Lion Of Judah Analysis
Symbol: The Lion of Judah
First occurrence in Scripture: Genesis 49:9 In Genesis 49, we have Jacob’s final words to his sons. In verse 9, as he turns his attention to Judah, we see Jacob refer to him as a young lion. In this passage we derive the term Lion of Judah, used to symbolize someone that will eventually grow to rule over the rest of the Family. There seems to be a drawing from some military imagery in the fact of stating Judah had conquered his prey and no one rises to challenge him.
A Common Image in the Ancient Near East It’s hard to determine where using the image of a lion first derived. An abundance of images and literature uses a lion or lion imagery. Some of the earliest pieces of art that we have from the ancient Near East contain lions (The Battlefield Palette and the Uruk Stele). It is important to realize there were countless differing uses of the lion in the ancient Near East. Probably one of the oldest is that of the lion as an enemy to overcome. This can be seen in the Uruk Stele. Strawn says, “This early piece highlights the close connection between the lion as enemy/threat and the monarchy/mighty one’s …show more content…
There was an early tendency to view the monarchy as the lion itself. Looking at the Battlefield Palette, various experts don’t see the lion as a scavenger like the vultures (bottom left corner) but as that of the conqueror/ruler. It was a common practice in Egyptian culture to refer to kings as a lion. Frequently the Lion hieroglyph is translated as prince or local ruler. Associating the lion with rulers was done extensively throughout ancient Near Eastern literature. Several Egyptian Pharaohs were depicted as being or behaving like a lion in royal inscriptions. To clinch this point, lion imagery is exceedingly common in the ancient Near East, especially in cultures that are heavily