14 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice
and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! 15 The LORD
has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your
enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall
fear disaster no more. 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. 17 The LORD,
your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will
rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing 18 as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach
for it. 19 I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.
And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change
their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. 20 At that
time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for
I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of
the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says
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And they lived happily ever after! Chapter 3 continues (and
ends the short book of Zephaniah) with a very strong note of hope
for Jerusalem. The LORD will reverse the current situation and
place Israel on the map again in a position of prominence. "I
will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth"
would clearly be a message of hope for the future. As is often
the case, the outcast, the lame, etc., are to be lifted up with
the fortunes of the state - the tie to assist those less fortunate
within their own society seems ever-present in Hebrew writings!
I do not think the rumors of Zephaniah's lucrative needlepoint
business have any truth to them (nor was he a member of a rock
and roll band) - but hey, the rumors had to start somewhere.
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