Bible Question:

Can you tell me about Zion and its meaning and history in the Bible? Basically, what is it? Thanks for any help you can offer.

Bible Answer:

Jerusalem is a city of four hills and valleys. The city itself sits about 2,500 ft (762m) above sea level.

Four Hills

The Mount of Olives is on the east side of Jerusalem. If one were to look to the west from the Mount of Olives, one would see Mount Moriah on which sits the Temple Mount. Between these two hills is the Kidron Valley. Continuing to the west of the Temple Mount is Mount Zion. Mount Zion was the largest hill on which the city of Jerusalem was built. This explains why it is called “Upper Hill.” To the south of Mount Zion lies the Valley of Hinnom. Beyond the Hinnom Valley are the newer parts of Jerusalem. The fourth hill is called Mount Scopus and it is to the north of the Mount of Olives.

Kidron Valley and Mt. of Olives Hinnom Valley and Mt. Zion
Kidron Valley and Mt. of Olives               Hinnom Valley and Mt. Zion

Mount Zion

Mount Zion was the first spot on which buildings of the city of Jerusalem were built. From there the city expanded outward. As a result, the name Zion came to include the entire city of Jerusalem along with the temple. It is here that King David built his palace. In the Psalms God tells us that He installed the king of Israel upon Zion, built up the city, and glorified Himself. God highly values Zion.

But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain (NASB) Ps. 2:6

For the LORD has built up Zion; He has appeared in His glory. (NASB) Ps 102:16

May the LORD bless you from Zion, He who made heaven and earth. (NASB) Ps 134:3

Conclusion:

There is another picture of Mt. Zion with the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount at this site. It is presented as part of our study in Revelation. Mt. Zion is the place where Jesus will reign during His 1,000 year kingdom on the earth, and from where He will meet and talk with us face-to-face. God loves us and some day those who believe in Jesus Christ will live with Him forever.