3:18 “As for those who grieve because they cannot attend the festivals –
I took them away from you;
they became tribute and were a source of shame to you. 1
3:19 Look, at that time I will deal with those who mistreated you.
I will rescue the lame sheep 2
and gather together the scattered sheep.
I will take away their humiliation
and make the whole earth admire and respect them. 3
3:20 At that time I will lead you –
at the time I gather you together. 4
when you see me restore you,” 7 says the Lord.
[3:18] 1 tn Heb “The ones grieving from an assembly I gathered from you they were, tribute upon her, a reproach.” Any translation of this difficult verse must be provisional at best. The present translation assumes three things: (1) The preposition מִן (min) prefixed to “assembly” is causal (the individuals are sorrowing because of the assemblies or festivals they are no longer able to hold). (2) מַשְׂאֵת (mas’et) means “tribute” and refers to the exiled people being treated as the spoils of warfare (see R. D. Patterson, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah [WEC], 385-86). (3) The third feminine singular suffix refers to personified Jerusalem, which is addressed earlier in the verse (the pronominal suffix in “from you” is second feminine singular). For other interpretive options see Adele Berlin, Zephaniah (AB 25A), 146.
[3:19] 3 tn Heb “I will make them into praise and a name, in all the earth, their shame.” The present translation assumes that “their shame” specifies “them” and that “name” stands here for a good reputation.