Zephaniah 2:14
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Flocks and herds will lie down there, creatures of every kind. The desert owl and the screech owl will roost on her columns. Their hooting will echo through the windows, rubble will fill the doorways, the beams of cedar will be exposed.

New Living Translation
The proud city will become a pasture for flocks and herds, and all sorts of wild animals will settle there. The desert owl and screech owl will roost on its ruined columns, their calls echoing through the gaping windows. Rubble will block all the doorways, and the cedar paneling will be exposed to the weather.

English Standard Version
Herds shall lie down in her midst, all kinds of beasts; even the owl and the hedgehog shall lodge in her capitals; a voice shall hoot in the window; devastation will be on the threshold; for her cedar work will be laid bare.

New American Standard Bible
Flocks will lie down in her midst, All beasts which range in herds; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars; Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work.

King James Bible
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Herds will lie down in the middle of it, every kind of wild animal. Both the desert owl and the screech owl will roost in the capitals of its pillars. Their calls will sound from the window, but devastation will be on the threshold, for He will expose the cedar work.

International Standard Version
Flocks will lie down in her midst, along with animals of every kind. Desert owls and screeching owls will nest at the top of the pillars, hooting through the vacant windows, 'Ruin sits at these doorsills,' for he will expose even the cedar framework.

NET Bible
Flocks and herds will lie down in the middle of it, as well as every kind of wild animal. Owls will sleep in the tops of its support pillars; they will hoot through the windows. Rubble will cover the thresholds; even the cedar work will be exposed to the elements.

New Heart English Bible
Herds will lie down in the midst of her, all the animals of the nations. Both the pelican and the porcupine will lodge in its capitals. Their calls will echo through the windows. Desolation will be in the thresholds, for he has laid bare the cedar beams.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Flocks will lie down in it along with animals of every kind. Even pelicans and herons will nest on top of its columns. Listen! A bird will sing in a window. The doorway will be in ruins, because the LORD will expose the cedar beams.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And all beasts of every kind Shall lie down in the midst of her in herds; Both the pelican and the bittern Shall lodge in the capitals thereof; Voices shall sing in the windows; Desolation shall be in the posts; For the cedar-work thereof shall be uncovered.

New American Standard 1977
And flocks will lie down in her midst,
            All beasts which range in herds;
            Both the pelican and the hedgehog
            Will lodge in the tops of her pillars;
            Birds will sing in the window,
            Desolation will be on the threshold;
            For He has laid bare the cedar work.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the Gentiles; both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in her thresholds; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the gates: for her cedar work shall be uncovered.

King James 2000 Bible
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the vulture and the hedgehog shall lodge in her capitals; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall lay bare her cedar work.

American King James Version
And flocks shall lie down in the middle of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he shall uncover the cedar work.

American Standard Version
And herds shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the pelican and the porcupine shall lodge in the capitals thereof; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he hath laid bare the cedar-work.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And flocks shall lie down in the midst thereof, all the beasts of the nations: and the bittern and the urchin shall lodge in the threshold thereof: the voice of the singing bird in the window, the raven on the upper post, for I will consume her strength.

Darby Bible Translation
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the crowd of beasts; both the pelican and the bittern shall lodge in the chapiters thereof; a voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be on the thresholds: for he hath laid bare the cedar work.

English Revised Version
And herds shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the pelican and the porcupine shall lodge in the chapiters thereof: their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he hath laid bare the cedar work.

Webster's Bible Translation
And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the threshholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.

World English Bible
Herds will lie down in the midst of her, all the animals of the nations. Both the pelican and the porcupine will lodge in its capitals. Their calls will echo through the windows. Desolation will be in the thresholds, for he has laid bare the cedar beams.

Young's Literal Translation
And crouched in her midst have droves, Every beast of the nation, Both pelican and hedge-hog in her knobs lodge, A voice doth sing at the window, 'Destruction is at the threshold, For the cedar-work is exposed.'
Study Bible
The Judgment on Ethiopia and Assyria
13And He will stretch out His hand against the north And destroy Assyria, And He will make Nineveh a desolation, Parched like the wilderness. 14Flocks will lie down in her midst, All beasts which range in herds; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars; Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work. 15This is the exultant city Which dwells securely, Who says in her heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me." How she has become a desolation, A resting place for beasts! Everyone who passes by her will hiss And wave his hand in contempt.…
Cross References
Revelation 18:2
And he cried out in a mighty voice: "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a lair of demons. She is a haunt for every unclean spirit, a hideout for every unclean bird, and a hold for every detestable beast.

Psalm 102:6
I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places.

Isaiah 13:21
But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there.

Isaiah 14:23
"I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 34:11
But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness.

Amos 9:1
I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and He said, "Smite the capitals so that the thresholds will shake, And break them on the heads of them all! Then I will slay the rest of them with the sword; They will not have a fugitive who will flee, Or a refugee who will escape.
Treasury of Scripture

And flocks shall lie down in the middle of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he shall uncover the cedar work.

flocks.

Zephaniah 2:6 And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, …

Isaiah 13:19-22 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, …

Isaiah 34:11-17 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also …

Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great …

commorant. or, pelican. upper lintels. or, knops, or chapiters.

Amos 9:1 I saw the LORD standing on the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel …

for he shall uncover. or, when he hath uncovered. the cedar.

Jeremiah 22:14 That said, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cuts …

Verse 14. - Flocks; herds. The prophet describes graphically the desolation mentioned in the preceding verse. The "herds" are not sheep and cattle, as in parallel cases (Isaiah 17:2; Isaiah 27:10; Isaiah 32:14), but all the beasts of the nations - all the wild beasts that infest the country. Septuagint, πάντα τὰ θηρία τῆς γῆς. The Hebrew will hardly hear Keil's rendering, "all kinds of beasts in crowds." (Compare similar predictions, Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:11, 14). The cormorant (kaath); probably the pelican; Vulgate, onocrotalus; the Septuagint gives, χαμαιλέοντες, which word Schleusner thinks to have been interchanged with κόρακες that follows soon afterwards. Bat in the latter place Jerome has corvus. The pelican is found in the Assyrian monuments tinder more than one appellation (see 'Transact. of See. of Bibl. Archaeol.,' 8:93, etc., and 141). The bittern (kippod). Most recent critics translate this by "hedgehog" or "porcupine." The Septuagint has, ἐχῖνοι: the Vulgate, ericius. But neither hedgehog nor porcupine utters cries or frequents pools of water, and it may well be doubted whether some marsh-loving bird is not meant. Certainly the following clause suits the habits of a bird better than those of a hedgehog (see 'Bible Educator,' 3:312, where Dr. Tristram is quoted saying, "As a matter of fact, the bittern is very abundant in these swamps of the Tigris, and in all the marshy grounds of Syria; and its strange booming note, disturbing the stillness of the night, gives an idea of desolation which nothing but the wail of the hyena can equal"). No notice of the bittern seems to be found in the Assyrian monuments, though the mention of the heron is not uncommon. The kaath and kippod are commonly mentioned together, e.g. Isaiah 34. II. The upper lintels; "the capitals" of the columns (see note on Amos 9:1, where the same word kaphtor is used). Their voice shall sing in the windows; literally, the voice of the songster in the window. Birds shall perch and sing in the apertures of the ruined palaces. Vulgate, Vox cantantis in fenestra; the LXX. has, Θηρία φωνήσει ἐν, τοῖς διορύγμασιν αὐτῆς, "Wild beasts shall cry in the breaches thereof." Others translate, "Hark! it singeth in the windows." There are no traces of windows in any of the Assyrian palaces, even in the case of chambers next the outer walls. If daylight were admitted, it must have entered through openings in the ceilings (Layard, 'Nineveh.' 2:260). Desolation shall be in the thresholds. The word rendered "desolation" (chorebh) Jerome notes may be read as meaning "sword," "drought." and "raven;" he adopts the last signification, and translates, in agreement with the LXX., corvus. But it seems best to take the term as signifying "desolation;" no human creature shall be found there, only ruin and rubbish. Ewald renders, "Owls shall sing in the windows, crows on the threshold, 'shivered. crushed.'" For he shall uncover (he hath laid bare) the cedar work. God, or the enemy, has so destroyed the palaces that the cedar panelling is exposed to the weather. Jerome has, "Attenuabo robur ejus." We see by Sennacherib's boast (Isaiah 37:24) that the Assyrians imported cedars for building purposes. And we have monumental evidence of the employment of cedar in palaces at least since the time of Assurnazirpal, B.C. 860. Esar-haddon reports that he received cypress and cedar from Lebanon as tribute; and Assurbanipal states that in erecting his palace he used cedar pillars from Sirjon and Lebanon (Schrader, 'Die Keilinschrift. und Alt. Test.,' pp. 183, 453). Neriglissar, King of Babylon, B.C. 559, in rebuilding his palace, records that he "arranged tall cedars for its roof" ('Records of the Past,' 5:142). And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her,.... In the midst of the city of Nineveh; in the streets of it, where houses stood, and people in great numbers walked; but now only should be seen the cottages of shepherds, and flocks of sheep feeding or lying down, as is before observed of the sea coast of the Philistines, Zephaniah 2:6,

all the beasts of the nations; that is, all sorts of beasts, especially wild beasts, in the several parts of the world, should come and dwell here; instead of kings and princes, nobles, merchants, and the great men thereof, who once here inhabited, now there should be beasts of prey, terrible to come nigh unto; for these are to be understood properly and literally, and not figuratively, of men, for their savageness and cruelty, comparable to beasts:

both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; of the doors of the houses in Nineveh: or, "on its pomegranates" (k); the figures of these being often put on chapiters, turrets, pinnacles, pillars, and posts in buildings, and over porches of doors; and on these those melancholy and doleful creatures here mentioned, which delight in solitary places, should take up their abode. The "cormorant" is the same with the "corvus aquaticus", or "sea raven", about the size of a goose; it builds not only among rocks, but often on trees: what is called the "shagge" is a species of it, or the lesser cormorant, a water fowl common on our northern coasts; is somewhat larger than a common duck, and builds on trees as the common cormorant (l). Bochart (m) takes it to be the "pelican" which is here meant; and indeed, whatever bird it is, it seems to have its name from vomiting; and this is what naturalists (n) observe of the pelican, that it swallows down shell fish, which, being kept awhile in its stomach, are heated, and then it casts them up, which then open easily, and it picks out the flesh of them: and it seems to delight in desolate places, since it is called the pelican of the wilderness, Psalm 102:6. Isidore says (o) it is an Egyptian bird, dwelling in the desert by the river Nile, from whence it has its name; for it is called "canopus Aegyptus"; and the Vulgate Latin version renders the word here "onocrotalus", the same with the pelican; and Montanus translates it the "pelican"; and so do others. The "bittern" is a bird of the heron kind; it is much the size of a common heron; it is usually found in sedgy and reedy places near water, and sometimes in hedges; it makes a very remarkable noise, and, from the singularity of it, the common people imagine it sticks its beak in a reed or in the mud, in order to make it; hence it is sometimes called the "mire drum" (p). It is said it will sometimes make a noise like a bull, or the blowing of a horn, so as to be heard half a German mile, or one hour's journey; hence it is by some called "botaurus", as if "bootaurus", because it imitates the bellowing of a bull (q). The Tigurine version renders it the "castor" or "beaver" (r); but Bochart (s) takes it to be the "hedgehog"; and so the word is rendered in the Vulgate Latin, Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, and by others: which is a solitary creature, and drives away all other animals from society with it by its prickles:

their voice shall sing in the windows: of desolate houses, the inhabitants being gone who used to be seen looking out of them; but now these creatures before named should dwell here, and utter their doleful sounds, who otherwise would not have come near them:

desolation shall be in the thresholds; there being none to go in and out over them. The Septuagint version, and which is followed by the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions, render it, "the ravens shall be in its gates": mistaking "desolation", for "a raven":

for he shall uncover the cedar work; the enemy Nebuchadnezzar, or Nabopolassar, when he should take the city, would unroof the houses panelled with cedar, and expose all the fine cedar work within to the inclemencies of the air, which would soon come to ruin. All these expressions are designed to set forth the utter ruin and destruction of this vast and populous city; and which was so utterly destroyed, as Lucian says, that there is no trace of it to be found; and, according to modern travellers, there are only heaps of rubbish to be seen, which are conjectured to be the ruins of this city; See Gill on Nahum 1:8.

(k) "in malogranatis ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Tarnovius. (l) Vid Supplement to Chambers's Dictionary, in the words "Cormorant, Cornus Aquaticus", and "Shagge". (m) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 24. col. 294. (n) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 10. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 40. Aelian de Animal. l. 3. c. 20. (o) Originum, l. 12. c. 7. (p) Supplement, ut supra (Chambers's Dictionary), in the word "Bittern". (q) Schotti Physica Curiosa, par. 2. l. 9. c. 24. p. 1160. (r) Vid. Fuller. Miscel. Saer. l. 1. c. 18. (s) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 36. col. 1036. 14. flocks—of sheep; answering to "beasts" in the parallel clause. Wide pastures for sheep and haunts for wild beasts shall be where once there was a teeming population (compare Zep 2:6). Maurer, needlessly for the parallelism, makes it "flocks of savage animals."

beasts of the nations—that is, beasts of the earth (Ge 1:24). Not as Rosenmuller, "all kinds of beasts that form a nation," that is, gregarious beasts (Pr 30:25, 26).

cormorant—rather, the "pelican" (so Ps 102:6; Isa 34:11, Margin).

bittern—(Isa 14:23). Maurer translates, "the hedgehog"; Henderson, "the porcupine."

upper lintels—rather, "the capitals of her columns," namely, in her temples and palaces [Maurer]. Or, "on the pomegranate-like knops at the tops of the houses" [Grotius].

their voice shall sing in the windows—The desert-frequenting birds' "voice in the windows" implies desolation reigning in the upper parts of the palaces, answering to "desolation … in the thresholds," that is, in the lower.

he shall uncover the cedar work—laying the cedar wainscoting on the walls, and beams of the ceiling, bare to wind and rain, the roof being torn off, and the windows and doors broken through. All this is designed as a consolation to the Jews that they may bear their calamities patiently, knowing that God will avenge them.2:4-15 Those are really in a woful condition who have the word of the Lord against them, for no word of his shall fall to the ground. God will restore his people to their rights, though long kept from them. It has been the common lot of God's people, in all ages, to be reproached and reviled. God shall be worshipped, not only by all Israel, and the strangers who join them, but by the heathen. Remote nations must be reckoned with for the wrongs done to God's people. The sufferings of the insolent and haughty in prosperity, are unpitied and unlamented. But all the desolations of flourishing nations will make way for the overturning Satan's kingdom. Let us improve our advantages, and expect the performance of every promise, praying that our Father's name may be hallowed every where, over all the earth.
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Alphabetical: All and bare be beams beasts Birds Both calls cedar columns creatures desert Desolation doorways down echo every exposed Flocks For has He hedgehog her herds in kind laid lie lodge midst of on owl pelican pillars range roost rubble screech sing The Their there threshold through tops which will window windows work

OT Prophets: Zephaniah 2:14 Herds will lie down in the midst (Zeph. Zep Zp) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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