Zephaniah prophesied in Judah in the days of King Josiah.

Zephaniah 1

Zephaniah prophesied about worldwide devastation during "The Day of The Lord"--the time of the Great Tribulation as later confirmed by the book of Revelation. Although all living creatures will be judged, the judgment for Judah and Jerusalem is particularly severe because of their idolatry. They have turned away from God, both the unsaved and the backsliders. They were an affluent society, and they acted like they believed that God was dead--the mantra of many in the United States during the 1960s. Their prosperity would end, and their day of judgment would indeed come. The reality of man's judgment for his sin was fearful, and there would be no deliverance.

Zephaniah 2:2 - 3:8

Then Zephaniah pronounces judgment upon all the nations of the earth. He calls on them to plead to God for mercy. Israel has not been true to her God, and Israel's enemies have been true to their idols. Special judgment is revealed for the nations of Ethiopia and Assyria, and the city of Jerusalem. This time of judgment is that which the Revelation calls Armageddon, after which the earth will witness the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Zephaniah 3:9-20

Zephaniah then foresees the removal of judgment, and the earthly reign of Jesus Christ during the millennium. As Israel enters the earthly kingdom of Christ, her attitude changes and her fear disappears. The prior judgments are now realized as discipline--a purification process that results in great blessings.