Lion - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
Lion[ 1,,G3023, leon ]
occurs in 2 Timothy 4:17, probably figurative of the imminent peril of death, the figure being represented by the whole phrase, not by the word lion" alone; some suppose the reference to be to the lions of the amphitheater; the Greek commentators regarded the "lion" as Nero; others understand it to be Satan. The language not improbably recalls that of Psalms 22:21; Daniel 6:20. The word is used metaphorically, too, in Revelation 5:5, where Christ is called "the Lion of the tribe of Judah." Elsewhere it has the literal meaning, Hebrews 11:33; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 4:7; Revelation 9:8, Revelation 9:17; Revelation 10:3; Revelation 13:2. Taking the OT and NT occurrences the allusions are to the three great features of the "lion,"
(1) its majesty and strength, indicative of royalty, e.g., Proverbs 30:30,
(2) its courage, e.g., Proverbs 28:1,
(3) its cruelty, e.g., Psalms 22:13.