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Zephaniah 3:4

    Zephaniah 3:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Her prophets are light and treacherous persons; her priests have profaned the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Her prophets are good-for-nothing persons, full of deceit: her priests have made the holy place unclean and have gone violently against the law.

    Webster's Revision

    Her prophets are light and treacherous persons; her priests have profaned the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

    World English Bible

    Her prophets are arrogant and treacherous people. Her priests have profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have profaned the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.

    Clarke's Commentary on Zephaniah 3:4

    Her prophets are light and treacherous persons - They have no seriousness, no deep conviction of the awful nature of their office, no concern for the immortal souls of the people. Treacherous persons - they betray the souls of the people for the sake of worldly honor, pleasure, and profit. Even in our own enlightened country we find prophets who prefer hunting the hare or the fox, and pursuing the partridge and pheasant, to visiting the sick, and going after the strayed, lost sheep of the house of Israel. Poor souls! They know neither God nor themselves; and if they did visit the sick, they could not speak to them to exhortation, edification, or comfort. God never called them to his work; therefore they know nothing of it. But O, what an account have these pleasure-taking false prophets to render to the Shepherd of souls!

    They have done violence to the law - They have forced wrong constructions on it in order to excuse themselves, and lull the people into spiritual slumber. So we find that it was an ancient practice for men to wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction.

    Barnes' Notes on Zephaniah 3:4

    Her prophets are light - , boiling and bubbling, up, like water boiling over , empty boasters claiming the gift of prophecy, which they have not; "boldly and rashly pouring out what they willed as they willed;" promising good things which shall not be. So they are "her" prophets, to whom they "prophesy smooth things" (see Micah 2:11), "the prophets of this people" not the prophets of God; "treacherous persons" (literally, men of treacheries) wholly given to manifold treacheries against God in whose Name they spake and to the people whom they deceived. Jerome: "They spake as if from the mouth of the Lord and uttered everything against the Lord." "The leaders of the people," those who profess to lead it aright, Isaiah says, "are its misleaders" (Isaiah 9:15 (Isaiah 9:16 in English)). "Thy prophets," Jeremiah says, "have seen vain and foolish things for thee; they have seen for thee false visions and causes of banishment" Lamentations 2:14.

    Her priests have polluted her sanctuary - Literally, "holiness," and so holy rites, persons Ezra 8:28, things, places (as the sanctuary), sacrifices. All these they polluted, being themselves polluted; they polluted first themselves, then the holy things which they handled, handling them as they ought not; carelessly and irreverently, not as ordained by God; turning them to their own use and self-indulgence, instead of the glory of God; then they polluted them in the eyes of the people, "making them to abhor the offering of the Lord" 1 Samuel 2:17, since, living scandalously, they themselves regarded the Ministry entrusted to them by God so lightly. Their office was to "put difference between holy and unholy and between clean and unclean, and to teach the children all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by Moses" Leviticus 10:10-11; that they "should sanctify themselves and be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy" (Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 19:2, etc.). But they on the contrary, God says by Ezekiel, "have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no difference between holy and profane, and have taught none between clean and unclean" Ezekiel 22:26. "Holy" and "unholy" being the contradictory of each other, these changed what God had hallowed into its exact contrary. It was not a mere short-coming, but an annihilation (so to speak), of God's purposes.

    Cyril: "The priests of the Church then must keep strict watch, not to profane holy things. There is not one mode only of profaning them, but many and divers. For priests ought to be purified both in soul and body, and to cast aside every form of abominable pleasure. Rather should they be resplendent with zeal in well-doing, remembering what Paul saith, 'walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh' Galatians 5:16."

    They have oppressed, done violence, to the law - Openly violating it ; or straining it, or secretly wresting and using its forms to wrong and violence, as in the case of Naboth and of Him, of whom Naboth thus far bore the Image. "'We have a law, and by our law He ought to die' John 19:7. Law exists to restrain human violence; these reversed God's ordinances; violence and law changed places: first, they did violence to the majesty of the law, which was the very voice of God, and then, through profaning it, did violence to man. Forerunners herein of those, who, when Christ came, "transgressed the commandment of God, and made it of none effect by their traditions" Matthew 15:6; omitting also the weightier matters of the law, judgment and mercy and faith; full of extortion and excess!" Matthew 23:23, Matthew 23:25.

    Wesley's Notes on Zephaniah 3:4

    3:4 Her prophet - So called, false prophets. Light - Unstable and inconstant. Violence to the law - Wresting it by perverse interpretation.