of the Tribe
has of course long been
called the King of the Beasts,
in recognition of his great strength,
and so it is natural that such
imagery should be used to describe
the King of Kings, the Messiah
The expression, "Lion of the
tribe of Judah", is derived from Revelation
5:5 - And one of the elders saith unto me,
Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root
of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose
the seven seals thereof.
According to the New Testament, Jesus Christ's mighty triumph over the powers of death,
sin and hell in his miraculous resurrection has shown
that he alone is worthy to complete his work and redeem
all of humankind. Thus he is rightly called the
Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
Judah once unselfishly offered himself in place of his
younger brother Benjamin (Genesis
it was from his line that all the kings of Israel, from
David and Solomon onwards, were descended, as was even Jesus Christ himself. Hence, 'Judah is a lion's whelp...'
49:9), and his
name was incorporated into this title of the Messiah.
'The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah [hath prevailed]'
has also become the motto of the Ethiopian monarchs, and
the expression is often attached to the name of the
Emperor, as a mark of the Ethiopian Orthodox belief. In
Reggae songs, therefore, it is much associated with Haile Selassie I.
I received the following very valid comment from a
visitor to this website, and have included it here, since
I hope it will inspire and be of help to others also:
revelation of John contains many Holy Names, yet this
reference to the Lord as the Lion of Judah is a
fascinating one. A lion, or wild cat, is courageous and
fearless, yet silent in its pursuit of its goal. It also
spends much time watching and waiting with patience for
the right circumstances to arise before it attains its
goal. In the vision of John, no one could be found who
could open the seals of the book of Life. Yet the Lord
was represented as having the ability to open the book
because He was the lion of Judahone who had the
patience and courage and focused attention of the lion.
We may gain insight from this, in that our pursuit of
Godand His of usreflects these qualities. We
need the courage to undertake and continue the process of
recognizing the Divine, of opening the seals which bind
us in our circumstances. When we rest in the divine
silence, we are both watchful and attentive. We are made
into those qualities reflected in this Holy Name of the
Lord, and through that Grace, we are open to the Book of
Give thanks to kËñÐ¥_tHË_Çöö|_®ü|Ë®
See 'Love Is The Light' by Horace Andy and Big Youth,
or Lee Perry's version of the Wailers' song 'Soul Rebel'.
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In Rasta Reggae Lyrics' page