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Zephaniah 2:4 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation; they shall drive out Ashdod at noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— For Gazah shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon shall be a desolation; they shall drive out Ashdod at noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— For, Gaza, forsaken, shall be, and, Ashkelon, a desolation,—Ashdod! at high noon, shall they drive her forth, and, Ekron, be uprooted:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— For Gaza is forsaken, And Ashkelon [is] for a desolation, Ashdod! at noon they do cast her forth, And Ekron is rooted up.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For Gaza shall be destroyed, and Ascalon shall be a desert, they shall cast out Azotus at noonday, and Accaron shall be rooted up.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For Gaza shall bee forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall driue out Ashdod at the noone day, and Ekron shall be rooted vp.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— For Gaza shall be utterly spoiled, and Askelon{gr.Ascalon} shall be destroyed; and Ashdod{gr.Azotus} shall be cast forth at noon-day, and Ekron{gr.Accaron} shall be rooted up.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— For Azzah shall be forsaken, and Ashqelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Eqron shall be rooted up.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
`Azz עַזָּה 5804
{5804} Prime
Feminine of H5794; strong; Azzah, a place in Palestine.
shall be x1961
(1961) Complement
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
forsaken, 5800
{5800} Prime
A primitive root; to loosen, that is, relinquish, permit, etc.
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
and Akln אַשׁקְלוֹן 831
{0831} Prime
Probably from H8254 in the sense of weighing place (that is, mart); Ashkelon, a place in Palestine.
a desolation: 8077
{8077} Prime
Feminine of H8076; devastation; figuratively astonishment.
they shall drive out 1644
{1644} Prime
A primitive root; to drive out from a possession; especially to expatriate or divorce.
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
Ad אַשׁדּוֹד 795
{0795} Prime
From H7703; ravager; Ashdod, a place in Palestine.
at the noon day, 6672
{6672} Prime
From H6671; a light (that is, window); dual double light, that is, noon.
and `Ekrn עֶקרוֹן 6138
{6138} Prime
From H6131; eradication; Ekron, a place in Palestine.
shall be rooted up. 6131
{6131} Prime
A primitive root; to pluck up (especially by the roots); specifically to hamstring; figuratively to exterminate.
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Zephaniah 2:4

_ _ For — He makes the punishment awaiting the neighboring states an argument why the ungodly should repent (Zephaniah 2:1) and the godly persevere, namely, that so they may escape from the general calamity.

_ _ Gaza shall be forsaken — In the Hebrew there is a play of similar sounds, Gaza Gazubah; Gaza shall be forsaken, as its name implies. So the Hebrew of the next clause, Ekron teeakeer.

_ _ at the noonday — when on account of the heat Orientals usually sleep, and military operations are suspended (2 Samuel 4:5). Hence an attack at noon implies one sudden and unexpected (Jeremiah 6:4, Jeremiah 6:5; Jeremiah 15:8).

_ _ EkronFour cities of the Philistines are mentioned, whereas five was the normal number of their leading cities. Gath is omitted, being at this time under the Jews’ dominion. David had subjugated it (1 Chronicles 18:1). Under Joram the Philistines almost regained it (2 Chronicles 21:16), but Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6) and Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:8) having conquered them, it remained under the Jews. Amos 1:6; Zechariah 9:5, Zechariah 9:6; Jeremiah 25:20, similarly mention only four cities of the Philistines.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Zephaniah 2:4-7

_ _ The prophet here comes to foretel what share the neighbouring nations should have in the destruction made upon those parts of the world by Nebuchadnezzar and his victorious Chaldees, as others of the prophets did at that time, which is designed, 1. To awaken the people of the Jews, by making them sensible how strong, how deep, how large, the inundation of calamities should be, that the day of the Lord, which was near, might appear the more dreadful, and they might thereby be quickened to prepare for it as for a general deluge. 2. To comfort them with this thought, that their case, though sad, should not be singular (Solamen miseris socios habuisse dolorisThe wretched find it consolatory to have companions of their woe), and much more with this, that though God had seemed to be their enemy, and to fight against them, yet he was still so far their friend, and an enemy to their enemies, that he resented, and would revenge, the indignities done them.

_ _ In these verses we have the doom of the Philistines, who were near neighbours, and old enemies, to the people of Israel. Five lordships there were in that country; only four are here named — Gaza and Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron; Gath, the fifth, is not named, some think because it was now subject to Judah. They were the inhabitants of the sea-coasts (Zephaniah 2:5), for their country lay upon the Great Sea. The nation of the Cherethites is here joined with them, which bordered upon them (1 Samuel 30:14) and fell with them, as is foretold also, Ezekiel 25:16. The Philistines' land is here called Canaan, for it belonged to that country which God gave to his people Israel, and was inserted in the grant made to them, Joshua 13:3. This land is yet to be possessed (five lords of the Philistines), so that they wrongfully kept Israel out of the possession of it (Judges 3:3), which is now remembered against them. For, though the rights of others may be long detained unjustly, the righteous God will at length avenge the wrong.

_ _ I. It is here foretold that the Philistines, the usurpers, shall be dispossessed and quite extirpated. In general, here is a woe to them (Zephaniah 2:5), which, coming from God, denotes all misery: The word of the Lord is against them — the word of the former prophets, which, though not yet accomplished, will be in its season, Isaiah 14:31. This word, now by this prophet, is against them. Note, Those are really in a woeful condition that have the word of the Lord against them, for no word of his shall fall to the ground. Those that rebel against the precepts of God's word shall have the threatenings of the word against them. The effect will be no less than their destruction, 1. God himself will be the author of it: “I will even destroy thee, who can make good what I say and will.” 2. It shall be a universal destruction; it shall extend itself to all parts of the land, both city and country: Gaza shall be forsaken, though now a populous city. It was foretold (Jeremiah 47:6) that baldness should come upon Gaza; Alexander the Great razed that city, and we find (Acts 8:26) that Gaza was a desert. Ashkelon shall be a desolation, a pattern of desolation. Ashdod shall be driven out at noon-day; in the extremity of the scorching heat they shall have no shade, no shelter to protect them; but then, when most incommoded by the weather, they shall be forced away into captivity, which will be an aggravating circumstance of it. Ekron likewise shall be rooted up, that had been long taking root. The land of the Philistines shall be dispeopled; there shall be no inhabitant, Zephaniah 2:5. God made the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18), otherwise he would have made it in vain; but, if men do not answer the end of their creation in serving God, it is just with God that the earth should not answer the end of its creation in serving them for a habitation; man's sin has sometimes subjected it to this vanity. 3. It shall be an utter destruction. The sea-coast, which used to be a harbour for ships and a habitation for merchants, shall now be deserted, and be only cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks (Zephaniah 2:6), and then perhaps put to better use than when it was possessed by the lords of the Philistines.

_ _ II. It is here foretold that the house of Judah, the rightful owners, shall recover the possession of it, Zephaniah 2:7. The remnant of those that shall return out of captivity, when God visits them, shall be made to lie down in safety in the houses of Ashkelon, to lie down in the evening, when they are weary and sleepy. There they shall feed themselves and their flocks. Note, God will at length restore his people to their rights, though they may be long kept out from them.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Zephaniah 2:4

For — It is time to seek God; for your neighbours, as well as you, shall be destroyed. Gaza — A chief city of the Philistines. They — The Babylonians. Shall drive — Into captivity. At the noon day — It shall be taken by force at noon.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Zephaniah 2:4

For (c) Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.

(c) He comforts the faithful in that God would change his punishments from them to the Philistines their enemies, and other nations.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Jeremiah 25:20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,
Jeremiah 47:1-7 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharaoh smote Gaza. ... How can it be quiet, seeing the LORD hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.
Ezekiel 25:15-17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy [it] for the old hatred; ... And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.
Amos 1:6-8 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver [them] up to Edom: ... And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
Zechariah 9:5-7 Ashkelon shall see [it], and fear; Gaza also [shall see it], and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. ... And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, [shall be] for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.


Psalms 91:6 [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday.
Jeremiah 6:4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.
Jeremiah 15:8 Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday: I have caused [him] to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city.
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Ps 91:6. Jr 6:4; 15:8; 25:20; 47:1. Ezk 25:15. Am 1:6. Zc 9:5.

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