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His grandfather, Manasseh, has been vilified as a very bad king in the Scriptures and Josiah's father Amon reigned only for two years before being assassinated by the people and Josiah put on the throne. The words of Zephaniah reflect the faithless practices of the people from the time of Manasseh which Josiah later in his reign tried to correct by setting up sweeping reforms.
The spoken oracles could have been in the period 635-625 BCE and later they were taken up and put into present written form.
Most scholars accept this statement as historically correct. Koenig (Einl, 252 ff), who places it in the decade following the death of Josiah.
The title (Zep 1:1) places the prophetic activity of Zephaniah somewhere within the reign of Josiah, that is, between 639 and 608 BC.
C.), not long before the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B. The protest against the worship of false gods and the condemnation of foreign practices (1:8–9) may indicate that Zephaniah spoke during the height of Assyrian influence in the early years of Josiah’s reign, before Josiah launched the religious reforms praised by Israel’s historians (2 Kgs 22:1–).
If so, the prophecy of Zephaniah would be contemporary with the early prophecy of Jeremiah, with which it shares both language and ideas.
Zephaniah’s prophecy of judgment on Judah and Jerusalem emphasizes, perhaps more than any other prophecy, the devastation and death that divine judgment will bring.
Described as the day of the Lord, the day of judgment is pictured as a time of darkness, of anguish and distress, of destruction and plunder of cities, and of threat to all life, human and animal alike.
from this place," as well as by his intimate knowledge of the topography of the city (,11). If he was of royal descent, he probably lived in Jerusalem; and evidence of this is seen in his prophecies, where he describes various parts of the city.The ideas most emphasized are the providential control of the nations of the world, the necessity of purity and justice as opposed to the prevalent corruption and injustice of the day, and the refining value of judgment and suffering.The earliest of the Minor Prophets—Hosea, Joel, and Amos—describe conditions in Israel in her last years and call for her repentance.Even so, after the death of Jeroboam II in 753 BC, the Northern Kingdom swiftly plunged to its destruction in 722 (about forty years after Amos' ministry).