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Zion--Codename for Persons Who Repent

by Avraham Gileadi Ph.D.

Several ideas about Zion exist in the scriptures. Zion was the “citadel” David captured from the Jebusites that became the “City of David” (1 Chronicles 11:4–7). The “holy hill of Zion” was the place where Jehovah dwelt (Psalms 2:6; 9:11). Isaiah’s definition of Zion appears from several literary devices. Forty instances of the name Zion in the Book of Isaiah reveal a literary pattern associated with the name Zion. That pattern consists of Jehovah’s deliverance of his righteous people at the time he destroys the wicked from the earth. This event occurs at the presence of a Davidic king whom Isaiah identifies either directly or indirectly under one of several aliases.

By definition, Zion are those of Jehovah’s people Jacob or Israel who “repent” (Hebrew swb) of transgression (Isaiah 1:27; 59:20). It is also the place to which they “return” (swb) from among the nations in an endtime exodus (Isaiah 35:10; 52:11) at the time the wicked perish. In the Book of Isaiah, Zion, together with Jerusalem, is one of seven spiritual levels or categories of people. They consist of persons who ascend from a Jacob/Israel category to the Zion/Jerusalem category. They receive a remission of their sins when they renew their covenantal allegiance to Jehovah. In the end, the whole world divides into categories who are affiliated with either Zion or Babylon.

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