Zephaniah 3:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men; her priests profane what is holy; they do violence to the law.

King James Bible
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

American Standard Version
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons; her priests have profaned the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Her prophets are senseless men without faith: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have acted unjustly against the law.

English Revised Version
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have profaned the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

Webster's Bible Translation
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

Zephaniah 3:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The confident expectation rises in Micah 7:11 ff. into an assurance of the promise; the words of the prophet in the name of the church rising into an address to Zion, confirm its hope by the promise of the restoration of Zion, and the entrance of crowds of people into the city of God. Micah 7:11. "A day to build thy walls (cometh); in that day will the ordinance be far away. Micah 7:12. In that day will they come to thee from Asshur and the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt to the river, and (to) sea from sea, and (from) mountain to mountain. Micah 7:13. And the earth will become a desert because of its inhabitants, for the fruit of their doings." Micah 7:11 consists of two clauses; for we may easily supply to yōm "is" or "will be" equals come. The daughter Zion is addressed (cf. Micah 4:8) not as a church, but as a city, as the centre and representative of the kingdom of God. As such, she is compared to a vineyard, as in Isaiah 5:1-7; Isaiah 27:2-4; Psalm 80:9-10. The word gâdēr, which is generally used for the hedge or wall around a vineyard, points to this (see Isaiah 5:5; Numbers 22:24; Ecclesiastes 10:8). יון ההוּא is an adverbial accusative; in that day will חק be far away. The meaning of this word is very difficult to find, and can hardly be settled with any certainty. The explanation of chōq, as signifying the law imposed upon Israel by the heathen oppressors (Chald., Hengstenberg, etc.), cannot be sustained, as this meaning cannot be established from Psalm 104:20, and is not suggested by the context. So, again, the explanation, "On that day will the goal set (for Israel), or the boundary fixed (for it), be a far distant one (i.e., then will the boundaries of the land of Israel lie in the far distance, or be advanced to the remotest distance:" Hitzig, Caspari, and others), introduces a meaning into the words which they do not possess. Even if chōq does denote a fixed point or a limit of either space or time, it never signifies the boundary of a nation; and râchaq, to be far off, is not equivalent to being advanced to a great distance. Chōq is apparently used here for the ordinance or limit which God has appointed to separate Israel from the nations; not a land-boundary, but the law of Israel's separation from the nations.

This law will be far away, i.e., will be removed or set aside (yirach is only chosen for the sake of the assonance with chōq), inasmuch as numerous crowds, as is added in Micah 7:12 by way of explanation, will then stream to Zion, or come to the people of God, out of all lands (cf. Micah 4:1-2). For this is what Micah 7:12 refers to, and not the return to Zion of the Israelites who have been scattered in the heathen lands. יבוא (impersonal), one comes, they come: not "return," ישׁוּב, which must have been the expression used if the return of the Israelites out of their captivity had been meant. The heathen who cherish a desire for the God of Zion and His law (Micah 4:2) will come to Israel; not to Israel as still living in their midst (Caspari), but to the Israel that has already returned, and whose walls have been rebuilt (Micah 7:11). The building of the walls of Zion involves the gathering together of the dispersed nation, or rather presupposes it. Heathen will come "from Asshur and the cities of Egypt," i.e., from the two mightiest empires in the time of the prophet. Mâtsōr, the poetical name of Egypt, as in Isaiah 19:6; Isaiah 37:25; and "cities of Egypt," because that land or kingdom was especially rich in cities. The further definitions individualize the idea of the totality of the lands and provinces, the correlative members being transposed and incomplete in the last two sentences, so that the preposition עד must be supplied to וים, and the preposition מן to ההר. From Egypt to the river (Euphrates) includes the lands lying between these two terminal points; and in the expressions, "sea from sea, and mountain to mountain," seas and mountains are mentioned in the most general manner, as the boundaries of lands and nations; so that we have not to think of any particular seas and mountains, say the Western (or Mediterranean) Sea, and the Eastern (the Dead or the Galilean) Sea, as being the western and eastern boundaries of Palestine, and of Lebanon and Sinai as the northern and southern boundaries, but must adhere firmly to the general character of the expression: "from one sea and one mountain to another sea and mountain," i.e., from every land situated between seas and mountains, that is to say, from all the lands and provinces of the earth. The coming out of all lands is not to be understood as denoting simply passing visits to Canaan or Zion, but as coming to connect themselves with the people of God, to be received into fellowship with them. There is a parallel to this promise in the promise contained in Isaiah 19:18-25, that in the Messianic times Egypt and Asshur will turn to Jehovah. This takes place because the earth will become a desert, on account of the evil deeds of its inhabitants. Whilst Zion is rebuilt, and the people of God are multiplied, by the addition of the godly Gentiles out of all the countries of the earth, the judgment falls upon the sinful world. This statement of Micah 7:13 is simply attached to what precedes it by והיתה, in order to complete the promise of the restoration of Zion, by adding the fate which will befal the earth (i.e., the earth outside Canaan); but it actually contains the motive for the coming of the crowds to Zion. הארץ cannot be the land of Israel (Canaan) here, in support of which appeal has been made to Leviticus 26:33 and Isaiah 1:7; for the context neither leads to any such limitation as that הארץ could be taken in the sense of ארצכן (in Leviticus and Isaiah), nor allows of our thinking of the devastation of Canaan. When the day shall have come for the building of the walls of Zion, the land of Israel will not become a desert then; but, on the contrary, the devastation will cease. If the devastation of Canaan were intended here, we should have either to take והיתה as a pluperfect, in violation of the rules of the language, or arbitrarily to interpolate "previously," as Hitzig proposes. על ישׁביה is defined more precisely by מפּרי מעלליהם. The doings are of course evil ones, and the deeds themselves are the fruit (cf. Isaiah 3:10).

Zephaniah 3:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

light.

Isaiah 9:15 The ancient and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet that teaches lies, he is the tail.

Isaiah 56:10-12 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber...

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so...

Jeremiah 6:13,14 For from the least of them even to the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness...

Jeremiah 8:10 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them...

Jeremiah 14:13-15 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say to them, You shall not see the sword, neither shall you have famine...

Jeremiah 23:9-17,25-27 My heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man...

Jeremiah 23:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, said the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies...

Jeremiah 27:14,15 Therefore listen not to the words of the prophets that speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon...

Lamentations 2:14 Your prophets have seen vain and foolish things for you: and they have not discovered your iniquity, to turn away your captivity...

Ezekiel 13:3-16 Thus said the Lord GOD; Woe to the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!...

Hosea 9:7 The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad...

Micah 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy to you of wine and of strong drink...

Micah 3:5,6 Thus said the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace...

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you...

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God...

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him...

her priests.

1 Samuel 2:12-17,22 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD...

Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane...

Ezekiel 44:7,8 In that you have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary...

Hosea 4:6-8 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you...

Malachi 2:8 But you are departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi...

Cross References
Judges 9:4
And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him.

Jeremiah 23:11
"Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:32
Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 34:19
the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf.

Ezekiel 22:26
Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.

Ezekiel 44:23
They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.

Malachi 1:6
"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, 'How have we despised your name?'

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