It is in Revelation 5:5 that we read of the Lord being, “the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David.” Judah is the Jewish tribe out of which David came. So was Christ. The Book of Matthew starts off like this, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren.” (Matthew 1:1-2) We begin by seeing that the Lord Jesus is “the son of David.” That simply means that the Lord’s earthly genealogy came through King David. Verse 2 says that Jacob (Israel) was the father of Judas. The rest of that chapter, up to verse 27, follows the lineage of Judah all the way up to Christ.

What is so significant about the tribe of Judah? Genesis 49:8-10 says, “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. 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? The SCEPTRE SHALL NOT DEPART FROM JUDAH, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” There were two very significant tribes in the nation of Israel. One tribe was the Levites, out of which came all the priests. Joshua 18:7 says, “But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance…” The other tribe was the tribe of Judah out of which came the kings of Israel. Hebrews 7:14 tells us, “For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda…”

Christ is the “lion of the tribe of Judah” which means He is the ultimate, true, and eternal King. The roaring lion speaks of strength, majesty, and royalty. Of course, King David died and ceased being king. We read of the Lord Jesus in Luke 1:33, “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob FOR EVER; and of his kingdom there shall be NO END.” Christ is the eternal king, who’s kingdom has no end.

It was prophesied that Christ would be that great and glorious king. Isaiah 11:1 says, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” Jesse is the father of David so in this portion we see that the Lord Jesus would be that “rod out of the stem of Jesse.” I trust these few thoughts will help you in understanding why the Lord is called the “Lion of the tribe of Judah.” David was merely a shadow or picture of Christ. The substance is certainly much, much more valuable than the shadow, so Christ, although an offspring of David is so much greater than David. (234.10)