What Do You Know about Zephaniah and the Flood?

What Do You Know about Zephaniah and the Flood?

A quick read of the beginning of the book of Zephaniah sounds a lot like Noah and the flood:

“I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. “I will sweep away both men and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. The wicked will have only heaps of rubble when I cut off man from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.

Aside from the minor issue that fish won’t likely be destroyed by a flood, the main problem is that this passage foretells a future event, but Noah and flood happened centuries before. This means that Zephaniah isn’t talking about Noah and the great flood, but another judgement, a future sweeping away of everything.

The flood in Noah’s time was God’s judgment over rampant evil in the world. The righteous were saved, the wicked die.

According to Zephaniah there will be another time of judgment. Though his description sounds like a flood, he doesn’t mention a deluge.

Jesus talks about this judgement too (Luke 17:20-27). Although God promises he will never again destroy the world with a flood (Genesis 9:11), he doesn’t preclude using other means. This is what Zephaniah foresees.

There's no need to worry about the future for those who follow Jesus. Click To Tweet

We don’t know when this will occur, but there is no need to worry for those who follow Jesus.

[See Zephaniah 1:2-3.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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