A lion, [which is] strongest among beasts
For what is stronger than a lion, or more courageous and undaunted? it walks with great majesty, very slowly, step by step, the left foot first; shaking its shoulders as it goes, as the philosopher F8 describes its going, and as here intended, and this without fear; and turneth not away for any;
it does not go out of its way for any creature it meets with; nor does it hasten its pace when pursued, nor show the lest sign of fear; nor does it turn its back to any; which is observed and confirmed by Aristotle F9, Aelianus F11, Pliny F12, and other naturalists; particularly what Homer F13 and Virgil F14 say of this animal agrees with this account of Solomon. This creature is an emblem of Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who is stronger than the strong man armed; who never turned his back to any of his enemies; nor turned aside from the way of his duty, or the work of his office, on account of any; not Herod the fox, who threatened to kill him; nor Satan, the roaring lion, when he knew he was on the march to meet him; nor any of those, who, though they had a band of soldiers, that came to take him; see ( Luke 13:31 Luke 13:32 ) ( John 14:30 John 14:31 ) ( 18:4-8 ) ; and also it is an emblem of righteous men, who are as bold as a lion; and cannot be moved from their duty by anything they meet with, but remain steadfast and constant in it; see ( Proverbs 28:1 ) ( Acts 20:23 Acts 20:24 ) .
F8 Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 2. c. 1. & Physog. c. 5.
F9 Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 44.
F11 De Animal. l. 4. c. 34.
F12 Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 16.
F13 (euste lewn oresitrofov) Iliad. 12. v. 299.
F14 "Ceu saevum turba leonem" Aeneid. l. 9. prope finem.