li'-un: (1) Occurring most often in the Old Testament is
'aryeh, plural 'ardyoth. Another form, 'ari, plural 'arayim,
is found less often.
Compare 'ari'el, "Ariel" (Ezr 8:16; Isa 29:1,2,7); char'el,
"upper altar," and 'ari'el, "altar hearth" (Ezek 43:15);
'aryeh, "Arieh" (2 Ki 15:25); 'ar'eli, "Areli" and
"Arelites" (Gen 46:16; Nu 26:17). (2) kephir, "young lion,"
often translated "lion" (Ps 35:17; Prov 19:12; 23:1, etc.).
(3) shachal, translated "fierce lion" or "lion" (Job 4:10;
10:16; 28:8; Hos 5:14). (4) layish, translated "old lion" or
"lion" (Job 4:11; Prov 30:30; Isa 30:6).
Compare Arabic laith, "lion": layish, "Laish," or "Leshem"
(Josh 19:47; Jdg 18:7,14,27,29); layish, "Laish" (1 Sam
25:44; 2 Sam 3:15). (5) lebhi, plural lebha'im, "lioness";
also labhi', and 'lebhiya' (Gen 49:9; Nu 23:24; 24:9);
compare town in South of Judah, Lebaoth (Josh 15:32) or
Beth-lebaoth (Josh 19:6); also Arabic labwat, "lioness ";
Lebweh, a town in Coele-Syria. (6) aur, gor, "whelp," with
'aryeh or a pronoun, e.g. "Judah is a lion's whelp," gur
'aryeh (Gen 49:9); "young ones" of the jackal (Lam 4:3).
Also bene labhi', "whelps (sons) of the lioness" (Job 4:11);
and kephir 'arayoth, "young lion," literally, "the young of
lions" (Jdg 14:5). In Job 28:8, the King James Version has
"lion's whelps" for bene shachats, the Revised Version
(British and American) "proud beasts." the Revised Version
margin "sons of pride"; compare Job 41:34 (Hebrew 26). (7)
leon, "lion" (2 Tim 4:17; Heb 11:33; 1 Pet 5:8; Rev 4:7;
5:5; The Wisdom of Solomon 11:17; Ecclesiasticus 4:30;
13:19; Bel and the Dragon 31,32,34). (8) skumnos, "whelp" (1
-King of beasts
Job 4:10; 28:8; Ps 7:2; Pr 22:13; Jer 2:15; 49:19;
-The roaring of
Ps 22:13; Pr 20:2
Pr 30:30; Isa 38:13; Joe 1:6
-Instincts of, in taking prey
Ps 10:9; 17:12; La 3:10; Am 3:4; Na 2:12
-Lair of, in the jungles
Jer 4:7; 25:38
-The bases in the temple ornamented by mouldings of
-Twelve statues of, on the stairs leading to Solomon's
-Samson's riddle concerning
-Kept in captivity
-Sent as judgment upon the Samaritans
-Disobedient prophet killed by
-An unnamed person killed by
-Used for the torture of criminals
Da 6:16-24; 7:12; 2Ti 4:17
Of a ruler's anger
Pr 19:12; Jer 5:6; 50:17; Ho 5:14
Of divine judgments
Ge 49:9; Isa 29:1
Eze 1:10; 10:14; Da 7:4; Re 4:7; 5:5; 9:8,17; 13:2
"The most powerful, daring and impressive of all carnivorous
animals, the most magnificent in aspect and awful in voice."
At present lions do not exist in Israel; but they must in
ancient times have been numerous. The lion of Israel was in
all probability the Asiatic variety, described by Aristotle
and Pliny as distinguished by its short and curly mane, and by
being shorter and rounder in shape, like the sculptured lion
found at Arban. It was less daring than the longer named
species, but when driven by hunger it not only ventured to
attack the flocks in the desert in presence of the shepherd,
1Sa 17:34; Isa 31:4 but laid waste towns and villages, 2Ki
17:25,26; Pr 22:13; 26:13 and devoured men. 1Ki 13:24; 20:36
Among the Hebrews, and throughout the Old Testament, the lion
was the achievement of the princely tribe of Judah, while in
the closing book of the canon it received a deeper
significance as the emblem of him who "prevailed to open the
book and loose the seven seals thereof." Re 5:5 On the other
hand its fierceness and cruelty rendered it an appropriate
metaphor for a fierce and malignant enemy. Ps 7:2; 22:21;
57:4; 2Ti 4:17 and hence for the arch-fiend himself. 1Pe 5:8
the most powerful of all carnivorous animals. Although not
found in Israel, they must have been in ancient
numerous there. They had their lairs in the forests
12:8; Amos 3:4), in the caves of the mountains
(Cant. 4:8; Nah.
2:12), and in the canebrakes on the banks of the
49:19; 50:44; Zech. 11:3).
No fewer than at least six different words are used
in the Old
Testament for the lion. (1.) _Gor_ (i.e., a
lion's whelp (Gen. 49:9; Jer. 51:38, etc.). (2.)
"shaggy"), the young lion (Judg. 14:5; Job 4:10; Ps.
104:21), a term which is also used figuratively of
(Ps. 34:10; 35:17; 58:6; Jer. 2:15). (3.) _'Ari_
"puller" in pieces), denoting the lion in general,
reference to age or sex (Num. 23:24; 2 Sam. 17:10,
_Shahal_ (the "roarer"), the mature lion (Job 4:10;
Prov. 26:13; Hos. 5:14). (5.) _Laish_, so called
strength and bravery (Job 4:11; Prov. 30:30; Isa.
capital of Northern Dan received its name from this
_Labi_, from a root meaning "to roar," a grown lion
(Gen. 49:9; Num. 23:24; 24:9; Ezek. 19:2; Nah.
The lion of Israel was properly of the Asiatic
distinguished from the African variety, which is
larger. Yet it
not only attacked flocks in the presence of the
also laid waste towns and villages (2 Kings 17:25,
devoured men (1 Kings 13:24, 25). Shepherds
single-handed, encountered lions and slew them (1
35; Amos 3:12). Samson seized a young lion with his
"rent him as he would have rent a kid" (Judg. 14:5,
strength (Judg. 14:18), courage (2 Sam. 17:10), and
(Gen. 49:9) of the lion were proverbial.
'ariy, 'arieh ("the bearer," Umbreit); guwr, "the whelp"
(Genesis 49:9); kephir, "the young lion" in adolescent vigour,
his "great teeth" grown (Psalm 58:6), having his own covert
(Jeremiah 25:38); labiy, in adult maturity (Genesis 49:9);
libyah, "lioness"; la'ish, "an old (rather strong, from an
Arabic root) lion": Job 4:11, where the five different terms
occur; shachal is "the roaring lion"; labiy appears in the
German lowe. The variety of names shows the abundance of lions
in the regions of Scripture at that time. Now there are none
in Israel. But the names Lebaoth (Joshua 15:32), Arieh (2
Kings 15:25), Ariel for Jerusalem (Isaiah 29:1-2; Isaiah
29:7), Laish (Judges 18:7), incidentally, and so undesignedly,
confirm the Scripture assertions as to their former existence.
He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in
wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he
draweth him into his net.
So that the face of a man [was] toward the palm tree on the
one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on
the other side: [it was] made through all the house round
As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of
a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they
four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also
had the face of an eagle.
Lion. - Now extinct in Israel and in the surrounding countries, the lion was common there during the Old Testament times; hence the great number of words in the Hebrew language to signify it; under one or another of these names it is mentioned 130 times in the Scriptures, as the classical symbol of strength, power, courage, dignity, ferocity. Very likely as the type of power, it became the ensign of the tribe of Juda; so was it employed by Solomon in the decoration of the temple and of the king's house. For the same reason, Apoc., v, 5, represents Jesus Christ as the lion of the tribe of Juda. The craft and ferocity of the lion, on the other hand, caused it to be taken as an emblem of Satan (1 Peter 5:8) and of the enemies of the truth (2 Timothy 4:17).