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Roles of women of Old Testament

By Sean Martin
John Paul II Generation

How has Mary fulfilled some of the roles of the women of the Old Testament?


The seeds of the Divine Kingdom are found in the Old Testament. The Lord established covenants with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David making them a royal priestly family, then tribe, then nation and kingdom. Jesus’ reign as the King of the Universe is foreshadowed in the Davidic Dynasty. “He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son” (2 Samuel 7:13-14).

Mary as Universal Queen Mother is foreshadowed in the Davidic Kingdom. The Gebirah, the Queen Mother of the Kingdom of Israel, had the role of intercessor and advocate for the people. “And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king's mother; and she sat on his right. Then she said, ‘I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.’ And the king said to her, ‘Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you’” (1 Kings 2:19-20).

Mary as Universal Queen Mother is foreshadowed, also, in the Queenship of Esther. Queen Esther interceded for the Jews “for God had placed her on the throne to obtain the salvation of the Jews” (Liguori 15). “’Think not that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's house will perish’” (Esther 4:13-14). Queen Esther Advocated to the King and behalf of the people and saved them from death.

Over two thousand years ago, the Second Person of the Trinity became Incarnate, born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus humbled Himself and took on human flesh and blood. The Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and addressed her stating “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The Angel Gabriel stated that Mary was full of grace. Grace is God’s life within a person. Mary was full of God’s life. The Angel Gabriel was honoring Mary and confirming that she was Immaculate in nature, without the stain of sin.

Jesus began to establish His reign for the sake of the salvation of humanity. “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). Mary was to be the Mother of this royal King Jesus.

Mary brought into the world the one who would save the world. Her role in salvation is very unique. No other human being, besides Mary, in the history of humanity has ever had and ever will have that particular role of the Mother of God. Mary gave flesh to the Word made flesh. The Council of Ephesus in 431A.D. declared Mary as the Theotokos, the God bearer, or the Mother of God.

Mary, the Mother of Christ, is the New Eve. Mary’s role in salvation history was to fulfill and restore the actions of Eve. Eve failed to obey God’s calling to mediate goodness and grace to Adam. Mary fulfilled this role of mediation by saying yes to God her whole life and bringing the life of God into the world. At the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce that she would conceive and bear the Savior of the world. Her response was “let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). Mary was obedient and surrendered to the will of God. Salvation came into the world through Mary’s yes. “By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 967). Eve was a virgin and brought about sin and death through her disobedience. Mary was a virgin and brought about salvation through her obedience. St. Irenaeus preached “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience” (Miravalle Theological Foundations 253). Eve listen to a fallen evil angel, Satan. Mary listened to an obedient gracious angel, Gabriel. Tertullian stated that “Eve believed the word of the serpent, Mary the word of Gabriel” (Danielou From Shadows to Reality 46).

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