The dating of the book of zephaniah

One of the twelve Minor Prophets who describes himself as "the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, King of Judah" (Zeph. New social conditions shall arise, and justice and righteousness shall prevail, so that the redeemed shall rejoice in the Lord. Its language is vigorous and picturesque, and betrays an acquaintance with the Earlier Prophets. He seems, therefore, to have been a descendant of Hezekiah, King of Judah, since otherwise only the name of his father would have been given (comp. After the storm of judgment Israel shall be humble, and shall trust in alone.

Even so, after the death of Jeroboam II in 753 BC, the Northern Kingdom swiftly plunged to its destruction in 722 (about forty years after Amos' ministry). Can the ministry of the prophet be more definitely located within the 31 years of Josiah? Koenig's arguments are altogether inconclusive, while all the internal evidence points toward the reign of Josiah as the period of Zephaniah's activity. Does the work of Zephaniah belong to the earlier or the later period? The latter's reign falls naturally into two parts, separated by the great reform of 621.

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