The destruction of the city (Zeph 2:15-2:15)

“Is this the exultant city?

It lived secure.

It said to itself.

‘I am!

There is no one else.’

What a desolation!

It has become

A lair

For wild animals.

Everyone who passes by her

Hisses.

They shake their fists.”

Next Yahweh, via Zephaniah, took on the main exultant city itself, Nineveh.  They thought that they were secure in that city.  They believed that they there was no one like it.  Now it has become a desolation, a home for wild animals.  Everyone who goes by it now derides it by hissing and shaking their fists at this once great city.

Jerusalem and Judah (Jer 25:18-25:18)

“I went to Jerusalem.

I went to

The towns of Judah,

Its kings,

Its officials,

To make them

A desolation,

A waste,

An object of hissing,

An object of cursing,

As they are today.”

Jeremiah was obviously sent to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah with their kings and officials. There is no mention of how many towns in Judah, but usually that is a euphemism for its leaders. They were going to be laid waste like a desolation. They would become the object of hissing and cursing just as they are today. This seems to imply that the exile was actually taking place at this time.

The punishment by the king of Babylon (Jer 25:8-25:9)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Because you have not obeyed

My words,

I am going to send

For all the tribes of the north.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I am going to send

Even for King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

My servant.

I will bring them

Against this land

With its inhabitants.

I will bring them

Against all these nations around.

I will utterly destroy them.

I will make them

An object of horror.

A hissing,

An everlasting disgrace.’”

Yahweh declared, via Jeremiah, that the people of Judah had not obeyed his words. Therefore, there would be an invasion from the north. In particular, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who was the servant of Yahweh, was going to come to this land in order to take away its inhabitants. Note that the king of Babylon was considered a servant of Yahweh, not his opponent. This usage indicates Jeremiah’s favoritism towards Babylon. Yahweh was going to utterly destroy them and their neighbors, so that they would be an object of horror, with people hissing at them in disgrace.