As its status as the King of the Animals necessitates, the lion is the non-sacrificial animal that is mentioned in the Bible more than any other − about 100 times. Its royal and heroic qualities were noted in many references throughout scriptures. Of particular importance is Jacob’s blessing to his son Judah, to date the name of the tribe (of Judah) and the general name of the Jewish people who received their name ‘yehudim’ from Judah’s Hebrew name ‘Yehuda:’
“Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you are gone up; he stooped down, he crouched like a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up”
For this blessing the lion became the symbol of the Judah and of the city of Jerusalem, the dwelling place of Judah. This lion became more of a symbol of Israel, and it is honored by the Israel minting authority − Israel Coins & Medal Corp. The Bank of Israel just made in 2012 the beautiful ‘Jerusalem Day’ coin, featuring the two most important symbols: the Menorah and the lion. If you have an interest in these and other outstanding coins that were minted in Israel (many are available for the public) please visit their beautiful web site at: http://www.israelmint.com.
The Lion is also mentioned in the Bible as a metaphor for God’s might:
“The lion has roared, who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken, who can but prophesy?”