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In 2 Kings 19:21 (and other verses containing the phrase), should the phrase בַּת צִיּוֹן (bat Tzion) be understood as a genitive of possession (Zion’s daughter) or a genitive of apposition, equating the daughter with Zion?

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In II Kings 19:21 MT, The expressions (Leningrad Codex):

  1. בתולת בת ציון
  2. בת ירושלם

are noun phrases that are personifications, like "Mother Earth", "Father Time". Therefore, the NIV translation,

...Virgin Daughter Zion despises you and mocks you. Daughter Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee.

Is spot on. Note that the NIV does not read ""Daughter of Zion", or "Daughter of Jerusalem". These phrases do not refer to any particular daughter and they are not collective noun phrases referring to the women of Zion or Jerusalem collectively.

The imagery is imagery of opposites, the cruelty and profane bluster of Assyria as personified by the macho Assyrian field commander (Rav-shakeh) on the one hand, and the delicate, pure and vulnerable Daughter Zion on the other.

The meaning of "ben" and "bat" (son/dauther) in juxtaposition (סמיכות) in the MT can have several very different meanings and cannot be translated the same way in each instance. See my explanation of this at https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/55245/17080.

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