Who was the author? The Lord inspired the book of Zephaniah through the prophet of the same name, who was most-likely related to the royal line.
What is the book? The book is Zephaniah's prophecies about Judah's exile and the nation's future glory under the Messiah.
Where was it written? Given Zephaniah's relationship to Judah's royal line, connection to the king's court, and the time of his prophecy, we probably can say safely that the book was written in Jerusalem.
When was it written? Zephaniah probably prophesied early during the reign of King Josiah, whose dates are given as 640-609 B.C., and the book likely would have been written around the same time.
Why? Zephaniah announces to Judah the Lord's judgment, but he also speaks of the Lord's mercy and restoration.
How? In the classic prophetic outline, Zephaniah speaks of God's judgment on Judah, of judgment on other nations, and of promises to the faithful remnant. Zephaniah notably does not name the nation that God will use against Judah, which emphasizes God Himself as the ultimate cause of Judah's affliction.
For further reading on the book of Zephaniah:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume X: Minor Prophets , translated by James Martin and published as two volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted March 1986. (There are some 49 pages on Zephaniah.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume II, The Poetical and the Prophetical Books. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1924. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 5 pages on Zephaniah.)