After the tiger, lions are the second largest cats in the animal kingdom and the friendliest of all big cats on earth. They also possess tremendous strength and ferocity, which can make them extremely dangerous.
The Bible speaks of a lion in many aspects and symbolisms. The animal represents courage, royalty, and kingship. On the contrary, it also signifies the works and wiles of the Devil—roaming around in our midst to devour us. But its most important representation points to Jesus Christ as the “Lion of Judah” and the “Lamb of God,” who takes away the sins of the world.
- 1 What Is The Significance Of Lions In The Bible?
- 2 What Is The Lion Of God?
- 3 What Does It Mean To Be A Lion Of God?
- 4 How Is Jesus The “Lamb Of God” And The “Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah”?
- 5 Conclusion
What Is The Significance Of Lions In The Bible?
Power And Courage
A lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing.— Proverbs 30:30
Lions signify authority and valor in the Bible, as they are often referred to as the “king of beasts” of all living creatures in the jungle. The lion’s roar is a symbol of strength and fearlessness and is often used to represent God’s power. In the Bible, lions are mentioned several times as a symbol of courage, strength, and protection.
For example, when David was facing Goliath, he declared, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). This verse demonstrates the power of God and how He can protect us from even the most powerful of enemies.
Daniel In The Lion’s Den
Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”— Daniel 6:21–22
During the reign of the Persian king Darius I “The Great” (550–486 BC), a devout and steadfast Daniel was condemned to spend the night in a lion’s den purely for the reason of worshiping God rather than him. God rewarded Daniel with wisdom and the ability to interpret dreams.
In order to trick the king into making a new law, the wise men tricked him into thinking Daniel prayed to God. Anyone who prayed to God would be thrown into a lion’s den. Daniel chose to pray to God anyway.
The following morning after the stone sealing, the entrance was removed, and the astonished Persians were amazed to find Daniel, very much alive, standing at the entrance, giving thanks to God for keeping him safe overnight. Daniel has displayed the power of God, which is majestic and supreme over all kings, beasts, and men.
Symbolizes Satan And Evil
Be alert and of a sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.— 1 Peter 5:8
It is a common misconception that the Bible only alludes the lion to Jesus. But, the apostle Peter compares the devil to a roaring lion, looking for people to destroy. These animals are always on the prowl, seeking to tempt and trap any unsuspecting soul. Young lions in Psalm 91 also refer to negative thoughts.
We must be alert and aware of his schemes, for he will use any means to bring us down. He is cunning and sly and will use whatever he can to bring us to our knees. We must be vigilant and prepared to stand against him, for he is relentless in his pursuit of our destruction. Instead, we must be strong in our faith and trust in God.
What Is The Lion Of God?
You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion, he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor will the ruler’s staff depart from between his feet.— Genesis 49:9–10
The Hebrew Bible depicts the Kingdom or Tribe of Judah as a successor state to the United Kingdom of Israel, a term that refers to the united monarchy ruled by biblical kings Saul, David, and Solomon and covering the territory of Judah and Israel. In the Bible, Judah’s symbol is a lion of God because of the blessing bestowed on him by his father. Jacob calls Judah a Gur Aryeh (a young lion).
Jacob also mentioned to Judah that “your father’s sons shall bow down to you” (Genesis 49:8). As a national symbol, the lion appears on the flags of several Israeli cities, such as Jerusalem. It is also a symbol of strength, kingship, and sovereignty in East Africa. Moreover, it is an important cultural symbol, as most Jews today are from the tribe of Judah—the root of Judaism. But the Scriptures clearly indicate Jesus as the Lion of Judah.
What Does It Mean To Be A Lion Of God?
For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off with no one to rescue them.— Hosea 5:14
Being a Lion of God connotes something about the supremacy of the Lord and His powerful divine attributes. But the phrase also refers to any human being of the Bible who honored and obeyed God through their strong faith. Most importantly, Scripture points directly to our Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was sent by God to take away the sins of the world.
But Christians are called a Lion of God who possesses the following traits and attributes:
- Courage and strength.
- Power and authority.
- Wisdom and dignity.
- Confidence and respect.
How Is Jesus The “Lamb Of God” And The “Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah”?
Lamb Of God
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”— John 1:29
In Old Testament law, the unblemished lamb was used as a sacrifice as a covering for human sin. In those days, an innocent lamb would serve as a substitute for the offender who had sinned, due to the fact that the penalty for sin was death.
Nevertheless, with the death of Jesus Christ, the penalty for sin was paid once and for all (Romans 6:10). In the end, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice, the pure and innocent Passover lamb who took our place, atoning for our sins and bringing about a new covenant of eternal life for those who believe in him and call on his name through His death and resurrection.
Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.— Revelation 5:5
The Bible speaks of Jesus as the Lion of Judah, a symbol of His power and authority. This title is mentioned in the Book of Revelation and is often used to refer to His second coming and the end times.
The term lion is associated with strength, courage, and leadership—all qualities that Jesus embodies. He is also referred to as a kingly figure who will triumph over evil in the end times. As such, this title serves as a reminder that Jesus will return with might to judge mankind and bring about justice.
The Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God and their references all point to our Messiah, Jesus Christ, and His preeminent role in the history of Christianity and humanity up to the time when He opens the seven seals at the end times.
The lion also represents the power of Christ in his role as an eternal king, and the lamb represents the grace of Jesus in his role as an eternal savior. This victory was made possible through his work on the cross, in which he stepped in as the innocent lamb to be sacrificed for our sins once and for all so that we could share in His glory.