What we know as "Zionism" has little to do with what Zion actually is, because Zionism is about a "religious" justification for claiming ownership of land, whereas Zion, in its spiritual sense and according to its spiritual meaning, has nothing to do with land, or with a mountain or place or building, or with anything material.
Zion is actually the spiritual Source and the spiritual "foundation and cornerstone" (as Isaiah put it) through and upon which God sparked, manifested and evolved the physical world of life and form.
In spite of that, and because Zion is also the name of a place in Jerusalem, the idea of Zionism was the "religious" basis for establishing the modern State of Israel in 1948, and that idea was based upon the claim of a "God-given right of return" of all Jewish people to Jerusalem (and that issue will be discussed below).
In 1948, after Americans and the British ensured that the U.N. approved the establishment of the new Jewish nation, and after the indigenous Arab peoples of the Mid-East objected strenuously, the very first Prime Minister of Israel said the following about that, which is very telling:
"Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations' time, but for the moment there is no chance. So, it's simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out." -- Israeli Prime Minister David ben Gurion
That is telling for many reasons, because the attitude it expressed is still prevalent in Israel, even today.
That attitude has been so terribly problematic because David ben Gurion obviously did not know that the Quran commands Muslims to speak with great courtesy to Jews and Christians, because they "all believe in the same God" (29:46), and the Qur’an 2:136136 reveals that Muslims believe in the same God "which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received."
Granted, there have been and still are misguided Muslims who ignore those facts as well. However, their reaction is understandable because David ben Gurion did not merely reveal his ignorance of Islam and his disrespect of Arabs. Ben-Gurion also stated the still-prevalent belief that God "promised" the land of Israel to the distant ancestors of the ancient Jews.
That is why it is important to examine the facts of the matter, because while Jews certainly should have the right to go wherever they wish in the world (like anyone else), the horrible consequences of the U.N. decision in 1948 should cause us to at least question how and why the "right" of the modern State of Israel to be established was granted on the basis of religion, especially when it was so costly to Palestinians.
Granted, Israel is there now, and it perhaps has as much right to exist as any other nation established as a result of war and force of arms. For example, the U.S.A. would not exist as it is had it not been taken by force of arms from Native Americans, and many other nations in the world were established in much the same way.
Nevertheless, because Israel's existence and especially its continual expansion is so problematic, it is time to reexamine the situation, if for no other reason than to take the wind out of the sails of the Zionist ship of war.
The name “Zion” is used in several ways. In a physical sense, some say the name designates a specific mountain near Jerusalem where a Jebusite fortress had stood, which was conquered by King David and was then named the City of David. And some say Zion is also the name of the Temple Mount where King Solomon's Temple was in Jerusalem.
But, in another sense, Zion is not a physical place, but a symbol for that which is the divine, spiritual source or essence or "foundation" of God's creation, as well as the spiritual or heavenly “residence” of God. In the books of the Torah and Tanakh ("Old Testament") there are references to Zion as a material place or city or mountain or land, but there are also references to it as symbol for that which is not material.
For example, Isaiah 2:2 states that when prophecy is fulfilled, “the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the top of the mountains.” That is obviously symbolic, and refers to that “high and holy place where God inhabits eternity,” as is stated in Isaiah 57:15.
For the benefit of “he that believes,” Isaiah 28:16-17 states that the Lord God said: “I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a corner-stone of sure foundation, [so that] he that believes shall not make haste. And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place [of lies and falsehoods].” – Isaiah 28:16-17”
“He that believes” is the servant of God who fulfills prophecy, who does not make haste. And those references are not to a literal mountain or house or stone foundation or plumb line or hail or water. All those terms symbolize the spiritual reality and activity. The stone is that which is formed "without hands," as is the temple. And the stone is an esoteric symbol for divine truth, which in a sense is like the “stone” that “shall shatter the image of the King of Babylon shall become as a great mountain that fills the earth,” just as Daniel wrote in Daniel 2:32-35.
Both Daniel and Isaiah speak of that which is like a spiritual "stone foundation," and it is also like a spiritual projectile that will shatter the image of the greedy pretenders, bigots, hypocrites, false shepherds and false prophets. And through Isaiah, God assures the modern son of man that even though he may think his work is all in vain, it is not, and he can have faith that he can bare his soul and fulfill his mission but need not make haste. The prophecies will be fulfilled according to God’s timetable.
Of course, the book of Samuel calls Zion the City of King David. Chronicles states that David took the castle of Zion, which became the city of David. Then the book of Kings repeats that Zion is the City of David. King David himself wrote that The Lord dwells in Zion, in Jerusalem, and Isaiah foresaw Zion as a besieged city. Other Jewish authors and prophets refer to Zion, and the Christian books of Matthew, John, Paul and Peter do too. But, while Zion is the name of a physical place, it is not a physical place from which divine revelation and authority comes.
In the book of Psalms, King David wrote of his reality and vision, that "The Lord dwells in Zion," and that Israel’s "salvation shall come out of Zion," which "abides forever."
Nothing material or physical "abides forever," so David regarded Zion as Isaiah did, as the "high and holy place where God inhabits eternity." Moreover, David also wrote: "But of Zion it shall be said: 'This man and that was born in her; and the most high [God the Lord of lords and Lord of hosts] shall establish her.’"
David’s reference to Zion as a source of salvation and as a female who "gives birth" refers to God's eternal spiritual residence or state of being. And that is synonymous with "The Bride, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven," as referenced in John’s book of Revelation.
As is discussed in the articles on The Crusades for Jerusalem and The Bridegroom Lamb of God, what John called the "Bride and New Jerusalem," which John saw when he was carried away in spirit to a "great and high mountain," is Zion.
That concept is related to Solomon’s concept of Wisdom as a female aspect or reflection of God:
"Wisdom is beneficent and kind. She is the aura of the power of God, the radiance of the eternal Divine Light, a spotless mirror of God. She renews all things, and passing into holy souls from age to age, She produces friends of God and prophets. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her. And Wisdom is far better than weapons of war." –– The Book of Wisdom
Most religious Jews, Christians and Muslims have not understood that, because even though the terms are mentioned repeatedly in the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, it is apparently not clear enough. It must be explained, which is why all the Jewish prophets, including Jesus, foresaw and foretold that it would be explained in due time, when humanity was ready.
The Jewish longing for Zion as a place, starting with the deportation and enslavement of Jews during the Babylonian captivity, was adopted by Jews who had scattered throughout Europe in the Great Diaspora following their uprising and subsequent defeat by the Romans in 66 C.E., when the Jewish Temple of Solomon was destroyed.
Ever since then, many religious Jews have been clinging to what is written in the book of Psalms, such as: "By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion." "For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song ... [but] How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" And "The Lord builds up Jerusalem, and gathers together the outcast of Israel. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion."
That concept of Zion was not just Jewish, though. Black Christian slaves in America found comfort in it, and they held on to it even after the Civil War, when they were technically "free" but still oppressed and persecuted. And Zion came to symbolize a longing by oppressed peoples, and by exiles or refugees or wandering peoples who longed for a safe homeland, which is what Zion represents to many people.
For others, however, it has taken on a more spiritual meaning — a safe spiritual home, like in heaven, or a kind of personal peace of mind and state of being — which is what it really is.
In the esoteric mystical tradition of Jewish Kabbalah and its Western offshoot Qabalah, reference to Zion is with regard to the spiritual source from which material reality emanates into "The Tree of Life."
In Chapter 22, the last chapter in the book of Revelation, it first mentions “the river of life, clear as crystal. On both sides of the river is the Tree of Life, which bears twelve manner of fruits and yields Her fruit for each and every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
It also says that the “throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it,” referring to that “Tree of Life” — which speaks not of literal, material, corporeal things or beings, but of the spiritual, divine reality that shall exist in the spiritual realm.
That Tree of Life is not a literal tree, but is symbolized by ten spheres of emanation, and within, between and around those ten spheres are 32 connecting and related principles, also known as the paths of Wisdom. This speaks of spiritual revelation and knowledge that can come only from within, however, and no amount of effort or logic or reasoning or study can attain it. It is a spiritual gift that comes when you least expect it.
Of course, that is symbolic, but the symbolism is not understood by many. For example, some Christians think the “12 fruits” are the 12 apostles, and many others have many other ideas. However, John’s symbolism can be understood only with some knowledge of Kabbalah (aka Qabalah) and its symbolism. (And that is true with other books in the Torah and Tanakh or Old Testament, especially the book of Daniel, which contains much astrological symbolism.)
Anyway, “Zion” is therefore in a sense synonymous with the “Tree of Life,” for both terms speak not of the material world, but of the spiritual realm or heaven. But, unfortunately, what we know generally as "Zionism" has little or nothing to do with that. It generally has to do with materialistic concerns.
The term Zionism was coined by German and Austrian Jews in the late 1800s, and Zionism as a political movement was started in 1897. It was initiated to advocate and support a "return to the national homeland" in Palestine for the Jewish people.
In the years leading up to the First World War the Zionist movement gathered steam, and many were caught up in it because of the rhetoric. For example, a military recruitment poster picturing a woman as "The Daughter of Zion" called Jews to arms, saying: "Your Old New Land must have you! Join the Jewish Regiment."
The Zionist movement in Europe was largely responsible for prompting the United Nations to establish a Partition Plan for Palestine and authorize a Jewish State of Israel in 1948 -- which is why its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, stated that "God promised it to us."
Of course, Ben-Gurion thought he was doing the right thing. However, we have plainly seen the painful consequences of that theocratic, spiritually ignorant attitude.
Even though Israeli Zionists and American Christian Zionists use that materialistic concept of Zion and Zionism to justify themselves in their quest for power and domain, conveniently linking all Jewish people to the land of ancient Israel, the modern "Zionist" movement is largely secular and actually has little to do with the actual meaning of the Torah and Tanakh of the ancient Jews.
Granted, several of the ancient Jewish prophets did indeed "see" the return of Jews to Jerusalem and the Mid-East from various "islands" and places around the world. However, much of what the government of the modern State of Israel has been doing since 1948 has very little to do with God.
Granted, according to Genesis 12:2-3 the Lord said unto Abraham “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great,” and “in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 13:15 states: “For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.” And Genesis 17:8 states: “And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
It is even written that the Lord said to Moses that: “If you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people, for all the earth is mine. And Israel shall be unto me a holy nation.” Exodus 19:5-6
However, notice that Israel can be a holy nation, a nation among many. And, as the article on The New Covenant says, the covenants of Abraham and Moses were conditional. That is restated in the book of Isaiah. The covenants required that the House of Judah, the House of Jacob, and the House of Israel be above reproach, and without sin.
But that was not to be. In fact, as is pointed out in the book of Isaiah, the nation of Israel was rebellious, sinful, and her iniquity was great. It still is, particularly since 1948, and her iniquity will not be pardoned until she repents, throws off her arrogance, and makes amends.
The arrogance stems from the words and phrases in the Hebrew books in the Tanakh that can lead one to believe that Jews are "God’s chosen people" and therefore a race and nation favored by God. However, that is an egocentric and ethnocentric notion that has no place in the modern world. As it is written in the book attributed to Moses, God said Israel could be a "holy nation," but only if it behaved properly. Moreover, it is but one of the many nations of earth, which are all under God.
Granted, Isaiah 35:1-10 says: “They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped ...”
That would appear to justify the militancy of modern Israel and her heavy handed, iron fisted approach to dealing with her neighbors.
However, it was speaking of the future – modern times – that Isaiah 40:1-2 says: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.”
The modern son of man cannot speak tenderly to Jerusalem yet, because her iniquity is not yet pardoned. And Israel simply continues the ways of war.
Another reason Israel continues is because Ezekiel chapter 36 also contains much that Zionists focus upon to justify themselves. For example, it says “the nations shall know that I am the Lord your God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
Unfortunately, Zionists ignore that Ezekiel chapter 36 also says: “You shall kill men no more, nor bereave the [neighboring] nations any more .. nor shall you cause nations to stumble any more ...” It even says that the Jews [Zionists] “have profaned [God’s holy name] in the midst of the nations ...”
That’s why Ezekiel 36:31 says: “Then shall ye remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” And it says to the house of Israel that God will “cleanse you from all your iniquities ...”
But perhaps the piece of scripture that both Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists most love is Zephaniah 3:14-16, which states: “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Fear not, O Zion.’”
Taken out of context, that would appear to be a significant justification for Zionism. However, if we examine it in context, it become clear that the rejoicing will come only after Israel has ceased her militant warring ways, reconciles with her enemies, and makes amends to them. For Israel’s iniquity since 1948 has steadily increased, which is why she is under attack and criticized by most people in the world.
That is why many Jews in Israel need to seek and find the Light of Wisdom that is within us, which, as Solomon said, is far better than the weapons of war for making peace. That kind of Wisdom is beneficent and kind. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. For peace cannot be "won" by waging war. It must be made, by confessing our offenses, reconciling our differences, and making amends.
In the final analysis, Jews need to understand that the logic of using isolated words of their prophets to claim the absolute and exclusive right to the land they have taken is flawed.
By that logic, anyone in the world whose distant relatives were from the Native American Indian tribes of the "first nations" of North, Central and South America would have the right to reclaim their ancestral homelands, take control the land, establish a new government, and dislocate anyone from their newly declared nation, making refugees of people who had lived there for many generations.
Needless to say, that would not be fair to those of European ancestry who have lived in the Western Hemisphere or "New World" for generations, or to any other inhabitants who had lived there for a long time.
That’s why it was not fair for European Jews to move in to Palestine, ignore the rights of Palestinians to their homes and land, and make them refugees. (And that is why it is important to learn and consider the history of Zionism as discussed in the article on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.)
Furthermore, even though there are Hebrew books in the Tanakh that can lead you to believe it, the notion that Jews are "God’s chosen people" and therefore a race and nation favored by God is an egocentric and ethnocentric notion that has no place in the modern world. As it is written in the book attributed to Moses, God said Israel could be a "holy nation," but only if it behaved properly. Moreover, it is but one of the many nations of earth, which are all under God.
Jews are our fellow human beings, and we are all children of God. The God of Israel is the same God of all the world’s religions. They each may have a different, man-made concept of God, but all truly Divine inspiration and revelation comes from the same Source, which is God by any other name.
Even though that is not apparent or clear by reading the Christian Bible as we know it, one of the main aspects of the mission of the Jewish son of man, Jesus of Nazareth, was to develop and expand Judaism so that it would become less ethnocentric, and less exclusive.
That is why the teachings of Jesus were so similar to that of the Buddha Gautama. It is why Jesus spoke as a Hindu Avatar, speaking as and for the Holy One that is within, around and above us all. And it is why, according to the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Jesus taught concepts very similar to those of Lao Tzu in the Book of Tao.
"Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness." –– Isaiah 1:27
Zion as the City of David shall be redeemed with justice, but only after she (Israel) acknowledges and accepts the promised righteous judgment.
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment and make the right to go forth to the nations. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. ... He shall make the right to go forth according to the truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he has set the right in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his teaching.” – Isaiah 42:1-4
The modern State of Israel and Jerusalem have been ruled by many spiritually blind people who have committed many crimes against humanity and are guilty of terrible iniquity. And Israel’s iniquity will not be pardoned by God or the world until she repents, and makes amends.
Isaiah 40:2-4 states: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken: Children I have reared, and brought up, and they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel does not know. My people do not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly; they have forsaken the Lord, they have condemned the Holy One of Israel, they are turned away backward.”
Of course, Isaiah was talking about the ancient Jewish kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, who reigned until 686 BCE. However, those words are as true today as they were then, and it is up to Israel, the physical nation, to heed the words of truth. For until she does, she will suffer, and the servant-messenger of God will suffer.
Therefore, learn what this means: "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord." – Isaiah 2:3
Out of Zion comes the “Bride and New Jerusalem,” which is of the Spirit of truth, and the law and the word of the Lord goes forth. For the modern son of man bears righteous testimony as a witness and servant of the Lord God.
"And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion ... when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from its midst, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of destruction." –– Isaiah 4:3-4
"So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the West, and his glory from the rising of the sun. For distress will come in like a flood ... And a redeemer will come to [or out of] Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, as the Lord says. And the Lord says this is my covenant with them; My spirit that is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from you ... or from your posterity, henceforth and for ever." –– Isaiah 59:19-21
(The "posterity" of the servant of God is not genetic human offspring, but the legacy of his revelation and teaching.)
"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her triumph goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a torch. And the nations shall see your triumph, and all kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall mark out. ... You shall no more be termed Forsaken [or rejected], nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called, My delight is in Her, and your land, Espoused; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be espoused. For as a young man espouses a virgin, so shall your sons espouse you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." –– Isaiah 62:1-5
"Come, I will show you the bride, the [Bridegroom] Lamb's wife. 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 God." (Revelations 21:9-10)
"And I John saw the holy city of God, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelations 21:2)
John wrote those words after being “carried away in spirit,” into the spiritual realm where he saw the future. The "holy city" and the "bride" are appropriate symbols for Zion, and for the greatest spiritual gift God can bestow upon a son of man. That is why in an earlier chapter John reported that the spirit-soul or ghost of Jesus said this:
"Upon him who overcomes will I will write the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God. And I will write upon him my new name." – Revelation 3:12
Thus, according to Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them, and according to Isaiah 62:2 and Revelation 3:12, he who overcomes, the modern son of man, serves in the new name of the Lord (or Christ) which was Jesus of Nazareth, the dearly departed great one. And the modern son of man bears his testimony, as was prophesied by John.
Of course, the title of “Lord” is used for both men and God, but God is the Lord of Lords and the Lord of Hosts. And the “new name of the Lord” mentioned in Isaiah 62:2 and Revelation 3:12 is the new name for the Ancient One who was “before Abraham,” who was represented by Jesus, and who is in heaven with God.
The Ancient One is the original soul, the Oversoul, and Jesus of Nazareth served to redeem the “original man, Adam,” and advance from the cycles or rebirth into the worldly realm, to graduate to everlasting life in heaven. And He is the original soul who is now and shall always be in heaven with God, the “Alpha and the Omega.”
The new name of that Lord and soul is Jehoshuah, the Liberator (also spelled Yeheshuah and other versions). And the modern son of man is His chosen servant and messenger, serving in His name, and also serving God the Lord of lords and Lord of hosts. For as Moses wrote, God is not a man, nor a son of man, and as David wrote, there is no salvation in a son of man, only in God.
That is why you should understand that the modern son of man is from your midst and of your brethren, as Moses said he would be. Like John, he has witnessed the Holy One in “New Jerusalem” on that great mountain Zion. He was called and he was chosen to deliver the spirit of judgment, as prophesied by many prophets, not only of Judaism and Christianity, but of all the religions that speak of one to come.
That judgment, in part, clarifies that the spirit of destruction has come down upon humanity not because it is God's will, but because it is the karmic consequence of Man’s vain folly, pride, arrogance, offensiveness, and foolishness. And, unfortunately, the rain, like the sunshine, falls on the good and the bad alike.
The promised judgment is relevant and appropriate, regardless of religion, race, or nationality. It is a universal judgment.
That judgment tells us how and why the humble, gentle, kind, peaceful, loving majority shall indeed inherit the earth, just as soon as the divisive trouble makers get the message.