“The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah” (Zephaniah 1:1 NKJV)

Do you know your great, great grandfather’s name? Zephaniah did. Some believe he gave such an extensive lineage in his introduction to establish that he was a descendent of King Hezekiah. However, he probably would have referred to him as “King Hezekiah” if that were truly the case. Regardless, Zephaniah knew his lineage well. He had probably memorized his family’s “begats” all the way back to Abraham as this would have been part of his childhood training. Every Jew had to be able to establish their tribal identity in order to receive the lands and titles of their inheritance. Only Levites could serve as priests, only those from the Levitical house of Aaron could serve as High Priest, the throne in Jerusalem belonged to a descendant of David, and so on. The prophet Zephaniah wrote during the “days of” King Josiah, the last good king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. His prophecy warned the people of Judah to repent because God was soon to judge them and only a remnant would be saved. Zephaniah’s prophecy of judgment was fulfilled when Jerusalem fell to Babylon. However, his prophecy about the remnant being rescued by the “Mighty One” (Zeph. 3:17) who saves is only partially complete. Jesus, the Mighty One, the Son of David and Son of God has come and will soon come again to take up His rightful place on David’s royal throne.