The book of Zephaniah in the Old Testament was written sometime between 639-608 B.C. The first verse of Zephaniah identifies him as a descendent of King Hezekiah, a righteous king of Judah who lived approximately one hundred years before the book was written. Zephaniah prophesied in the days of King Josiah, another righteous king in Judah, which means he lived about the same time as Habakkuk, Micah, and the young Jeremiah.
Zephaniah's message was a dismal message of divine retribution for the wickedness of Judah and the surrounding nations. In chapter 2 verse 3 he warns, "Seek ye the Lord…; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid [protected] in the day of the Lord's anger."
The book of Zephaniah has two major points:
- The day of the Lord. The Lord will come in judgment upon people caught up in sin and hypocrisy. This truth was relevant to the nation of Judah in Zephaniah's time as well as to the wicked in all ages, especially those living at the time of the Second Coming. And,
- restoration and purification. God will draw to himself and purify people who humble themselves in the midst of his judgments.