Who, What or Where Is Zion?
"And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, "You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off" - thinking, "David cannot come in here." Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David ... And David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. And David built the city round about from the Millo inward. And David became greater and greater, for The Lord, the God of hosts, was with him." (2 Samuel 5:6-7,9-10 RSV)
The History and The Future of Zion
After David captured Zion from the Jebusites, his citadel and palace became "the city of David." Located on the south-eastern hill of Jerusalem, it was mostly surrounded by defensive valleys, the Tyropoeon Valley, the Kidron Valley and the Valley Of Hinnom.
The meaning of Zion has grown tremendously from David's time 3,000 years ago, from the physical place where a conquering Israelite king established his home for the benefit of his people, to a spiritual place where another conquering King will establish His home for the benefit of all people.
- When David's successor, his son Solomon, moved The Ark Of The Covenant, containing the The Ten Commandments to the new Temple (see Temples) on nearby Mount Moriah (popularly known today as The Temple Mount), the name Zion was extended to include the Temple (1 Kings 8:1, Isaiah 8:18)
- In later times of the kings (see Kings of Israel and Judah), the term Zion came to be used for all of Jerusalem (e.g. 2 Kings 19:21), and then further for the Israelite people themselves (e.g. Isaiah 33:14)
- And then, in reference to The Messiah for all people, of all nations:
"And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to The Mount Of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass." (Matthew 21:1-5 RSV)
"Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:25-26 RSV)
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel" (Hebrews 12:22-24 RSV)
Fact Finder: Who is the "daughter of Zion"?
See Daughter of Zion