The Old Testament has multiple references to the daughter of Zion, most frequently in prophecy and poetry. The meaning of Zion name represented both Jerusalem and Israel as God's chosen people. The phrase "daughter of Zion" symbolises Israel and God's enduring, loving relationship with His people.
In Christianity, Zion has come to stand for the supreme power of the Kingdom of Heaven. What does the Bible imply when it refers to a daughter of Zion?
What is the meaning of daughter of Zion?
The daughter of Zion generally refers to Jerusalem or the Jewish people. For example, the book of Zechariah 9:9 states:
Rejoice greatly, Daughters of Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The very statement daughter of Zion means that the Lord is a loving father who cherishes his people even when they stand against him, his will and his testaments.
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Apart from these canonic meanings, there are more contemporary ways to understand the term. Sometimes, all Jewish women who have once been scattered among the nations all around the world are called daughters of Zion, while men are called sons of Jerusalem.
In the most modern understanding of the Bible, some believers say that Zion is a place where all those with pure hearts gather. Where there are righteous people, there is another Zion. Now those who are full of faith and divine hope create new Zions.
Zion's history from the very beginning
Before King David conquered Jerusalem, Zion was possessed by Jebusites, a Canaanite tribe which lived there before the Jews took the land.
It was the Jebusites who built the fortress on the hilltop. After King David conquered the land, Zion received another name, "David's City". The rocks under Sion bore tombs of David and other kings.
Later, the name Zion spread over Ophel hill, too, sometimes embracing even the Temple Mount. Jerusalem's upper town was also called Zion during the Hasmonean dynasty's rule. Among the three walls surrounding Jerusalem, the one around Zion is the oldest. This area was circled with a wall during the 1st century A.D.
What does Zion mean spiritually?
According to the Bible, the daughter of Zion meaning is the city of David, the King, the Holy Mount, the house and dwelling of the Lord, and the majestic Lord's city. In a metaphoric sense, it means Jerusalem, the Judaea kingdom, and the entire Jewish people.
Prophets in the Bible often use the name of Zion to call the Lord's kingdom on the earth and in heaven in all its fullness, which will last until everything is completed in eternity.
Finally, in the widest meaning, Zion is a place where the Lord lives in heaven, where the Lord's glory shines at the highest point. The Lord comes to people from this place, wrapped in glory, and the atoned ones will depart with joy and happiness.
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From all this, we can conclude that there are several Zion meanings. One of them is on the earth, and it's Jerusalem, where the Jewish people scattered among the nations should gather.
The other Zion is a heavenly one, which belongs to the Lord and is a source of eternal bliss. It's easy to notice how Zion's biblical meaning adds sense to the earthly one, making Jerusalem the promised place for all its sons and daughters.
Who is a daughter of Zion?
The Daughter of Zion is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. These are mostly prophecies, but one mention refers to poetry.
Zion means Jerusalem, the chosen people of the Lord, and entire Israel and its people. Zion's daughter is not a single person; it's not a particular person; It's the people of Israel.
What does it mean to be a daughter of Zion? The daughter of Zion is a phrase that shows how the Lord loves his people and how patient he is with them, just like a loving father with his daughter.
There are several pieces of Biblical texts that speak about the daughter of Zion.
- When Assyria threatened Jerusalem, Hezekiah, the King, turned to the Lord for defence, and the Lord responded through Isaiah that any threats to the innocent daughter of Zion were considered an insult against the Lord himself.
- Hezekiah the King was a rare case for Judaea: most of the local kings of that time were rather into rioting against the Lord than staying faithful to him. Jeremiah warns them, saying that if they don't fight evil, the Lord will punish them, and people will be as defenceless in front of the Lord's rage as a daughter of Zion in labour is defenceless against attackers.
- The woman in labour turns into a bull that smashes its enemies. Represented as a defenceless, weak creature, the daughter of Zion eventually turns into a bull with iron horns and cloves made of bronze, which will smash all its enemies.
- The daughter of Zion is a people waiting to be saved. After the punishment of exile, the Lord promises the restoration of Israel. His chosen people will know gladness again when the Lord praises and saves them.
- The daughter of Zion is also a land waiting for a king. It's a prophecy that says: all the enemies of Israel will be destroyed, and all the sins will be fought. She is supposed to be happy and rejoice because the King is coming, riding a saddled donkey. Even though the daughter has not once rioted against the Father, he promises to give her a King, his son Jesus.
Naming the people of Jerusalem and entire Israel the daughter of Zion, the Lord shows that no matter how lost, sinful, and evil they are, in the end, they will stay beside their heavenly Father, and He, in his love, will forgive them all their sins.
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