Zephaniah declared, Woe to Jerusalem, that hotbed of corrupt politicians and religious leaders! God’s punishments are always just, so when It destroys a place, like it will Jerusalem, that place and its people deserve it! But one day, when everyone in the world speaks the same language, they will also turn to the one true God–the Hebrew God–and then the world will be perfect. There will be no more lies or corruption or greed or injustice! Then Jerusalem will be restored and will be the center of the world! So everyone rejoice that God will eventually raise you up, even if it first destroys you!
Once upon a time, Israel was great, but then it cheated on God with a statue of a calf. Therefore, God will destroy Israel. the king of Israel will die. The forces of Israel will be defeated. Its cities burned. Its women and children murdered.
God told me to judge Jerusalem and to list all the reasons why It was angry and had decided to destroy the city. So I announced to everyone, Jerusalem has been condemned to doom and destruction for these reasons:
- The people worship idols, practice polytheism, and all around cheat on God.
- The rules are violent and corrupt and the religious leaders find excuses for all of their misdeeds.
- Many people openly despise their parents.
- People generally treat foreigners badly and they don’t take care of poor women and children and other needy people.
- They break the Sabbath and bastardize the rituals God prefers.
- People lie and slander in order to incite violence.
- Did I mention they cheat on God? It especially dislikes the fertility rituals people commonly perform.
- Sons sleep with their fathers’ wives and girlfriends.
- Men sleep with women on their periods and that really grosses God out.
- Men also sleep with their friends’ wives–some even rape their daughters-in-laws and sisters.
- There are hitmen and goons who commit violence for money.
- People there loan money at interest and generally make profits from their neighbors’ work.
For these reasons God has decided to destroy Jerusalem and kill or scatter its people.