The word of Yahweh that 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. Bible see other translations

Zephaniah. He was the great, great-grandson of the godly King Hezekiah, and that explains why the genealogy in Zephaniah 1:1 is so long, going back four generations. He apparently lived in Jerusalem because he called the city “this place” (Zeph. 1:4). He is the only prophet with such a long genealogy, but it was important to tie him back to Hezekiah and show his relationship to the royal family in order to understand the impact of the prophecies in the book of Zephaniah. Zephaniah was the only prophet of royal blood and a distant cousin to the reigning king, Josiah (reigned 640-609 BC). Thus, he was also a distant cousin to Josiah’s sons, who reigned after Josiah was killed and who were evil in the sight of Yahweh (2 Kings 23:31-37). Zephaniah had likely finished his prophecy or had died by the death of Josiah since he is only mentioned as prophesying during his reign. Zephaniah’s blood relation to the royal family would have made his prophecies personal and uncomfortable to them when Zephaniah prophesied against Josiah’s evil sons (Zeph. 1:8) and foretold destruction for Jerusalem (Zeph. 1:4-6). But followers of God and Jesus do the right thing even when it is difficult. Jesus spoke about this when he said his followers would have to carry their own cross (Matt. 16:24).

Commentary for: Zephaniah 1:1