2:1-3 The prophet calls to national repentance, as the only way to prevent national ruin. A nation not desiring, that has not desires toward God, is not desirous of his favour and grace, has no mind to repent and reform. Or, not desirable, not having any thing to recommend them to God; to whom God might justly say, Depart from me; but he says, Gather together to me that you may seek my face. We know what God's decree will bring against impenitent sinners, therefore it highly concerns all to repent in the accepted time. How careful should we all be to seek peace with God, before the Holy Spirit withdraws from us, or ceases to strive with us; before the day of grace is over, or the day of life; before our everlasting state is determined! Let the poor, despised, and afflicted, seek the Lord, and seek to understand and keep his commandments better, that they may be more humbled for their sins. The chief hope of deliverance from national judgments rests upon prayer.
Zep 2:1-15. Exhortation to Repent before the Chaldean Invaders Come. Doom of Judah's Foes, the Philistines, Moab, Ammon, with Their Idols, and Ethiopia and Assyria.
1. Gather yourselves—to a religious assembly, to avert the judgment by prayers (Joe 2:16) [Grotius]. Or, so as not to be dissipated "as chaff" (Zep 2:2). The Hebrew is akin to a root meaning "chaff." Self-confidence and corrupt desires are the dissipation from which they are exhorted to gather themselves [Calvin]. The foe otherwise, like the wind, will scatter you "as the chaff." Repentance is the gathering of themselves meant.
nation not desired—(Compare 2Ch 21:20), that is, not desirable; unworthy of the grace or favor of God; and yet God so magnifies that grace as to be still solicitous for their safety, though they had destroyed themselves and forfeited all claims on His grace [Calvin]. The Margin from Chaldee Version has, "not desirous," namely of returning to God. Maurer and Gesenius translate, "Not waxing pale," that is, dead to shame. English Version is best.