The Lion and the Unicorn
“Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him?”
“His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns; with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
(Deuteronomy 33:17 KJV – emphasis added)
“God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn; he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. He crouched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.”
(Numbers 24:8-9 KJV – emphasis added)
The purpose of heraldry is to identify
Almost from the very dawn of civilisation, man has sought to identify himself with emblems and signs to explain his existence, his identity, beliefs, culture and affiliations. This was especially true of those who exercised power and dominion, as the emblem or sign came to represent a potent symbol of their power. We are all familiar with the emblems of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The spectacular blue and gold headgear of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen received worldwide fame through the discovery of his tomb. On his forehead we see the golden cobra, which was thought to protect the king by spitting fire at his enemies. The royal emblem of the cobra was designed to strike fear into the heart of his subjects. Other symbols of Pharaoh’s sacred kingship and royal power were the crook and the flail. Archaeologists have established that, apart from Egypt, the ‘double-headed eagle’ was the emblem of the monarchs of the ancient Hittite Empire around 2000 BC. The same emblem was later adopted by subsequent cultures, the most recent of which are Czarist Russia, as well as the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Hapsburg dynasty.
In the days of the Roman Empire the Eagle came to represent ‘imperial power.’ The military standards of the Roman legions were decorated with eagles. Men renowned for their bravery carried the standards, and where the ‘eagles’ led, the soldiers were bound to follow. Later on, after the fall of Rome, Emperor Charlemagne, having been crowned king of the Romans, revived the use of the Eagle, which was to remain the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire. Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the more recent emperors of the Holy Roman Empire also selected the eagle as the emblem for Imperial France.
In the legends and works of art in ancient Greece, there is a record of the emblems used by both sides in the Trojan War. In Israel’s biblical history book we find that each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel had an emblem or standard, and that by God’s command these were in regular use during the forty years of wandering after their Exodus from Egypt. This is clearly stated in Numbers 2:2, where we read: “Every one of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father’s house; they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle.”
Thus these emblems and symbols that had started out mainly as a badge of power progressively became a means of identification, as their primary purpose was to identify. On a crowded battlefield the issue of who was who became increasingly important, as in the mad mêlée of battle confusion it was essential that one should be able to distinguish between friend and foe. The Crusaders fought under the banner of a red cross. More recently, in the Second World War, the Nazis fought under the sign of the Swastika, whereas the British fought under their Union Jack, and the Americans fought under the Stars and Stripes. The primary purpose of each of these was to identify the group. *1
Heraldry—a most accurate science
Remember: the paramount purpose of heraldry is to identify! From the most ancient times, families, clans, tribes, cities and nations have used emblems and symbols as a means of identification. In the course of time the world of heraldry evolved with banners, badges, shields and colours, not to forget Coats of Arms, all designed to promote particular identity and affiliation. Dr Samuel Johnson said that, “Heraldry is the science of fools!” With all due respect, little did he know that heraldry is not only one of the most ancient, but also one of the most accurate, sciences in the world. Thus we have family crests, coats of arms, clan and tribal emblems, tartans, national emblems and flags, religious symbols, church emblems, corporate logos and even football club emblems. They are all designed as badges of identity. The right to use these emblems invariably was jealously guarded, as it passed from generation to generation; and rarely, if ever, was the emblem of one family, tribe or city adopted by another. Because of this our courts have long since recognised the importance of emblems in tracing heirs and in identifying the ancestral roots of families. It is most strange therefore that our historians, and especially the ethnologists among them, have not deigned to use this knowledge to record the history and movements of the peoples of these British Isles and north-western Europe. Had they turned to heraldic emblems, as a source of knowledge, our history books would most certainly tell a very different tale. At the very least we would all have been aware of our Israelite origins and ancestry. *2
This brings us to the Royal Arms used today by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. According to Pitkin’s Guide on Coats of Arms, the Royal Coat of Arms of the Queen of Great Britain has evolved over 900 years. In actual fact the origin of the British Royal Coat of Arms goes back at least three thousand years. The most striking features of the royal arms are, without question, its supporters, i.e. ‘the Lion and the Unicorn’. The unicorn formerly was a badge of the kings of Scotland. Before James VI of Scotland became, additionally, James I of England, two silver unicorns with golden horns, manes and hooves supported his arms. To signify the fact that he united two crowns, he incorporated the arms of the lion of Scotland into the arms of Great Britain. King James kept the English lion ‘supporter’ but banished the red dragon (of Wales) ‘supporter’ in favour of one of his Scottish unicorns. The lion and the unicorn have been the ‘royal supporters’ of the Royal Coat of Arms ever since then. Students of heraldry recognise by common consent that the unicorn belongs to Mediterranean and Eastern mythology.
Christians have argued in the past, and no doubt will argue in the future, that these emblems must have been adopted from the Bible after our Celtic and Saxon ancestors became Christians. This theory really does not hold water because the Bible simply was not available to them, because the Roman Catholic Church, fearing that their own deviations from the Holy Writ would be exposed, deliberately denied access to the Scriptures of the Bible. For well over a thousand years Christendom was kept in almost total darkness, as the Bible was shut away in Roman Catholic libraries and monasteries. During these dark ages the masses of the people were being kept in total ignorance of its contents.
Change did not come until William Tyndale became imbued with a burning conviction to see that a copy of the Bible should be placed in the hands of every man, woman and child in England, and in a language they could understand. He spent most of his life translating into English, first the books of the New Testament, and then those of the Old Testament. Before he could finish his mammoth undertaking he was seized, accused of heresy, imprisoned and finally executed. Just before they put him to death in AD 1536, he uttered this heart rending prayer: “O God, open the king of England’s eyes.” His prayer was obviously heard and answered, as it is a fact of history that within one year of his death, in 1537, King Henry VIII of England commanded that a Geneva Bible be chained to the lectern of every church in his realm. Then some seventy-four years later in 1611, King James I, had his Authorised King James Version of the Bible published. It is clear that as our forefathers did not have access to the Bible, they therefore could not possibly have adopted Israelite heraldic emblems from this source. In fact it is quite a sobering thought that the Bible, this most ancient of sacred books, has only been generally available for ordinary people for some four hundred years!
The second reason this Christian theory holds no water is simply the fact that these Israelite emblems were in use by our Celtic and Saxon ancestor’s centuries before the Christian era even began. Others may try to rubbish the heraldic evidence of our Israelite origins by putting it all down to coincidence. Let us remind ourselves of that maxim on coincidences: ‘If something happens only once it is probably an accident, if it happens twice it may only be a coincidence, but if it occurs three times or more, then it has meaning.’ The startling fact is that there are in excess of THIRTY of Israel’s emblems represented in the heraldry of Great Britain and the United States of America alone – far too many to be a coincidence! It is just not possible that this could be a mere coincidence. It simply must have meaning.
Moses too addressed the Twelve Tribes as he gave his final blessing to Israel just prior to his death, and his words are recorded in Deuteronomy 33. Some of the characteristics Moses mentioned also became tribal emblems, with the result that a number of the tribes ended up with a secondary as well as a primary emblem. Thus those prophetic deathbed blessings, first of all by Jacob, and secondly by Moses, as recorded in the inspired history book of Israel, are the key to unlocking not only the individual characteristics of each tribe, they also convey their precise individual identity. Furthermore, they present us with the key to their heraldic emblems. This in turn confirms that the origin of heraldry goes back close to 4,000 years to the very foundation of Israel and the time of the patriarchs. It also reveals that historians and scholars should not view heraldry as something that is merely subjective, but that it is a most important research tool in its own right, which has sadly been overlooked in the past.
The origin of Israelite emblems and symbols
It is interesting to note that most of the symbols and emblems denoting the tribes of Israel, i.e. the descendants of Jacob, are derived from the blessings and prophecies the great Patriarch pronounced on them, as recorded in Genesis 49. For example, when Jacob came to bless his son Judah, he spoke these words:
“Judah is a LIONS whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a LION; and as a LION, who shall rouse him? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.”
(Genesis 49:9-10, NKJV)
The reason for using the example of Judah is to illustrate the principle that the emblems and symbols of the tribes of Israel are derived primarily from the blessings the patriarch Jacob pronounced over his twelve sons, while on his deathbed. We need to also take into consideration that Jacob/Israel had called all his sons together around his bed to tell them:
“What shall befall you in the last days!”
Those blessings contained not only an awesome prophetic self-fulfilling power, but they also provide us with the most vital keys to the identity and whereabouts of the tribes of Israel in our day. To study the outcomes of those prophetic blessings in the modern history of all of the tribal sons of Jacob, would certainly make for a most fascinating Bible study. Here in Judah’s case the LION features most prominently, as no less than three lions are mentioned, and thus the lion is the key characteristic that identifies the presence of Judah. The first lion of the three lions is referred to as a ‘lion’s whelp’ in other words; a very young lion. So, what do we see in our time today? We see the sudden and miraculous appearance of the Jewish State of Israel emerging from the ashes of the Holocaust in 1948. Judah the ‘young lion’s whelp’ has been born and has become one of the youngest independent nations in the world today, and this in perfect fulfilment of Jacob’s prophetic blessing.
Going back to the Royal Arms of Great Britain, we find that in the two ‘supporters’ of the Coat of Arms we recognise the Lion of Judah and the Unicorn of Israel. Judah’s primary symbols are a single lion and/or three lions. These may be in a resting or in a rampant position. The emblem or symbol of Judah is based upon the words Jacob spoke over the head of his son Judah. As he was dying he spoke the following words:
“Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him?”
This is where the term “The Lion of Judah” has its origin. The patriarch Jacob went on to say: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes.” The lion since time immemorial has been considered the king of the beasts; hence it is easy to see the connection between the sceptre, the supreme symbol of royal power, and the lion, which also is a symbol of royalty. Jacob therefore prophesies that a kingly line or royal dynasty will come from Judah, which eventually is to produce Shiloh or the King Messiah of Israel. Thus the lion ‘supporter’ of Britain’s Royal Coat of Arms is a Jewish heraldic symbol that originates with the tribe of Judah. The lion was the emblem that symbolised the ancient kingdom of Judah.
Now, when we come to the sons of Joseph, we find that Moses, as he blesses the Twelve Tribes just prior to his death, gives us the key to the emblem that signifies Israel. Let us read his words in Israel’s History Book:
“His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the ‘horns’ of unicorns; with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
(Deuteronomy 33:17 KJV)
Joseph here is being likened to an ox or a bullock, and also to a unicorn. Notice to the double emphasis placed upon the word ‘horns.’ Here then, we see that Joseph is likened to an ox/bullock, a unicorn and a horn. When we add these symbols to those blessings mentioned by his father Jacob, we see that Joseph is likened to: an Olive Branch, some Arrows, an Ox, a Unicorn and a Horn. These emblems were then adopted by and divided between the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. The Ox, the Unicorn and the Horn became the emblems of the tribe of Ephraim, whereas the Olive branch and the bundle of Arrows became the emblems of the tribe of Manasseh. As Ephraim was the leading tribe of Israel, the unicorn became the emblem that symbolised the ancient kingdom of Israel. Thus the lion of Judah and the unicorn of Israel have become the two main pillars that support the Royal Coat of Arms of Great Britain. How could this be mere coincidence! *4*5*6
The Hebrew word for ‘unicorn’ as used in Israel’s History Book is “RE’EM.” This beast has been identified as an oryx, a type of straight horned deer, and as a kind of auroch or wild bull now extinct. Jewish Midrashic sources apply the term ‘RE’EM’ (Feliks p.9) to both the deer and the bull. This could explain why the heraldic representation of a unicorn looks more akin to a horse-like deer than a bull. In profile the oryx appears as if it had only one horn. Ancient Assyrian illustrations apply the term ‘rimu’ to the wild ox and thus the Hebrew word ‘RE’EM’ in the Bible may be considered equivalent to ‘bull.’ In the book of Numbers (24:8) where the text speaks of the “strength of the unicorn” the written Hebrew contains a hint that the expression of strength (toyafot), meaning perhaps the horns which are normally plural, in this case have become ONE (toyafat). The idea of a “one-horned” or unicorn is recalled in the Jewish writings of the Talmud (Hulin ch.3) where it is said that the first man Adam, sacrificed one. A number of Jewish Sages such as Sadia, Ibn Ezra and Menasseh ben Israel also confirmed the ‘RE’EM’ to be a unicorn, and Kaplan in The Living Torah discusses this subject. In the Greek Septuagint translation of the Bible the Hebrew word ‘RE’EM’ was translated as ‘one-horned’ or unicorn. Unicorns were depicted on Egyptian walls in the Biblical Era and were also popular themes in Assyrian heraldry. It is of interest to note that the descendants of Joseph spent much time as a captive people both in Egypt and also in Assyria. In heraldic terms the meaning of the ‘unicorn’ is virtue and courage. *7
Again we find in Israel’s History Book the account of the king of Moab, who ruled over a territory in present day Jordan, trying to hire a prophet to curse Israel. The name of the prophet in question was Balaam, and he was only too willing to oblige, as he was the sort of person who would do anything for money. When Balak, the king of Moab, hired Balaam to curse Israel, Balaam could not do it, as God forced him to bless Israel instead. These are the prophetic words the God of Israel compelled him to speak:
“God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn; he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.”
(Numbers 24:8-9 KJV)
Is it not a most remarkable coincidence that two of these prophetic emblems, the lion and the unicorn, which were given to Israel with that compulsory blessing, are today to be found in the Coat of Arms of Great Britain?
(*1) A Game –Changing Revelation – The Hidden Ancestry of America & Great Britain, Vol. II, p.p. 131-133, By Stephen J. Spykerman.
(*2) Cymbols of our Celto-Saxon Heritage by W. H. Bennett, Herald Press Ltd., Windsor, Ontario, Canada
(*3) Cymbols of our Celto-Saxon Heritage by W. H. Bennett, Herald Press Ltd., Windsor, Ontario, Canada
(*4) A Game –Changing Revelation – The Hidden Ancestry of America & Great Britain, Vol. II, By Stephen J. Spykerman.
(*5) Great Britain – Her Calling and Hidden Ancestry, by Stephen J. Spykerman, Mount Ephraim Publishing, 2013, Eastbourne, U.K.
(*6) WHO ARE YOU AMERICA? – Time to lift your Prophetic Veil, by Stephen J. Spykerman, 2nd Edition, published by Legends Library, New York, 2013.
(*7) THE TRIBES – The Israelite Origins of the Western People, 4th Edition, by Yair Davidiy, Jerusalem, Israel.
The Royal Arms of Scotland
It should come as no surprise to the reader to find that both the lion and the unicorn of Britain's Royal Coat of Arms are of Israelite origin. In fact the basic heraldic emblems of Britain, Ireland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands and several other kindred nations are IDENTICAL with those of ancient Israel. Further, in the case of Britain and the United States, incredible as it may seem, we actually have no others, as ALL of our heraldic emblems are of Israelite origin! For, with the exception of the Welsh dragon, every national emblem of Britain and the United States is an authentic Israel emblem. *3
This is the Royal Coat of Arms of Great Britain
Notice the Triple Lions in the top left and the bottom right hand quarters. The Harp of King David is in the bottom left hand quarter, and on the top right corner is the Lion of Judah.
The English Royal Arms, showing the triple Leopards of England. The original idea comes from the blessing of Jacob over his son Judah, which contained a triple reference to the Lions of Judah.