What is Zion ?
Zion refers to the Biblical land of Israel – Jerusalem, where God dwells among his people. Reality emerges from Zion. Zion is located in Holy of Holies of First, Second and Third Temple. Zion was surrounded by valleys on all three sides. According to bible it was the City of David. The mountain near to Jerusalem is called Mount Zion on which Jebusite fortress stood. Zion designates the area of Jerusalem where the fortress stood. It later became a metonym for Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. In Hebrew Bible Zion appears 154 times.The scriptural texts define Zion as a hill. The Zion also means an ideal place (Utopia).
People consider the hill in Jerusalem as Daughter of Zion. The meaning of Zion has totally changed from what it was 3000 years ago. Later the word denoted the people of Israel. Mount Zion at present stands for a hill which lie south to Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter. Zion is also considered as a sacred land. It also symbolizes a place similar to heaven, where all people live in harmony, a land which is free from all sufferings. Most commonly the word Zion is subjected to theological use. According to Rastafarians Zion is situated in Africa. The Rastas consider them as the children of Israel. Black slaves of America consider it as a desire for a homeland which is safe.
In the 1830s a metaphoric transformation of the term Zion took place in the Latter Day Saints movement. This movement originated in United States. Zion is the special place where millennial church members gather together to live peacefully.
In 1890 Nathan Birnbaum derived Zionism from the word Zion in his journal Selbstemanzipation. Political movements in 1897 was called Zionism. Zion, the Old City of Jerusalem was not even the part of Israel until 1967.