Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

I. Etymology, Topography, and Historical Significance

The toponym “Zion” (Heb. צִיּוֹן/ṣiyyôn, a cognate of צִיָּה/ṣiyyāh, “dry”) signifies “dry place” and, in derivation therefrom, “mountain ridge.” In this meaning, Zion entered into the designation of a “fortress of Zion” (Heb. מְצֻדַת צִיּוֹן/meṣudat ṣiyyôn) on the southeastern hill of Jerusalem overlooking the Gihon, which David renamed “City of David” (Heb. עִיר דָּוִד/ʿîr dāwid; 2 Sam 5…

Cite this page
Otto, Eckart, “Zion”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 30 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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