The Lion Of Judah In Christianity And Judaism – Judah’s Lion Explained

We will be delving into religious symbolism in today’s post and examine the Lion of Judah. Why was Jesus called the Lion of Judah? How important is it in Judaism and Christianity? Here are all the answers to those questions.

Lion Symbolism in General – What Do Lions Represent?

The lion is a majestic and ferocious animal often depicted as the king of the jungle or savannah. It symbolizes royalty, power, and nobility. Lions also symbolize bravery because it is a predator that does not fear anything.

The Lion of Judah, AKA Judah's Lion as a Religious Symbol in Christianity and Judaism
the Lion of Judah/Judah’s Lion is an important religious symbol in Judaism and Christianity (Image by Alexas Photos)

As an emblem, the lion has been used in many flags and coats of arms, including those of the United Kingdom, Liberia and Haiti.

The heraldic beast is used as an emblem for sports teams and organizations such as Premier League’s Aston Villa F.C., English rugby team Leicester Tigers and Major League Soccer’s D.C. United.

In addition to all of these, the lion is a very important symbol for religions such as Judaism and Christianity as it represents Jesus Christ and his tribe.

The Lion of Judah, Origin and Meaning

The Lion of Judah is a symbol in the Christian and Jewish faiths which was mentioned in the Bible the first time. It is simply another name for Jesus of Nazareth. But why is he called the Lion of Judah?

Why is Jesus referred to as the Lion of Judah?

Jesus is called the Lion of Judah in the Bible because he is a descendant of King David, who was from the tribe of Judah.

The lion is considered to be the king of the jungle and Jesus was a king who will return to rule over Earth as stated in Revelation 5:12-14. In the Bible, Jesus’ tribe, the Tribe of Judah was part of the Kingdom of Israel.

So, the Lion of Judah, also known as “the King of Beasts,” is a symbol that represents power, royalty, and victory.

What does the Lion of Judah represent for Jewish people?

The symbol is derived from a passage in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 49:9), where Jacob states “Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?”

The lion is a symbol for Judah, one of the 12 tribes of Israel, which traditionally represents Jews who trace their lineage from Jacob through his son Judah. So, Judah’s lion is a symbol of identity and holiness in Judaism.

What does Judah’s Lion represent for Christian people?

For Christians, the Lion of Judah mainly represents Christ. The lion was used as a symbol on many medieval Christian flags, coins and shields.

In Christianity, the lion represents both Christ’s resurrection and his power over Satan. It also represents Jesus as “Judah’s lion” who will one day rule over all nations.

The Lion of Judah in Rastafarianism

Rastafarians believe that the Lion of Judah represents the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I, who they consider to be the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The Rastafari movement established in Jamaica is based on the bible’s prophecy for the second coming of Jesus and the re-establishment of his kingdom.

Some early followers of the movement believed that Selassie was the reincarnation of Jesus and that is the reason why it became an important symbol for the movement.

That being said, it is important to note that the King himself, who is known to be a good Christian, did actually condemn the belief in him being the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

Thist wraps up our post on Judah’s lion, one of the most significant religious symbols in Christianity and Judaism alike. If you liked reading the article, you should definitely check out our very detailed piece on different types of crosses here and another important religious symbol, which is believed  to have  played a significant part in the conversion of the Roman Empire into Christianity, the chi-rho symbol here.

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