Zephaniah’s name means “Yahweh has hidden him.” This book is dated to the reign of Josiah (640-622 BC). He probably worked with the young Josiah during his ministry, and he is a possible descendent of the King Hezekiah.
He was writing specifically to Judah and Jerusalem before its destruction (1:4), urging them to repent. He is claiming that Judah has become God’s enemy! He urges them to repent, and also predicts a time of hope for the faithful remnant (3:9-20).
God promises to judge the entire Earth (v.3). The “day of the Lord” will be a day of judgment. The “whole Earth” will be judged (v.18).
Zephaniah urges people to repent before this happens (vv.2-3). God promises to judge the nations (v.5). They thought that they were divine—similar to God’s own claim (v.15).
Only the people of faith will be spared (v.12). God will forgive them (v.15). God will rejoice over the people (v.17).