Sion, Mount

Si'on, Mount, the name of two hills in the Scriptures.

1. (Heb. har Sion', ]הִר שַׂיאֹ; Samar.]הר שיאי; Sept. τὸ ὄρος τοῦ Σηών; Vulg. mons Sion.) One of the various names of Mount Hermon which are fortunately preserved, all not improbably more ancient than "Hermon" (q.v.) itself. It occurs in De 4:48 only, and is interpreted by the lexicographers to mean "lofty." Furst conjectures that these various appellations were the names of separate peaks or portions of the mountain. Some have supposed that Zion in Ps 133:3 is a variation of this Sion; but there is no warrant for this beyond the fact that so doing overcomes a difficulty of interpretation in that passage.

2. (τὸ ὄρος Σιών) The Greek form of the Hebrew name Zion (Tsion), the famous Mount of the Temple (1 Macc. 4:37, 60; 5:54; 6:48, 62; 7:33 10:11; 14:27; Heb 12:22; Re 14:1). In the books of Maccabees the expression is always "Mount Sion." In the other Apocryphal books the name "Sion" is alone employed. The New Test. usually employs the simple form "Sion" (Mt 21:5; Joh 12:15; Ro 9:33; Ro 11:26; 1Pe 2:6); Further, in the Maccabees the name unmistakably denotes the mount on which the Temple was built; on which the Mosque of the Aksa, with its attendant mosques of Omar and the Mogrebbins, now stands. The first of the passages just quoted is enough to decide this. If it can be established that Zion in the Old Test. means the same locality with Sion in the books of Maccabees, one of the greatest puzzles of Jerusalem topography will be solved.

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