Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.







Christ compared to a Lion

             In the scriptures the lion is frequently used to represent kings and kingdoms.  Of course Christ is the king of kings and lord of lords.  It is befitting that he should be compared to a lion.  The following verses compare Christ as a king to a lion:

                        1.  Gen. 49:9 “Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?”  There is another prophecy that states that the scepter shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh come.  Christ is Shiloh and he is the great king being prophesied in this passage of scripture.

                        2.  Rev. 4:7 “And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.”

In this passage, Christ is presented to us in representative fashion as four beasts.  The first beast was like a lion.  This points us to the description of Christ throughout the book of Matthew.  The book of Matthew has as its theme, Christ the king and his kingdom.  The second beast presents Christ as a calf.  The book of Mark has as its theme, Christ the laboring ox showing us the works of Christ.  The third beast presents Christ as a man.  The book of Luke gives us much detail of Christ, the man.  The fourth beast presents Christ to us as a flying eagle.  The book of John gives us much detail of Christ as the Son of God and of the deity of Christ.

                        3.  Rev. 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.”  When no one else could loose the seals of the Lamb’s book of life, we see that Christ the king (Lion of the tribe of Juda) had prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.  Christ is the greatest king that has ever lived and he was a warrior king who conquered sin, death, hell, Satan, and the grave.  Therefore, having conquered these great enemies of the Lord’s elect people, he alone prevailed to open the Lamb’s book of life and to loose the seven seals thereof.


The Lions in the King’s House

             In the scriptures, lions are frequently used as a figure of kings and kingdoms. 

            There are some scriptures that describe the king’s house that was built by King Solomon as he and the children of Israel built both the temple and the king’s house according to the pattern that God had given them.  These scriptures are listed as follows:

                        1.  1 Ki. 7:36 “For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.”

                        2.  1 Ki. 10:19 “The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.”

                        3.  1 Ki. 10:20 “And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.”

                        4.  2 Chr. 9:18 “And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays:”

                        5.  2 Chr. 9:19 “And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom.”

            References 2-5 above describe to us the lions in the throne room.  We note that there were two lions, one on either side of the king’s throne.  Then there were six steps leading up to the throne and each step had a lion on either side, which made a total of twelve lions on the steps leading up to the throne. 

            Often times in the scriptures when we are given figurative language it has a double application.  Obviously, the kingdom of Israel had a king and twelve princes.  When God made a covenant in Exodus chapters 19 and 20 with the children of Israel establishing the nation of Israel, he appointed them a prince for each of the twelve tribes.  At first God, himself, was the king of Israel, until they asked a king like unto the nations about them and God gave them King Saul.  The twelve princes had legislative, executive, and judicial authority in the kingdom of Israel. 

            The pattern for the Old Testament kingdom of Israel is very similar to the pattern for the New Testament kingdom of God.  In the New Testament, Christ came as the king of the kingdom.  He appointed twelve apostles.  Matt. 19:28 “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”  Like the Old Testament princes, the twelve apostles were given authority by the king to sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  The apostles were made foundation stones in the building of the Lord’s church.  The apostles through their work and testimony have laid the foundation of the Lord’s house and we are built upon it.  As the church, we are judged according to that which the apostles laid down for us through the leadership of the Holy Ghost. 

            The reference to two lions standing beside the throne of the king, speaks to us about the two kingdoms-the one in the Old Testament and the one in the New Testament.  The twelve lions on the six steps speak to us about the twelve princes in the Old Testament and the twelve apostles in the New Testament. 

            Reference 1 above describes to us the ledges in the buildings of the temple.  There are numerous lions engraved in the ledges.  This speaks to us about the children of Israel in the Old Testament and God’s covenant people in the New Testament.  Likewise, the cherubims are used in the scriptures to indicate witnesses.  The palm trees speak to us about fruitfulness.  These are descriptions of God’s covenant people.  We read in Rev. 1:5, 6 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  According to this passage of scripture, the same ones that Christ redeemed have also been made kings and priests unto God.  The lions on the ledges point to the fact that God has made his covenant people kings.  God’s people, like the cherubims are referred to as witnesses in Heb. 12:1  “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”  Moreover in Col. 1:9 we are encouraged to be fruitful: Col. 1:9 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” 

Old Testament Kings compared to Lions

             In the scriptures, the lion is often used to represent kings of great countries or nations. 

            In the Old Testament, there are several kings of great empires that are compared to lions:

                        1.  Jer. 4:7 “The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.”  This passage of scripture refers to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon as the lion who is come up from his thicket.

                        2.  Jer. 50:17 “Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.”  It is apparent that the lions referred to are the king of Assyria and Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon.

                        3. Jer. 50:44 “Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?”  This is a reference to the king of the Medes and the Persians.

                        4.  Ezek. 19:2  “And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. 3 And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. 4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt. 5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. 6 And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men.”  This passage has reference to the kings of Judah during the days of the siege by the king of Babylon.

                        5.  Ezek. 32:2 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou art as a whale in the seas: and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers.”  It is plain that the young lion refers to Pharaoh king of Egypt in this passage.

                        6.  Dan. 7:4 “The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.”  Again, this has reference to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon as the first lion.

                        7.  Joel 1:6 “For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.”  This too is a reference to the kingdom of Babylon.   

                        8.  2 Sam. 1:23 “Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.”  David in his eulogy of Saul and Jonathan as they had died defending Israel referred to them as being stronger than lions.  The lion is pound for pound a very strong animal.  As a king and a king’s son, David viewed them as having more strength than lions.

                        9.  2 Tim. 4:17 “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”  The mouth of the lion that Paul was referring to in which he was delivered out of its mouth appears to be the rulers and leaders of Judah. 

The Devil – A Roaring Lion

             1 Pet. 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

            In the scriptures, lions are frequently used to depict or represent kings.  The above passage of scripture suggests that the devil is a king and has a kingdom.  It also depicts him as a roaring lion seeking to devour the people of God. 

            The devil or Satan has a kingdom.  It is presented to us in the book of Revelation as a seven headed, ten horn beast:

                        1.  Rev. 12:3 “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.”  This passage depicts Satan as the great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns.

                        2.  Rev. 13:1 “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”  This beast is in the image of the dragon.  This indicates that the dragon has made a kingdom in his image.

                        3.  Rev. 17:3 “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”  Here the Satanic kingdom is described to us as containing a false religion which is riding on the back of the beast of Satan’s kingdom.

                        4.  Rev 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.  Rev. 17:9 “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”  This shows us that the false religion has been or will be on the back of seven kingdoms (represented by mountains) Thus, the kingdoms are the horses on which the false religion rides. 

            Satan is the builder and guide on which the seven kingdoms are founded:

Rev. 13:2 “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

            Our purpose in presenting the above is to show that Satan has a kingdom and he sits as the king of that kingdom.  It was this kingdom that Satan referred to when he attempted to tempt Christ: Matt. 4:8 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” 

            Satan is said to be a roaring lion.  A roaring lion is a hungry lion seeking to devour its prey.  The prey of Satan are the obedient children of God: Rev. 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

            “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”  Our defense against this roaring lion is to resist him steadfast in the faith.  This assumes we are grounded in the faith and that we keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.



             Oftentimes in the scriptures animals are closely associated with bible subjects and principles.  The characteristics of the animals are frequently used to illustrate spiritual lessons. 

            The animal called a bear is mentioned 13 times in the scriptures.  It is very closely associated with the lion.  Eight of the thirteen times the bear and the lion are mentioned together. 

            In nature the bear is not often known to use aggression towards humans.  However, the exception is when the bear feels that its whelps are in danger.  When the bear feels its whelps are in danger, the bear can become ferocious and deadly.  Three of the thirteen times the bear is mentioned, it is mentioned in connection of a bear robbed of her whelps:

                        1.  2 Sam. 17:8 “For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.”

In this passage the men with David the king are compared in their ferocity to a bear robbed of her whelps.  The thought is that David and his men would come out against the opposing foe with great anger and superhuman ferocity to do battle.

                        2.  Prov. 17:12 “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.”  In this verse the principle put forth is that it would be better to meet a bear that is robbed of her whelps than to meet a fool in his folly.  Of course, no one wants to meet a bear that is robbed of her whelps.

                        3.  Hos. 13:8 “I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.”  In this passage, the Lord compares his judgment of Israel because of her idolatries to that of a bear bereaved of her whelps.  In other words, it will be extremely severe because of her continual adulteries and idolatries. 

            When the prophet Elisha, who had been such a blessing to Israel, came forth to Bethel, little children came out and mocked him and ridiculed him because he was bald-headed.  Elisha cursed them and we read what happened in 2 Kings 2:24 “And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”  Obviously the Lord did not look kindly upon the mocking and ridicule of his prophet. 

            As we previously noted, the lion and the bear are listed together eight times in the scriptures.  The last time is in Rev. 13:2 “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”  This passage describes a seven headed, ten horned beast that received its power, and position, and authority from the great red dragon.  The seven headed, ten horn beast is developed throughout the scriptures as a multi-national kingdom with desire to reign over all mankind.  The use of the feet of a bear to describe one of the characteristics of the beast simply points us to the angry destructive characteristic of the beast to destroy that which it believes to be its enemies.  For instance, we can look into the kingdom builders of the last hundred years and see their wrathful blood thirsty destruction of its perceived enemies.  We know that Adolph Hitler killed over six million Jews and another five million of his perceived enemies.  Likewise, both Stalin and Mao each were responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of people whom they deemed as threats to their ideology.  One group they went after were capitalists and free market advocates and anyone who they deemed were ideological proponents of capitalism.  In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were often targets of these kingdom builders.  Syria sought to destroy Israel, and then later Assyria destroyed and took captive the divided the kingdom of Israel with its headquarters at Samaria.  Later, Assyria sought to destroy the Jews at Jerusalem, but God intervened on behalf of Hezekiah and the Jews.  There are many other examples in the Old Testament.    


             Animals in the scripture are frequently associated with bible subjects or principles.  The word, “ant,” only appears in the scripture 2 times, yet the Lord uses this little insect to illustrate the need and principle of diligent and timely work in the lives of his people:

                        1.  Pro. 6:6 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”

                        2.  Pro. 30:25 “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;”

            The above teaches us that the ants ways are wise and we should emulate those ways in our lives.  Moreover, the ant provides her meat in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest.  This teaches us that the ant is diligent to work and gather at the appropriate season.  The ants meat is available in the summer which is the time of harvest.  For the ant to procrastinate would mean that the ant would be working when there is nothing to gather and would end up starving for food to eat when the winter comes on and there is nothing to gather.  This teaches us that there is a time to gather in our lives.  Naturally speaking, we are takers of other peoples labors when we are very young.  Likewise we are partakers of those things we have stored up when we become very old.  In between the extremes in age we should be busy working to provide for our current needs and the needs of those young we are responsible for.  Moreover, we should also be storing up for the time that we become aged. 

            There is also a spiritual lesson for us.  Before we are born of the spirit of God we will not do any spiritual labor as we are not capable or desirous to do so.  Yet, once we are born of the spirit of God, we should begin to labor in our studies both to be fed spiritually in order to grow, but also so that we can be prepared to feed others also.  When we become naturally aged and our sight dims and our hearing and remembering dims, we will have stored up spiritual food for this time in our lives.  These are some of the things that we learn from the ant.