Original Research

Mount Sinai and Mount Zion: Discontinuity and continuity in the book of Hebrews

Hulisani Ramantswana
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 1 | a90 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.90 | © 2013 Hulisani Ramantswana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 July 2012 | Published: 08 May 2013

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Hulisani Ramantswana, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, Unisa, South Africa

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The author of Hebrews draws significant contrasts between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion which both played a major role in the old covenant. For the author of Hebrews the former mountain, Mount Sinai, only had limited significance with respect to the new covenant, whereas the latter mountain, Mount Zion, continued to have significance in the new covenant. Mount Zion was viewed as a shadow of the heavenly reality, which is the true destination for the pilgrimage community. Mount Sinai as the locus of encounter or meeting between God and Israel only played a transitory role, whereas Mount Zion had perpetual significance as the destination, the dwelling place of God and his people.

Berg Sinai en Berg Sion: Diskontinuïteit en kontinuïteit in die brief aan die Hebreërs. Die skrywer van Hebreërs wys op betekenisvolle teenstellings tussen Berg Sinai en Berg Sion, wat elkeen ’n beduidende rol in die ou verbond gespeel het. Vir die Hebreërskrywer het Berg Sinai egter beperkte betekenis vir die nuwe verbond, terwyl Sion nog steeds betekenis het. Berg Sion word as skaduwee van die hemelse werklikheid beskou, wat die uiteindelike bestemming van die pelgrimsgemeenskap is. Berg Sinai, as die lokus van ontmoeting tussen God en Israel, speel slegs ‘n oorgangsrol, terwyl Berg Sion steeds beduidende betekenis het as bestemming en woonplek van God en sy volk.


Sinai; Zion; Continuity; Discontinuity; Book of Hebrews


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