in the garrisons, with their officers and generals; and if this would be the case with them, how must it be thought to be with others, the weak and timorous?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. voice of … day of … Lord—that is, Jehovah ushering in that day with a roar of vengeance against the guilty (Jer 25:30; Am 1:2). They who will not now heed (Zep 1:12) His voice by His prophets, must heed it when uttered by the avenging foe.
mighty … shall cry … bitterly—in hopeless despair; the might on which Jerusalem now prides itself, shall then fail utterly.
Zephaniah 1:14 Parallel Commentaries
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