Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
-Psalm 138:2, KJV

Misremembered Bible Quotes: The Lion and the Lamb

We all know that the phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible. It’s one of those false proverbs that people who don’t read the Bible think comes from the Bible. But how many phrases do you think you know of the Bible are actually nothing more than phrases spoken by men? Here’s an example, one that I am often asked about in fact:

“The lion and the lamb shall lie down together.”

The convenient alliteration “lion and lamb” is easy to remember. But it is not out of the Bible, at least not as a direct quote. The phrase goes back at most a few centuries and appears in sermons and commentaries, but never as a direct Bible quote. But because of the picture it paints, and the alliteration of the spoken words said, it took hold and many people assume that is a direct Bible quote. So when they read the actual verse, they can be caught off-guard:

Isaiah 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

A lion and a lamb do also appear in one verse in Isaiah 65:25, but again, the Bible paints the picture of a wolf and a lamb together:

Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

The force of memory is so strong that many people have emailed me when reading these verses assuming that something happened to their Bibles because it doesn’t match up with what they have heard preached. “The lion and the lamb shall lie together” is an allusion to verses in Isaiah that appeared in sermons and commentaries, but eventually became remembered as Bible quotes. Here is an example. In a few minutes of research this is the oldest quotation of this phrase I found in the commentaries I have easy access to (there may be others that are older, but this one is certainly the oldest well read use):

And peace there shall be no end; this respects both the increase and perpetuity of the peace of Christ’s kingdom. The peace of believers, under the Gospel dispensation, is greater than that of the saints under the legal dispensation, whose sacrifices could not remove a consciousness of sin and its guilt; and who, through various laws threatening with death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage; but great is the peace of New Testament saints, through the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, and which may be increased more and more; and in the latter day there will be more peace among themselves; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; the sticks of Joseph and Judah shall be one nor will there ever be any more discord between Jew and Gentile, the lion and the lamb shall lie down together; there will be no more war among the nations, after the battle of Armageddon; and no more persecution, after the slaughter of the witnesses; and this abundance of peace, spiritual and temporal, will be as long as the moon endures, Ps 72:7 and all this will issue in eternal peace in the world to come:…” -John Gill, comments on Isaiah 9:7, 18th century.

Carefully notice that Dr. Gill includes the phrase but does not offer attribution to the Bible for it. Thus we see Gill’s allusion (not quotation) worked its way into collective memory through other speakers and teachers who used the same (non-Bible) phrase.

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35 Responses to Misremembered Bible Quotes: The Lion and the Lamb

  1. Johnathon edwards says:

    These are things I deal with ALOT with people.things people have heard and been told and come to be accepted as truth when they aren’t in the Bible .i think my favorite is GOD put more on you than you can bear.it comes from 1 Corinthians 10 verse 13 but is very wrong.GOD dosent put anything on us HE makes a way of escape for us. It’s so easy for traditions to become accepted as part of GODS word if we don’t study for ourself

  2. Nate Beck says:

    All great points.

    Unfortunately, we Christians will have to deal with this more and more in the future, as people keep getting dumber all the time.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus!

  3. Bob Thomas says:

    I am convinced that such quotes that are misquoted are from the book of Hezekiah!

  4. Cathy says:

    Misremembered Bible QUOTES

  5. V.B.Adams says:

    If read with discernment Isaiah 6:6,7,8,9 does say that Wolves,Lions, Lambs,leopards,kids,calves,cows, bears, will feed, play and lie down together. Nothing will destroy in all of Gods Holy Mountain.
    What does it matter if we don’t quite remember the exact quote as long as we understand the meaning. Love,and Peace eternally(even between child and animals), for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Nothing will hurt or destroy in Gods righteous kingdom.

    • Brandon says:

      What matters is that some people think their King James Bibles have been changed under their noses. This is just another way of casting doubt on the veracity of God’s word. And of course the exact readings matter. Do you have a Scriptural authority for saying that we shouldn’t care about how God gave the words, and that we are free to ignore them in favor of a generalized “message” we prefer?

    • Bro. Nick says:

      It matters a great deal IF you believe what “the Lord God Almighty” saith about HIS WORD – for the promise is given unto those will accept it:
      “THAT I MIGHT MAKE THEE KNOW THE CERTAINTY OF THE WORDS OF TRUTH;
      that thou mightest answer THE WORDS OF TRUTH to them that send unto thee?”
      (Proverbs 22:21 ~ AV)

      – AND the statement written in the Holy Bible [AV]:
      “EVERY WORD OF GOD IS PURE:
      he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
      ADD THOU NOT UNTO HIS WORDS, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
      (Proverbs 30:5-6 ~ AV) + Psalm 12:6-8 [AV]
      .

  6. Bally Chin says:

    Could you kindly look into this verse Luke 5:37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

    As far as I can remember back in my younger days the word “bottles” should be “wineskins”, otherwise the verse does not make any sense. Bottles don’t burst. easily like wineskins.

    I found this in my recently bought KJV (Thomas Nelson) with a note at the end of the verse: wineskins be ruined. Another KJV of mine, the 1611 400th anniversary (Oxford) fascimile copy also has the words “bottles”.

    Which one is correct?

    • Brandon says:

      Bottles is correct. Bottles were not always made of glass. Wineskins is a modernization.

      • EYA says:

        BOTTLES is a word switch. My 1967 AKJV still has old wineskins. You do not break a bottle by overfilling it. Our Bibles are under attack. JESUS CHRIST is the WORD OF GOD. The Bible is a BOOK, and subject to the elements of this world. WAKE UP! THE KJV now has DOCTRINAL, SPELLING, GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION errors, and nonsense verses.

        • Brandon says:

          Your “1967 AKJV” is probably a “New Scofield Reference Bible” which is neither Scofield or King James. You could save yourself a lot of trouble by just looking up the word “bottle” in a good dictionary. Bottles can be made of more than just glass. The word is bottle.

          • “EYA” has been told this by many people, but she doesn’t want to know it.

          • Dri says:

            I rebuke your ignorance and lies in the Name of Jesus!!!!! The end times are near and his people are on alert!!! We have hidden his words in our heart and we are sober minded as to what is going on!

          • Brandon says:

            If you only have your own fallible memory as your final authority you have no foundation for rebuking anyway. You Mandela effect people have sent me a mountain of hate mail and not a single rational explanation of what you believe. You can’t remember a verse correctly so you think the whole Universe has been twisted inside-out. You have no final authority but your own fallible mind.

        • David says:

          Does it say.. The lion shall lat with the Lamb???

    • Strong Delusion says:

      WINE SKINS IT WAS ALWAYS WINE SKINS NEVER EVER IN THE KJV BIBLE SAID BOTTLES. Also in genesis 1:1 ….God created the heavens now says heaven. I looked into a 170 year old KJV and everything changed there to. It was lions not wolf. Some people hardly read bibles anymore so they turn all this into something stupid like secular quotes or what ever. Most ibibles are changing in thin air but there will be those who know not much of what some or much of veresus anyway. Study folks research bible words have changed blame it on satan and CERN what ever.

      • Brandon says:

        So confused. You make these proclamations with no evidence. The King James Bible has BOTTLES. Modern CORRUPTIONS, even some that put “King James” on their spine, say “wine skins.” Instead of looking at a dictionary you think the whole Universe has been changed on you. Lunacy!

  7. Jane says:

    This is a wonderful bible reference thank you for the insight. Recently people have been saying there is a thing called the mandella effect that is responsible for these changes, it had me concerned. Thanks for clearing that nonsense up just more of Satan’s old tricks. Lol!

    • Brandon says:

      The “mandella effect” is a bizarre science fiction/fantasy theory being used to ask “yea, hath God said” just as the serpent did in Genesis 3:1. It’s one of the stranger ways I have seen people get out of having a final authority. People would rather believe that the pages on their King James Bible have been altered on their shelves while they slept, rather than accept that their memory is faulty or that they took a sermon or song and “remembered” it as Scripture when it was not… whatever you can do to make your own mind your final authority seems to be what people want.

      • Strong Delusion says:

        Brandon your head is up your 4th point of contact you’re merely chirping like a canary. “No prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation”
        You are dumber than a pet rock if you support and uphold that carnal brain of yours. We’re in the strong delusion knuckle head “lying signs and wonders” I suppose you believe the garden of eve apple version fable also huh

        • Brandon says:

          Let’s just be clear. You don’t believe God could preserve his word. You think that all of our King James Bibles were silently, magically altered in the night. Since you “remember” verses differently than they are actually PRINTED, you assume the whole universe is under some kind of spell that has changed all the King James Bibles. And you think I am “dumber than a pet rock?”

    • Bro. Nick says:

      Unfortunately there are a constantly increasing number of people who say that they are Christians – But are making the personal choice to believe in the Satanically inspired and led ‘Mandela-Effect’ – an OCCULT Religious Belief \ Doctrine \ Philosophy – The following is an excerpt from an article ‘online’
      – ‘Did You Know There’s A Term For When You’re Totally Positive Something Happened Even Though It Didn’t?
      It’s called the ‘Mandela-Effect’ – and a lot of people think it’s proof of an alternate universe.
      – The ‘Mandela-Effect’ is a theory put forth by writer and “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome that shared false memories are in fact glimpses into parallel worlds with different timelines.’
      — Matthew Perpetua / BuzzFeed Staff @
      https://www.buzzfeed.com/perpetua/mandela-effect?utm_term=.orak8LYR8#.guONJ5aDJ

      Also what Fiona Broome says about herself @ http://mandelaeffect.com/about/
      .

  8. Pastor Bob says:

    Another one is ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’, but if you read Proverbs 13:24; “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” People seem to like the first one better though, possibly because they spared the rod on their children and can’t figure out why they are in trouble now.

    • Wulf Nesthead says:

      Umm, that statement makes no sense. The proverb you quoted is in AGREEMENT with Proverbs 13:24.
      It means, IF you spare the rod, THEN the result will be that you have spoiled, i.e., ruined, the child. Anyone using this phrase knows bloody well why a child who was spared the rod would turn out poorly; they’re not scratching their heads over it as you seem to think.

  9. Abram Laureles says:

    Brandon, sadly youre wrong! Mandela effect is real and for you to say otherwise is crazy. I remember a verse saying Love is the greatest command but now its Charity. Jesus wanted us to Love not to do charity.

    • Brandon says:

      It has always been Charity in the King James. Charity is a beautiful word that means more than love. You are working with a faulty definition of “charity.” In the Bible, it is not about charity in the sense of non-taxable transactions like we use it today. It means Christian brotherly love in action. Regardless, if you believe your Bible has been changed on the shelf by some science fiction fantasy called the “Mandela effect” then you have only your own mind as your final authority and don’t believe God is capable of preserving his word.

  10. Deborah Corona says:

    There is a video by someone “on YouTube” that states that our bibles have been changed. Come on give me a break! Basically they are saying God is so weak that demons floated in our houses and changed the word of God. Please don’t listen to everything people say! God Bless you all.

    • Brandon says:

      Exactly. This kind of bizarre nonsense is just another way to cast doubt on God’s word. People pushing these theories have only their own mind as their final authority.

      • walter motubatse says:

        Some of scriptures art changed….. we now pray the Lord in truth and spirit….. the Law is written upon the tables on our hearts

        • Brandon says:

          All you have is an incorrect memory of a verse. That doesn’t mean the whole universe was altered while you slept. Be rational! If you can’t find your keys where you think you left them it doesn’t mean someone came into your house and hid them from you. It means you forgot where they were.

  11. Celia says:

    I have a concern, the verse in revelation about deleting or adding from God’s Word…, those of us who who bought these altered versions under the assumption they were authentic translations. Are we under that curse? And what should we do with them? I’ve purchased several versions for bible study and reading, such as KJV, NLT, ESV, NKJV, HCB, & TLB. I’m definitely keeping and using the KJV from this point on. Goid is awesome

    • Brandon says:

      First of all, there is no way possible for a born-again Christian to lose his salvation. Let’s just get that out there.

      Secondly, I don’t think naïvely using modern Bible translations count as messing with God’s word. Many of us came out of modernism, including myself. Those “translators” will have a lot to answer for, no doubt, but there is no danger of loss of salvation for a Church age believer, period.

  12. Sharmaine Hill says:

    Eph.6:12
    For we wrestle not against flesh, and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    And WE must put on The Whole Armor of God! (my comment in agreement with The Lord our God)

  13. George says:

    I think the lion and lamb saying comes from the song “Peace In The Valley.” You have to be careful not to get your doctrine from songs, or at least make sure they line up with scripture. A good example is “Lily of the Valley” In Song of Solomon the reference is clearly to the Church, not to Christ. It is the bride (The Church) making the statement “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” not the bridegroom.

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