Zephaniah Names the Nations Christ Defeats Upon His Return and None of Them Are European

Zephaniah's Map

The entire Book of Zephaniah is about the future Day of the Lord’s return and His judgment on the nations that will be going to war against Israel at that time. This is the Battle of Armageddon.

Zephaniah lists these nations and they can all be found in the Middle East today. In other words, none of them are European.

Here are two of the three chapters for context. I’ve highlighted the nations in orange with their modern-day names in parentheses.

Day of Judgment on Judah (NASB)

Zephaniah 1:1-18 The word of the LORD which came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah: [2] “I will completely remove all things From the face of the earth,” declares the LORD. [3] “I will remove man and beast; I will remove the birds of the sky And the fish of the sea, And the ruins along with the wicked; And I will cut off man from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD. [4] “So I will stretch out My hand against Judah And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, And the names of the idolatrous priests along with the priests. [5] “And those who bow down on the housetops to the host of heaven, And those who bow down and swear to the LORD and yet swear by Milcom, [6] And those who have turned back from following the LORD, And those who have not sought the LORD or inquired of Him.” [7] Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests. [8] “Then it will come about on the day of the LORD’S sacrifice That I will punish the princes, the king’s sons And all who clothe themselves with foreign garments. [9] “And I will punish on that day all who leap on the temple threshold, Who fill the house of their lord with violence and deceit. [10] “On that day,” declares the LORD, “There will be the sound of a cry from the Fish Gate, A wail from the Second Quarter, And a loud crash from the hills. [11] “Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar, For all the people of Canaan will be silenced; All who weigh out silver will be cut off. [12] “It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good or evil!’ [13] “Moreover, their wealth will become plunder And their houses desolate; Yes, they will build houses but not inhabit them, And plant vineyards but not drink their wine.” [14] Near is the great day of the LORD, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. [15] A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, [16] A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. [17] I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the LORD; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung. [18] Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the LORD’S wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Judgments on Judah’s Enemies

Zephaniah 2:1-15 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame, [2] Before the decree takes effect– The day passes like the chaff– Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you. [3] Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’S anger. [4] For Gaza (Palestine; Hamas) will be abandoned And Ashkelon (a city in Palestine) a desolation; Ashdod (a city in Palestine) will be driven out at noon And Ekron (a city in Palestine) will be uprooted. [5] Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the Cherethites (Palestine, Crete)! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines (Palestine); And I will destroy you So that there will be no inhabitant. [6] So the seacoast will be pastures, With caves for shepherds and folds for flocks. [7] And the coast will be For the remnant of the house of Judah, They will pasture on it. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down at evening; For the LORD their God will care for them And restore their fortune. [8] “I have heard the taunting of Moab (Jordan) And the revilings of the sons of Ammon (Jordan), With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory. [9] “Therefore, as I live,” declares the LORD of hosts, The God of Israel, “Surely Moab will be like Sodom And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah– A place possessed by nettles and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them And the remainder of My nation will inherit them.” [10] This they will have in return for their pride, because they have taunted and become arrogant against the people of the LORD of hosts. [11] The LORD will be terrifying to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down to Him, everyone from his own place. [12] “You also, O Ethiopians (actually Sudan*), will be slain by My sword.” [13] And He will stretch out His hand against the north And destroy Assyria (Iraq, Syria, Turkey), And He will make Nineveh (a city in Iraq) a desolation, Parched like the wilderness. [14] 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. [15] This 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.

Zephaniah's Map

Do you see anything European here? Reading Zephaniah is like reading today’s news about Israel and the surrounding nations.

*Our Bibles often translate Cush as Ethiopia, but history shows that ancient Cush is modern-day Sudan (wikipedia).

4 responses to “Zephaniah Names the Nations Christ Defeats Upon His Return and None of Them Are European”

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