I The title of the book, ver. 1. The destruction of Judah foretold, ver. 2-4. A charge against them for their sins, ver. 5-9. A description of the day of the Lord, ver. 10-18.
Verse 1. Zephaniah - He is thought to have been the great-grandson of king Hezekiah. In the days of Josiah - So he was cotemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and foretells what Jeremiah and Ezekiel did.
Verse 4. The remnant - Whatsoever remains of the idolatry of Baal. This place - Jerusalem. The name - Both the persons, and the memory of them. The Chemarims - Either called so from their black garments they went in, or, from their swarthy colour occasioned by the black smoak of incense: they were door-keepers, and sextons of Baal. The priests - The priests of Baal.
5. House-tops - On the flat roofs of their houses. And that swear - That mixt idol-worship, and the worship of the true God; that devote themselves to God, and Baal, or Malchim, that is, Moloch.
Verse 7. Hold thy peace - Thou that murmurest against God, stand in awe. The day - A day of vengeance from the Lord. A sacrifice - The wicked Jews, whom he will sacrifice by the sword. His guests - summoned the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, to eat the flesh, and drink the blood.
Verse 8. The princes - The great ones, who dreamed of shifting better than others, but fell with the first, 2 Kings xxv, 19-21. Children - Sons and grand-children, Josiah: Jehoahaz died a captive in Egypt, 2 Kings xxiii, 34, Jehoakim died in Babylon, and was buried with the burial of an ass, Jer. xxii, 18, 19, Jeconiah died a captive: and Zedekiah and his children, fared still worse. Strange apparel - The garb of foreigners, imitated by the wanton Jews.
Verse 9. In the same day - At the same time. Their masters houses - Either the oppressing kings, whose officers these were, or publick officers and Judges, whose servants thus spoiled the poor. Violence - Goods taken by force, by false accusations, or by suborned evidence.
Verse 10. The noise - The great out-cry and lamentation. The fish gate - At which gate the Babylonians first entered into the city. The second - This gate was in the second wall of Jerusalem, which on that side was fortified with three walls. Crashing - Of things broken into shivers; possibly the noise of doors, windows, closets, and chests broken up. The hills - On which the city stood.
Verse 11. Howl - Cry aloud, and bitterly. Maktesh - The lower town. Merchant people - Who were wont to lodge in this place. That bearsilver - That brought it with them to pay for what they bought.
Verse 12. I will search - God speaks after the manner of men, who searches dark places with candles. He will fully discover and punish. Their lees - In allusion to liquors, which not being poured out from vessel to vessel to refine them, grow thick and foul.
Verse 17. Like blind men - Not knowing where to go. As dust - As abundantly, and as carelessly as dust in the highway.
Verse 18. In the land - Therefore let not sinners be laid asleep by the patience of God; for when the measure of their iniquity is full, his justice will both overtake and overcome them, will make quick and thorough work.