This prophet, by a somewhat larger account of his pedigree, gives us ground to guess of what family he might be; the last named may possibly be the good king Hezekiah; the names are the same in Zep_1:1, and 2Ki_18:1. By his freedom with princes and the king's children, reproving them and threatening them, Zep_1:8, with the loftiness of his style, may fairly be admitted a conjecture at somewhat more than ordinary in his descent: but whether of royal blood or not, he came with a Divine warrant, and with a prophetic spirit, sharply reproving all ranks of men for their sins; of which in particular idolatry, apostacy, and neglect to inquire for the true religion and the true God, and the sinful fashions as of great ones in their habits, and the violent oppression of the great ones, are named, Zep_1:5-6, Zep_1:8-9; which sins, and many others which then abounded amongst them, are threatened with severe punishments, and with utter desolation, which had already befallen some of the neighbouring nations named; and proposed as examples to the Jews, to move them to consider, repent, amend, and prevent the threatened judgments, which, unless they repent, will come suddenly. The prophet therefore affectionately exhorteth and presseth them to repentance, Zep 2, by examples of those he mentioneth, whose impenitence, added to their sins, ruined them. By promises, and encouragements to expect mercy upon their hearkening to his counsel, he foretells the coming of the Messiah, the calling of the Gentiles, the preserving of a remnant of them amidst all the troubles and wasting judgments that should follow them, and a return out of captivity, with the re-establishing them as the church and people of God; which promise closeth his prophecy, and for which he calls on them to be thankful to and rejoice in their God, who in the midst of their sins, and his wrath for those sins, yet remembered his own mercies and covenant for them.
The time when Zephaniah prophesied, Zep_1:1. God's severe judgment against Judah for divers sins, Zep_1:2-18.