“On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them.” 2 Ch. 9:28
I suppose lions are symbols of royalty and power, which invokes in the beholder a sense of awe and terror, for lions are ferocious and powerful, and most small animals are victimized by them. I am not very fond of cats, be they big or small, for they either eat birds for sports or zebras and deer for food, and these are some of my favorite creatures.
Male lions are even more ferocious and cruel, for when they take over a lion pride with their brute strength, they immediately kill all the cubs in the pride, causing the female lions to go into heat so the male can mate. I simply don’t understand all the fuss about lions and why they are used as symbols of the eternal King. As far as symbols of Christ are concerned, I will take lambs or doves over lions any day. I wonder why King Solomon didn’t decorate his golden throne with sheep or lambs since his father was a shepherd and lambs were often slaughtered as sacrifices. Indeed, they are nobler and far more admirable than lions, who are known more for being killers than anything else.
We admire lions and often carve them on the poles or sculpt them on our shields, which only goes to show that we would like to be more like them, the kings of the jungle, who have their pick of food among all the other creatures in the savannahs and forests.
Isn’t that what we are craving and coveting in this life? We all want to be victors, not victims, conquerors, not the conquered, the powerful, not the ones overpowered. We prefer to be lions rather than lambs, don’t we? “Tyger, tyger, burning bright, in the forest of the night” is surely far more appealing to us than lowly lambs, meek and mild.
“On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them.” I can hardly imagine any other beast was taken as symbol of royalty, nobility, and power except the mighty lion. Being like Solomon is probably what most of us aspired to.
Even though the lion appears to have become a type of Christ, for in the book of Revelation we read: “The lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals,” the image of Christ still remains in my heart as the Lamb of God, not the victorious Lion of Judah.” Lions are rather ruthless, terrifying, and unapproachable, and I suppose there are good reasons why Christ was called the Lamb who was born to die on the cross on our behalf, not the victorious lion who is born to dominate and to rule.
By the symbol carved on the armrests of the throne we come to know what Solomon the king aspired to be.