Mount Zion in the Bible
הַר צִיוֹן

Besides being popular in scriptural reference, Zion is described as being quite adored by the Almighty, such as in Psalms 78:68, “He chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which He loved,” and again in Psalms 87:2, “The L‑rd loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.”

Where or What Is Zion?

The first few times that Zion is mentioned, the verse actually gives another piece of identification of the fortress of Zion: “It is the city of David” (II Samuel 5:7, I Kings 8:1), which is the area in Jerusalem where King David established his kingdom.

In other places, such as in the verse, “Mount Zion on which You dwelt, the reference is to the presence of G‑d in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The same is true of the verse in Isaiah 2:3: “For out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the L‑rd from Jerusalem.” The idea of Torah coming from Zion is a reference to the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court, which held court in the Temple. Generally, however, Zion refers to the city of Jerusalem, (and is used in conjunction with Jerusalem), and the entire Land of Israel, and metonymically, to the Jewish people. Thus, G‑d tells the prophet Isaiah, “And I placed My words into your mouth . . . to say to Zion that you are My people.”

The same is true of the expression “daughter of Zion,” which is a title of endearment that G‑d uses about Jerusalem and the Jewish people, the inhabitants of the land of Zion. Similarly, in Lamentations 4:2, the Jewish people are referred to as “the sons of Zion.”

The importance of Zion can be seen in a sampling of some of the many texts that mention it

Zechariah:8:3 Thus saith the LORD: I return unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.


Isaiah:4:5 And the LORD will create over the whole habitation of mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy.


Isaiah:8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me shall be for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwelleth in mount Zion.

Isaiah:24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His elders shall be Glory.


Isaiah:29:8 And it shall be as when a hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth, but he awaketh, and his soul is empty; or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh, but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite--so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.


Isaiah:31:4 For thus saith the LORD unto me: Like as the lion, or the young lion, growling over his prey, though a multitude of shepherds be called forth against him, will not be dismayed at their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them; so will the LORD of hosts come down to fight upon mount Zion, and upon the hill thereof.


Isaiah:37:32 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of mount Zion they that shall escape; the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall perform this.


Joel:3:5 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as the LORD hath said, and among the remnant those whom the LORD shall call.


Obadiah:1:17 But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.


Obadiah:1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.


Micah:4:7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a mighty nation; and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from thenceforth even for ever.


Psalms:48:3 The fairest of sites,  joy of the entire earth is Mount Zion


Psalms:48:12 Let mount Zion be glad, let the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of Thy judgments.


Psalms:74:2 Remember Thy congregation, which Thou hast gotten of old, which Thou hast redeemed to be the tribe of Thine inheritance; {N} and mount Zion, wherein Thou hast dwelt.

Psalms:125:1 A song of ascents. Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which will not falter but will abide forever.

Psalms 132:13 For the Lord has chosen Zion, He has chosen it as his habitation, This is My resting place forever and ever, here I will dwell for I have desired it.

Another view of the Old city including Mount Zion

View of Mount Zion from the Mount of Olives, By Berthold Werner - wikimedia

Above:  Mt. Zion, looking north, a view from Abu Tor

Jerusalem Museum model of Herod's Jerusalem - south side,
with Mount Zion area circled yellow. Photo courtesy of

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