Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Zephaniah 3:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

At that time - First, when the seventy years of the Babylonish captivity shall terminate. "I will bring you again" to your own land; and this restoration shall be a type of their redemption from sin and iniquity; and at this time, and at this only, will they have a name and praise among all the people of the earth, not only among the Jews, but the Gentiles.

Before your eyes - Some read before Their eyes; that is, the eyes of all people. On their conversion to Christianity, they shall become as eminent as they ever were in the most illustrious days of their history, Lord, hasten the conversion of Israel! Amen.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

At that time will I bring you in - that is, into the one fold, the one Church, the one “Household of God, even in the time that I gather you.” “That time” is the whole time of the Gospel; the one “day of salvation,” in which all who shall ever be gathered, shall be brought into the new Jerusalem. These words were fulfilled, when, at our Lord‘s first Coming, the remnant, the true Israel, those “ordained to eternal life” were brought in. It shall be fulfilled again, when “the fullness of the Gentiles shall be “come in,” and so all Israel shall be saved” Romans 11:25-26. It shall most perfectly be fulfilled at the end, when there shall be no going out of those once “brought” in, and those who have gathered others into the Church, shall be “a name and a praise among all people of the earth,” those whom God hath “redeemed out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” Revelation 5:9, shining like stars forever and ever.

When I turn back your captivity - Rup.: “That conversion, then begun, now perfected, when the dead shall rise and they shall be placed on the right hand, soon to receive the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. O mighty spectacle of the reversed captivity of those once captives; mighty wonder at their present blessedness, as they review the misery of their past captivity!” “Before your eyes,” so that we shall see what we now believe and hope for, the end of all our sufferings, chastisements, losses, achings of the heart, the fullness of our Redemption. That which our eyes have looked for, “our eyes shall behold and not another,” the everliving God as He is, face to Face; “saith the Lord,” Who is the Truth Itself, all Whose words will be fulfilled. “heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away” Mark 13:31, saith He who is “God blessed forever.” And so the prophet closes in the thought of Him, Whose Name is I am, the Unchangeable, the everlasting Rest and Center of those who, having been once captives and halting and scattered among the vanities of the world, turn to Him, to whom be glory and thanksgiving forever and ever. Amen.

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

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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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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 14

It is God's purpose that His people shall be a sanctified, purified, holy people, communicating light to all around them. It is His purpose that, by exemplifying the truth in their lives, they shall be a praise in the earth. The grace of Christ is sufficient to bring this about. But let God's people remember that only as they believe and work out the principles of the gospel can He make them a praise in the earth. Only as they use their God-given capabilities in His service will they enjoy the fullness and power of the promise whereon the church has been called to stand. If those who profess to believe in Christ as their Saviour reach only the low standard of worldly measurement, the church fails to bear the rich harvest that God expects. “Found wanting” is written upon her record. 8T 14.1

The commission that Christ gave to His disciples just before His ascension is the great missionary charter of His kingdom. In giving it to the disciples, the Saviour made them His ambassadors and gave them their credentials. If, afterward, they should be challenged and asked by what authority they, unlearned fishermen, went forth as teachers and healers, they could reply: “He whom the Jews crucified, but who rose from the dead, appointed us to the ministry of His word, declaring, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.’” 8T 14.2

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