What is a Lion?
This animal was found in Palestine as late as the twelfth century, but has disappeared with the forests. Doubtless it was of the Asiatic species, with a short curly mane, smaller, more compact, and less formidable than the African lion. The king of beasts is mentioned about one hundred and thirty times in the Bible. Besides the general name, six Hebrew words are used for this animal, marking different conditions of Lion. age and prowess. His roar is described by four words, and his movements by six. Lebaoth, Arieh, Laish, and other places were named from this animal. Lions were captured in pitfalls, to which there is allusion in Eze 19:4, 1 Kgs 15:8; 2 Sam 23:20. Shepherds occasionally attacked them single-handed. 1 Sam 17:36. The Scriptures record how the lion, when famished, often attacked the flock, devoured men, and even ravaged villages. This animal was partial to the jungles of the Jordan, and when driven thence by the annual freshet was much enraged. Jer 49:19; Jer 50:44. As the symbol of royal power and strength, the most princely of all the tribes bore this animal on its banner. Gen 49:9, and in the Revelation Christ is called "the Lion of the tribe of Judah." The representations of this animal in the sculptures of Solomon's temple and palace will be remembered, as will also frequent rhetorical references to it as the symbol of various well-known characteristics, such as courage and ferocity.