Today, we continue with the third part of Mary in the Old Testament. In the month of September, we looked at Mary in the Old Testament in two parts – part 1 and part 2. Both of these blog posts focused on the women of the Old Testament and how Mary fulfills each of these women in the New Testament. If you have not read parts 1 and 2, I would suggest clicking on the links provided and read through them before reading part 3.
As with these blog posts, you will need your Holy Bible, so make sure it’s accessible.
The types of Mary below weren’t just thought up in the past few hundred years of Church History, but they find their origin with the early Church Fathers. The early Church Fathers are the key to truly understanding Catholicism. If you have never read any of the early Church Fathers, I would suggest reading about them as soon as possible. I have written on quite a few of them here. I would also suggest Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and his book, The Church Fathers, as a starting point as well.
1. Mary as the Ark of Noah (Read Genesis 6:9) – Just as the Ark of Noah escaped the floodwaters that flooded the earth because of the sin of man, so too, does Mary escape the effects of sin in her Immaculate Conception.
2. Mary as Jacob’s Ladder (Read Genesis 28:12) – Just as in the dream of Jacob (who would become Israel), Jacob’s ladder reached from earth into Heaven. On the ladder were the angels ascending and descending from Heaven. Mary is seen as Jacob’s Ladder because she intercedes for those here on earth from Heaven.
3. Mary as the Burning Bush of Moses (Read Genesis 3:1) – When God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush on Mount Sinai, the fire did not consume the bush. There is a twofold fulfillment here when it comes to Mary. First, the bush held the presence of God, as it is with Mary; she carried God within her womb. God was physically present in Mary. Second, the material of the burning bush did not burn or corrupt. The effects of original sin did not corrupt Mary’s material body.
4. Mary as the Tower of David (Read Song of Solomon 4:4, 12) – In the Old Testament book, Song of Solomon (also known as Canticle of Canticles), we read about the impenetrable Tower of David. Mary is seen as the Tower of David because the tower was an enclosed and inviolable garden, which mirrors her purity and perpetual virginity.
5. Mary as the Temple of God (Read 1 Kings 8) – The Temple of God, which was built by King Solomon, the son of King David, represented the sanctified (holy) house of God. Mary is seen as a Temple because she would be the tabernacle personified. She carried in her womb the presence of God. When the Israelites traveled in the desert for 40 years long before the Temple was built, the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the presence of God, was kept in the Tabernacle, which means, “tent.” Next week, we will focus on Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant.
On a side note, Jesus is the one who is fulfillment of the Temple – See the Gospel in Readings for the Third Sunday of Lent.
6. Mary as the “Seat of Wisdom” (Read Wisdom of Solomon 7,8 [9-12 if you have time]) – In the book of Wisdom, the term – created wisdom, was written in the feminine gender. This is seen as the foreshadowing of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the great “Seat of Wisdom.” [Connections to Esheth Yahil or “Woman of Valor” in Proverbs 31] More to come on this topic in 2 weeks!
Miravalle, Mark. Introduction to Mary. Queenship Publishing, 2006.