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When Gods Go Hungry
Mesopotamian rite clarifies puzzling prophecy
The prophet Zephaniah predicts that the Israelite God Yahweh will overcome the gods of foreign nations. These foreign deities will be deserted by their worshipers, who will turn instead to the God of Israel.
But just how God plans to defeat these false gods is not easily understood. Indeed, the question has perplexed Bible translators and commentators for hundreds of years.
According to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, God will “shrivel” these other deities:
The Lord will be terrible against them; he will shrivel (rzh) all the gods of the earth, and to [the Lord] shall bow down, each in its place, all the coasts and islands of the nations.

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