"For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD (יהוה) , To serve Him with one accord.”  (Zep. 3:9)

כִּֽי־אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל־עַמִּים שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה לִקְרֹא כֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה לְעָבְדֹו שְׁכֶם אֶחָֽד׃

                                  Some Theories of the Pure Language​

​The Hebrew words for “pure language” is “ בְדֹו שְׁכֶם barar saphah”
There are several theories of what the “pure language” is that Zephaniah had prophesied. Here are some of them.

​The language of the people when they built the Tower of Babel.

“Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.”(Gen. 11:1).
Problem:  “And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." (Gen. 11:6-7) That language was used by man for seIf-glorification to reach heaven without God. It could not have been a pure language.

The language that God spoke to Abraham.
God would only speak to people in the language that they could understand. The first time that God spoke to Abraham he was living in Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11:31; 12:1; 15:7). Abraham's father Terah was an Idol worshiper (Josh. 24:2). What Abraham spoke was a language of idol worshipers and unbelievers. The Babylonians spoke the same language as the Chaldeans. God also spoke to Abimelech, king of Gerar, who was not a believer (Gen. 20:1-7). It is an impure language.

The language that God spoke to Moses.
Problem: The children of Israel were in Egypt for 430 years (Ex. 12:41; Gal. 3:17). They have been influenced by Egyptian culture and possibly some of its language as well. Moses was adopted as the son of Pharoah's daughter until he was 40 years old, and he lived in the land of Midian for 40 years. It is doubtful whether or not Moses was speaking a pure language.

Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke.
Problem: Aramaic is the ancient language of the Semitic family group, which includes the Assyrians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Arameans, Hebrews, and Arabs. It is not a pure language.

The Hebrew language that is used in the Old Testament
​It had been a lost language amongst the Jewish Diaspora for more than 2,000 years. It was only restored to Israel when it became a nation again in 1948.
Problem: The prophecy states: “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.” The plural word “peoples” includes Jews and Gentiles. The “pure language” has to unite all believers – Jews and Gentiles. Hebrew is the official language of Israel; but no other nation uses that language. Up till today the Jews still do not “call on the name of the LORD”  (יהוה) . They still call Him “Adonai” (אֲדֹנָי)
​The Extreme Exclusive Sacred Name Movement has caused much confusion and division among the believers by their teaching that unless a person calls on the Hebrew names of God and the Savior they are not saved. This is a false teaching. Zephaniah's prophecy of “a pure language” does not refer to Hebrew.

                                   The Truth about “a Pure Language”

The word “pure” describes the character of God (Job 4:17). It means perfectly holy that God approves (Ex. 39:30; 2 Sam. 22:27). Pure means without sin (Job 33:9). “The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.” (Psm. 12:6; 119:140) “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” (Jas. 3:17). The “pure language” is a heavenly language.

The Pure Language must come from God:
The “pure language” cannot be a human language that comes from man. It can only be a language that comes from God.“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4) Speaking with tongues as the Spirit gives utterance is the “pure language” that comes from God. and is not from man.

The Pure Language must come from the Lord Jesus Christ:
In the Great Commission the Lord Jesus said: “And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;” (Mk. 16:15-17)   Speaking with tongues is one of the signs given by the Lord Jesus Christ who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11). Speaking with tongues is the “pure language”.

The Pure Language must come from the Holy Spirit:
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:26-28) The “groanings which cannot be uttered” when the Holy Spirit “makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” is the “pure language” given by the Holy Spirit.

The Pure Language is used for speaking to God in the Spirit
“For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” (1 Cor. 14:2) “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” (1 Cor. 14:14-15) The “pure language” is a prayer language.

The Pure Language may sound like Rivers of Living Water
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Jn. 7:37-39) “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (Rev. 19:6) When a Spirit-filled congregation prays in the spiritual tongue in one accord it may sound like “rivers of living water.”

The Pure Language is given by God in the New Birth
“Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (Jn. 3:5-8) The “pure language” may have the sound of the wind and you “cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.” (ref. Acts 2:2-4)

The Pure Language is the Perfected Praise of God
“and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you never read, "Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise'?" (Mt. 21:16)  When Christians experience the New Birth they speak “a pure language” like “babes and nursing infants” learning to speak a new language. Speaking with tongues is “perfected praise.”

The Pure Language may sound like Stammering Lips
Isaiah prophesied:“For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, To whom He said, "This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest," And, "This is the refreshing"; Yet they would not hear.” (Isa. 28:11-12) The apostle Paul quoted Isaiah's prophecy to explain that “stammering lips and another tongue” refers to the Pentecostal experience of speaking with tongues (1 Cor. 14:21-22).

The Pure Language gives Christians Rest and Refreshing
The “pure language” “is "the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest," (Isa. 28:11-12). The Lord Jesus Christ has promised to give Christians “rest”. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Mt. 11:28-30) “So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn. 20:21-22)  

           The Truth about the Restoration of “a Pure Language”

"For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD הוה), , To serve Him with one accord.” (Zep. 3:9)

The first time that God gave His people the “pure language” of speaking with tongues was on the Day of Pentecostal which was in the First Century. As the centuries passed the Church declined in spirituality, and as a result the “pure language” was lost. Zephaniah prophesied the “pure language” would be restored in the End Time. Joel's prophecy of the Former and Latter Rains indicates the two periods of God's outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We are now living in the End Time and God has restored the “Pure Language” so that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can worship our heavenly Father in spirit and truth by calling on the “name of the LORD  (יהוה) , To serve Him with one accord.” (Jn. 4:23-24; Zep. 3:9)
The  Pure  Language  of  God

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This article is a Presentation of Paul Wong
for discussion in the ARK Forum on July 9, 2012
For comments please write to: arkwriterpw@gmail.com