The Lamb & the Lion (2 Nephi 21)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, November 02, 2016. Posted in Scripture Study

The Lamb & the Lion (2 Nephi 21)

The image of the lamb and the lion lying down together is a familiar one, typically representing “peace on earth.” Many Christian groups use this image, and many organizations have “Lamb & Lion” as part of their name. This phrase is based on the prophecy in Isaiah 11, which is reproduced in 2 Nephi 21:

"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 fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young one shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." (2 Nephi 21:6-7)

As you read this beautiful prophecy, you may notice one little thing — it doesn’t exactly say that the lamb and the lion will by lying down together. It mentions that the lamb will live with the wolf and the young lion will lie down with the leopard, but the familiar phrase of the lamb and the lion lying down together doesn’t actually appear.

Regardless of which species is lying down with which, the prophecy still tells us of a time when there will be complete peace within the animal kingdom. In The Church of Jesus Christ, we refer to that period of time as the “peaceful reign” or Zion. The prophecy in this chapter gives some additional detail of that time we're looking forward to, going on to say that even the most dangerous species “shall not hurt nor destroy in all [of God’s] holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord” (2 Nephi 21:9).

Although the lamb and the lion don’t appear together in Isaiah's prophecy, there is a noteworthy mention of a lamb and a lion in Revelation 5. In that chapter, there is a book that is sealed with seven seals, and no man is found worthy to open the book. Finally, the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” agrees to open the book. A few verses later, the same man is referred to as “the Lamb that was slain.” Who is the lion and the lamb of this chapter? Of course, it’s Jesus Christ, the “lion” of the tribe of Judah (his earthly lineage) and also the Lamb of God who was slain for our sins.

So, even as we look forward to a time of peace on earth signified by the lamb and the lion coexisting together, let’s remember that we can have peace in our lives today by following Jesus Christ who can also be referred to as both the lamb and the lion.

Dare to Share Verse of the Day

Alma 26:8 - Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.

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