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You also, O Cushites—slain by my sword are they! Bible

“slain by my sword are they.” Several things about this statement draw the reader’s attention. The statement abruptly changes from the second person “you” to the third person “they” (although uncommon, that does occur other places in the Bible, cp. Zeph. 3:18; Ezek. 28:22; Zech. 3:8). Also, the fact that when God turns from speaking to nations on the east and speaks to a nation on the south, we would normally expect it to be Egypt, the more powerful and important nation, or perhaps the traditional enemy Edom, but instead He addresses Cush (Ethiopia). Also very noticeable is the very brevity of this address. God spends much more time speaking to nations on the west, north, and east, but then only makes this very short but powerful statement to the Ethiopians. The evidence is that God mentioned Ethiopia because it was the furthest south of all the nations known (or perhaps just written about) by the Hebrews, and thus it was a way that God could express the fact that when His vengeance came upon the earth, it would come upon the entire earth—no one would be “too far away” to be affected (cp. Isa. 18:1).


Commentary for: Zephaniah 2:12