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.
Using the fingers on your hand, start with the thumb and pray these intentions in this order:
1.) The thumb is closest finger to you. So start praying for those who are closest to you. They are the persons easiest to remember. To pray for our dear ones is a "Sweet Obligation."
2.) The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach you, instruct you and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show direction to others. Always keep them in your prayers.
3.) The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God's guidance.
4.) The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even though it may surprise you, it is our weakest finger. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick or those plagued by problems. They need your prayers.
5.) And finally we have our smallest finger, the smallest of all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you are done praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs but in the proper perspective, and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way.