Journey Through The Scriptures

Mountains and Waters of Israel

Lesson 4: Zion, The “City of David”

(Scripture to Read: Psalm 125:1–126:6; Joel 2:32; Micah 4:7)

Mount Zion is one of the largest, oldest, and most significant sites in Israel. This mountain, which is the southeastern hill of the city of Jerusalem, was a Jebusite fortress that King David captured over 3,000 years ago and made his capital. Mount Zion became so identified with David that it was called the “city of David,” and is believed by many to be his final resting place. Mount Zion was also considered to be the dwelling place of God – perhaps because it is the tallest locale in Jerusalem, looking out over the entire city.

As the verses above show, the name Zion came to be used not only of Jerusalem, but of Israel herself. The Bible is full of references to Mount Zion, with the name appearing over 150 times in the Tanakh, or Bible. The meaning of the term is uncertain – it may mean “stronghold” – but there is no doubt about God’s promises concerning Israel as represented by Zion. God promises to pour out His blessing on His people from Mount Zion, and that it will stand in strength forever. The Bible also speaks of the Lord forming a wall of protection around those who live in Zion. It is easy to see why this mountain holds such an important place in the Bible and in Israel.

Study Questions

  1. Why did the Lord choose to "dwell" on Mount Zion?
  2. What symbolism is there in the fact that Mount Zion is the tallest point in Jerusalem?
  3. In what ways do the words of Psalm 125 give peace and comfort to God's people today?
  4. Both Joel and Micah prophesy a future day when the remnants of Israel will return to Mount Zion – speaking of the Holy Land – and come under God’s protection. What can we do to support this prophesied ingathering of Israel?

Something to Think About

Many times the Bible uses objects such as mountains to symbolize the power of God. The picture of Mount Zion towering over Jerusalem paints a strong word portrait of a powerful, all-knowing God who cares about His people and watches over them from a superior vantage point. Spend a few minutes thanking God that He is ever watchful over His people today.