Shortly after the entourage had left to proselytize, John the Baptist, who was still in jail, sent a message to Jesus, praising Jesus and asking for confirmation that he was the messiah. Jesus told the messengers, Well, I’ve healed people and raised the dead, but why don’t you stick around for the show and then tell John your opinion? Then he went before the crowd and started expostulating:
So I know many of y’all used to go see John out in the wilderness. Why? To listen to a prophet from God? Or to make fun of the homeless, starving guy? And now you come to see me, who wears always nice threads. Well, I’ll tell you what. Ain’t nobody–no human, anyway–better than John. John is a latter-day Elijah! And he’s been treated like shit. Y’all made fun of him, out there, alone and scrawny in his hair shirt, the bugs and honey clinging to his scraggly beard. Said he was demon-possessed. Didn’t care when he got arrested. And then I come along, and you come to see me, but then you complain I dress too flashy, that I eat too much. That I drink too much. That my friends are no good. Y’all just dumb!
You think I come to heal and cleanse and shit. But woe! Woe to all those who don’t believe me! Woe to entire fucking cities! Woe to Bethsaida and Chorazin, Tyre and Sidon! And woe to you Capernaum! You don’t want me there?! Well fuck you, cuz I will literally see you in hell!
Y’all need to thank God that I’m here. Thank you, Dad, for finally sending me to set these humans straight! Cuz if they listen to me and do what I say, then you’ll be happy and not smite them. Y’all hear me?
Malachi told everyone another message from God:
Listen to this dude, cuz he’s my messenger. One day, y’all are going to get a surprise visit from me, and you ain’t gonna like it. I mean, no one can really live up to my standards, and you think y’all will live through my visit? I’m gonna purify all those shitty priests and their shitty offerings! I’m sick of you guys skimping on the good stuff! Where my tithes at? If you want good harvests, then you better pay up! I make it rain, yo!
Also, quit bitching about if evildoers prosper, then I’m not real. You don’t know my ways, yo! And I’m, like, omniscient and omnipotent and stuff. So just believe that justice will prevail, on some dimensional plane or other!
But wait, there’s more! When I come to town, I’m will destroy sorcerers, of course. But I also hate cheaters and liars, so I will destroy anyone who’s ever cheated on their spouse and any one who ever swore falsely–don’t swear to god unless you mean it, yo! I also hate the fact that rich humans are dicks to poor humans, so I will destroy shitty bosses who treat their workers bad and don’t pay them enough and anyone who mistreats or oppresses poor single women and their children. Also, y’all have been immigrants! People who mistreat immigrants are the worst, and they will feel my wrath, too.
So everyone was like, well since this Malachi dude says he’s speaking from God and is preparing the way for all this punishment, we better take him seriously! So they wrote all that he said down in a book so they could remember it and promised that they would do their best to please God from then on.
The people of Judah kept complaining that God didn’t love them enough–after all It had sent them into exile and life was fucking hard. Malachi had these words from God for the people of Judah:
You think I don’t love you?! Nah, man. Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated. You think you have it bad. Have y’all looked at what’s been going down in Edom lately? Yet you don’t hear those survivors complaining. No! They just go about trying to rebuild. But I don’t even like those fuckers! So I’ll just keep smiting them! But y’all in Judah, now. Your star could be ascending again, if only you’d stop fucking up so bad. Like with your shitty priests and their shitty food offerings. I mean, I have clearly stated in my various laws, that I will only accept the finest of first-fruits and the finest of animals for offerings. But is that what y’all are offering up? Sheol, no! You keep sacrificing bruised fruits and vegetables and sickly, scrawny goats and sheep. And you wonder why shit’s bad for you! If you want shit to get better, you better start offering up that good shit you keep for yourself! I am God, after all!
God says that one of these days, all the nations of the world will unite in battle against Jerusalem. The city will fall on the first attack. It will be plundered and all the women raped and half the people will be sent into exile. But then on the second attack, God will enter the battle and defeat the enemies by causing them to rot. Like their eyes and their tongues will rot like the Nazis who looked in the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones! It will stand on the Mount of Olives and that mountain will split into and everyone will flee in terror! And then, it will always be spring and summer and always twilight! And two rivers will begin flowing from Jerusalem in different directions, like it’s the continental divide! And the only mountain will be the one Jerusalem is on! Everything else will be flat! And all the riches of the world will flow into Jerusalem! It will be the richest place on earth! And God will live there and be king of the world! And anyone who doesn’t worship It will suffer drought and starvation! And bells will all chime hymns! Everything will be great!
(So ends Zechariah. There is only one more Old Testament book left!)
When Judah becomes the center of the world, the untouchable bastion of God–after the 2/3 of people who God doesn’t like are finally smited by It–well, in that day, there will be no more idol worship. Everyone will worship God. And there will be no more prophets. Anyone who claims to be a prophet will be lying! And will deserve immediate and painful death. Stone them! In fact, at that time, if someone does have visions, they will lie about them and keep them secret. Because in that day, God will punish any religious leader that tries to lead people from the one true path, as dictated by It.
God is going to gather all Its chosen folk from exile and bless them and make them mighty and prosperous. However, It’s going to punish all the leaders who might have led Its people astray. Also, if you ask for rain in spring, you’ll probably get it.
When God decided it loved Judah and Israel again, It decided that it was also time to curse every neighboring country and kingdom, including Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Philistia. Then the peace will reign in Mesopotamia and the Jews will prosper and be happy.
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!
Zephaniah continued, And God’s not just gonna take down Judah. No. Not hardly. God is going to take down every nation that has ever had a beef with Judah. See, It might be mad at the Hebrews, but they’re still Its people, and Its got their backs. So any nation that ever went to war with Judah, or even scoffed at it or made fun of it, is going down. Gaza will be a wasteland, and the destruction of Philistia, Canaan, Moab, Ammon, Cush, and, yes Assyria, will make what It did to Sodom and Gomorrah look like a party!
During the reign of Josiah, Zephaniah ben Cushi ben Gedaliah ben Amariah ben Hezekiah prophesied doom for Judah and the whole world. Zephaniah preached, God has told me that It will sweep away everything from the face of the earth! Every plant, every bug, every bird, every beast, and every cheating Hebrew who worships Baal on the side! It will punish every noble and prince who traipse about in foreign duds and every worker who cheats his boss! It will search all of Jerusalem and ferret out every cheating cheater and make them pay! A day of wrath, a day of doom, a day of destruction is at hand! God will pour out distress upon humans and the earth will drink their blood!