Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Zephaniah, possibly a grandson of King Hezekiah.

2. DATE. — During the reign of Josiah, but the exact time cannot be fixed. Nineveh was not yet destroyed. (2:13.) 639–608 B. C. It would thus belong between Nahum and Habakkuk.

3. PLACE. — Jerusalem.

4. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — At the time that terrible punishment was about to fall upon Judah, either from the Babylonians; or, as some think, from the Scythians, who swept over most of that part of the world about that time. The end of the kingdom of Judah was fast approaching.

5. LEADING TOPIC. — The destruction that was about to come upon all sinners -Jerusalem and the surrounding nations — with the promise of deliverance to a remnant, among whom Jehovah would dwell as King.

6. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show that wickedness would be punished, especially the sins of the chosen people, yet that God's purposes would be carried out.


(a) Announcement of destruction, Ch. 1.

(b) Warning to each nation, Ch. 2-3:7.

(c) Promise to the remnant, Ch. 3:8–20.

8. POINTS OF ESPECIAL INTEREST. — The wicked to be destroyed as a sacrifice; Judah’s enemies to be punished; a remnant to be delivered; Jehovah a king.

9. SPECIAL SINS CONDEMNED. — Of Judah: Idolatry, apostasy, forsaking the law of the sanctuary by priests and prophets. Of the Gentiles: Reproaching and reviling God's people, boastful and insolent in their sinning

10. NATIONAL HOPES PRESENTED. — A remnant to be saved who shall be holy; Jehovah to dwell among his people as a mighty ruler; they to be a praise in all the earth, and their enemies to be over come.

11. MESSIANIC IDEAS. — Jehovah as King among his people, with all nations among his worshipers.

12. RELATION TO OTHER O. T. BOOKS. — This book, like that of Jeremiah, takes up the thoughts of former prophets and applies them to the present condition of the Jews. The punishment of which Judah had been warned is shown to be at hand, Though the destruction is imminent and complete, there was yet hope held out that God would still have a people. Jeremiah lived at the same time, and prophesied in similar conditions.

13. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The Scythians; the extent and character of their conquests.