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Why is Jesus “the Lion of Judah"?

by Stephen Davey

Barbara from Florida asked, In Rev. 5:5, why is Jesus called “the Lion of Judah”?


To answer your question we need to go back to the Old Testament. We read this in the book of Genesis:

[8] “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. [9] Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? [10] The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. [11] Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes. [12] His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk (Genesis 49:8–12 ESV).

In that passage, Jacob was giving a prophetic address to each of his sons. When he came to Judah, he said that one would come from that tribe and would reign forever. Jacob used the imagery of a lion to refer to this ruler. Lions are strong and powerful and greatly feared. Hardly anyone would dare to mess with them.

So, when Jesus is called “the Lion of Judah” it is because He's the fulfillment of that prophecy. He's the promised one who reigns forever, strong and powerful like a lion. 

Thanks for your question, 


Go Deeper: 

Jesus the Lion of Judah


In the realm of biblical language and symbolism, Jesus Christ is depicted through various figures, metaphors, and titles. One such title that stands out is the "Lion of Judah," evoking imagery of majesty, power, and authority. This article delves into the question of whether Jesus is indeed the Lion of Judah, exploring the topic from a conservative biblical perspective while aiming to rank in SEO for the keyword "Jesus lion of Judah."

Jesus and the Tribe of Judah

The roots of the title "Lion of Judah" can be traced back to the book of Genesis, where Jacob blesses his twelve sons, who later became the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel. In this blessing, Jacob describes his fourth son, Judah, as a "lion's cub" (Genesis 49:9). Notably, the tribe of Judah, from which King David and ultimately Jesus Christ descend according to Matthew's genealogy (Matthew 1:1-16), is associated with the lion—a symbol of strength and leadership.

Jesus as the Lion of Judah in Revelation

The New Testament's final book, Revelation, directly associates Jesus Christ with the title "Lion of Judah." In Revelation 5:5, the apostle John writes, "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.'"

This passage unmistakably identifies Jesus Christ as the "Lion of the tribe of Judah," forging a connection between the Old Testament blessing of Judah and the person and work of Jesus Christ. The Lion of Judah is depicted as triumphant, alluding to Christ's victorious act of redemption through His death and resurrection.

The Theological Significance of the Title

From a conservative biblical standpoint, the title "Lion of Judah" holds profound theological significance. Portraying Jesus as a lion highlights His power, majesty, and ultimate authority over all creation. It emphasizes His role as the King and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah from the lineage of David, who hailed from the tribe of Judah.

Furthermore, the title "Lion of Judah" serves as a poignant reminder of the victorious nature of Christ's mission. By overcoming sin and death, Jesus opens the path to humanity's salvation. He is not merely a gentle lamb sacrificed for our sins but also a conquering lion who triumphs over evil, representing the dual aspects of His redemptive mission.


In conclusion, from a conservative biblical perspective, Jesus Christ is unequivocally referred to as the Lion of Judah in scripture. This title underscores His authority, kingship, and triumphant fulfillment of His redemptive work. Recognizing Jesus as the Lion of Judah inspires awe and provides comfort to believers, as they acknowledge their Savior as a triumphant king—powerful, sovereign, and victorious over the world. By exploring the symbolism and significance of Jesus as the Lion of Judah, believers can deepen their understanding and appreciation of His role in Christian faith and worship.

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