Zion, the City of the Great King: A Theological Symbol of the Jerusalem Cult


While previous research has illuminated the origins and development of the Zion tradition, this book is the first to make a thorough study of Zion as a theological symbol within the larger Jerusalem cult tradition. Drawing primarily on the Psalms and Isaiah of Jerusalem, Ollenburger shows that Zion serves pre-eminently to symbolize the kingship of Yahweh on Zion as creator and defender of world order. As such, Zion serves also to symbolize security and refuge, particularly for the poor. This study constitutes a powerful argument against the tendency of Old Testament theologians to devalue the cosmic Zion symbolism in favour of the historical theology of the exodus, especially when assessing the contemporary import of Old Testament theology. Zion symbolism is anything but an ideological tool legitimating a self-sufficient and self-serving monarchy. Instead it serves as the basis for a radical critique of the projects and pretensions of Judah's royal court.