6.63 Zephaniah -- Return of the Remnant
One must not minimize the severity of God's judgment on the earth. However, the final chapter suggests a different kind of Day of the Lord, one that means pardon and vindication for the remnant of Israel:
"But I will leave within you the meek and humble,
who trust in the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel will do no wrong...
The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm" (Zeph 3:12-15).
The remnant of Judah will possess the lands of Philistia and Moab (Zeph 2:7-9).
Yet even the Gentiles will receive mercy after judgment:
The nations on every shore will worship Him,
every one in its own land (Zeph 2:11).
"Then will I purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
and serve him shoulder to shoulder" (Zeph 3:9-10).
The King James translation reads:
"For then will I turn to the people a pure language..."
Some commentators relate this verse to the apostles' speaking in other tongues on the Day of Pentecost in the New Testament (Acts 2:4) (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary).
However, restoration is a very minor note in Zephaniah, overpowered by the message of judgment.
Similarly, Zephaniah does not speak of a Messiah. The greatest blessing he foretells is God's presence in Jerusalem:
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing" (Zeph 3:17).