Zion

Zion

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Zion (also transliterated
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

 Sion, Tzion or Tsion) is a place name often used as a synonym for Jerusalem. The word is first found in Samuel
Books of Samuel
The Books of Samuel in the Jewish bible are part of the Former Prophets, , a theological history of the Israelites affirming and explaining the Torah under the guidance of the prophets.Samuel begins by telling how the prophet Samuel is chosen by...

 II, 5:7 dating to c.630-540 BCE. It commonly referred to a specific mountain near Jerusalem (Mount Zion
Mount Zion
Mount Zion is a place name for a site in Jerusalem, the location of which has shifted several times in history. According to the Hebrew Bible's Book of Samuel, it was the site of the Jebusite fortress called the "stronghold of Zion" that was conquered by King David, becoming his palace in the City...

), on which stood a Jebusite
Jebusite
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited and built Jerusalem prior to its conquest by King David; the Books of Kings state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event...

 fortress of the same name that was conquered by David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 and was named the City of David.
The term Tzion came to designate the area of Jerusalem where the fortress stood, and later became a metonym
Metonymy
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

 for Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

's Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

, the city of Jerusalem and generally, the World to Come.

In Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 the more esoteric reference is made to Tzion being the spiritual point from which reality emerges, located in the Holy of Holies
Holy of Holies
The Holy of Holies is a term in the Hebrew Bible which refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant was kept during the First Temple, which could be entered only by the High Priest on Yom Kippur...

 of the First
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

, Second
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 and Third Temple.

Etymology


The etymology
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 of the word Zion (ṣiyôn) is uncertain.
Mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Samuel (2 Samuel 5:7) as the name of the Jebusite
Jebusite
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited and built Jerusalem prior to its conquest by King David; the Books of Kings state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event...

 fortress conquered by King David, its origin likely predates the Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

s. If Semitic
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

, it may be derived from the Hebrew root 'ṣiyyôn ("castle") or the Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 root ṣiyya ("dry land") or the Arabic šanā ("protect" or "citadel"). It might also be related to the Arabic root ṣahî ("ascend to the top") or ṣuhhay ("tower" or "the top of the mountain"). A non-Semitic relationship to the Hurrian
Hurrian language
Hurrian is a conventional name for the language of the Hurrians , a people who entered northern Mesopotamia around 2300 BC and had mostly vanished by 1000 BC. Hurrian was the language of the Mitanni kingdom in northern Mesopotamia, and was likely spoken at least initially in Hurrian settlements in...

 word šeya ("river" or "brook") has also been suggested.

Orthography


The form Tzion ' onMouseout='HidePop("58631")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Tiberian_vocalization">Tiberian vocalization
Tiberian vocalization
The Tiberian vocalization is a system of diacritics devised by the Masoretes to add to the consonantal Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible; this system soon became used to vocalize other texts as well...

: Ṣiyyôn) appears 108 times in the Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 (Hebrew Bible), and once as HaTzion. It is spelled with a Tzadi and not Zayin
Zayin
Zayin is the seventh letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician , Aramaic , Hebrew , Syriac and Perso-Arabic alphabet...

.
The commonly used form is an adopted mis-transliteration in English based on German orthography
Orthography
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

, where z is always pronounced [t͡s] (e.g. "zog" [t͡soːk]), hence "Tsion" in German literature. A tz would only be used if the preceding vowel is short, and hence use of Zion in 19th century German Biblical criticism
Biblical criticism
Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of Biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these writings." It asks when and where a particular text originated; how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced; what influences were at work...

. This orthography was adopted because in German the correct transliteration can only be rendered from the one instance of HaTzion in Kings II 23:17, where the a vowel is followed by a double consonant tz.

Biblical usage


Some examples from the book of Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

, which have been frequently recited and memorized by Jews for centuries, state:
  • "By the rivers of Babylon
    Rivers of Babylon (disambiguation)
    "Rivers of Babylon" is a song by The Melodians, notably covered by Boney M.Rivers of Babylon or Waters of Babylon may also refer to:* "By the rivers of Babylon" or "By the waters of Babylon", a phrase from Psalm 137 in the Judeo-Christian Bible...

    , there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Tzion." (Psalms 137:1)
  • "For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Tzion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof; O daughter of Babylon, that art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that repayeth thee as thou hast served us." (Psalms 137:3-8, italics for words not in the original Hebrew)
  • "The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcast of Israel. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Tzion." (Psalms 147:2,12)

The Daughter of Tzion


Mentioned 26 times in the Tanakh
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

, the Biblical phrase "Daughter of Tzion" (Hebrew "bat Tzion") is considered by some to be referencing a small hill in Jerusalem (whether Mount Moriah
Moriah
Moriah is the name given to a mountain range by the Book of Genesis, in which context it is giv. the location of the sacrifice of Isaac. Traditionally Moriah has been interpreted as the name of the specific mountain at which this occurred, rather than just the name of the range...

, the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

, or another hill), with the location of the actual tall mountain (as described in the Psalms) remaining mysterious. Another cryptic verse, , seems to refer to this hill, but is also ambiguous, depending on the punctuation. In Hebrew it reads "Mi attah Har-haGadol lifnei Zerubbabel l'mishor..."; the plain text has no punctuation, but the Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

 puts a pause following Har-haGadol, to mean "Who are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, [you will become just] a plain..." However, if the pause is placed following Zerubbabel, it would mean instead "What are you, "great mountain" before Zerubbabel? [You are just] a plain..." Since this hill is where Zerubbabel built the Second Temple, it appears to be a reference to the "Daughter of Zion" (the hill), as distinct from Tzion (the mountain).

However, "Daughter of Zion", and a variety of other names like "Daughter of Jerusalem", might also be interpreted as referring to Jerusalem and the Jewish people personified, instead of a geographical feature.

In the New Testament the Daughter of Zion is the bride of Christ
Bride of Christ
The Bride of Christ or bride, the Lamb's wife is a term used in the New Testament of The Bible. Sometimes the Bride is implied through calling Jesus a Bridegroom. Sometimes the Church is compared to a bride betrothed to Christ. However there are instances where the interpretation of the usage of...

, also known as the Church, according to the writer of the book of Hebrews (see Heb 12:22). In this sense the lower hill with the temple mount is of course the Daughter of Zion as a geographical or 'earthly' manifestation of spiritual reality, as well as the lively and alive place of the human congregation.

Arab and Islamic tradition


Sahyun is the word for Zion in Arabic and Syriac
Syriac language
Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared as a script in the 1st century AD after being spoken as an unwritten language for five centuries, Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from...

. Drawing on biblical tradition, it is one of the names accorded to Jerusalem in Arabic and Islamic tradition. A valley called Wâdi Sahyûn (wadi
Wadi
Wadi is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley. In some cases, it may refer to a dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain or simply an intermittent stream.-Variant names:...

 being the Arabic for "valley") seemingly preserves the name and is located approximately one and three-quarter miles from the Old City of Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate.

The Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

 in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 was also called Sahyun or Zion by Muhammed, the prophet of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Islamic scholarship sees many passages of the Bible that refer to the desert or eschatological
Eschatology
Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

 Zion as references to the holy site of Mecca. For example, the reference to the "precious cornerstone" of the new Jerusalem in the Book of Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

 28:16 is identified in Islamic scholarship as the cornerstone of the Kaaba
Black Stone
The Black Stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic, which according to Muslim tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.The...

. This interpretation is said by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah (1292–1350) to have come from the People of the Book
People of the Book
People of the Book is a term used to designate non-Muslim adherents to faiths which have a revealed scripture called, in Arabic, Al-Kitab . The three types of adherents to faiths that the Qur'an mentions as people of the book are the Jews, Sabians and Christians.In Islam, the Muslim scripture, the...

, though earlier Christian scholarship identifies the cornerstone with Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

.

Zionism




The term "Zionism" coined by Austrian Nathan Birnbaum
Nathan Birnbaum
----Nathan Birnbaum was an Austrian writer and journalist, Jewish thinker and nationalist. His life had three main phases, representing a progression in his thinking: Zionist phase ; Jewish cultural autonomy phase which included the promotion of the Yiddish language; and religious phase...

, was derived from the German rendering of Tzion in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation) in 1890. Zionism as a political movement
Jewish political movements
Jewish political movements refer to the organized efforts of Jews to build their own political parties or otherwise represent their interest in politics outside of the Jewish community...

 started in 1897
First Zionist Congress
The First Zionist Congress was the inaugural congress of the Zionist Organization held in Basel , Switzerland, from August 29 to August 31, 1897. It was convened and chaired by Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionism movement...

 and supported a 'national home'
Homeland
A homeland is the concept of the place to which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association with —the country in which a particular national identity began. As a common noun, it simply connotes the country of one's origin...

, and later a state
Biltmore Conference
The Biltmore Conference, also known by its resolution as the Biltmore Program, was a fundamental departure from traditional Zionist policy with its demand "that Palestine be established as a Jewish Commonwealth." The meeting was held in New York City at the prestigious Biltmore Hotel from May 6...

, for the Jewish people in Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

. The Zionist movement declared the re-establishment of its State of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in 1948, following the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Since then and with varying ideologies, Zionists have focused on developing and protecting this state.

While Zionism is based in part upon Torah
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 mitzvot linking the Jewish people to the Biblical land of Israel, the modern movement is largely secular
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

. Indeed, until 1967 the Tzion of the Tanakh (the Old City of Jerusalem) was not even within the boundaries of Israel (although Mount Zion
Mount Zion
Mount Zion is a place name for a site in Jerusalem, the location of which has shifted several times in history. According to the Hebrew Bible's Book of Samuel, it was the site of the Jebusite fortress called the "stronghold of Zion" that was conquered by King David, becoming his palace in the City...

 itself, was).

In 2005, Ralph Uwazuruike
Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra
The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra is a secessionist movement with the aim of securing the resurgence of the defunct state of Biafra from Nigeria...

 from Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 pushed for the creation of the already disputed state of Biafra
Biafra
Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra . The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious...

 for the Igbo people
Igbo people
Igbo people, also referred to as the Ibo, Ebo, Eboans or Heebo are an ethnic group living chiefly in southeastern Nigeria. They speak Igbo, which includes various Igboid languages and dialects; today, a majority of them speak English alongside Igbo as a result of British colonialism...

. He approached the Israeli government to support this movement on the basis that Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 is the long lost home
Igbo Jews
The Igbo Jews are members of the Igbo people of Nigeria who claim descent from Mediterranean Israelite migrants into Nigeria.-Argument for the Historical Migration of the Igbo Jews:...

 of the Igbos.

Anti-slavery symbolism


The Jewish longing for Zion, starting with the deportation and enslavement of Jews during the Babylonian captivity
Babylonian captivity
The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon—conventionally 587–538 BCE....

, was adopted as a metaphor by Christian Black slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and after the Civil War by blacks who were still oppressed. Thus, Zion symbolizes a longing by wandering peoples for a safe homeland. This could be an actual place such as Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 for Rastafarians
Rastafari movement
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia , as God...

 or Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 for some of the Igbos in Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 for example. For others, it has taken on a more spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 meaning—a safe spiritual homeland, like in heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

, or a kind of peace of mind
Inner peace
Inner peace refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being "at peace" is considered by many to be healthy and the opposite of being stressed or anxious...

 in one's present life.

Usage by the Rastafari movement



In the Rastafari movement
Rastafari movement
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia , as God...

, "Zion" stands for a utopia
Utopia
Utopia is an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system. The word was imported from Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt...

n place of unity, peace and freedom, as opposed to "Babylon", the oppressing and exploiting system of the western world and a place of evil.

For Rastafarians, Zion is to be found in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, and more specifically in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, where the term is also in use. Some Rastas believe themselves to represent the real Children of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in modern times, and their goal is to repatriate to Africa, or to Zion. Rasta reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 is peppered with references to Zion; among the best-known examples are the Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 songs "Zion Train", "Iron Lion Zion
Iron Lion Zion
"Iron Lion Zion" is a song written and recorded in April 1973 or 1974 by Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley and first released posthumously in May 1992 on the Songs of Freedom box set, reaching number 5 in the UK Singles Chart, . A remixed version was released in 1995 on Natural Mystic: The...

", the Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer, , also known as Bunny Livingston and affectionately as Jah B, is a singer songwriter and percussionist and was an original member of reggae group The Wailers along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh...

 song "Rastaman" ("The Rasta come from Zion, Rastaman a Lion!"), The Melodians song "Rivers of Babylon" (based on Psalm 137:1,3,4), the Bad Brains song "Leaving Babylon", the Damian Marley
Damian Marley
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley is a Jamaican reggae artist who has won three Grammy awards. Damian is the youngest son of Bob Marley....

 song featuring Nas
Nas
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, who performs under the name Nas , formerly Nasty Nas, is an American rapper and actor. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in hip hop and one of the most skilled and influential rappers of all-time...

 "Road to Zion," The Abyssinians
The Abyssinians
The Abyssinians are a Jamaican roots reggae group, famous for their close harmonies and promotion of the Rastafari movement in their lyrics.-History:...

' "Forward Unto Zion" and Kiddus I
Kiddus I
Kiddus I is a reggae singer and musician, best known for his appearance in the film Rockers.-Biography:...

's "Graduation In Zion," which is featured in the 1977 cult roots rock reggae film Rockers. Reggae groups such as Steel Pulse
Steel Pulse
Steel Pulse is a roots reggae musical band. They originally formed at Handsworth Wood Boys School, in Birmingham, England, composed of David Hinds , Basil Gabbidon , and Ronald McQueen .-History:...

 and Cocoa Tea
Cocoa Tea
Cocoa Tea is a Jamaican reggae/dancehall singer, songwriter, and DJ.- Biography :Cocoa Tea was popular in Jamaica from 1985, but has become successful worldwide only since the 1990s...

 also have many references to Zion in their various songs. In recent years, such references have also crossed over into pop and rock music thanks to artists like O.A.R.
O.A.R.
O.A.R. is an American rock band composed of Marc Roberge , Chris Culos , Richard On , Benj Gershman , and Jerry DePizzo...

 "To Zion Goes I", Sublime
Sublime (band)
Sublime was an American ska punk band from Long Beach, California, formed in 1988. The band's line-up, unchanged until their breakup, consisted of Bradley Nowell , Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh . Michael "Miguel" Happoldt also contributed on a few Sublime songs, such as "New Thrash." Lou Dog, Nowell's...

, Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Noelle Hill is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress.Early in her career, she established her reputation as a member of the Fugees. In 1998, she launched her solo career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album, The Miseducation of...

, Boney M. ("Rivers of Babylon
Rivers of Babylon
"Rivers of Babylon" is a rastafarian song written and recorded by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of the Jamaican reggae group The Melodians in 1970. The Melodians' original versions of the song appeared in the sound track to the 1972 movie The Harder They Come and the 1999 Nicolas Cage movie...

"), Fluid Minds "Zion", Dreadzone
Dreadzone
Dreadzone are a British band whose music is an eclectic fusion of dub, reggae, techno, folk and rock. They have so far produced six studio albums and two live albums.-Career:...

 with the reggae-tinged track "Zion Youth.", P.O.D.
P.O.D.
Payable on Death is an American Christian metal band formed in 1992. The band's line-up consists of vocalist Sonny Sandoval, drummer Wuv Bernardo, guitarist Marcos Curiel, and bassist Traa Daniels. Their Christian faith is an important part of their music.They have released seven studio albums and...

 with song "Set Your Eyes to Zion" (but P.O.D. with a Christian viewpoint: Zion referring to the spiritual kingdom of God), Trevor Hall with song "To Zion", and Australian roots reggae outfit Vindan and The Zion Band, also Alcyon Massive (a reggae/psychedelic band in Southern Oregon) wrote a song titled "Zion" which is currently very popular. The rock band Rush
Rush (band)
Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart...

 also reference Zion/Babylon duality in the song "Digital Man" with the following lyrics: "He'd love to spend the night in Zion. He's been a long while in Babylon".

In Mormon theology



A similar metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

ic transformation of the term "Zion" occurs in the modern Latter Day Saint movement
Latter Day Saint movement
The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

, originating in the United States in the 1830s. In this interpretation, Zion refers to a specific location to which members of the millennial church are to be gathered together to live. During that time the ancient city of Enoch, also named Zion, that was taken to Heaven will return to the Earth. A Temple is to be built unto the Lord for a sacred work to be performed and for the Lord Jesus Christ to reign when he returns
Second Coming (LDS Church)
Like many other Christian adherents, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that there will be a Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth sometime in the future...

 at the Second Coming. Until the gathering of Israel (Gentile and Jew who have accepted Jesus as their savior), when the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The Latter Day Saints also believe Zion to be their stakes and wards where they gather weekly to renew vows and covenants made to God the Father and to the Son of God.

In popular culture


Zion is referenced in several media and entertainment groups. For example in music there are song titles such as "To Zion", a song by Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Noelle Hill is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress.Early in her career, she established her reputation as a member of the Fugees. In 1998, she launched her solo career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album, The Miseducation of...

, "Road to Zion
Road to Zion
"Road to Zion" was the 2nd US single to be taken from Damian Marley's Welcome to Jamrock, while "The Master Has Come Back" was released in Europe.It contains a sample from "Russian Lullaby" by Ella Fitzgerald....

", by Damian Marley
Damian Marley
Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley is a Jamaican reggae artist who has won three Grammy awards. Damian is the youngest son of Bob Marley....

, "Iron Lion Zion
Iron Lion Zion
"Iron Lion Zion" is a song written and recorded in April 1973 or 1974 by Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley and first released posthumously in May 1992 on the Songs of Freedom box set, reaching number 5 in the UK Singles Chart, . A remixed version was released in 1995 on Natural Mystic: The...

" by Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

, or the "Zion (David Bowie song)
Zion (David Bowie song)
Zion is a David Bowie bootleg. It is most commonly said to be from his Aladdin Sane period, recorded at Trident Studios in 1973.-Music and Lyrics:...

". In film, Zion
Zion (The Matrix)
Zion is a fictional city in The Matrix films. It is the last human city on the planet Earth after a cataclysmic nuclear war between humankind and sentient Machines, which resulted in artificial lifeforms dominating the world.-History:...

 is a fictional human-controlled underground city in The Matrix (franchise)
The Matrix (franchise)
The Matrix is a science fiction action franchise created by Andy and Larry Wachowski and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The series began with the 1999 film The Matrix and later spawned two sequels; The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both released in 2003, thus forming a trilogy...

. In literature, Zion is a space station in the 1984 cyberpunk novel Neuromancer
Neuromancer
Neuromancer is a 1984 novel by William Gibson, a seminal work in the cyberpunk genre and the first winner of the science-fiction "triple crown" — the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award. It was Gibson's debut novel and the beginning of the Sprawl trilogy...

.

In February 2011 the Iranian government issued a formal complaint, saying that Britain's 2012 Olympics logo spelled the word "Zion". They initially threatened to boycott the event if the "offensive" logo was not replaced.

Mount Zion today



Today, Mount Zion
Mount Zion
Mount Zion is a place name for a site in Jerusalem, the location of which has shifted several times in history. According to the Hebrew Bible's Book of Samuel, it was the site of the Jebusite fortress called the "stronghold of Zion" that was conquered by King David, becoming his palace in the City...

 refers to a hill south of the Old City's Armenian Quarter
Armenian Quarter
The Armenian Quarter is one of the four quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem. The Armenian Quarter is the smallest of the four quarters, with the smallest number of residents....

, not to the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

. This apparent misidentification dates from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, when Christian pilgrims
Christian pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage was first made to sites connected with the ministry of Jesus. Surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Jerusalem date from the 4th century, when pilgrimage was encouraged by church fathers like Saint Jerome and established by Helena, the mother of...

 mistook the relatively large, flat summit (the highest point in ancient Jerusalem) for the original site of the Jewish Temple. The Dormition Church
Hagia Maria Sion Abbey
Hagia Maria Sion Abbey is a Benedictine abbey in Jerusalem on Mt. Zion just outside the walls of the Old City near the Zion Gate.It was formerly known as the Abbey of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, but the name was changed in 1998 in reference to the church of Hagia Sion that formerly stood on...

(right) is located upon the hill currently called Mount Zion.

Further reading