WHO IS TRUE MORAL
THE REDEEMED HOUSE OF JACOB!
There is a word in the Bible that conceals a great mystery. The word
is “Tsiyown.” It appears numerous times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament
seven times by name. But its significant implications rise to a
fullness of meaning that is beautiful to behold.
In the sheer weight of its importance, it offers a historical insight into
Scripture that is unparalleled. We shall examine its meanings and purposes –
past, present and future. In history and prophecy, few terms can match its
grandeur. Not only can it be studied historically, but geographically,
culturally, theologically, metaphysically and prophetically.
As we progress, we’ll touch upon the metaphysical truths associated with
Tsiyown and its uses as a symbol of יְהוָה ’s redemptive work among His elect.
But perhaps the best way to begin this study is to look at the historical
Tsiyown, a geographic location associated with a key event in the life of David.
His reign began in Hebron. At the same time, the Jebusites controlled Mt. Moriah.
It had long been a choice site, favorably situated on high ground for defense,
and possessed of a long spiritual history. A thousand years before, in the days
of Abraham, Melchizedek had presided over this region, known as Salem.
Tsiyown’s Historical Provenance
Tsiyown is the name of a physical location. Though it never appears on maps
of the Holy Land, it is, nevertheless, a well-defined section of terra firma. It
defines the city of Jerusalem. Over the long ages of Hebrew history, it has been
contested by many pretenders to the throne of world dominion. Biblically, of
course, we know that this parcel of land has been promised to Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, the Twelve Tribes and the throne of David through the line of Judah.
With this in mind, let us review Tsiyown’s historical provenance, or line of
possession, as presented in the Bible.
The first time the word “Tsiyown” is used in the Bible, it records David’s
victory over the Jebusites:
“David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty
“In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in
Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.
“And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the
inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away
the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot
come in hither.
“Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Tsiyown: the same is the city of
“And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and
smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s
soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame
shall not come into the house.
“So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David
built round about from Millo and inward.
“And David went on, and grew great, and the L-rd יְהוָה of hosts was with
him” (II Samuel 5:4-10).
The ancient area that would later come to be known as Jerusalem was
situated on a plateau. Below, on the west and south side of this low mountain,
was the “king’s dale,” mentioned in Genesis 14:17 as the meeting place of
Abraham and Melchizedek.
Later, Abraham returns to the same place. In Genesis 22, the L-rd
instructs him to travel to the “land of Moriah,” and to offer Isaac upon one of
the mountains there. This is the Mt. Moriah upon which Solomon later built the
On the east side of Moriah’s plateau was the Brook Kidron. Between them,
the valley called Hinnom divided the high ground. Between the brook and the
valley was a long, narrow ridge of rising ground. At its southern end, the
fortress of Jebus. It was extremely well fortified, and had access to a spring
that could be reached from within the fortress by a hidden tunnel.
This vertical shaft had been cut over 120 feet through solid rock in times
so ancient that no historical record exists telling who had accomplished the
magnificent feat. Some say that it dates all the way back to Melchizedek, in the
days of Abraham. Whatever its origins, it enabled the residents of the city to
supply themselves with water, should their habitation ever come under siege.
They felt so secure in their rocky fort that one of them had taunted
David, saying that “the lame and the blind” were all they needed to defend
themselves. The king responded by proclaiming that whoever should be first to
climb up the “gutter” (subterranean aqueduct) into the city would be made
commander-in-chief of his forces. The valiant Joab accomplished the deed, and
the city was breached.
In the years following, a wealthy Jebusite named Araunah became important
in the development of the site for an altar and the coming Temple. His name
means “Lord” or “aristocrat.” He was a nobleman who had apparently helped David
to overthrow the fortified city.
Josephus writes of him, that he “…was a wealthy man among the Jebusites,
but was not slain by David in the siege of Jerusalem because of the good will he
bore to the Hebrews, and a particular benignity and affection which he had to
the king himself” (Ant. VII,III,3).
David paid him the large sum of fifty silver shekels for the threshing
floor (II Samuel 24:24) and six hundred shekels of gold for the so-called “place”(I
Chronicles 21:25), that is, the top of Mt. Moriah.
The location is clearly linked to Solomon’s final choice for the Temple
site, as given in II Chronicles 3:1:
“Then Solomon began to build the house of the L-rd at Jerusalem in mount
Moriah, where the L-rd appeared unto David his father, in the place that David
had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” (In this verse,
“Ornan” is the Hebrew spelling for “Araunah.”)
Thus, the history of Mt. Moriah is defined from the early days of the
patriarch Abraham, who met Melchizedek, king of Salem, at the king’s dale.
Later, the L-rd instructed him to take Isaac to Moriah, to the top of a mountain
It was this site that later came into the possession of Araunah and was
sold to King David at the L-rd’s own instruction. Mount Tsiyown was not chosen
arbitrarily. It was far more than a convenient location for a center of worship.
The L-rd, Himself, led Abraham and David to the hill. There was something
remarkable about this place.
The Gates of Tsiyown
Among the many qualities that make Mt. Tsiyown so extraordinary is the L-rd’s
view of it. From among all the Earth’s beautiful landscapes, seascapes and
mountain vistas, He has chosen this place, predestinating it to oversee the
establishment of His kingdom. Psalm 87 is a poetic statement of His love for
this place. Its seven verses constitute a complete statement of יְהוָה ’s adoration
for the historic, holy mountain:
“A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah.
“His foundation is in the holy mountains.
“The L-rd loveth the gates of Tsiyown more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
“Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of יְהוָה . Selah.
“I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold
Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.
“And of Tsiyown it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the
highest himself shall establish her.
“The L-rd shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was
born there. Selah.
“As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my
springs are in thee.”
Jewish teaching concerning this Psalm recalls the historic fact that
Korah’s sons refused to join in his revolt. Korah, great-grandson of Levi, was
condemned to death by divine judgment. By contrast, his offspring were greatly
respected. In David’s era, the offspring of Korah were one of the most renowned
families of the Levite Tribe. They were David’s staunchest defenders. As far
back as the days of Moses, they had been elected watchmen over the entrances to
the camp. After the Temple was built in the days of Solomon, they were said to
be keepers of the temple gates. They composed this song of praise to Jerusalem.
Its prophetic view is remarkable, indeed.
In Scripture, “gates” refer to seats of authority, administration and
courts of justice. Of course, they protect the city from the enemy, but they are
also said to be gathering places for the city elders, as in Deuteronomy 21:19,
where a rebellious son is to be brought for correction:
“Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out
unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place.”
When Boaz had questions concerning the legalities of his possible marriage
to Ruth, he took it before the elders of the gate:
“Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the
kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn
aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down” (Ruth 4:1).
Seen in this light, the “gates of Tsiyown” are the ultimate expression of יְהוָה ’s administration on planet Earth during the Kingdom Age. Of all the
territory granted to Abraham for the Twelve Tribes, the L-rd loves this place
above them all. And no wonder, since Hebrew history tells us that Jerusalem has
traditionally had thirteen gates – one for each of the Twelve Tribes, plus one
for everyone else who would enter. They symbolize entry points for the redeemed
of all the ages.
Tsiyown, the Excellent Sword
Prophetically, Psalm 87 is one of the richest of all the Psalms. It begins
with a statement about a foundation, laid in the holy mountains.
It is fascinating that the word “Tsiyown” is inscrutable in terms of a
single, express meaning. Etymologically, it is a composite of several Hebrew
words that convey the ideas associated with the creation of a lasting structure.
For example, one of its roots is zoh, meaning “foundation,” “to erect,”
or, “a monument.” Other roots are zahah and zih, which speak of “a structure,”
or building. It also contains the idea of zihn, [ihz], “to protect.” Some
Talmudic scholars say that, by extension, Tsiyown is to be interpreted as mitzuyan,
“outstanding,” “distinguished,” or “excellent.”
Taken together, these ideas are representative of a monumental tribute to
the L-rd’s power, a structure whose eternal protection encloses the saints of
The central idea of Tsiyown is the expression of the L-rd’s faithfulness
toward mankind, and man’s righteous perseverance toward the final perfection of
Yet it is more than just a metaphor; it is a city. It is Jerusalem. And
ultimately, it is the New Jerusalem.
The third verse of Psalm 87 hints at these glories to come. Here, it is
called the “city of יְהוָה .” This is another reminder of Abraham’s faith. As given
in Hebrews 11:10, “… he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder
and maker is יְהוָה .”
The future glories are mentioned as a reminder to the faithful that the
present struggles to establish Tsiyown are far from complete. At the end of Psalm
87:6 is the word “Selah.”
It is a reminder that the reader should pause, remember and meditate upon
the foregoing idea.
The splendor of Tsiyown is the subject of the Bible, reaching its height in
the New Testament city called, “New Jerusalem.”
The World System
Psalm 87:4 speaks cryptically of Rahab and Babylon. Here, the L-rd,
Himself, takes up the discourse, making mention to the wise. After all, a word
to the wise is enough. Those who have studied Scripture know that the rise of
Tsiyown means the fall of the nations.
In Hebrew, rahab [cvr] means, “arrogant.” But it is also a metaphor for
Egypt, which is the Bible’s leading type of the world system. Historically,
Egypt was allowed, by יְהוָה , to help Israel in times of famine. But their help
came with a price. Israel became enslaved to their system.
Egypt is referred to as the southern power. In Isaiah 30:6 and 7, we see
the L-rd’s view of Egypt:
“The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and
anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying
serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and
their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit
“For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I
cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.”
Here, the word “strength” is translated from rahab. This verse says that
the Egyptians core of strength is Rahab.
The Jews teach that Rahab is the monster of the deep sea, who represents
the world system of the latter days. Isaiah 51:9 speaks of Rahab in this very
“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the L-rd; awake, as in the
ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab,
and wounded the dragon?”
Psalm 89:9 and 10 speak of Rahab’s destruction in the context of יְהוָה ’s
final judgment of the nations:
“Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou
“Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast
scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.”
Rahab is finally seen in Revelation 13, as John watches him rise to power
before his final judgment. He is the ultimate expression of global power, a
serpent, in league with various great nations:
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the
sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon
his heads the name of blasphemy.
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as
the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave
him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 13:1,2).
Psalm 87:4 also mentions Babylon, the northern power, and the birthplace
of pagan idolatry. The YHWHs of Babylon gave birth to the mystery religion of
Ishtar and Tammuz. Its occult worship of death and rebirth established the
pattern taken up in Egypt, Greece and Rome.
In the New Testament, “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT” is the “mother of
harlots.” It is the antithesis of the New Jerusalem, the Holy City called
in the Old Testament. The mystery city of Revelation 18 is to be interpreted
symbolically and allegorically. Some have called it Rome; others have stated
that it has a global presence. But its two intertwined parts – corrupted
religion and fraudulent commercialism – are destroyed almost overnight.
Taken together, Rahab and Babylon represent the latter-day
internationalist despotism, finally taken into control by, none other than, the
Antichrist. They represent the worst in politics, religion and commercialism.
Psalm 87:4 continues by mentioning three other types of Gentile world
“... behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.”
First come the Philistines. These ancient “sea people” came to Israel from
the isles of the Mediterranean. They represent outside invaders who attempt to
take over the Land. The original Philistines were lovers of battle. Though they
faded from history around the 9th century B.C., their name became indelibly
imprinted on the Holy Land.
The world insists upon calling Israel “Palestine,” in memory of the
Philistines, to this very day. Others, who have come in contemporary times to
make the same claim as their ancient namesakes, are relying upon the world to
forget that theirs is a false heritage. Interestingly, the modern “Palestinians”
are also invaders from outside the Land.
Tyre, mentioned next, is the seat of the ancient Phoenician traders. They
are called the “merchants of Tarshish.” They are the Bible’s perfect symbol of
arrogant globalism. Tyre’s traders spurned the laws of any land, preferring to
live by the law of the sea, that favored their own accumulation of wealth and
power. They were rich and proud, and are the symbol of this class of Gentile
Finally, we come to Ethiopia, which is translated from the Hebrew, “Cush.”
Isaiah 18 envisions Ethiopia as a faraway nation, which fell into disrepute. In
the end, however, some of them returned to Tsiyown. They seem to represent a
dispersed mixed people, fallen on hard times. Modern Cush encompasses the Sudan,
Ethiopia, and parts of Egypt and Libya.
After mentioning these five national types (Rahab, Babylon, Philistia,
Tyre, and Ethiopia), we find the curious note that, “… this man was born there”
(Psalm 87:4). Since the subject has been the world system, we must assume that
the L-rd is noting those who are born to this system. In the light of the verses
that follow, we assume that this is a final accounting of those condemned to be
counted part of the world system.
Then, in Psalm 87:5, by contrast, we come again to Tsiyown, city of יְהוָה and
home of the redeemed. Here, the L-rd is accounting those elect who will make up
His kingdom. We are reminded of Daniel 7:10, in which the L-rd takes up the work
of the final judgment of the nations. There, we find the words, “… the judgment
was set, and the books were opened.”
The phrase, “this and that man” (Psalm 87:5) is translated from a Hebrew
expression that means “each and every single individual.” Among the redeemed,
each individual will be given special care and consideration. It is in this
final tally of the people that the foundation of Tsiyown will, at last, be brought
Psalm 87:6 depicts the L-rd writing up the people. Clearly, this is the
accounting process that will discriminate between the living and the dead:
“The L-rd shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was
born there. Selah.”
There will be a day, perhaps most clearly seen in the book of Revelation,
when the redeemed will be placed with finality in the book of life:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face
the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before יְהוָה ; and the books
were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life...” (Rev.
Note that Psalm 87:6 is followed by a second “Selah.” As we pause to
consider those born in Tsiyown, it becomes obvious that the fortress of Tsiyown is a
magnificent symbol of safety for those who receive the L-rd’s salvation, and are
written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Psalm 87:7 brings us to a scene of great jubilation, in which “singers and
players” mark the deliverance of those safe in Mashiach. Perhaps we are looking
at another view of Revelation 14, in which heaven celebrates the deliverance of
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an
hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their
“And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the
voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their
“And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the
four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred
and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth” (Revelation
The Remarkable Number 153
There is a remarkable witness to the spiritual qualities evoked in
references to Tsiyown. It lies in the interesting fact that the word “Tsiyown” is used
153 times in the King James Version Old Testament. (Parenthetically, in the KJV,
it is seen two additional times, spelled as “Sion.” Once, in Deuteronomy 4:48,
it is a different word, used as a designation for Mt. Hermon. On the other
occasion, in Psalm 65:1, it is a designation for יְהוָה in heaven.)
What makes the number 153 interesting is that it has long been thought to
have great spiritual significance. Perhaps its most significant appearance is in
the last chapter of John’s Gospel. There, he tells the extraordinary story of
Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA’ post-resurrection meeting with the disciples on the shore of the Sea of
Galilee. The heart of the encounter is a miracle, in which professional
fishermen are given a spiritual lesson about fishing.
“After these things Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA showed himself again to the disciples at the
sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself.
“There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael
of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
“Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also
go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that
night they caught nothing.
“But when the morning was now come, Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA stood on the shore: but the
disciples knew not that it was Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA.
“Then Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered
“And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye
shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the
multitude of fishes.
“Therefore that disciple whom Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA loved saith unto Peter, It is the
L-rd. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the L-rd, he girt his fisher’s coat
unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
“And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far
from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
“As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there,
and fish laid thereon, and bread.
“Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
“Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an
hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net
broken” (John 21:1-11).
This incident, in addition to being a touching account of the relationship
between Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA and His disciples, is the remarkable depiction of His plan to
spread the Gospel.
Here, the Sea of Galilee is called by its Gentile name, “Tiberias.” This
foreshadows the going forth of the Gospel into the Roman Empire and the Gentile
world at large.
This brief description of a fishing trip at night is the remarkable symbol
of things to come, as the disciples go forth with the good news. Then and now,
it is not uncommon for fishermen to spread their nets at night, using lantern
light to attract the fish. Peter, doubtless still under enormous self-reproach
for the public denial of his L-rd, wants to return to his former occupation as a
fisherman. Through the night, he and his partners labor in the flesh, only to
come up empty-handed.
The next morning, Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA appears on the shore. He directs their fishing
efforts, and in a single moment, they experience a miraculous harvest of fish …
big fish. It is Simon Peter who drags the net to shore. Though he doesn’t
realize it at the moment, the enormous catch is the symbol of the work that he
and others will do in the founding of the church. His accomplishment comes in
the strength and direction of the L-rd. The Redeemer directs His redemption.
This vignette takes us back to the original calling of the disciples in
Matthew 4. Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA took ordinary fishermen and promised to make them into
something new. They would, henceforth, fish for the souls of men:
“And Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called
Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
“And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
“And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of
Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending
their nets; and he called them” (Matthew 4:18-21).
The final chapter of John shows them trying to return to their “normal”
lives. By His actions, Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA graphically demonstrated to them that their true
calling was spiritual in nature.
From the earliest days of biblical commentary, thoughtful readers have
been amazed at the simple and direct way that Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA allows us to know His
thoughts. But most especially, they have wondered at the mysterious nature of
the catch – those one-hundred and fifty-three great fish. Why that number? Why
At no time does the Bible ever include the slightest fragment of wasted
information. Numbers, in particular are freighted with meaning. One is the
Creator; two is division; three, the YHWHhead; four, the Kingdom; five is grace;
six, the number of man; and seven, the statement of completion.
But 153? It must have great significance. E. W. Bullinger, in his
groundbreaking 1894 book, Number in Scripture, commented upon Augustine’s idea
about the mysterious number. “He and other commentators see in this number some
connection with the saved, as being definite and particular down even to the
last one, making up not a large round number, but a smaller and odd number, 153.
They saw in this a proof of the fact that the number of the elect is fixed and
Bullinger comments further on the matter. “Jerome also sees there is some
deeper meaning in the number, and says that there are 153 sorts of fish, i.e.,
all kinds of men enclosed in the Gospel net.”
He writes that many numerical schemes have been generated in a series of
attempts to bring meaning to the divine number. In one example, Augustine took
the sum of all the digits up to and including the number 17, beginning with
1+2+3, and so on up to 15+16+17=153. This curiosity emphasizes the number 17,
but does nothing to explain the meaning of the number, itself.
But then, in an amazing burst of insight, Bullinger discovered that the
Old Testament phrase, “sons of יְהוָה ” contains the same, mystical number. In
Hebrew, each letter is also a number, so that words and expressions add up to
meaningful numbers. In the case of “sons of יְהוָה ,” the letters of the Hebrew
b’nai ha’elohim add up to exactly 153!
Bullinger reasoned that this expression is nothing less than, “the number
of the Sons of יְהוָה .” He quite rightly reckoned that since the redeemed are
called, “joint-heirs with Mashiach” in Romans 8:17, they are also to be seen as
the sons of יְהוָה .
To further illustrate the point, Bullinger noted that “amongst the
multitudes who received direct blessing from Mashiach there are recorded exactly
153 individual cases.” In his book, he goes on to mention them by name and
Tsiyown, the Redeemed of All Ages
As we have seen, the historical “fortress of Tsiyown” is also the city “whose
builder and maker is יְהוָה .” The city of Abraham and Melchizedek is the
foundational city of redemption.
As a descriptive term, Tsiyown illustrates both the foundation of redemption,
and the final, finished structure. Isaiah 28:16, written to the apostate
northern tribes of Israel, is the L-rd’s proclamation that He will not allow
them to destroy His plan:
“Therefore thus saith the L-rd יְהוָה , Behold, I lay in Tsiyown for a
foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation:
he that believeth shall not make haste.”
Both Houses realize that the foundation is more than a physical stone. It is
the L-rd, who came and was rejected, as in Psalm 118:22, where we read, “The
stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”
The Temple of Solomon, torn down and rebuilt again in the days of Herod’s
“Second Temple,” is the physical model of the heavenly Temple. On a future day,
the millennial Temple will be built by the L-rd, Himself. In fact, the name of
that place will ultimately be יְהוָה Shamah, “The L-rd is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).
The awe-inspiring conditions which will mark the entry into that period
are given in Isaiah 24:23:
“Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the L-rd of
hosts shall reign in mount Tsiyown, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients
The final disposition of Tsiyown is to be the home of the redeemed. The House
of David will, at last, come to their promised place and live in peace:
“Therefore the redeemed of the L-rd shall return, and come with singing
unto Tsiyown; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain
gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11).
This beautiful prophecy becomes fully realized in the New Testament book
of Revelation, where the one-hundred and forty-four thousand are seen standing
on Mt. Tsiyown. They are the brilliant gem of redeemed Israel, and the realization
of Old Testament prophecy.
When He came the first time, the Chief Cornerstone (Mashiach) was
rejected, and He became the Foundation for the church. Thus, the concepts of
Tsiyown in the New Testament are metaphysical, spiritual and prophetic.
Tsiyown in the New Testament
In the New Testament, “Tsiyown” appears exactly seven times. In the King
James Version of the Bible, it appears as “Sion,” in accordance with its initial
letter, as spelled in the Greek language. Though it appears this way, it is used
in the same spiritual sense as its Old Testament counterpart. As might be
expected, many of its uses are direct quotes from the Old Testament.
In the Gospels of Matthew and John, the long-awaited Messiah-King is
announced to the “daughter of Tsiyown.” This call to the Jewish elders should have
alerted them to all the Old Testament prophecies having to do with His Coming.
In Romans 9:33, Tsiyown is mentioned in a reference from Psalm 118:22. Paul
uses this as an reminder that Israel failed to receive their Messiah, instead
perceiving Him as a “stumblingstone and a rock of offence.” In Romans 11:26,
Paul quotes from Isaiah 59:20, “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and
shall turn away unYHWHliness from Jacob.”
Tsiyown is also seen in the figurative language of Paul’s writings. Recalling
that one of Tsiyown’s chief meanings is “foundation,” it makes perfect sense that
Paul would describe his ministry and the outworking of salvation in the language
“According to the grace of יְהוָה which is given unto me, as a wise
masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let
every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones,
wood, hay, stubble” (I Corinthians 3:10-12).
This thought is also found in Ephesians, the epistle dedicated to the
believer’s position in Mashiach. In the second chapter, Paul describes the body
of Mashiach as being spiritually incorporated into the very structure of the
L-rd’s Temple. Though it is impossible for mere humans to imagine being
engineered into the very structure of a building, it is, nevertheless, a
metaphysical truth. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the physical and the spiritual
This is the New Testament Tsiyown:
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow
citizens with the saints, and of the household of יְהוָה ;
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
HaMashiach himself being the chief corner stone;
“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of יְהוָה through the
Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22).
The Apostle Peter also sees the church as a living structure – spiritual
“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but
chosen of יְהוָה , and precious,
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy
priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to יְהוָה by Malki Tzedik YEHOWSHUA
“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a
chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be
“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be
disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head
of the corner” (I Peter 2:4-7).
This idea is mirrored in a wonderful statement directed toward the
Philadelphian church. Revelation 3:12 connects the statements of Paul and Peter
with the ancient dream of Tsiyown and the prophesied New Jerusalem:
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my יְהוָה , and he
shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my יְהוָה , and the
name of the city of my יְהוָה , which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of
heaven from my יְהוָה : and I will write upon him my new name.”
The book of Hebrews was written to persuade Hebrew-Christian believers of
the superiority of Mashiach as High Priest, and the efficacy of His blood
offering. In the process, it contrasts Mt. Horeb, the place of the Law, with Mt.
Tsiyown, the place of grace and truth:
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living יְהוָה ,
the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews
Here, at last, is seen the beautiful city of יְהוָה , and the final dwelling
place of all the redeemed. With his spiritual eyes, Abraham saw this city, and
knew that יְהוָה would bring him there in the end. The Apostle John was blessed
with a vision of this city, which he wrote about in Revelation 21:10-14:
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and
showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from
“Having the glory of יְהוָה : and her light was like unto a stone most
precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
“And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates
twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve
tribes of the children of Israel:
“On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three
gates; and on the west three gates.
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of
the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
Here, at last, is the heavenly Tsiyown. Beautiful beyond comprehension, its
gates and foundations bring together the leaders of both houses of Israel and the
assembly. It is the summation of יְהוָה ’s long-term plan to redeem the broken
universe because of satans rebellion. Its Temple is a living structure – a vital union of
El-Elohe-Isreal and those whom He has chosen.
It is illuminated by His light, and is a source of continual blessing to
the nations on the Earth below. Tsiyown, home of the redeemed, is our destiny.
As we think about the house today under siege, we should always remember
that this world, under the despotism of the nations, is not our home. We are
aliens here; our true citizenship is yet to be realized in Tsiyown, home of
the redeemed. Wonderful things await the faithful.