How Mary Fulfills The Jewish Role Of The Queen Mother

by Mary - The Blessed Mother, September

Despise Not Our Petitions

Mary is the Queen Mother in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The Queen Mother had a particular role in the Jewish world and that meaning is elevated and amplified in the age of the Church. From the beginning of the Church, Mary was seen as our Advocate. She intercedes for us and prays for us to her holy Son, Jesus Christ. There is an early Christian prayer from the third century, known as the Sub Tuum Praesidium which, in part, says: 

“We fly to thy protection, O holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us from all danger, O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.”

Mary cares for each of us with the love of a perfect mother. She is the Mother of Jesus and thereby the Mother of the Body of Christ, the Church. She does not despise our petitions for the things that we need. She is our sure protection and will faithfully lead us to her Son. Far from detracting from the unique mediation of Jesus, she is subordinate to it. Everything we believe about Mary points to Jesus.

Queen Mother

In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet says, “Say to the king and the queen mother: ‘Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head… Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock? (Jer. 13:18, 20).” The role of Queen Mother is not incidental; it is a royal office. The flock of Judah belongs not only to the king but to the Queen Mother as well. She was known in Hebrew as the Gebirah (the Great Woman). 

The wife of King David was Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. While David was still living, Bathsheba entered the royal throne room to see her husband: “Bathsheba bowed and paid homage to the king, and the king said, ‘What do you desire?’ (1 Kings 1:16)” Then, as she is leaving she shows due honor to the king: “Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground and paid homage to the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever (1 Kings 1:31)!” 

In the next chapter of 1 Kings, David has died and Solomon, Bathsheba’s son, has taken the throne. She is now the Queen Mother! This time when she enters the throne room, she does so as the Queen Mother, the Gebirah. She was asked by a man named Adonijah to go to the king and intercede on his behalf. Bathsheba obliged:

“So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. 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).’”

Notice what happened here! The king rose and bowed to her, not the other way around. And the king brought a throne for her to be placed next to his own. And the king says that he will not refuse the request of his mother. 

Mary is the Gebirah Forever

We can take everything we have just read about Solomon and Bathsheba and apply it to the New Testament. More than mere application, really what we see is fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Son of the Most High who is the heir of King David. His reign will last forever. And for that eternity, surely the mother of the king, the Gebirah, will reign alongside her Holy Son. Mary is the Queen Mother spoken of in many different passages in the Old Testament. What is revealed in the Old Testament is fulfilled in a far greater way in the New and Everlasting Covenant and kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Just as Adonijah – and all of Israel – went to the queen mother as an advocate to present petitions to the king who would not refuse her, so too do we approach the Queen Mother Mary as our Advocate who lovingly takes our petitions to our Lord and King Jesus Christ. The vocation which Mary assumed with her “yes” to the Angel Gabriel as the Queen Mother has not ended and will not end.

Closing Prayer – Salve Regina

English:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, 

our life, our sweetness and our hope.

To you do we cry,

poor banished children of Eve. 

To you do we send up our sighs, 

mourning and weeping in this valley of tears 

Turn then, most gracious advocate,

your eyes of mercy toward us,

and after this exile

show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb,

Jesus.

O clement, O loving, 

O sweet Virgin Mary.

Latin:
Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;

vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.

Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.

Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes

in hac lacrimarum valle. 

Eia ergo, advocata nostra, 

illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. 

Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, 

nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. 

O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

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