Glimpses of Israel - Mt Zion

by Joseph H Hunting

King David had reigned in Hebron for 7 ½ years before he captured Jerusalem which had been the Jebusite stronghold, also known as Zion. In those days, because of its situation, Zion was almost impregnable.

Today there is very little, if any, evidence of a separate Mount Zion, but in David's time there were three distinct mountains in the region. On the north was Mount Moriah and just south of it was located Mount Zion. To the east was the Mount of Olives separated from Mount Zion by the Kidron Valley and to the south and west the Hinnom Valley.

The Psalms especially extol the glory of Zion and the deep love of the people for their capital. "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King ... Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined" (Psalm 48:1-2; 50:2). These are but two examples.

When Solomon built his magnificent Temple on Mount Moriah the Ark of God was transferred from Mount Zion to its place in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. Thereafter Zion became synonymous with Jerusalem. Indeed, the land of Israel together with the people of Israel later became synonymous with Zion as well. "For the LORD shall COMFORT Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD ... I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people" (Isaiah 51:3,16).