, 13 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
So apparently, it's #WorldLionDay, which provides me with the ideal moment for starting a thread on the so-called Lion of #Judah.
The tribe of Judah is one of the twelve tribes of #Israel, who all descended from the 12 sons of the patriarch Jacob, as was stated in both the Old and the New Testament. Each of these tribes has a specific symbol, as shown below in an Israeli mosaic in a street of #Jerusalem.
It is written in the New #Testament: "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel." [Revelations 21:12-13]
According to the #Torah, the Tribe of Judah consisted of descendants of Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and of Leah. Betlehem and Hebron were the main cities in the lands allotted to them, all the way up to the #Negev desert in the south (around 1200 - 1050 BC).
Why is this tribe in particular so important? Well, it was one of the most powerful tribes of ancient #Israel and David and his royal line belonged to the tribe. David, who was anointed king over Judah, subsequently unifying all of Israel and conquering #Jerusalem.
It's this lineage of David, his son Solomon and subsequent kings that became an important concept in both Judaism and #Christianity, being symbolized by the Lion of Judah, which both represents historical Judah as the royal line of Judean kings from David to the Messiah.
In Genesis 49:9, the patriarch #Jacob gave that symbol to his son Judah when he referred to him as "a young lion." It says: "You are a lion's cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness; who dares to rouse him?"
In Judaism, the lion represents Judah, the Tribe of Judah, King David and his royal line and the future Jewish King-#Messiah from this Davidic line. Below: A lion's door handle on the 17th century Yochanan ben Zakai Synagogue in the old #Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.
The municipal emblem of Jerusalem is the official symbol of the city of Jerusalem since 1950. It features the Lion of Judah with the the Walls of Jerusalem and the Western Wall in the background.
The tombstone of Judah Loew ben Bezalel (between 1512/1526-1609 AD), known as the Maharal of #Prague. An important Polish Talmudic scholar, #Jewish mystic, and philosopher, his tombstone in Prague stands decorated with a Lion of Judah and #Hebrew religious texts.
A seal, known as the Seal of Shema, found in the #Megiddo excavations of 1904 dated to c. 788 BC. The #Hebrew inscription reads: "(belonging) to Shema, servant of Jeroboam." Interestingly enough, neither Jeroboam nor Jeroboam II belonged to the Davidic royal line.
They were kings of the Kingdom of #Israel, to the north of the Kingdom of Judah which remained loyal to the Davidic line after the split of the United Kingdom. This seal, however, bears the Lion of Judah, which indicates it was already important among all #Jews as a symbol.
An early 20th c. brass comb decorated with a Lion of Judah, used to comb the hair of a deceased person during the purification process. The line in #Hebrew translates to: "A day of darkness, a day of mayhem comes upon us". The #Jewish Museum in #Prague.
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