Zephaniah lived during the reign of King Josiah (2 Kings 22:1-23:30) which places the date of this book between 640 and 609 BC. Josiah’s religious reforms follow the two previous kings, Manasseh and Amon, who had brought the religion and morality of the nation to an all-time low. Josiah restored the temple and rediscovered the law book. Zephaniah may have been of royal blood and a descendent of King Hezekiah. The nation has grown corrupt, and Zephaniah is sent to the leaders of Israel to denounce their behavior.
Zephaniah may be outlined as follows:
· Zephaniah 1:1-6 The great doom that is to come
· Zephaniah 1:7-18 The day of the Lord
· Zephaniah 2:1-3:10 Oracles against nations and Jerusalem
· Zephaniah 3:11-20 The humble shall inherit
Key learning: Sin and rebellion, once discovered, lead to repentance or continued destruction. Repentance is the beginning of the road back to life.