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Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar,
for all the merchant people will be destroyed!
All those who weigh out silver will be cut off. Bible

“the Mortar.” The meaning of this is uncertain. It could refer to a part of Jerusalem that was bowl-shaped like a mortar where trading occurred, or, more likely, it refers to all of Jerusalem, which was surrounded by hills, making Jerusalem itself like a mortar in which the people and idols would be pounded and ground up in the Day of Yahweh.

“merchant people.” The Hebrew could be “the Canaanites,” but since the Canaanites were known to be merchants and traders, the term “Canaanite” came to refer to a merchant or trader, which is the meaning in this context. Jerusalem was a prosperous center of trade, wealth, power, and luxury, but all of that would come to an end.


Commentary for: Zephaniah 1:11