This oracle shows various strong trees as symbols of power. Lebanon with its great cedar trees would be devoured by fire. The glorious cypress trees would be ruined. The oak tree forests of Bashan would be cut down. The glory of the shepherds would be gone. The roaring lions in the brush tickets of the Jordan River would be destroyed. The powerful people better look out or they would become like these trees.
Zephaniah rebuked not only the city, but the leaders in the city of Jerusalem. Their officials were like roaring lions. Their judges were like evening wolves preying on people at night. Their prophets were reckless faithless people. Their priests profaned the sacred things, by doing violence to the law of Yahweh.
The princes within the city of Jerusalem were like roaring lions tearing into their prey. They devoured human lives. They stole treasure and precious things. They killed people, so that there many more widows in Jerusalem.
Bashan was on the northern plains. The first Israelite settlers under Moses had attacked the king of Bashan, King Og, in Numbers, chapter 21. This must have been a great place for bulls to graze. Apparently, they were famous at the time of this biblical writing. Somehow bulls that were like these Bashan bulls surrounded David or the psalmist. With their mouths wide open, they were like roaring lions. Perhaps this is an indication of those who were against him. This may be the source of the term bullying.