The Catholic Defender: Mary's Fiat and Typologies found in the Old Testament
Before I begin looking at the Virgin Mary's Fiat, I want to take a look at some of the Old Testament typologies regarding Mother Mary.
A "Typology" could be defined as a belief in the continuity of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Biblical Typology is when a person or event in the Old Testament foreshadows a person or event in the New Testament. Just as God, prepared the way for His son in the history of Israel, so, too, He prepared the way for the mother of His son.
These types can be through people, places, or things. We can focus on really just about every Old Testament woman that had a part to play in Salvation history. For the purpose of this writing, I will focus on five of them; Eve, Hannah, Judith, Esther, and Bathsheba.
Eve is the first woman whose name means "The Mother of the Living". Mary from the bible is the Mother of the Church. Mary is the Mother of all who obey the Commandments and bear testimony to God. Revelation 12:17
Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12 are uniquely tied as we see the woman, her offspring, and the serpent also known as the Devil. Mary is the "New Eve" being obedient to the Lord where the original Eve was not causing Original Sin and death.
Hannah was a woman who was barren, she was without child and she would approach the Temple pleading to the Lord a child promising she would offer her child for His service. She miraculously conceived giving birth to Samuel, a great prophet of God. Hannah prefigures Mary who held to a vow of virginity, probably associated with the Essence that reinforced that dedication. Hannah received a supernatural conception bringing forth a prophet, Mary also received the incarnation through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Judith is honored (Judith 15:9-11) that the Church applies to the Virgin Mary. That is because Judith is a unique prefigure of Mary. Judith cut off the head of Holofernes liberating the Jewish people from a horrible siege that threatened the nation. Judith prefigures Mary as Genesis 3:15 points to the woman that would crush the head of the serpent. As Holofernes represents the serpent, so Judith represents Mary. Judith was also noted for being very beautiful that also is a close association with Mary.
Esther like Mary began with humble origins from a lowly estate. She would become a queen liberating the Jewish people through her intercession before the King. Queen Ester would save the people from destruction pointing to Mary as a figure of intercession. The Virgin Mary became Queen who intercedes before Jesus who is the King of kings on behalf of the Church and mankind. Queen Esther is a figure of Mary's mediation by way of intercession. Esther, like Judith was very beautiful.
Bathsheba prefigures the Virgin Mary in that she became the first queen of Israel. The queens of Israel was never the wife of the king, the queens were always the mother of the king. King Solomon, son of David, placed his mother in his court where she had a chair, a place, a throne at the king's right hand. Hannah had a miraculous conception, Judith smashed the head of the serpent, Esther was an intercessor, and Bathsheba became the first queen of Israel. Eve was the Mother of all the living. All of this would pre-figure the Virgin Mary.
Consider Noah's ark, Jacob's ladder, the burning bush, Ark of the Covenant, the Cloud of Elijah, and the shut door of the temple. These are well known biblical events and stories St Augustine recognized the Old Testament being the New Testament concealed while the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.
Noah's ark became a place of refuge for Noah and his family, the whole human race. Like wise, the Virgin Mary has become a place of refuge in her powerful intercession. She can take you to the dept of Jesus Sacred Heart where we can bath in the Lord's Divine Mercy.
Mary is also seen as the "Ladder of Jacob" through her title, "Theotokos" meaning "Mother of God". She is the link or the vehicle that Jesus came into the world (John 3:16). The ladder itself represents the cross of Christ which we ascend or have the means to ascend to Heaven. The Angel Gabriel sent by God descending to the Virgin Mary from Heaven became the first manifestation of Jacob's dream.
The burning bush manifested the presence and revelation of God, Moses was overwhelmed by this sight, likewise Mary carried and brought forth Jesus, the very presence and revelation of God. The burning bush also points to that burning love that God wants to flame into our hearts. Mary being sinless represents that flame in the most excellent way. Holiness is the result.
Mary as the Ark of the Covenant, Mary was chosen to be the Mother of our Lord from the beginning. When Mary was conceived, the Lord preserved her free from original sin. This is called the “Immaculate Conception”. Do you believe Satan had his hand on Mary, even as when our Lord was in her womb? St. Irenaeus referred to Mary as the “Ark of the New Covenant”. He made the typology between Eve and Mary “Against Heresies” as St. Paul did with Adam and Jesus (Romans 5:12). This reveals the perspective and role Mary had in the early Church.
What was contained in the Ark? Aaron's rod and a pot of manna. Hebrews 9:4 describes: "The ark of the covenant [was] covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron's rod which budded, and the tablets of the covenant." The gold represents royalty, the manna prefigures Jesus as the Bread of Life, Aaron's rod represents authority, and the Commandments all point to Jesus.
From the Carmel story, the seven tries of Elijah's servant to go see the sign of Elijah becomes a spiritual typology representing the seven ages of the world. What are the seven ages of the world you might be asking:
1. Adam to Noah
2. Noah to Abraham
3. Abraham to David
4. David to the Babylonian Captivity
5. Return of Israel to Jesus
6. Jesus to present
7. Present to the Parousia.
This is where it gets really interesting! The seventh age represents the Salvation of the world. Jesus refers to the coming of this age Matthew 28:19-20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
How does this fit into the Prophetic sign of Isaiah? Here we go:
There are four Marian identifiers embodied in the sign of Elijah and revealed by Isaiah
1. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Because the Virgin would arise as a cloud out of the salty sea water saturated with the guilt of humanity, having the same nature of the water but without it's bitterness. Our Lady was conceived without Original Sin and not marred by sin.
2. THE VIRGINITY OF MARY - Because Mary arose out of Mount Carmel and like a man's foot (Douay-Rheims), this means Mary would follow the path of Elijah who ascended Carmel through voluntary virginity as Elijah and completed the pure works (hands).
3. THE TIME OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH - Because Elijah's servant saw the cloud on his seventh try so would the world witness the advent of the Virgin preparing for the Seventh Age.
4. THE VIRGINAL MATERNITY - Because in the little cloud, God would come down like a sweet rain, without noise of human collaboration (except Mother Mary), that is, without violating Mary's purity.
The sign of the cloud revealed rain, the sign of the Virgin with child revealed grace.
There are those who challenge the purity of the Virgin Mary. In fact, they hate that she is called "Virgin"? Mary has been seen as a gate, a door that is shut that no one could enter in through the door of the Temple. We see that in Ezekiel:
“Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary facing east, but it was closed. The LORD said to me: ‘This gate must remain closed; it must not be opened, and no one should come through it. Because the LORD, the God of Israel, came through it, it must remain closed’” (Ezekiel 44:1-2).
Comparing the Ark of the Old Testament with the Ark of the New Testament, consider these examples:
OT David rose and went into the hill country of Judea
NT Mary rose and went to the hill country of Judea
OT David asks, "Who am I that the Ark of the Lord should come to me"?
NT Elizabeth asks, "Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me"?
OT The Ark stayed in the house of Obed Edom for three months
NT Mary stayed in the house of Elizabeth for three months
OT David's response to the Ark was to leap and dance before it
NT John the Baptist response to Mary as Ark was to leap in his Mother's womb
My focus at this time are not these typologies, but how the Virgin Mary is very much a part of these typologies.
In the Old Testament, the Queens of Israel were not the wives of the king, but the kings mother. That is most important. Mary, as Mother of Jesus by Old Testament teaching, would be Queen and that is what gives Psalms 45 the foundation that it points to. Jesus is truly King!
Compare Psalms 45:10-18 with Luke 1:46-56
OT "Daughters of kings are your lovely wives; a Queen arrayed in Ophir’s gold comes to stand at your right hand.
NT "And Mary said:*“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior
OT Listen, my daughter, and understand; pay me careful heed. Forget your people and your father’s house,that the king might desire your beauty.He is your lord;
NT or he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
OT honor him, daughter of Tyre.Then the richest of the people will seek your favor with gifts.
NT The Mighty One has done great things for me,and holy is his name
OT All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters, enters raiment threaded with gold; In embroidered apparel she is led to the king. The maids of her train are presented to the king.
NT He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
OT They are led in with glad and joyous acclaim; they enter the palace of the king.
NT He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly
OT The throne of your fathers your sons will have;you shall make them princes through all the land.
NT The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
OT I will make your name renowned through all generations;thus nations shall praise you forever.
NT He has helped Israel his servant,remembering his mercy. Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Psalms 45 only makes sense when Mary is seen in this text. We have a Queen figure sitting at the right hand of the King. The King in Psalms 45 is already identified as Christ in verses 1-9. Verses 10 through 18 is about the kings mother. This we know is the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Virgin Mary rejoices in God her Savior, her soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Mary's beauty pleases the King, she fulfills the figures of Queen Esther and Judith who interceded for the people and delivered the people bringing in the King. Their beauty is noted in the texts.
Because of Mary's great humility, she will be called blessed by all generations. That is depicted in Psalms 45 that Mary's name will be renowned through all generations.
The Lord has done great things for the Mother of Jesus, many will seek her favor with gifts, primarily gifts of faith. Because of her humility and obedience, Mary is lifted up as she is lead to the King. Those who follow her example will also presented to the Kings as theiroil is full.
As Queen, the Virgin Mary would be Mother to a Royal Priesthood, Marian priests are greatly blessed with great devotion. These priests are also identified as priests of a kingdom that Jesus conferred upon His Apostles (Revelation 5:10).