The Lion Of Judah
I have received many emails asking to explain the lion of Judah, its symbolism, and how it pertains to Rastafari and Christianity.
To explain this I turn to the Bible and the book of Hosea chapter 5. In it the prophet addresses some Israelite priests. The prophet basically warned them that they were not being a testament to their royal heritage and lineage and weren’t living right. Verse 10: The princes of Judah are like those who remove landmarks to steal their neighbor’s land. I will pour out my displeasure on them like a flood. (From the clear word bible interpretation) In verse 14 the phraseology comes in to play as a further means to drive the point through: I will be like a lion to Israel and like a young lion to Judah. I will tear their nations to pieces, and then walk away. I will carry them off and no one will rescue them. They will be as good as dead.
This should really speak for itself and how serious God is with us, whom he blesses every day. In the bible this is one of the only instances that the lion of Judah is mentioned and is used as an adjective, describing God’s power and mercy. The Rastafari movement basically seems to correlate everything in the bible describing God to also describe Haile Selassie. Not to mention the coronation of Selassie as “King of Kings, lord of lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” Selassie’s coronation is not mentioned in the bible, and has no biblical validity. It is admirable to be dubbed as such, or the association is admirable, but never to be misconstrued for whom the title was originally intended: God.
The symbol of the lion of Judah is simply that, a symbol; an image deriving from divine words. Doing a search on the web reveals several versions of this. We can see that it basically stays the same, a lion holding or bearing the flag of the star of David. The star of David is a very popular symbol for Christians of all denominations, and is often seen by Jews. The Rastafari church having it s roots in Christianity also commonly uses this symbol. Normally I don’t put too much into displaying religious paraphernalia for my own personal preference. God, Christianity and my salvation are things that I bear witness to by the way I live, and not what is on my wall or T-shirt. There’s nothing at all wrong with having a lion of Judah symbol on your car, or wall or body. If that’s what you believe is important for you to do, then do your thing. Perhaps if I found a compelling drawing of it somewhere I would acquire it because I know for myself what it means to me.
This particular picture is of the Lion of Judah (symbol of Ethiopia) carved in the stone lintel above the entrance to Ethiopian Church. Jerusalem, the Middle East.