Where Does the Expression “To Beard the Lion In His Den” Come From and What Does the Saying Mean?

The expression “to beard the lion in his den” comes from two separate stories in the Old Testament of the Bible.

I Samuel 17:35 has David telling of how he confronted and killed a lion before he braved Goliath: “and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.”

The den part of the phrase is taken from the story of Daniel being tossed into the den of lions, from Daniel, chapter 6.

The two portions of scripture combined in people’s minds and stuck over the centuries and is now used as a trite saying meaning that one must be brave in order to complete difficult tasks.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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