What does “The lion will lay down with the lamb” mean?

Last updated on April 8, 2021

What does the “the lion will lay down with the lamb” mean?

If you have grown up in church, you may have heard this expression preached from the pulpit. Or maybe you have heard it in the lyrics of a Christian song. While the phrase is often quoted by well-meaning Christians, it is actually not found anywhere in the Bible. The closest verse we have to this expression is in Isaiah 11:6-9, which reads:

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The infant will play by the cobra’s den, and the toddler will reach into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the sea is full of water.”

The Bible says that the wolf will lie down with the lamb. In other words, the wolf (the lamb’s natural predator) will no longer be an enemy of the lamb. There is finally peace between the two creatures, as well as all the creatures mentioned in these verses. The question becomes: when will these events take place?

When will this take place?

This particular passage in Isaiah is a prophecy about future events. Specifically, Isaiah is referring to the day when Christ will return to create a new heaven and new earth. The apostle John describes this glorious day in Revelation 21:1-4:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

One day there will be no more sin, no more evil, no more pain. Jesus, who is called the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah, will return to bring everlasting peace on earth. Until then, we must trust in Him and His Word and tell others about the peace that we can have in Him today!

Are you looking forward to that future?

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