Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Queenship of the Virgin Mary

Today, the octave after the Feast of the Assumption, is the feast of the Queenship of the Virgin Mary. How is Mary a Queen? She is not a goddess. She is a human being. The Queenship of Mary comes from Psalm 45. The New Testament book of Hebrews references this psalm to Christ:
But of the Son He says,
"Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above your companions."
~Hebrews 1:8-9
Psalm 45 also talks of "the queen".
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
~Psalm 45: 9
Who is the Queen, then? Most modern Americans would answer "The Queen is the King's wife." No. Not in ancient times. In ancient times a king could have many wives in a lifetime, and, indeed, many wives at one time. The queen, then, is the mother of the king. We see a remnant of this today in the British idea of the "Queen Mother"--the mother of the king.

The Queen (or the Queen Mother) is not a queen in her own right. She is queen only because she is the mother of the king. She does not reign alone. In some senses, she does not reign at all--not in the sense that the king reigns. The psalm pictures the queen standing at the right hand of the king (Christ). Notice that the queen does not sit in a throne of her own. She is standing by the side of the real ruler--the King, who is Christ.

The concept of Mary as Queen of Heaven and earth is a title given to her by virtue of her having given birth to the King who is Jesus Christ.

Hat tip to Darrenn Jackson for the biblical references.


Divine Mercy said...

nice post:)

4HisChurch said...


Divine Mercy said...

welcome! i really do love your blog!!! as an OCD sufferer, i find it comforting to have a blog for people like me to come to:)

4HisChurch said...

Thanks so much, DM! I really think that faith is important to recovery.

yak1605522 said...

This point cannot be supported from "At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir" (Ps. 45:9). The hebrew word which is being translated as queen is שֵׁגַל - sheygal (root shin gimel lamed). This word is always used in scripture in reference to the act of sex. Thus, in noun form (as it is used here), it refers to one by their nature as a sexual being. Perhaps a good way to render this concept in english would be a "copulator" (ie- one who engages in copulation), or, perhaps as "intercourse-engager." This does not bear any dirty connotation, but rather is stated matter-of-factly.

This is a perfectly sensible way to refer to the conecpt of a "wife," for the most defining characteristic of the relationship of being a "wife" is the availability of said person for sexual relations. This is limited exclusively to a marriage relationship, and is the most unique and thus most defining characteristic of the nature of marriage relatioship (that sex exists within this relationship).

Contextually in this Psalm, this reference makes perfect sense, since the Psalm is speaking of a wedding celebration, with this "sheygal" being the one standing beside the king whom is discussed. Thus, the word is often translated as "queen," since by becomming the wife of the king, the woman herein discussed is indeed becomming the queen.

Also, the author of the post says that in ancient times the kings wife would not be called the queen. But scripture clearly and explicitly uses the word "queen" as a reference to the wife of the king. For example, in Esther, contextually it is very obvious that Vashti and Esther were both wives of King Xerxes, and scripture refers to each of them as "queen." This is made explicitly clear in Esther 1:17 ["For this deed of the queen will go abroad to all women, so that they will despise their husbands, and will say: King Assuerus commanded that queen Vasthi should come in to him, and she would not."] This is also made explicitly clear in Esther 2:17 ["And the king loved her more than all the women, and she had favour and kindness before him above all the other virgins, and he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vasthi."]

The author of the post is correct in saying that the queen is not a queen in her own right, but that she is only queen due to her relationship to the king. But the author cites the incorrect relatioship to the king- it is not by virtue of being mother of the king that one become queen, but rather it is virtue of being wife of the king that one becomes queen. Monarchy is always inherited in scripture patrilinearly, and not matrilinearly. Thus, a woman only becomes queen by virtue of her relationship to the king (that is- her being married to him). True, the king's mother would also be a queen, but this is by virtue of her marriage to the previous king, and not by virtue of her mothering of the current king.

Now since Mary is the mother of Jesus, it is incorrect to describe her as a "sheygal" with regard to Jesus. That is, Mary, with regard to her relationship with Jesus, cannot be referred to as being one who engages in sexual intercourse. This is because Mary is Jesus' mother, and considering one vis-a-vis their engagement in sexual intercourse is only relevant to the relationship between spouses. Even moreso, in accord with Mary's being a a virgin at the time of her conception of Jesus, and indeed her status of permanent virginity throughout her lifetime (per tradition), it seems difficult to apply the term "sheygal" to Mary at all in any regard. For the very essence of "sheygal" is sexuality, and Mary's unique characteristic is her virginity (which is the opposite of sexuality).

So again, in my opinion, Mary's status of Queen of Heaven cannot be demonstrated from this scripture, as the writer of this post seeks to do.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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