There is a terrible irony in the prophet Zephaniah. Actually, he did his prophecy in the days of Josiah; and Josiah was one of the best of the kings of Judah but the prophecy that came down in his days were among the most dire ever handed down by any prophet. Here is how Zephaniah starts:
The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord.
Now, what on earth can account for such terrible consequences? Well, to tell that story we have to go back in time. I’ve long held that you can’t understand the prophets unless you understand the history of the times in which they worked. When he came on the scene, the house of Judah was in one of the late stages of their decline when a man named Amon ben Manasseh came to the throne. He was 22 years old.