Against the seacoast people (Zeph 2:5-2:7)

“Woe to you!

Inhabitants of the seacoast!

You nation of the Cherethites!

The word of Yahweh

Is against you!

O Canaan!

Land of the Philistines!

I will destroy you

Until no inhabitant is left.

You,

O seacoast,

Shall be pastures,

Shall be meadows for shepherds,

Shall be folds for flocks.

The seacoast

Shall become the possession

Of the remnant

Of the house of Judah.

They shall pasture

In the houses of Ashkelon.

They shall lie down at evening.

Yahweh,

Their God,

Will be mindful of them.

He will restore

Their fortunes.”

Yahweh, via Zephaniah, rebuked the whole seacoast area of the Philistines, about 32 miles along the Mediterranean coast line and about 10-16 miles wide inland in southwestern Canaan.  They were called Cherethites, since they may have had some connection to the island of Crete.  Yahweh was against them, so that he was going to destroy them until there was nothing left of them.  They would become a possession of the remnants of Judah.  Their land would become like meadows for sheep.  Their houses in Ashkelon would become pastures.  Yahweh was going to restore the fortunes of the Israelites.

The restoration of Judah and Jerusalem (Joel 3:1-3:1)

“For then,

In those days,

At that time,

I will restore

The fortunes

Of Judah

With Jerusalem.”

There would be a special judgment time in the future, when Yahweh would restore the fortunes of Judah along with Jerusalem.

Judah will have a harvest (Hos 6:11-6:11)

“For you also,

O Judah!

A harvest

Is appointed.

When I would restore

The fortunes

Of my people.”

Southern Judah would have a harvest at an appointed time. Yahweh was going to restore the fortunes of his people in the future. Perhaps this may have been a later addition here.

The restoration of a smaller Egypt (Ezek 29:13-29:16)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘At the end of forty years,

I will gather

The Egyptians

From the people

Among whom

They were scattered.

I will restore

The fortunes of Egypt.

I will bring them back

To the land of Pathros,

The land of their origin.

There they shall be

A lowly kingdom.

It shall be the lowliest

Of the kingdoms.

It shall never again

Exalt itself

Above the nations.

I will make them

So small

That they will never again

Rule over the nations.

The Egyptians shall never again

Be the reliance

Of the house of Israel.

They will recall

Their iniquity,

When they turned

To them

For aid.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh God!’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel that at end of forty years, he would gather the Egyptians from wherever they were scattered. He was going to restore the fortunes of Egypt. He was going to bring them back to Pathros, the southern part of Egypt near Thebes, where they originally came from. However, this would be a low kingdom that would not exalt itself among the various nations. They would be so small that they would never again rule over other countries. Israel would not rely on Egypt again. They would recall their iniquity when they turned to them for aid. They would all know that Yahweh was God.

The restoration of the sisters (Ezek 16:53-16:55)

“I will restore

Their fortunes.

I will restore

Both the fortunes of Sodom

With her daughters.

I will restore

The fortunes of Samaria

With her daughters.

I will restore

Your own fortunes,

Along with theirs.

Thus you may bear

Your disgrace.

You will be ashamed

Of all

That you have done.

You will become

A consolation to them.

As for your sisters,

Sodom,

With her daughters,

Shall return

To their former state.

Samaria,

With her daughters,

Shall return

To their former state.

You,

With your daughters,

Shall return

To your former state.”

Yahweh said that he was going to restore the fortunes of all 3 sisters, Jerusalem, Sodom, and Samaria. All their daughters would have their fortunes also restored. However, Jerusalem would have to bear her disgrace. She should be ashamed of all that she did. Nevertheless, she would be a consolation to her sisters, Sodom and Samaria. All three of them would be returned to their former state.

The restoration of joy and worship (Jer 33:11-33:11)

“There shall once more

Be heard

The voice of mirth,

The voice of gladness,

The voice of the bridegroom,

The voice of the bride,

The voices of those who sing,

As they bring thank offerings

To the house of Yahweh.

‘Give thanks

To Yahweh of hosts!

Yahweh is good!

His steadfast love

Endures forever!’

I will restore the fortunes

Of the land

As at first.’

Says Yahweh.”

However, there would be a total reversal of fortune. One of the favorite remarks about the desolation, as found in chapters 7, 16, and 25 of this work, was about no more voices of rejoicing with mirth or gladness when the voice of the bride, the bridegroom, and those singing would not be heard. Here it is the restoration of these merry making activities. They will have weddings and singing as they bring their offerings to the Temple, the house of Yahweh. Because Yahweh is good, his steadfast love endures forever. Thus he will restore the fortunes of this land to the way that it was.

Future restoration (Jer 33:6-33:9)

“I going to bring

Recovery

With healing.

I will heal them.

I will reveal to them

Abundance of prosperity

With security.

I will restore

The fortunes of Judah,

The fortunes of Israel.

I will rebuild them

As they were at first.

I will cleanse them

From all the guilt

Of their sin

Against me.

I will forgive

All the guilt

Of their sin

With their rebellion

Against me.

This city shall be to me

A name of joy,

A praise,

As well as a glory

Before all the nations

Of the earth.

They shall hear

Of all the good

That I do for them.

They shall fear.

They shall tremble

Because of all the good,

As well as all the prosperity

I provide for it.”

Yahweh was going to heal Israel and Judah. He was going to help the city of Jerusalem to recover. They would have an abundance of prosperity and security in Jerusalem. Both the fortunes of the towns in Judah and among the northern Israelites would be rebuilt for them like it used to be. Yahweh was going to cleanse them from the guilt of all their sins against him. He was going to forgive their rebellion against him. Jerusalem would become a name of joy, praise, and glory for the whole world to see. Everyone would know about Jerusalem and the good that Yahweh had done for them. In fact, they would tremble and fear at all the good prosperity that he had provided for them. There were great days ahead.