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What the Bible says about Zion
(From Forerunner Commentary)

"Judah" is often opposed to "Israel" (Hosea 11:12), which indicates that some prophecies should be applied separately to the Jews. Other words used to name Judah are "Ariel" (Isaiah 29:1), "tabernacle of David" (Amos 9:11), "Oholibah" (Ezekiel 23:4), and "Zion" (Isaiah 1:8).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
What's in a Name?

Related Topics: Judah | Oholibah | Zion


"Zion" may stand for Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9), the church (Isaiah 40:9), or both (Zechariah 1:17)! At other times, a prophecy written to an ancient people (the antitype) will also apply to a modern people (the type), so great care needs to be taken when assigning prophecies to particular peoples. As in all cases of trying to understand the Bible, read the prophecy in its context to determine its subject, time frame, and purpose.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
What's in a Name?

Related Topics: Church, The | Jerusalem | Zion


Psalm 2:6

"My holy hill of Zion" refers to the establishment of the government of God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What I Believe About Conspiracy Theories

Related Topics: God's Government | Government of God | Zion


Psalm 133:3

The theme of descending continues from the previous verse. The dew descends from Mount Hermon upon the mountains of Zion. Hermon, in the Ante-Lebanon range, is the highest point in the north of Palestine. Zion, in Judea, is far to the south. As in verse 2, in which the oil runs from the top of Aaron's head all the way down to the hem of his skirt, this is another "top to bottom" image. If we imagine Palestine aso a body, Hermon is at the "head," and the dew flows all the way down to Zion near the "feet," covering the whole land.

The word Hermon means "devoted" or "sanctified"—holy. It was another holy mountain, and it looks like one too. Its 9,000-feet-high peak is perpetually snowcapped and can be seen from miles away. It is a majestic mountain, picture-postcard perfect, a fitting place to represent God. (As an aside, some scholars think Hermon is the mount where Christ was transfigured, where He revealed His glory to His disciples.)

There is another good reason why David chose Hermon as the place from which the water descended down into Zion. Zion, of course, is a pointed, symbolic reference to the church of God. In Zion, members of the church are all brethren, and this dew, a metaphor for unity, symbolic of the Holy Spirit, descends down to us from the majestic heights of the holy mountain, representing the Head, Jesus Christ.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Psalm 133

Related Topics: Dew of Hermon | Holiness | Holy | Zion


Isaiah 30:19-21

For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem - He will regather people out of their captivity.

You shall weep no more - Jeremiah tells us they come back weeping (Jeremiah 31:9), but they will soon have cause to cease their crying.

He will be very gracious unto you at the voice of your cry - In Nehemiah, when the people cried out to Him, He rescued them. He sent deliverers, saviors, to them.

When He shall hear it, He will answer you - How did He answer Israel's prayers historically? He answered by sending a Moses or a Joshua. He will follow the same pattern during the Millennium.

Yet shall not your teachers be removed into a corner any more - The "Moses" or the "Joshua" will not die and be replaced by somebody inferior.

But your eyes shall see your teachers - This is an expression of longevity, as their teachers will be eternal.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing to Be a Priest

Isaiah 40:9-18

God commands Zion (a type of the church) to lift up its voice to reveal Him to the people. In His ensuing description of Himself, God proclaims Himself as the almighty, all-wise Creator. He has such incomparable power and wisdom that the combined might and intelligence of all nations are as nothing before Him. In our childish vanity, we think of ourselves as being of some account, but we are so insignificant that, compared to Him, all humanity combined is less than nothing and worthless! Considering this testimony, whose law should take precedence—God's or man's?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sixth Commandment (Part 2): War! (1997)

Amos 6:1

Zion is often used as a symbol of God's church. Is the Laodicean at ease within the church? He is surely not at ease when he has an opportunity to make money! He will work all day and all night to fatten his purse. He loves to pursue his distracting hobbies and interests. But God spits him out in disgust! He is distasteful to God like lukewarm water, unable to be used for any real, spiritual, eternal purpose! The Laodicean, according to Amos, puts his trust in his own wealth and power, his nation and its leaders. Where is his trust in God?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The World, the Church, and Laodiceanism

Zephaniah 1:12

Pictured as holding aloft a lamp as He walks, God searches through the city—Jerusalem, Zion—shining a light to reveal everyone to His judgment. No one escapes the judgment of God. Who is He looking for in particular? He looks for complacent men, like the Laodicean. Just as Hosea uses wine to illustrate the principle (Hosea 4:6, 11-12), Zephaniah also mentions wine though it is obscured in the translation: the words "settled in complacency" are literally "settled on their lees" like the dregs of wine (cf. the footnote on this verse, NKJV)!

Again, the prophet speaks of a prosperous people who had deluded themselves into believing that their physical wealth meant that they were equally rich spiritually. As the years passed, their relationship with God had diminished into lip service and complacency. When God describes them saying things "in their heart," He means a reasoning process that happens internally. A person could not see it with his eyes, but the attitude cannot be hidden from the Judge walking the city with the lamp of truth.

In today's parlance we call their problem "sins of omission." Like the Laodicean, the religious Jew of that day was not on the streets committing horrible crimes like murder or rape or armed robbery. These verses speak about the thousands and thousands of ordinary people who were stagnant and indifferent toward their relationship with God. Their problem was not what they did, but what they did not do.

Nor does God accuse the Laodicean of the more apparent sins in Revelation 3. He is angry with him because of what he is not doing! He is not a true and faithful witness, and indeed cannot be, because of his poor judgment in prioritizing his life. In focusing on his selfish pursuits and self-centeredness, he leaves God almost completely out of his life. Still, he bears the name of God, attends Sabbath services, and at least in a superficial way, worships God on the Sabbath. Yet the relationship is growing cold as he fails to seek Him earnestly as in courtship.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The World, the Church, and Laodiceanism

Find more Bible verses about Zion:
Zion {Nave's}

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