Asaph’s contemplation in Psalm 74 is about the desolations of the temple of Solomon after its destruction and is a plea for relief from the oppressors. He says ‘the enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary’ (v.3b) and says in verses 6 & 7, ‘they break down its carved work, all at once with axes and hammers. They have set fire
to your sanctuary; they have defiled the dwelling place of your name to the ground.’
Where was this ‘sanctuary’—the temple?
Note how Asaph described the location of the sanctuary, the temple in verse 2b…’this MOUNT ZION where you have dwelt’ (v.2b).
David had also said, ‘For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”’ (Psalm 132:13-14)
God had chosen MOUNT ZION! David knew God’s plan and that is why he knew he had to wrest the ancient site from the Jebusites who had long held it.
‘Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David)’ 1 Chronicles 11:5.
‘…the City of David, which is Zion’ 1 Kings 8:1.
There are quite a few other references which equate Zion with the City of David, that somewhat crescent-shaped neck or ridge of land running north/south above the Kidron Valley and the Spring, Gihon (see the City of David area outlined in yellow in the 1930 aerial view above).
David’s conquest of the stronghold called Zion—re-named by him as the City of David—was via the ‘tsinnor’ or water shaft above the Gihon Spring.
There can be no association of that site with the site some 200 -300 metres north which has erroneously become known as Temple Mount.
This site near the Gihon Spring was deeply impressed in the psyche of Israel because it was the site which had become special to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who all had significant events there and all called the site HaMakom—The Place.
Zion has not moved. The City of David was Zion—and therefore the site of Solomon’s temple, somewhere above Gihon Spring which provided the ‘living water’ that typified the life-giving presence of God among His people.
Get the full story by reading 'THE PLACE, HaMakom: where Jerusalem's temples stood' (Amazon worldwide, Koorong Books, Booktopia etc)