All, Animals, Bible, Mandela effect, Scriptures

The Mandela effect – Lions and lambs

Preface

I am agnostic when it comes to the Mandela effect. The woman who came up with the concept is an occultist and the majority of the effects I have heard about are questionable. To me they usually go like "Have you heard about (thing I never heard of before)? Well, now it's (the way it's always been) instead! OMG!".

Granted I can only judge pop culture references from personal experienced, coming from a different cultural background. Perhaps I'm wrong. I have never before heard about any Berenstain bears or seen the movie Field of dreams, so I am not an expert.

But there is an area where I am well read, and that's the Bible. I have been hearing or reading the Bible pretty much every day of my life. I am a volunteer minister and apart from my regular job this is basically what I do. So when I see people claiming that the Bible has been changed, I am very sceptical, especially since none of the things they show me are actual changes, usually only bad translations and interpretations based on a lack of scriptural knowledge.

So I want to assure all fellow believers that "the green grass dries up, the blossom withers, but the word of our God endures forever." (Isa 40:8)

The Lion and the Lamb

One if the things some claim has been changed is in Isaiah 11:6.

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.

They distinctly remember that it said "The lion also shall dwell with the lamb". Well, as you can see, it doesn't.

Why?

Notice that there is a lion in this verse, however he's together with the calf and the fatling. So the most probable explanation is that they just remember that there's supposed to be a lion somewhere in that vivid visual picture. Lions are associated with Africa, and somewhat with the middle east, ar least back in the day. Also the Lion is majestic, beautiful and represents courage, a bunch of positive things. And the L in lion rhymes well with the L in lamb. Lion+Lamb. Rolls off the tongue.

The Wolf is kind of a scrawny one, a little creepy. You associate it with the cold snowy tundra of Alaska, even though they actually exist in the middle east as well. It doesn't evoke the same positive emotions of grace, beauty and courage that a lion does, so your mind wouldn't mind if it went away, given the opportunity.

The modus operandi of lions and wolves are also different. Arabic wolves hunt alone or in small packs of 2-3 at night where they stealthily snatch sheep away under the cover if darkness and are easily chased away by a shepherd. Lions however come openly in daylight and savagely kill whatever they want and the shepherds are pretty much helpless. (Isaiah 31:4)

Why do everyone remember the same thing?

Because there is a lion in that scene. No bears, tigers, hyenas or crocodiles, so if you're were going to misremember it, the lion is the wild animal that probably drops into place. There is a leopard as well, but leopards are kind of like a budget lion, so that might even increase the chances of misremembering a lion. "There was something about a bunch of cats together with various sheep" is what you remember most vividly. Very easy to mix it up.

Why does Wolf and Lamb make sense?

  • For one, it fits poetically (prosaically?)
    • Wolf + Lamb
    • Lion + Calf
    • Smaller carnivore + Smaller Herbivore
    • Bigger carnivore + Bigger herbivore.
    • Sneaky weak dog v.s. Brave strong cat
  • While lions sometimes attack sheep (1 Sam 17:34), I think the more common worldwide stereotype is that of wolves attacking sheep. That happens even in areas where lions don't exist.
  • And while lions attacking sheep in Israel back then were more common, today those lions are pretty much extinct there, while the Arabic wolf is still around.

So that's basically it, misremembering and confusing two similar concepts in the same verse.