Kingdom of Lions
= Lions in Literature =


Lions, Samson and Daniel

The Greek hero Heracles's counterpart in the Christian Bible is Samson, also a very strong man and unfriendly towards lions. The next sad story can be found in Judges 14: 5, 6.

Samson and the lionOne day Samson travels to Timna. Along the road he is unexpectedy confronted with a young, roaring lion. Samson tears the lion into pieces, like a billygoat. When he comes back to the body, bees have nestled themselves into it. Simson takes and eats their honey.
Later on he poses a riddle to thirty men about the honey and the lion. The men use a guile to find the answer. Samson is furious and kills thirty other men and gives their clothes to the ones who 'solved' the riddle. It is not known whether lions have eaten the bodies, but that is not quite probable.

In a later biblical confrontation with mankind (Daniel 6), lions take revenge in a very clever way.
The human king Darius lets Daniel being thrown in the lion's den because of supposed disobedience. Darius has appointed 120 stadtholders and three governers, of whom Daniel is one. Daniel rules so good, that Darius wants to appoint him as governer of the whole country, but the 120 stadtholders and his two colleague governers do not like this. They conspire against Daniel with the result that king Darius orders Daniel to be thrown in the den.
The lions are very hungry but only one man is far from enough to feed them. They speculate that it is better not to eat Daniel in order to get more food. A very difficult decision for hungry lions! The next morning king Darius is very surprised when he discovers that Daniel is still alive.
The self-control of the lions pays. The king concludes from the behavior of the lions that Daniel is innocent and that his prosecutors made false accusations. He decides that the prosecutors will be thrown into the den instead. So, the lions have the meal of their lives: a banquet of not only the 120 stadtholders and the two governers but also their wives and children as a dessert.

The Bible is a strange book. People are dreaming about a heaven or paradise where lions eat grass! (Isaiah 11:7). Needless to say that lions have quite other imaginations about life after death!

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