What is Zion and Zionism?

Zion is first mentioned in the book of II Samuel. Mt. Zion is the mountain next to Mt. Moriah, where God’s temple was constructed by Israel’s King Solomon. The word Zion is used in Scripture to refer to Jerusalem in general, but it is also referred to as the place where God dwells.

Psalm 2:6 “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy Mountain.” Psalm 9:11 “Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion;” and Psalm 50:2 “From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.”

Zion was once the capital of Israel. God’s presence dwelt there in both the tabernacle, and later in the temple behind the veil in the Holy of Holies above the Ark of the Covenant. This was Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, where God’s model nation served as His instrument of world redemption, providing the world with redemptive products – the law, tabernacle, the priestly sacrificial system, and the prophets.

As God’s instrument of world redemption, Israel has endured His corrections in the form of dispersions and re-gatherings. The first dispersion was in the 6th century BCE and the first re-gathering began in 517 BCE. The second dispersion was in 70 CE and the second re-gathering began in 1880’s and is still continuing today.

This re-gathering of the Jewish people to the Land were prophesied in the Scriptures by the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah.

Jeremiah 23:3-6; “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number…”

Jeremiah 32:37-41; “I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety…”

Ezekiel 36:22-28; “I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land… I will sprinkle clean water on you… I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…”

Ezekiel 37:21-28; “I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel….”

Zechariah 8:7,8; “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”

Zechariah 10:8-12 “Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return…”

In fact, the Bible prophecies a physical, geographical, national and spiritual restoration of Israel as a nation. The dry bones vision of Ezekiel 37 describes this sequential restoration, first the geographical in-gathering of Jews from around the world, then forming a nation, then a spiritual restoration.

God’s design is to restore and re-establish the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the nation of Israel, for His redemptive purposes.

Zionism is the nationalist and political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel, we see that this definition of Zionism mirrors God’s desires — His prophetic blueprint. Therefore, we see clearly that God is a Zionist.

Indeed, repeatedly in Scripture we see verses like:

I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; With great fervor I am zealous for her (Zechariah 8:2, NKJV)

This is because Zion is where God has designated as His dwelling place. And more specifically, Zion is a term that refers to God’s intention of living with His people.

God’s foretelling of Israel’s regathering or Aliya puts His reputation on the line. Thus, to be against Zionism is to be against the Bible.

God wants the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to live in the land, and to dwell there in obedience to Him. This includes the heart of Israel – Judah and Samaria, which are the Mountains of Israel referred to by the prophet Ezekiel.

According to God’s prophetic plan, Jews immigrating to the Promised Land is central to Zionism. God is restoring the Jewish people individually and collectively, to function in their intended role for humanity – as His instrument of world redemption.

Jews welcome this restoration. Christians herald and celebrate this restoration. They realize the promise of Joel 2:28

“And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh…”

Those who are striving for world peace are offered a credible path how to get there. According to the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah, this blessing for mankind is linked to the spiritual state of the Jewish people. If we want peace on earth, we should be glad for a spiritual restoration for the Jewish people.