This has been a favorite of mine for years. I always felt that it was the perfect representation of the lamb and lion of Christianity bridging the historic connection to ancient Egyptian culture and religion.
That's an interesting connection! I always thought of it from the ancient perspective instead. The lion was a symbol of kings and the ram was a symbol of fertility and the land. Lions and rams were both important animals in Egyptian and Persian belief systems.
Ah thanks for the enlightenment!
Of course! It's interesting to see how animals can symbolize different things, and sometimes similar things, in different areas!
Was most of Egypt not a desert in the ancient times? Don’t lions live in grasslands?
The climate of Egypt in pharonic times (beginning around 3000 to 2500 BCE) was relatively similar to the climate of Egypt today. At that time, there actually weren't that many lions in Egypt.
But about 10,000 years ago, the Sahara was not a desert, but a lush grassland full of hunter-gatherer groups. As the region dried out people settled into the Nile Valley and became more organized out of necessity.
During this organizational period, there were still lions in Egypt. They were revered and there is some evidence that some were even tamed. It was during this period that beliefs around lions and their association with the king was formed. The belief endured even after the lion territory shrank deeper into Africa.