Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Zephaniah 2:2

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Before the decree bring forth - God‘s word is full (as it were) of the event which it foretelleth; it contains its own fulfillment in itself, and “travaileth” until it come to pass, giving signs of its coming, yet delaying until the full time. Time is said to bring forth what is wrought in it. “Thou knowest not, what a day shall bring forth.”

Before the day pass as the chaff - Or, parenthetically, “like chaff the day passeth by.” God‘s counsels lie wrapt up, as it were, in the womb of time, wherein He hides them, until the moment which He has appointed, and they break forth suddenly to those who look not for them. The mean season is given for repentance, that is, the day of grace, the span of repentance still allowed, which is continually whirling more swiftly by; and woe, if it be fruitless as chaff! Those who profit not by it shall also be as chaff, carried away pitilessly by the whirlwind to destruction. Time, on which eternity hangs, is a slight, uncertain thing, as little to be counted upon, as the light dry particles which are the sport of the wind, driven uncertainly here and there. But when it is “passed,” then “cometh,” not “to” them, but “upon” them, from heaven, overwhelming them, “abiding upon” John 3:36 them, not to pass away, “the heat of the anger of Almighty God.” This warning he twice repeats, to impress the certainty and speed of its conming Genesis 41:32. It is the warning of our Lord, “Take heed, lest that day come upon you unawares” Luke 21:34.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The prophet calls to national repentance, as the only way to prevent national ruin. A nation not desiring, that has not desires toward God, is not desirous of his favour and grace, has no mind to repent and reform. Or, not desirable, not having any thing to recommend them to God; to whom God might justly say, Depart from me; but he says, Gather together to me that you may seek my face. We know what God's decree will bring against impenitent sinners, therefore it highly concerns all to repent in the accepted time. How careful should we all be to seek peace with God, before the Holy Spirit withdraws from us, or ceases to strive with us; before the day of grace is over, or the day of life; before our everlasting state is determined! Let the poor, despised, and afflicted, seek the Lord, and seek to understand and keep his commandments better, that they may be more humbled for their sins. The chief hope of deliverance from national judgments rests upon prayer.
Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 71

I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully. EW 71.1

I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of “refreshing” and the “latter rain” to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. Before this time the awfully solemn declaration has gone forth, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” I saw that none could share the “refreshing” unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence. EW 71.2

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 390

“The great day of the Lord is near,
It is near, and hasteth greatly,
Even the voice of the day of the Lord:
The mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
PK 390.1

“That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of wasteness and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloominess,
PK 390.2

“A day of clouds and thick darkness,
A day of the trumpet and alarm
Against the fenced cities,
And against the high towers.”
PK 390.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 99

“And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.” 5T 99.1

“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.” 5T 99.2

We are near the close of time. I have been shown that the retributive judgments of God are already in the land. The Lord has given us warning of the events about to take place. Light is shining from His word; yet darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people. “When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them; ... and they shall not escape.” 5T 99.3

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