WHEN JACOB (ISRAEL) GAVE HIS DYING BLESSING TO HIS TWELVE SONS, he associated each of them with some animal, object or personal characteristic which afterwards became the emblem of the tribe descended from him. Among these the LION, the emblem of Jacob’s fourth son Judah, is of special importance. This lion, in a couchant (lying down) position, became the emblem of the tribe of Judah; then, in a passant position, it became the emblem of the Camp or Brigade of Judah. Later, with the addition of a crown, it became the emblem of the Royal House and the throne of Judah. Still later, in a rampant (standing on the hind legs with both forelegs elevated) posture and with a crown, it became the symbol of the two-tribed House and Kingdom of Judah.
Yet this lion, usually portrayed as tawny or golden in colour, is not the only emblem of the descendants of Judah — or even the only lion!
In the last four verses of Genesis 38, we find recorded the birth of twin sons to Jacob’s fourth son Judah. Notice what these verses say:
Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth, that behold, twins were in her womb. And so it was, when she was giving birth, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” Then it happened, as he drew back his hand that his brother came out unexpectedly; and she said, “How did you break through? This breach be upon you!” Therefore his name was called Perez. Afterwards his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand. And his name was called Zerah [Zarah].