English Standard Version
before the decree takes effect—before the day passes away like chaff— before there comes upon you the burning anger of the LORD, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the LORD.
King James Bible
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.
American Standard Version
before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of Jehovah come upon you, before the day of Jehovah's anger come upon you.
Before the decree bring forth the day as dust passing away, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's indignation come upon you.
English Revised Version
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.
Webster's Bible Translation
Before the decree bringeth forth, before the day passeth as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD cometh upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger cometh upon you.
Zephaniah 2:2 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The threatening words commence in Micah 6:10; Micah 6:10-12 containing a condemnation of the prevailing sins. Micah 6:10. "Are there yet in the house of the unjust treasures of injustice, and the ephah of consumption, the cursed one? Micah 6:11. Can I be clean with the scale of injustice, and with a purse with stones of deceit? Micah 6:12. That their rich men are full of wickedness, and their inhabitants speak deceit, and their tongue is falseness in their mouth." The reproof is dressed up in the form of a question. In the question in Micah 6:10 the emphasis is laid upon the עוד, which stands for that very reason before the interrogative particle, as in Genesis 19:12, the only other place in which this occurs. אשׁ, a softened form for ישׁ, as in 2 Samuel 14:19. Treasures of wickedness are treasures acquired through wickedness or acts of injustice. The meaning of the question is not, Are the unjust treasures not yet removed out of the house, not yet distributed again? but, as Micah 6:10 and Micah 6:11 require, Does the wicked man still bring such treasures into the house? does he still heap up such treasures in his house? The question is affirmative, and the form of a question is chosen to sharpen the conscience, as the unjust men to whom it is addressed cannot deny it. איפת רזון, ephah of consumption or hungriness, analogous to the German expression "a hungry purse," is too small an ephah (cf. Deuteronomy 25:14; Amos 8:5); the opposite of א שׁלמה (Deuteronomy 25:15) or א צדק (Leviticus 19:36), which the law prescribed. Hence Micah calls it זעוּמה equals זעוּם יהוה in Proverbs 22:14, that which is smitten by the wrath of God (equivalent to cursed; cf. Numbers 23:7; Proverbs 24:24). Whoever has not a full ephah is, according to Deuteronomy 25:16, an abomination to the Lord. If these questions show the people that they do not answer to the demands made by the Lord in Micah 6:8, the questions in Micah 6:11 also teach that, with this state of things, they cannot hold themselves guiltless. The speaker inquires, from the standpoint of his own moral consciousness, whether he can be pure, i.e., guiltless, if he uses deceitful scales and weights, - a question to which every one must answer No. It is difficult, however, to decide who the questioner is. As Micah 6:9 announces words of God, and in Micah 6:10 God is speaking, and also in Micah 6:12, Micah 6:13, it appears as though Jehovah must be the questioner here. But אזכּה does not tally with this. Jerome therefore adopts the rendering numquid justificabo stateram impiam; but זכה in the kal has only the meaning to be pure, and even in the piel it is not used in the sense of niqqh, to acquit. This latter fact is sufficient to overthrow the proposal to alter the reading into piel. Moreover, "the context requires the thought that the rich men fancy they can be pure with deceitful weights, and a refutation of this delusive idea" (Caspari). Consequently the prophet only can raise this question, namely as the representative of the moral consciousness; and we must interpret this transition, which is so sudden and abrupt to our ears, by supplying the thought, "Let every one ask himself," Can I, etc. Instead of רשׁע we have the more definite mirmh in the parallel clause. Scales and a bag with stones belong together; 'ăbhanı̄m are the stone weights (cf. Leviticus 19:36; Deuteronomy 25:13) which were carried in a bag (Proverbs 16:11). In Micah 6:12 the condemnation of injustice is widened still further. Whereas in the first clause the rich men of the capital (the suffix pointing back to עיר in Micah 6:9), who are also to be thought of in Micah 6:10, are expressly mentioned, in the second clause the inhabitants generally are referred to. And whilst the rich are not only charged with injustice or fraud in trade, but with châmâs, violence of every kind, the inhabitants are charged with lying and deceit of the tongue. Leshōnâm (their tongue) is not placed at the head absolutely, in the sense of "As for their tongue, deceit is," etc. Such an emphasis as this is precluded by the fact that the preceding clause, "speaking lies," involves the use of the tongue. Leshōnâm is the simple subject: Their tongue is deceit or falsehood in their mouth; i.e., their tongue is so full of deceit, that it is, so to speak, resolved into it. Both clauses express the thought, that "the inhabitants of Jerusalem are a population of liars and cheats" (Hitzig). The connection in which the verse stands, or the true explanation of אשׁר, has been a matter of dispute. We must reject both the combination of Micah 6:12 and Micah 6:13 ("Because their rich men, etc., therefore I also," etc.), and also the assumption that Micah 6:12 contains the answer to the question in Micah 6:10, and that אשׁר precedes the direct question (Hitzig): the former, because Micah 6:12 obviously forms the conclusion to the reproof, and must be separated from what precedes it; the latter, because the question in Micah 6:11 stands between Micah 6:10 and Micah 6:12, which is closely connected with Micah 6:10, and Micah 6:12 also contains no answer to Micah 6:10, so far as the thought is concerned, even if the latter actually required an answer. We must rather take אשׁר as a relative, as Caspari does, and understand the verse as an exclamation, which the Lord utters in anger over the city: "She, whose rich men are full," etc. "Angry persons generally prefer to speak of those who have excited their wrath, instead of addressing their words to them."
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
before the fierce.
before the day of.
The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm.
Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds."
The LORD gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger, and he kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations.
Therefore they shall be like the morning mist or like the dew that goes early away, like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor or like smoke from a window.
Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD. In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full and sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
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