Names used to symbolize Zion in Bible prophecy
There are several names used to symbolize mount Zion and sometimes they are the only ones that connect you to Zion to a particular prophecy making these names a must know;
Garden of the Lord/ Garden of Eden/ Garden of the Lord/Eden
Garden of the Lord or planting of the Lord or Eden are names used to refer to Zion in several prophetic passages in the Bible, pointing to a time when Zion shall be restored and given the glory of the Garden of Eden example
• Isaiah 51 3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
• Isaiah 61 to comfort all who mourn,3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Wilderness and fertile field, Lebanon and forest are symbolic names for Mount Zion mostly used in Isaiah. Mount Zion which is a wilderness at the moment, will be remembered by God and restored. In that day, God will make it blossom from a wilderness into a fertile field that is likened to a forest, the greenery of Zion will be like the glory of Lebanon then all the people will understand the prophecies of Zion, for their eyes will be opened to the truths of the end time prophecies, and their ears will hear the words of the prophets. The restoration of Zion is among the first signs that indeed we have began the very last years of this age and the first seal is already re-unsealed. These symbolic names of Zion are used interchangeably in different prophecies that are about/refer to Zion, example:
- Isaiah 35 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, 8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; 10 and those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
- Isaiah 29:17 In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field seem like a forest?
18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel
The East or ‘from the sunrise’, or ‘from the rising of the sun’ are names used to symbolize the location of Mount Zion example;
• Psalms 50: 1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
The understanding of these names that symbolize Zion, together with other symbols, will help in understanding the meaning of prophecies such as
Isaiah 2 12 The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), 13 for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,
(Cedars )= Christians/people of Zion
Zion = the church and the place chosen as a sanctuary for the church
Zion is symbolized by Lebanon
oaks = people of Israel
Bashan= symbolic name for Israel
Therefore, the above verses in Isaiah 2 simply means, The Lord has set a day to punish all that are proud in the church and in Israel. This will happen through the great tribulation in the church and the time of lamentation in Israel.
The understanding of the prophetic symbols will help you understand prophetic writings such Ezekiel 31 that needs the understanding of prophetic symbols to be interpreted.
Ezekiel 31:3 Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon,
with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest;
it towered on high, its top above the thick foliage.
8 The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it,
nor could the junipers equal its boughs,
nor could the plane trees compare with its branches—
no tree in the garden of God could match its beauty.
9 I made it beautiful with abundant branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden in the garden of God.
Assyria symbolize the anti-Christ and the spirit of the kingdom he will represent.
Cedars junipers and other trees symbolize people. Cedars are the redeemed,
Lebanon, forest, Eden and garden of the Lord symbolize Zion.
Therefore the above passage simply means, Assyria (the anti-Christ) will be among the redeemed (confirmed in other books, Isaiah and Daniel). He will grow to a high position over the other saints and no one in Zion will equal him, he will be the envy of all people in Zion or in the church…
Test your understanding:
- From the information from previous posts on symbols used in Bible prophecy:
Interpret Ezekiel 31: 2-19.
- Can you find other verses that support the prophecies of Ezekiel 31?