Zephaniah 2:6-10

Zephaniah 2:6 (KJB)

And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.


Here the Lord is stating that those war like cities which were strongholds of the Philistines will no longer be war like but will be more of an idyllic or pastoral setting with no more war capabilities.  They will be changed from military to a rural or country like setting where there will be flocks and shepherds will dwell in cottages instead of strongholds or towers.  The folds will be like enclosures or fenced in areas for livestock.


Zephaniah 2:7 (KJB)

And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.


Then God promises that after the seventy year captivity, they will once again return to the land and will be able to live within those cities which were formerly the cities of the Philistines.  They will be able to do two things which denote safety and security.  They will feed there and also lie down in the evening.  Those two things mean they are secure and there is no chance of any attacks or dangers.  The LORD himself will visit them which means God will intervene for them and take oversight to keep them protected.  To turn their captivity means that they will once again see their people return from captivity by the hand of Cyrus and will once again populate the land of Judah.


Zephaniah 2:8 (KJB)

I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border.


Both Moab and Ammon were descendants of Lot’s incestuous relationship with his two daughters after they came out of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Genesis 19:37-38 (KJV) And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.  {38} And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.  The Moabites were a very proud people and looked down upon the children of Israel.  Isaiah 16:6 (KJV) We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so.  The revilings from the Ammonites were when they were vilifying the children of Israel.  Both of these nations had become enemies of the children of Israel but God was well aware of what their attitudes were toward Israel and he was going to do something about it.  While they were never intimidating enemies of Israel, nevertheless, they had always sided with the enemies of Israel.


Zephaniah 2:9 (KJB)

Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.


Here God states what he is going to do to these enemies of Israel.  He likens Moab to Sodom and Ammon to Gomorrah which we know were completely destroyed by fire from Heaven.  The term “as I live” carries with it the meaning of an oath and an authoritative declaration and that means it will happen and it they will not escape the consequences.  The nettles refers to bramble or some other type of thorny weeds.  They will be turned into salt pits just as Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.  If one visits the area of Sodom and Gomorrah, one will see the pillars of salt and brimstone which still lies in that area.  With the salt nothing would be able to grow and it would be a desert and uninhabitable.  This judgment will be perpetual which means it will be forever.  The Hebrew word behind “perpetual” is “ôwlâwm” which carries with it the meaning of eternity.  The remnant of the people of Judah will accomplish this as they attack and conquer these ancient enemies and they will take the spoils and will inherit their land.


Zephaniah 2:10 (KJB)

This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts.


This is the punishment Moab and Ammon can expect since they were ancient enemies and have reproached which is criticized and rebuked the people of God and they magnified themselves or puffed themselves up or overstated their power and strength against the people of the LORD of hosts.  One thing that these pagan nations always did was to try and exalt their false gods over the true God of Israel and God was going to deal with them once and for all and show them who the true and living God is.  The Thessalonians were lauded by Paul for their turning away from idols and turning to the true God.  1 Thessalonians 1:9 (KJV) For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;