Apocalypses: Revelation of Zephaniah


Time Period

100 BCE – 70 CE.


The author chose Zephaniah as his pseudonym, but the surviving fragmented text doesn’t show us why.

Truly, I, Zephaniah, saw these things in my vision.

Angelic Guide

Zephaniah receives guidance from an unnamed angel.

The angel of the Lord said to me, ‘Come, let me show you the place of righteousness.’


After some time into his visions, Zephaniah witnesses hidden parts of the world.

And a spirit took me and brought me up into the fifth heaven.

Primordial Events


Historical Review

Zephaniah quickly mentions occasions when God rescued the righteous from harm.

‘You are the one who saved Israel from the hand of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.’

After-the-fact Prophecy




Social Upheaval





Zephaniah sees the wicked tormented by hideous angels.

‘They spend three days going around with them in the air before they bring them and cast them into their eternal punishment.’

New Creation

The stock motif of a heavenly Jerusalem is briefly described.

I entered with him and founds its whole square like a beautiful city, and I walked in its midst.


The surviving fragmented text appears to come from a single author, who was familiar with the common tropes of apocalypses concerned with cosmological journeys.

There may be revisions from Christian scribes, but they are light and probably not intentional.


1: Fragment about burial.

2–8: Zephaniah sees scenes of heaven, the new Jerusalem, and afterlife punishments.

9–12: Zephaniah sees angels sounding trumpets, heralding: victory over the satan, the opening of heaven, the intercessory prayer of the saints for those in torment, and the imminent eschaton.