ZION
All scriptural references are from the Darby Translation, unless otherwise noted

 

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Zion (pronounced zye-on; long "i", short "o")
It is first mentioned in the Bible at 2 Samuel 5:7 where it is referred to as the City of David (see also 1 Kings 8:1, 1 Chronicles 11:5, 2 Chronicles 5:2), making Zion synonymous with Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:5-9).

Many people confuse the Bible term "The City of David" between the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, because both cities are referred to as "David's city" in Scripture: Jerusalem is called "The City of David" because David invaded the Jebusites, who occupied Jerusalem, and ousted them (2 Samuel 5:5-9), and Bethlehem is referred to as "The City of David" because Joseph, stepfather to Jesus, was a native of Bethlehem and a member of David's descendants (Luke 2:4). David's own father was also born in Bethlehem, and apparently so was David (1 Samuel 17:12, 15).

Originally, the city of Jerusalem was named Salem (Genesis 14:18)(KJV, NIV)and was referred to as such by the Psalmist; although, by that time its name had been lengthened to "Jerusalem"(compare the city names at Psalm 76:2, with Joshua 10:1)(KJV, NIV). Salem was identified with the Melchizedek priesthood (Genesis 14:18, Hebrews 7:1-3) (KJV, NIV). It is fitting that our God would choose Jerusalem to be his chosen holy city, for "Salem" means "Peace" (Hebrews 7:2).

 

IMPORTANCE OF ZION

How important was Jerusalem / Zion to Israel? Almighty God Himself chose Zion to be the hub of true worship (1 Kings 14:21), thus His temple was located there (Psalm 68:29, Mark 11:11).

Interestingly enough, the location of His temple was also the location of:
1. Mount Moriah, where God tested Abraham's faith (Genesis 22:2-14).
2 .
The Threshing Floor of Araunah (a.k.a. Ornan - 1 Chronicles 21:15), where God halted the Angel of Pestilence (2 Samuel 24:15-16).
(The Threshing Floor and Mount Moriah are tied together at 2 Chronicles 3:1)
3. It was the same spot where God instructed David to give a sacrifice (2 Samuel 24:18-19).

Is is no coincidence that these all occurred in the same area: Remember, it was GOD who led Abraham to Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:2), it was GOD who stopped the Angel at the Threshing Floor (2 Samuel 24:16), and it was GOD who ordered David to give a sacrifice at this spot (2 Samuel 24:18-19) This particular parcel of land had been God's special area for quite some time.

Because the hub of worship was centered in Jerusalem, the Israelites made special efforts to go to Jerusalem for important occasions, such as the Passover observation (Luke 2:41, John 11:55), the Festival of Dedication / Hanukkah (John 10:22) ( Footnotes of HSCB, and NIV; Text of NLT,and Message,), and other rituals according to the Jewish Law (Luke 2:27).

Jerusalem was located in the region of Judah (Joshua 15:63), and interestingly enough the lineage of the kings descended through the line of Judah (Matthew 1:1-16).

 

MOUNT ZION

Because Zion had great importance as a worship center and a place of kings, God used Zion to illustrate His heavenly Kingdom: Since earthly Jerusalem was Zion, then Heavenly Jerusalem was referred to as the elevated Mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22). This is supported in the fact that Bible prophecy speak of Almighty God as being the King residing on Mount Zion (Isaiah 8:18, Isaiah 24:23, Obadiah 1:21, Micah 4:7). Scripture also says that upon Christ's enthronement, he is also seen to be atop Mount Zion (Revelation 14:1). Mount Zion is referred to as being the place of the name of Jehovah/Yahweh (Isaiah 18:7).

Just as spiritual Mount Zion is related to the spiritual tribe of Judah (Psalm 48:11, 78:68), so too, was the physical city of Zion / Jerusalem related to the physical region of Judah (Joshua 15:63).

It is worth noting that earthly Jerusalem was simply a physical copy of the spiritual Jerusalem in Heaven (Hebrews 8:5, 9:24)(CEV, NIV). According to Scripture, Mount Zion will endure forever (Psalm 125:1), for it is a place of refuge for God's faithful followers (Joel 2:32).

New Jerusalem / Mount Zion, will come to earth, a merging of the heavenly with the earthly, when God's Kingdom comes (Ezekiel 37:26-28, Revelation 3:12-13, Revelation 21:1-4).

 

CONCLUSION

It wasn't a mere accident that God's holy temple was located in the city of Jerusalem. The location had been historically significant from as far back as King Melchizedek, and continues to figure prominently in prophecy today. The earthly Jerusalem is simply a foreshadowing of Heavenly Jerusalem, which will merge with earth after Christ's second coming.

May we all find peace with God as we await this magnificent event!

 


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