What Is The True Meaning of Zion?
Western academic scholars refer to Zion in several ways. One is as a specific mountain near Jerusalem where a Jebusite fortress had stood, which was conquered by King David and was then named the City of David. The name and term Zion then came to designate the area of Jerusalem where the fortress stood.
However, Zion is also meant to designate the Temple Mount where King Solomon's Temple was in Jerusalem, which reveals that Zion is a symbol for that which is the essence or spiritual center of the people of Israel.
That is consistent with the books of the Torah and Tanakh, though, because while there are references to Zion as a material place or city or mountain or land, there are also references to it as symbol for that which is not material, but an aspect of the spiritual Source-Creator.
Zion is also a symbol for liberation and freedom, but that has been somewhat misunderstood because the ancient books of the Jewish Hebrew Bible or Tanakh are somewhat confusing about it.
For example, when Zion is first mentioned in the book of Samuel, Zion was called the City of King David. Chronicles states that David took the castle of Zion, which became the city of David. Then the book of Kings repeats that Zion is the City of David.
King David himself wrote that The Lord dwells in Zion, in Jerusalem, and Isaiah foresaw Zion as a besieged city. Other Jewish authors and prophets refer to Zion, and the Christian books of Matthew, John, Paul and Peter do too. The book of Revelation even tells us that while John was in the spiritual realm, he saw "the Lamb standing on Mount Zion."
However, in the book of Psalms, King David wrote of his reality and vision, that "The Lord dwells in Zion," and that Israel’’s "salvation shall come out of Zion," which "abides forever."
Therefore, we can conclude that David regarded Zion as Isaiah did, as the "high and holy place where God inhabits eternity."
That is no doubt why David wrote that salvation comes only from God, and that "there is no salvation in the son of man."
Moreover, David also wrote: "But of Zion it shall be said: 'This man and that was born in her; and the most high [Lord of lords and Lord of hosts] shall establish her.’’"
David’s reference to Zion as a source of salvation, and as a female who "gives birth," is synonymous with "The Bride, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven," as referenced in John’’s book of Revelation.
As is discussed in the article on The Crusades for Jerusalem and the article on The Bridegroom Lamb of God, what John called the "Bride and New Jerusalem," which John saw when he was carried away in spirit to a "great and high mountain," is Zion, and it is also the "Daughter of Zion."
That concept is related to Solomon’s concept of Wisdom as a female aspect or reflection of God:
"Wisdom is beneficent and kind. She is the aura of the power of God, the radiance of the eternal Divine Light, a spotless mirror of God. She renews all things, and passing into holy souls from age to age, She produces friends of God and prophets. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her. And Wisdom is far better than weapons of war." –– The Book of Wisdom
Most religious Jews, Christians and Muslims have not understood that, because even though the terms are mentioned repeatedly in the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, it is apparently not clear enough. It must be explained, which is why all the Jewish prophets, including Jesus, foresaw and foretold that it would be explained in due time.
Zion as the Symbol for Freedom and Liberation
The Jewish longing for Zion, starting with the deportation and enslavement of Jews during the Babylonian captivity, was adopted by Jews who had scattered throughout Europe in the Great Diaspora following their crushing defeat by the Romans in 66 C.E., when the Jewish Temple of Solomon was destroyed.
Ever since then, many religious Jews have been clinging to what is written in the book of Psalms, such as: "By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion." "For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song ... [but] How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" And "The Lord builds up Jerusalem, and gathers together the outcast of Israel. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion."
That concept of Zion was not just Jewish, though. Christian Black slaves in America found comfort in it, and they held on to it even after the Civil War, when they were technically "free" but still oppressed and persecuted. And Zion came to symbolize a longing by oppressed peoples, and by exiles or refugees or wandering peoples who longed for a safe homeland.
For others, however, it has taken on a more spiritual meaning —— a safe spiritual homeland, like in heaven, or a kind of personal peace of mind and state of being —— which is what it really is.
In the esoteric mystical tradition of Jewish Kabbalah and its Western offshoot Qabalah, reference to Zion is with regard to the spiritual source from which material reality emanates into "The Tree of Life." That is mentioned in the book of Revelation as yielding "12 manner of fruits," and its "leaves are for the healing of nations." (And that Tree of Life is not a literal tree, but is symbolized by ten spheres of emanation, and within, between and around those ten spheres are 32 connecting and related principles, also known as the paths of Wisdom.)
This speaks of spiritual revelation and knowledge that can come only from within, however, and no amount of effort or logic or reasoning or study can attain it. It is a spiritual gift that comes when you least expect it.
Unfortunately, what we know generally as "Zionism" has little or nothing to do with that. It generally has to do with materialistic concerns.
The term Zionism was coined by German and Austrian Jews in the late 1800s, and Zionism as a political movement was started in 1897. It was initiated to advocate and support a "return to the national homeland" in Palestine for the Jewish people.
In the years leading up to the First World War the Zionist movement gathered steam, and many were caught up in it because of the rhetoric. For example, a military recruitment poster picturing a woman as "The Daughter of Zion" called Jews to arms, saying: "Your Old New Land must have you! Join the Jewish Regiment."
The Zionist movement in Europe was largely responsible for prompting the United Nations to establish a Partition Plan for Palestine and authorize a Jewish State of Israel in 1948, and its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, stated that "God promised it to us."
Of course, Ben-Gurion thought he was doing the right thing. However, we have plainly seen the painful consequences of that theocratic attitude. And, even though Israeli Zionists and American Christian Zionists use that materialistic concept of Zion and Zionism to justify themselves, conveniently linking all Jewish people to the land of ancient Israel, the modern Zionist movement is largely secular and actually has little to do with the Torah and Tanakh of the ancient Jews.
Granted, several of the ancient Jewish prophets did indeed "see" the return of Jews to Jerusalem and the Mid-East from various "islands" and places around the world. However, some of what the government of the modern State of Israel has been doing since 1948 has little to do with God.
God wants the people of Israel to live in peace and in harmony with her neighbors, by treating them as if they were brothers and sisters, and children of God. God wants all of us to love one another, respect one another, and care for one another.
God wants all of us to seek the Light of Wisdom that is within us, which, as Solomon said, is far better than the weapons of war for making peace.
That kind of Wisdom is beneficent and kind. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. And peace cannot be "won" by waging war. It must be made, by confessing our offenses, reconciling our differences, and making amends.
In the final analysis, Jews need to understand that the logic of using isolated words of their prophets to claim the absolute and exclusive right to the land they have taken is flawed.
By that logic, the Native American Indian tribes and "first nations" of North, Central and South America would have the right to reclaim their ancestral homelands, control all the land, and dislocate any European Americans from the land and property the Native American Indians might want to take back.
Needless to say, that would not be fair to European Americans, especially those whose ancestors have lived in the Western Hemisphere or "New World" for generations. Therefore it was not fair for European Jews to move in to Palestine, ignore the rights of Palestinians to their homes and land, and make them refugees. (And that is why it is important to learn and consider the history of Zionism as discussed in the article on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.)
Furthermore, even though there are Hebrew books in the Tanakh that would lead us to believe it, the notion that Jews are "God’s chosen people" and therefore a favored race and nation is an egocentric and ethnocentric notion that has no place in the modern world. Jews are our fellow human beings, and we are all children of God. The God of Israel is the same God of all the world’s religions. They each may have a different, man-made concept of God, but all truly Divine inspiration and revelation comes from the same Source, which is God by any other name.
Even though that is not apparent or clear by reading the Christian Bible as we know it, one of the main aspects of the mission of the Jewish son of man, Jesus of Nazareth, was to develop and expand Judaism so that it would become less ethnocentric.
That is why the teachings of Jesus were so similar to that of the Buddha Gautama. It is why Jesus spoke as a Hindu Avatar, speaking as and for the Holy One that is within, around and above us all. And it is why, according to the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Jesus taught concepts very similar to those of Lao Tzu in the Book of Tao.
The Fulfillment of Real Prophecy
"Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness." –– Isaiah 1:27
Zion (as the City of David) shall be redeemed with justice, but only after she (Israel) acknowledges and accepts the promised righteous judgment. For modern Israel and Jerusalem has been ruled by many spiritually blind people who have committed many crimes against humanity and are guilty of terrible iniquity. And Israel’s iniquity will not be pardoned by God or the world until she repents, and makes amends.
"For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord." –– Isaiah 2:3
Out of Zion (as the Bride and New Jerusalem, which is of the Spirit of truth), shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord, revisited by the modern son of man who bears righteous testimony as a witness and servant of God.
"And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion ... when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from its midst, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of destruction." –– Isaiah 4:3-4
"So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the West, and his glory from the rising of the sun. For distress will come in like a flood ... And a redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, as the Lord says. And the Lord says this is my covenant with them; My spirit that is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from you ... or from your posterity, henceforth and for ever." –– Isaiah 59:19-21
"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for [New] Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her triumph goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a torch. And the nations shall see your triumph, and all kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall mark out. ... You shall no more be termed Forsaken [or rejected], nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called, My delight is in Her, and your land, Espoused; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be espoused. For as a young man espouses a virgin, so shall your sons espouse you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." –– Isaiah 62:1-5
"Come, I will show you the bride, the [Bridegroom] Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." (Revelations 21:9-10)
"And I John saw the holy city of God, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelations 21:2)
The "holy city" and the "bride" are appropriate symbols for Zion, and for the greatest spiritual gift God can bestow upon a son of man. That is why in an earlier chapter (in Revelation 3:12) John reported that the spirit-soul or ghost of Jesus said this:
"Upon him who overcomes will I will write the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God. And I will write upon him my new name."
Thus, according to Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them, and according to Isaiah 62:2 and Revelation 3:12, he who overcomes, the modern son of man, serves in the new name of the Lord.
However, the title of "Lord" is used for both men and God, and God is the Lord of Lords and the Lord of hosts.
The "new name of the Lord" mentioned in Isaiah 62:2 and Revelation 3:12 is the new name for the Ancient One who is in heaven with God.
The Ancient One is the original soul, the Oversoul, who was before Abraham and was represented by Jesus of Nazareth to redeem Adam and advance from the cycles or rebirth into this realm, to graduate to everlasting life in heaven. And He is an eternal soul who is now and shall always be in heaven with God.
The new name of that Lord and soul is Jehoshuah, the Liberator, and the modern son of man is His chosen servant and messenger, and a servant of God the Lord of all hosts.
The modern son of man is from your midst and of your brethren. Like John, he has witnessed the Holy One in New Jerusalem on that great mountain Zion. He was called and he was chosen to deliver the spirit of judgment, as prophesied by many prophets, not only of Judaism and Christianity, but of all the genuine religions of Man.
That judgment, in part, clarifies that the spirit of destruction has come down upon humanity not because it is God’’s will, but because it is the karmic consequence of Man’’s vain folly, pride, arrogance, offensiveness, and foolishness. And, unfortunately, the rain, like the sunshine, falls on the good and the bad alike.
That judgment is relevant and appropriate, regardless of religion, race, or nationality. It is a universal judgment.
That judgment tells us how and why the humble, gentle, kind, peaceful, loving majority shall indeed inherit the earth, just as soon as the divisive trouble makers get the message.