The Mountains of God: Mount Zion (2024)

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Though it started out as the stronghold of the Jebusites on the eastern slope of Jerusalem which King David conquered (2 Samuel 5:7), Mount Zion became the city of David, Jerusalem, which expanded to include the Temple Mount. For this reason, both Jerusalem and Zion are called the mountain of God.

In the last days, the mountain of Yahweh’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For Yahweh’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2,3)

And Yahweh is not ashamed to call Zion/Jerusalem His dwelling place in both His people and His temple:

Remember the nation you purchased long ago, the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed— Mount Zion, where you dwelt. (Psalm 74:2)

His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion. (Psalm 76:2)

Here am I, and the children Yahweh has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from Yahweh Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion. (Isaiah 8:18)

But from the perspective of God’s omnipresence and rulership over all the earth, Zion and the temple is His footstool, the place He rests His feet from His throne in heaven.

King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, for thefootstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. (1 Chronicles 28:2)

How Yahweh has covered Daughter Zion with the cloud of his anger! He has hurled down the splendor of Israel from heaven to earth; he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger. (Lamentations 2:1)

The beauty and perfection of Yahweh’s mountain is extolled.

From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. (Psalm 50:2)

Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King. (Psalm 48:2)

I will destroy Daughter Zion, so beautiful and delicate. (Jeremiah 6:2)

But as we must see, as much as Jerusalem/Zion must be praised as “the holy mountain” where “stands the city founded by Yahweh” (Psalm 87:1), she, “Virgin Daughter Zion” (Isaiah 37:22), does not remain that righteous abode, finding herself under Yahweh’s judgment:

I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child— the cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands and saying, “Alas! I am fainting; my life is given over to murderers.” (Jeremiah 4:31) She is a sympathetic character, to be sure, but…

Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, ‘This is what Yahweh Almighty says: “Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.”(Jeremiah 26:18)

There is rebellion in Zion. Yahweh will depart from His abode because of her sinfulness:

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” (Isaiah 49:14)

Judgment comes from an invading army and the captivity of Zion’s inhabitants:

He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden; he has destroyed his place of meeting. Yahweh has made Zion forget her appointed festivals and her Sabbaths; in his fierce anger he has spurned both king and priest. (Lamentations 2:6)

Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There Yahweh will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies. (Micah 4:10)

Yes, God will not entirely forsake His people nor His temple. People are praying for her and God’s promise will be fulfilled:

I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with Yahweh my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain. (Daniel 9:20)

Your punishment will end, Daughter Zion; he will not prolong your exile. But he will punish your sin, Daughter Edom, and expose your wickedness. (Lamentations 4:22)

Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive. (Isaiah 52:2)

But there is yet a future glory for Zion, God’s holy mountain, when Messiah comes to conduct a mighty conflagration against the man of lawlessness who has captured Zion:

This is what Yahwehsays to me: “As a lion growls, a great lion over its prey— and though a whole band of shepherds is called together against it, it is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamor— so Yahweh Almighty will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights. (Isaiah 31:4)

Yahweh will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But Yahweh will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Then you will know that I, Yahweh your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. (Joel 3:16,17)

The children of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of Yahweh, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:14)

And now Yahweh says: I am returning to Mount Zion, and I will live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City; the mountain of Yahweh of Heaven’s Armies will be called the Holy Mountain. (Zechariah 8:3)

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)

This will be the Zion of the millennium (Revelation 20). And at the end of the millennium the heavenly Zion, the one that served as model for the earthly Zion, will come to earth to serve as the forever home of the triune God and His people:

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly. (Hebrews 12:22)

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion city of our God.

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