During the United Monarchy, Zion referred to Jerusalem’s eastern hill, now the Temple Mount and the City of David. Today, however, the western hill is known as Mt. Zion because, until 20th-century archaeologists discovered otherwise, it was thought that the original city would have been located on the higher, western hill.



See R.J. Clifford, The Cosmic Mountain in Canaan and the Old Testament, Harvard Semitic Monographs 4 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1972); and Jon Levenson, Sinai and Zion: An Enquiry into the Jewish Bible (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985).


Critical Bible scholarship divides the Pentateuch into four authorial strands, conventionally labeled J, E, P and D. J is the oldest and is characterized by the use of Yahweh (Jahweh in German, hence J) as the name of God.


E.A. Speiser’s translation, in Genesis, Anchor Bible 1 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964), p. 14.


See Jean-Claude Margueron, “Mari: A Portrait in Art of a Mesopotamian City-State,” in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, vol. 2, ed. Jack M. Sasson (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1995), pp. 892–893.


Compare J.N. Postgate, The Governor’s Palace Archive (London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 1973), pp. 239–240; A.K. Grayson, Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium B.C., vol. 2 (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1991), p. 290; D.J. Wiseman, “Palace and Temple Gardens in the Ancient Near East,” Bulletin of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan 1 (1984), p. 38.


For photographs of the relief, see Richard D. Barnett, Sculptures from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (London: British Museum Publications, 1976), pl. 23; Julian Reade, Assyrian Sculpture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1983), p. 36, fig. 48. For line drawings, see Stephanie Dalley, “Ancient Mesopotamian Gardens and the Identification of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon Resolved,” Garden History (1993), p. 10, fig. 2; Othmar Keel, The Song of Songs (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994), p. 169, fig. 100.


David Stronach, “The Garden as a Political Statement: Some Case Studies from the Near East in the First Millennium B.C.,” Bulletin of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan 1 (1984), pp. 171–180; “The Royal Gardens at Pasargadae: Evolution and Legacy,” in L. De Meyer and E. Haerinck, eds., Archaeologia Iranica et Orientalis (1989), pp. 475–495.


For the most penetrating commentary on the Song of Songs, profusely illustrated, see Keel, Song of Songs.


Walter Andrae, Das wiedererstandene Assur (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs Verlag, 1938; revised by Barthel Hrouda, Munich: Beck, 1977), figs. 42–45.


A. Abu Assaf, Der Tempel von ‘Ain Dara, Damaszener Forschungen 3 (Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, 1990); see also “Der Tempel von ‘Ain Daµraµ in Nordsyrien,” Antike Welt 24 (1993), pp. 151–171.


J.C. Greenfield, “Ba‘al’s Throne and Isa. 6:1” in Mélanges bibliques et orientaux en l’honneur de M. Mathias Delcor, ed. A Caquot, S. Légasse and M. Tardieu, Alter Orient und Altes Testament (1985), pp. 193–198; see also M.S. Smith, “Divine Form and Size in Ugaritic and Pre-exilic Israelite Religion,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 100 (1988), pp. 424–427.


For a more detailed discussion of the festival, see Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1973), pp. 91–111.


The gates were engaged in a wall that encircled the Temple precincts. Ezekiel 42:7 refers to it as gaµdeµr, the same word that is used for a wall that encloses gardens and vineyards. Ezekiel 42:12 uses gdrt gynlr; see also Cross, From Epic to Canon (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1998), p. 169, n. 67.