1The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.Next Verse 2
The Book of Zephaniah (Hebrew: Modern Tsfanya, Tiberian ??p?any?) is the ninth of the twelve minor prophets, preceded by Habakkuk and followed by Haggai. The name Zephaniah means "Yahweh has hidden/protected," "Yahweh hides," or "Yahweh is my secret."
The book's superscription attributes its authorship to "Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah, in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah" (1:1, NRSV). All that is known of Zephaniah comes from the text.
The name "Cushi," Zephaniah's father, means "Cushite" or "Ethiopian," and the text of Zephaniah mentions the sin and restoration of Ethiopians. While some have concluded from this that Zephaniah was a black Jew, Ehud Ben Zvi maintains that, based on the context, "Cushi" must be understood as a personal name rather than an indicator of nationality.Abraham ibn Ezra interpreted the name Hezekiah in the superscription as King Hezekiah of Judah, though that is not a claim advanced in the text of Zephaniah.
As with many of the other prophets, there is no external evidence to directly associate composition of the book with a prophet by the name of Zephaniah. Some scholars, such as Kent Harold Richards and Jason DeRouchie, consider the words in Zephaniah to reflect a time early in the reign of King Josiah (640–609 BCE) before his reforms of 622 BCE took full effect, in which case the prophet may have been born during the reign of Manasseh (698/687–642 BCE). Others agree that some portion of the book is postmonarchic, that is, dating to later than 586 BCE when the Kingdom of Judah fell in the Siege of Jerusalem. Some who consider the book to have largely been written by a historical Zephaniah have suggested that he may have been a disciple of Isaiah because of the two books' similar focus on rampant corruption and injustice in Judah.
Thank You for this Saturday. We come today with hearts so full of gladness and appreciation for the friends You have given us in this world. We know that the church is Your heart, and that You have called us to come together in unity to follow You.
Help us to reach out to and pour into others. By Your Holy Spirit, guide us so that we may bless those around us with the grace and love You so freely give to us.
Help us to live by the Golden Rule when it comes to others. Move in our hearts and lives, creating opportunities for us to connect with those we do not know in order to cultivate new relationships and tend to well established ones. Community is Your heart, Lord, and we pray today that You would move in our hearts so it becomes a great desire in our own natures as well.
In Jesus' name,