Scripture Queries and Answers: Zion vs. Jerusalem, Daughter vs. Daughters

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Q. 1. How are we to understand “Zion” as compared with “Jerusalem”? “the daughter,” and “the daughters,” of Zion?
R. C.
A.-1. Zion was literally the south-eastern height called David's city, as Moriah was the north-eastern one on which Jehovah's house was built. But Zion (Isa. 1:2727Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. (Isaiah 1:27)) is often employed figuratively by the prophets and synonymously with Jerusalem as a whole. “Daughter of Zion” (as in Isa. 1:99Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:9)) is a poetic expression for the inhabitants of the Jewish capital, and so for the people in general. “Daughters of Zion” (as in Isa. 3:1616Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: (Isaiah 3:16)) would represent rather its female inhabitants. But we may add that it is nothing but ignorance to assume that Zion anywhere means the church of God even metaphorically. In Heb. 12:22, 2322But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22‑23) it is no doubt contrasted with Sinai (18, &c.), that is, the mount of royal grace, with that of legal responsibility; but it is distinguished alike from the scene of glory on high, a living God's city, heavenly Jerusalem, and yet more from the church or “assembly of first-born ones enrolled in the heavens.” Nor is there solid ground to doubt that, as Rev. 7:2-82And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. (Revelation 7:2‑8) points to a sealed number out of Israel's tribes, to be secured from providential judgment in a future day, so does chap. 14:1-5 to a still more honored complement of godly Jews, associated with the earth-rejected Messiah and blessed in that day. In both chapters, whether Israel or Jews properly, they are shown separately from the Gentiles, and grace will not forget them in the tremendous crisis at the end of the age. The heavenly redeemed are then and even before this seen symbolized by the crowned elders, who will have been with the Lord on high, and therefore manifestly distinct from any of them.
A.-2. The two are wholly distinct in their objects and aim; and hence there is no discrepancy possible.
Col. 2:2020Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Colossians 2:20) asks, If ye died with Christ from the elements of the world, why as alive in the world do ye subject yourselves to ordinances? The apostle gives a specimen of these ordinances in the three prohibitions which follow, Handle not, nor taste, nor touch. This was Jewish legalism over again, consistent with a people in the flesh like Israel, or as he here says “living in the world,” but quite incompatible with the spiritual condition of the Christian as one who died with Christ: a privilege acknowledged and signified even in baptism. To revive such ordinances was not only carnal, but a contradiction of their position as having died with Christ.
In 1 Peter 2:1313Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; (1 Peter 2:13) we have nothing to do with these ζόγματα of earthly religion, which Col. 2 declares to have been nailed to the cross and taken out of the way. The apostle of the circumcision urges on the believing remnant, that their behavior be seemly among the Gentiles, and in subjection to every human creation or institution for the Lord's sake. This he explains as civil government: “whether to king, as supreme; or to rulers, as being sent through him for vengeance on evil-doers and praise of well-doers.” Christian Jews must not be refractory like their unbelieving brethren.
A.-It is an interesting result and evidence of the version being made in Alexandria, where the drachm had just twice the value of the Greek or Attic drachm. Hence half the former was the equivalent of the latter, which is intended in the Gospel, answering to the Hebrew half-shekel. Theophylact, Abp. of Bulgaria in the latter part of the 11th century, seems to have been ignorant that the stater, or shekel, found in the fish's mouth, was the tetradrachm of later Greek writers, as distinguished from a gold coin and a heavier silver one earlier known, both so-called. He says that some thought it to be a precious stone found in Syria. Singularly enough, Clem. Alex. and Origen, Augustine and Jerome, are all wrong in confounding the ransom tax with a civil due. But Hilary and Chrysostom were right; not so the Jesuit C. á Lapide, or the Lutheran J. C. Wolff, and down to Wieseler, though the Jesuit Maldonat, and J. Albert Bengel, with Hammond, and J. Lightfoot &c., had long pointed out the truth.