Zephani’ah (hidden by Jehovah).
1. The ninth in order of the twelve minor prophets. His pedigree is traced to his fourth ancestor, Hezekiah, Zeph. 1:1, supposed to be the celebrated king of that name. The chief characteristics of this book are the unity and harmony of the composition, the grace, energy, and dignity of its style, and the rapid and effective alternations of threats and promises. The general tone of the last portion is Messianic, but without any specific reference to the person of our Lord. The date of the book is given in the inscription—viz., the reign of Josiah, from 642 to 611 b.c. It is most probable, moreover, that the prophecy was delivered before the eighteenth year of Josiah.
2. The son of Maaseiah, Jer. 21:1, and sagan or second priest in the reign of Zedekiah. (b.c. 588.) He succeeded Jehoiada, Jer. 29:25–26, and was probably a ruler of the temple, whose office it was, among others, to punish pretenders to the gift of prophecy. Jer. 29:29. On the capture of Jerusalem he was taken and slain at Riblah. Jer. 52:24, 27; 2 Kings 25:18, 21.