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What Does the Bible Say About...The Lion Lying Down With the Lamb?

Other than what I was taught in Sunday school, I’m not that familiar with the Bible. I’ve tried reading the Bible, but I am unable to really understand it….even the new life versions. I search for different things when I have questions, but without understanding it is easy to take scriptures out of context. What is your interpretation of …”the lion shall lay down beside the lamb”? Without knowing a lot about the Bible, someone could interpret this for exactly what it says, however I do know that God is the lamb, so what is this really saying?


Yours is a very good question. It shows you are interested in understanding and not just reading.

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)

This passage is generally taken to refer to the time of the Messiah (the one promised to be a descendant of David who would suffer for humanity), which Christians believe to be Jesus. Although there are examples of people being bitten by poisonous snakes and miraculously surviving, I believe this to be figurative of a time of peace between God’s people. The prophets, including Isaiah, often wrote in word pictures that are not meant to be literal. So rather than the lion and the lamb literally lying down together, I believe this is saying that in God’s kingdom (which is the church) God’s peace will be a prominent feature.

This passage is similar to one later in Isaiah. “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 65:25) This is part of a passage talking about the nation of Israel returning from captivity from a foreign nation (Babylon) and rebuilding. This came true around 450 BC. Since the rebuilt Jerusalem did not literally contain these things, it just reinforces the idea that these are figurative pictures, and not literal.

Prophecy can be very hard to understand. I can feel your confusion, because I am often similarly confused in studying the prophetic books. That is one reason I maintain this web site; so I can help people like you when you don’t understand.