“Near...Near.” Placing the word “near” at the beginning of the phrase emphasizes it. It was as if the Day of Yahweh was so close you could even hear it coming: “The sound of the day of Yahweh.” Included in the sound of the Day of Yahweh is the screams and bitter cries of even the mightiest of men, as this verse says. Zephaniah said the Day was close, but as it has turned out, God has delayed that day for his purposes, and thus “the Day of vengeance of our God” (Isa. 61:2) is still future.
“the great Day of Yahweh.” The Day of Yahweh is now mentioned ten times in five verses, Zephaniah 1:14-18 (see commentary on Zeph. 1:7).
“the sound.” The Hebrew word translated “sound” can also be “voice,” and the “voice” of the Day of Yahweh is people’s bitter cries. It can also be nuanced to “listen” (HCSB; NASB; NIV), but given what will surely be the cacophonous noise of the Tribulation, “sound” seems like the best choice.
“The mighty man cries out bitterly.” The Day of Yahweh will be a horrible time, and the cries of the hurt and dying will be everywhere.