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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Lion. Lions do not now exist in Palestine; but they must in ancient times have been numerous there. The names Lebaoth, Joshua 15:32; Joshua 19:6; Laish, Judges 18:7; 1 Samuel 25:44, indicate the presence of the lion in those regions. The lion of Palestine was in all probability the Asiatic variety, described by Aristotle and Pliny as distinguished by its short curly mane, and by being shorter and rounder in shape, like the sculptured lion found at Arban. When driven by hunger it not only ventured to attack the flocks in the desert in presence of the shepherd, 1 Samuel 17:34; Isaiah 31:4, but laid waste towns and villages, 2 Kings 17:25-26; Proverbs 22:13; Proverbs 26:13, and devoured men. 1 Kings 13:24; 1 Kings 20:36. Among the Hebrews, and throughout the Old Testament, the lion was the symbol of the princely tribe of Judah, while in the closing book of the Bible it received a deeper significance as the emblem of him who "prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." Revelation 5:5. On the other hand its fierceness and cruelty rendered it an appropriate metaphor for a fierce and malignant enemy, Psalms 7:2; Psalms 22:21; Psalms 57:4; 2 Timothy 4:17, and hence for the archfiend himself, 1 Peter 5:8.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Lion'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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