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The Lion of Judah


A cub [and] a grown lion is Judah. From the prey, my son, you withdrew. He crouched, rested like a lion, and like a lion, who will rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah… (Genesis 49:9-10)

When Jacob blessed his sons, he compared Judah to a lion. Just as the lion is a “king of the beasts,” the tribe of Judah was destined to rule over the Jewish people including the longest line of kings known.

According to tradition, each tribe has its own flag and its own gemstone in theHigh Priest‘s breastplate. Judah’s flag is light blue and illustrated with a lion, and the tribe’s gemstone is light turquoise. The challenge was to capture the essence of lion in blue, which is usually pictured as hot and fiery, as well as to convey the spiritual quality of the jewel.

This lion’s body is formed with just a few strokes of a palette knife, while the gem-like feeling was achieved by the sweeping of hands in the wet oil paint. The lion’s somewhat human head is pronounced


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