Leo, Lion of Judah, is the Zodiac Sign and the symbol and biblical representation of Jesus the Messiah. For many Christian “astrologers?” the Zodiac does not begin at the Vernal equinox of Aries, but with Virgo and the virgin birth and ends with the Alpha and Omega – Leo, The Lion of Judah. Virgo was originally marked as the beginning of the Zodiac, the last time that this “house” was in the correct position was 240CE.
At the time the fixed Zodiac was adopted for astrological purposes, it had been observed that each of the twelve sections that divided the cosmos into houses or zones of 30° each, indicated certain definite characteristics peculiar to each “house”. These attributes were firmly identified with the certain section of the sky in which they were initially observed and each section was eventually distinguished and characterized by specific qualifications found there.
The Lion of Judah and “The Scarlet Thread” hold much meaning and significance for Christians and Jews alike. Both religions acknowledge that the Messiah descends from the tribe of Judah by the Scarlet Thread. Beginning in the Book of Genesis and continuing with the generations of “begets” recorded in the Books of Kings, The Christ is heir to the earthly and heavenly title of “Lion of Judah”.
Judah took a wife for his firstborn Er. Her name was Tamar. Er was wicked so the Lord destroyed him. As was the custom of the “kinsman redeemer”, to provide for widows, Judah ordered Onan his number two son to take the dead brother’s wife Tamar as his own. Onan, for whatever reason (hatred of his brother?) refused, preferring to masturbate. He too was destroyed.
Judah’s third son, Shelah, was still very young, so Judah asked Tamar to wait at her father’s house until the youngster was old enough to marry. Some time passed and Tamar grew impatient. Fearing that Judah had reneged on his promise to provide for her, she disguised herself as a prostitute and went to where Judah was shearing sheep in the fields. Judah didn’t recognize her. As Judah was now long widowed himself, and Tamar is described as beautiful, he propositioned her, giving her his signet ring and bracelets as payment.
Tamar is pregnant and tried as a harlot. When Judah is asked what should be done with his whoring daughter-in-law, he says to burn her. She then presents the signet ring and bracelets and says, “These belong to the father of the child.” Judah is overcome with guilt and declares her more righteous than he.
Giving birth to twins, one baby extends his arm and the midwife ties a scarlet thread around the baby’s wrist to mark the first-born. The baby then retracts his arm, and the other baby, named Perez, is delivered first. Zerah was the name of the baby who had the scarlet thread tied to his wrist, (Genesis 38) and from him descends the line to the Messiah, the Lion of Judah. All Christians are “blood-bought” and tied to Jesus by The Scarlet Thread that is never broken.
Jacob (Israel) as the dying patriarch in the Book of Genesis, blesses Judah, his fourth son, as Gur Aryeh (“Young Lion”). The constellation of Leo imagines a lion standing with one leg raised – a phrophetic representation of Jesus as the Lion of Judah triumphant over his enemies. The Lion is a fitting symbol of this tribe, from which came David, and the Son of David, Shiloh, the true “Lion of the tribe of Judah,” to whom all powers shall finally bow and all nations render homage. The lion is a symbol of pride, potency, virility, royalty, majesty, authority, invincibility, fearlessness and bravery. “Lion” is mentioned more than 100 times in Scripture. In biblical times, lions were regarded as instruments of God’s punishment. Daniel’s testing in the lion’s den (Dan.6) illustrates an oriental rulers belief that the lion was a means of execution, and divine protection. When the king of Assyria planted foreigners in the land of Israel, God sent lions to attack the settlers because they did not fear the LORD. Even during the Middle Ages, stone lions represented justice in the ecclesiastical courts. The connection is made between the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, and the Lion of Judah.
The carcass of a young lion which Samson had killed with his bare hands had attracted a swarm of bees that made honey in it. The carcass of the dead lion (Jesus) would bring forth salvation. “Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet.” David tells Saul, the king, that he is prepared to face the giant Goliath because he has killed a lion (1 Sam.). Some believe the lion killed by David the shepherd boy is a symbol of the devil or the pride which could so easily have engulfed him (1 Sam 17:34).
The term “Lion of Judah” goes back to Jacob’s final blessing of his sons before his death. In that blessing he calls his fourth son Judah a lion among his brothers (Genesis 49:9). Judah’s line of descent through David and Solomon revealed The Christ of all glory. Of all the titles applied to Jesus, the Lion of Judah is the most magnificient. So too, in astrology, Leo is the magnificient King of the Zodiac, the Sun, and the source of all life. This became a title for the “Annointed One”. The strength of the lion and his undoubted place as king of beasts make him a fitting symbol of the all-powerful Messiah who the Jews and Christians await.
I Peter 5:8: also refers to the devil as “… prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The difference is that Satan looks for the weak and vulnerable to devour; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The “Lion of Judah” also looks for the weak, not to devour but to strengthen, encourage, and empower. The low Leo roars in intimidating fashion, while the higher speaks words of peace and assurance. Leos have a powerful influence, both negative and positive.
What qualities define “The Lion”?
MAJESTY. This is seen in His rebuke of the wind and waves. The message is clear. Whatever strikes fear into our lives can be banished by one word from the Savior. He is majestic and glory in His love and mercy as well. “The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory,’ John wrote. His majesty is seen over and over again in the gospel accounts of his life and ministry. We behold his glory still when he comes to ordinary, fallen human beings. For the majesty of God is not just his might and power. His glory is that he would come to this corner of the universe, to this insignificant planet, to a ragged people. His glory is that one day he laid aside his majesty and bliss and came looking just for you.
POWER. This was manifested at the grave of Lazarus as He shouted, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43). Rusurrection power: that which also calls forth the dead soul to everlasting life and puposeful living.
Napoleon, possibly, the greatest military commander in history. After building an empire that extended throughout Europe. He was finally captured after only 15 years and exiled to the island of St. Helena, off the coast of Africa in 1815 where he died 6 years later. In hs last days, for his memoirs, he spoke, “You speak of empires and power. Well, Alexander the Great, Julius Casear, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires, but on what did we found them? Force. Christ founded His on love, and at this moment there are millions ready to die for Him…I see no army, no banner or battering ram; yet a mysterious power is there, working in the interest of Christianity; men secretly sustained here and there by a common faith in the great Unseen. I die before my time, and my body will be given to the earth as food for worms. Such is the fate of him called Napolean the Great. But look to Christ, honored and loved in every land. Look at His kingdom, rising over all other kingdoms. His life was not the life of a man; His death not that of a man but of God.”
BOLDNESS. This is seen in the setting of his face steadfastly toward Jerusalem and death. Such resoluteness inspires. Such determination is to admired and imitated. May the Lord help us to be as committed in the spiritual realm.
STERNNESS. This seen in our Lord’s condemnation of Jerusalem that “killed the prophets and stoned them that were sent to you” (Matthew 23:37). This is not a picture of an old, toothless, timid lion. On the contrary, He roars from a position of authority and respect. To truly see Him is to quake in His presence. He shows His teeth at the proper time, and those who view his open mouth stand paralyzed before Him.
ASSERTIVENESS. This quality emerges in the Gospel of John’s succession of “I ams”, and thundering from the mountain in Sinai: “I AM THAT I AM!” (Exodus 4:14). Hear the Lion roar as he looks down from his exalted and holy place of Calvary.
LOFTINESS. He demands the allegience of man. “He that loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). Isaiah understood His loftiness, He said, “I see the Lord seated on His throne, exalted. And the train of His robe filled the temple with glory. And the whole earth was filled with His glory.” Isaiah’s reaction? To be filled with a sense of worthlessness in His presence.
Leo does not have to call for help and you can’t confuse Him. He doesn’t need you and he doesn’t need me. He stands alone in the solitude of himself. He’s August (the month too) and he’s unique, unparalleled, and unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s preeminent. He’s the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the supreme problem of higher criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He’s the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion. He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything.
He’s the Master of the mighty; He’s the captain of the conquerors. He’s the head of heroes; He’s the leader of legislators He’s the overseer of the over-comers; He’s the governor of the governors. He’s the Prince of princes; He’s the King of kings; He’s the Lord of lords. He’s indescribable because he is incomprehensible. He’s irrestible because he’s invincible.
He says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” -Revelation 21:5-7
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