‘The LORD roars from Zion...’ (Amos 1:2)
‘For the LORD dwells in Zion.’ (Joel 3:21)
‘Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.’ (Psalm 50:2)
‘The LORD bless you out of Zion...’ (Psalm 128:5)
‘For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.’ (Isaiah 2:3)
Clearly Zion is viewed as a centre and source, The Place from which things emanate and within which, things of real consequence occur.
We should not ignore this. Zion was ‘ground zero’ where God had determined to put His presence among the people chosen as His ‘demonstration’ people. He did so by having the ark of the Covenant—the ark of His presence, housed there, yes, in Zion!
So we must ask...where was ancient Zion? It’s not a difficult question to answer. It was the small stronghold above and westward of the Gihon Spring, the means by which David captured Zion which had to that time been held by the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6-7 and 1 Chronicles 11:5-7). Gihon was where David had erected a tent to (temporarily) house the ark and the sacred objects—and it was the ‘X’ that marked the ancient spot known as The Place (HaMakom) where the permanent temple was to stand.
David named it the City of David. What was known as Mount Zion was part of the Mt. Moriah complex and is not as prominent today, as the ‘bump’ it once had been, was levelled and the valley between it and the rise northward raised up (bringing to mind Isaiah 40:4).
Zion and the City of David was on a southward-pointing ‘peninsula’ of land skirted by the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys—and that was where the temples stood! (The word Zion is thought to mean something like ‘sunny high-point’).
In the accompanying picture of the Jerusalem area from early in the 20th Century, the approximate area of ZION is circled. It is well south of the Muslim shrine further up the hill--and in the region which comprised the ancient City of David just west of the Gihon Spring.