Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Zephaniah 3:19

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I wilt unto all that afflict thee - They who have persecuted you shall be punished for it. It shows much malignity and baseness of mind, to afflict or reproach those who are lying under the chastising hand of God. This was the conduct of the Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites, when the Jews were in adversity; and how severely did the Lord punish them for it! And he gave this as the reason for the severity of the punishment.

The first clause here is translated thus by Abp. Newcome: "Behold I will work with thee for thy sake at that time." The original is obscure; and it may bear the above sense.

I wilt save her that halteth - See Micah 4:6; (note), where there is a parallel place.

And gather her that was driven out - By captivity. The reference may be to renewing the covenant with the Jews, who were considered as an unfaithful spouse divorced by her husband. I will bring her back to my house.

I will get them praise and fame in every land - They shall become a great, a good, and a useful people. And as they are now a proverb of reproach, full of base wiles and degrading selfishness, they shall lose this character, and be totally changed; and they shall be as eminent for excellence, as they were before for baseness in those countries where they had sojourned.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, at that time I will undo - (Literally, I deal with. While God punisheth not, He seemeth to sit still Isaiah 18:4, be silent Habakkuk 1:13, asleep Psalm 44:23. Then He shall act, He shall “deal” according to their deserts with “all,” evil men or devils, “that afflict thee,” His Church. The prophecy looked for a larger fulfillment than the destruction of Jerusalem, since the Romans who, in God‘s Hands, avenged the blood of His saints, themselves were among those who “afflicted her.” “And will save her,” the flock or sheep “that halteth” (see Micah 4:6-7), Dionysius: “imperfect in virtue and with trembling faith,” “and gather,” like a good and tender shepherd, “her that was driven out” (see Isaiah 40:11); scattered and dispersed through persecutions. All infirmities within shall be healed; all troubles without, removed.

And I will get them praise and fame - (Literally, I will make them a praise and a name) “in every land where they have been put to shame.”. Throughout the whole world have they been “the offscourings of all things” 1 Corinthians 4:13; throughout the whole world should their praise be, as it is said, “Thou shalt make them princes in all lands” Psalm 45:16. One of themselves saith, “Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of this world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are” 1 Corinthians 1:26-28. Rup.: “These He maketh a praise and a name there, where they were without name and dispraised, confounding by them and bringing to nought those wise and strong and mighty, in whose sight they were contemptible.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
After the promises of taking away sin, follow promises of taking away trouble. When the cause is removed, the effect will cease. What makes a people holy, will make them happy. The precious promises made to the purified people, were to have full accomplishment in the gospel. These verses appear chiefly to relate to the future conversion and restoration of Israel, and the glorious times which are to follow. They show the abundant peace, comfort, and prosperity of the church, in the happy times yet to come. He will save; he will be Jesus; he will answer the name, for he will save his people from their sins. Before the glorious times foretold, believers would be sorrowful, and objects of reproach. But the Lord will save the weakest believer, and cause true Christians to be greatly honoured where they had been treated with contempt. One act of mercy and grace shall serve, both to gather Israel out of their dispersions and to lead them to their own land. Then will God's Israel be made a name and a praise to eternity. The events alone can fully answer the language of this prophecy. Many are the troubles of the righteous, but they may rejoice in God's love. Surely our hearts should honour the Lord, and rejoice in him, when we hear such words of condescension and grace. If now kept from his ordinances, it is our trial and grief; but in due time we shall be gathered into his temple above. The glory and happiness of the believer will be perfect, unchangeable, and eternal, when he is freed from earthly sorrows, and brought to heavenly bliss.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 458

“I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord” Verses 18-20. Read also the first chapter of Haggai. 6T 458.1

When human agencies, as stewards of God, will unitedly take of the Lord's own substance and use it to lift the burdens resting on His institutions, the Lord will co-operate with them. 6T 458.2

“And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth. Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:1-14. 6T 458.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 390-1

“The great day of the Lord is near,
It is near, and hasteth greatly,
Even the voice of the day of the Lord:
The mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
PK 390.1

“That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of wasteness and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloominess,
PK 390.2

“A day of clouds and thick darkness,
A day of the trumpet and alarm
Against the fenced cities,
And against the high towers.”
PK 390.3

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