what does Zion mean?


Well-Known Member
I'm reading the Psalms again and this time I wanted to ask what did Zion stand for in the Old Testament.

In reflecting the Old Testament when we read Zion in passages in the bible what does it mean now in our lives in relation to Christ?

seemed kind of silly for me to ask, but I don't want to just read and not know.

Thank you, Linda


Staff member
Zion has two possibly literal meanings. Some believe it comes from a Hebrew root meaning "barren place" or "desert". Others point equally to an ancient Semitic word that means "fortified" or "protected". Certainly it is referred to as a "fortified place" in its first mention in the Bible— 2 Samuel 5:7. Given that there is no barrenness with God but that He is a strong tower, I lean to the latter definition.

It was originally the name of a location but then came to refer to the people chosen by God, Israel.(Isaiah 60:14) In the New Testament it refers physically to Israel and her inhabitants (John 12:15; Matthew 21:5; Romans 9:33, 11:26) and spiritually to the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 14:1) of which Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone. (1 Peter 2:6)

Personally, I find it interesting that in Hebrew the word "Zion" begins with the letter צ ( "tzadde" or "tzaddek") and in Hebrew a "tzaddek" is a "righteous soul". Therefore the beginning, the foundation, of Zion is "a righteous soul" ... and we all know there is only ONE righteous— Jesus Christ.
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Well-Known Member
When I was a kid, I thought a "zion" was some kind of lion! :lol:

But as I got older, I found out that while Zion wasn't a lion, Zion does have a lion watching over it; the Lion of Judah. And the day is coming when that mighty Lion will come to aid the nation He chose, and wipe away those that threaten her.