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The Historical Setting Of Zephaniah's Oracles Against The Nations (Zeph. 2: 4–15)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that the Oracles against the Nations in the Book of Zephaniah indeed all fit the historical reality in the period of the reign of Josiah (640-609 B.C.E.). The oracles against the nations in Zeph 2:4-15 consist of oracles against Philistia, Ammon-and-Moab, Kush and Assyria. The order of the oracles seems to be both geographical and political: Judah's neighbouring enemies in the West (Philistia), the East (Ammon and Moab), and Judah's Imperial enemies in the South (Kush), and in the North (Assyria). A clear distinction is made between Egypt and Kush in the Bible and in the Assyrian sources from the days of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria onwards. The oracles against Philistia and Ammon-and-Moab can only be explained against the historical reality and conflicts of the 7th century B.C.E. between Judah and her neighbors.

Keywords: Ammon-and-Moab; Assyria; Judah; Kush; Philistia; Zephaniah's oracles



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