+J.M.J+

HEAVENLY QUEEN


Definition

In heaven, Christ the King has exalted His Mother as Queen.

How This Teaching Exalts Christ

It upholds His Kingship, since Mary could not possibly be Queen were her Son not the King of Kings. It also affirms that His Kingship is truly from the Davidic line, as we will see below.

Biblical Basis

In the Davidic monarchy, the queen-mother, or gevirah ("lady"; feminine form of gevir, "lord") played a very important role. King Solomon instituted this position when he enthroned his mother, Bathsheba, at his right hand (I Kings 2:19), and all his successors followed his example with their own mothers. This was the kings' way of fulfilling the Commandment to honor their mothers (Exodus 20:12)

Each time the Bible records a king of Judah, it mentions his mother (see I Kings 14:21; II Kings 14:2; 21:19; 23:36; 2 Ch 22:2) because she was the gevirah, and so had a special place in his court. The prophet Jeremiah sends a warning to both the king and his mother (Jer 13:18), and the Babylonians took both King Jeconiah and his mother away into captivity (2 Kings 24:15; Jer 29:2).

Jesus is the final Son of David, the rightful heir to King David's throne. He has exalted the Davidic dynasty into heaven itself, thus making it a truly everlasting kingdom (Ps 89:35-37). And, like His earthly forefathers, He has enthroned His Mother, Mary, at His right hand as the Gevirah of the Kingdom of heaven.

Early Christian Witness

Coming soon.

Objections

  1. Queen of Heaven is a title of the goddess Ishtar; so when Catholics call Mary Queen of Heaven they are really praying to Ishtar.

    By this line of reasoning we could prove that Evangelicals pray to Satan when they call Jesus "the Morning Star", because "morning star" is the literal meaning of the Hebrew word usually translated "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12. Identical titles do not indicate identity of persons; were this so, King Nebuchadnezzar would be Jesus, since both are called "king of kings" (Daniel 4:24; Revelation 19:16).

    We must also consider the intention of Catholics. When we call Mary the Queen of Heaven we do not intend to invoke Ishtar, therefore we do not invoke Ishtar! God knows our hearts.

  2. There is no Queen of Heaven; Jesus doesn't have a queen; He reigns alone as King!

    That's not what the Bible says. In Psalm 45, which is a prophesy of Messiah's reign, verse 9 reads, "At thy right hand doth stand the queen in gold of Ophir" (ASV). The queen is then addressed directly; sho is clearly present at the ceremony. So Scripture indicates that the Messiah will have a queen by His side.

  3. Then the queen spoken of in Psalm 45 is His Bride, the Church; not Mary.

    But in verse 18 the queen is told, "I will make your name memorable through all generations". Where in the Bible have we heard this before? In Luke 1:48, where the Holy Spirit causes Mary to prophesy, "From now on all generations will call me blessed". Mary is the Queen who will be remembered and called blessed by all generations! She is the one of whom this psalm prophetically speaks.

    Now, Mother Church is the Bride of the King of kings, so she could perhaps be considered a "queen" as well. But that would not change the fact that Mary is the Queen-Mother of the Kingdom of Heaven. There can be both a queen and a queen-mother (the present monarchy in the United Kingdom exemplifies this).

  4. The Bible does not call Mary a "Queen".

    The Bible tells us that the mother of each king in David's line received the honor of being Gevirah. Mary is the Mother of the ultimate Son of David, Jesus the heavenly Messiah-King; thus she is the Heavenly Gevirah. Besides, the Bible states that Christ has made all Christians to be kings (Revelations 1:6; 5:10). Since Mary is a Christian woman, it is not at all improper to call her a Queen (feminine equivalent of "king").

  5. The Bible never says that Mary reigns in heaven with Christ.

    The Bible says that if we suffer for Jesus' sake we will reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12). As she watched her dear Son dying, Mary surely suffered a great deal (John 19:25), so its perfectly biblical to believe she reigns with Him now in heaven.

  6. You believe that Mary was crowned Queen of Heaven. How do you know she wears a crown?

    The Bible depicts the righteous in heaven as wearing golden crowns (Rev 4:4). Is it so hard to believe, then, that Mary also wears a crown?

  7. The gevirah was an Old Testament office; Jesus is King of kings in the new dispensation.

    The Bible never says that Jesus abolished the office of the gevirah. After all, He did not come to abolish the "Law and the Prophets" (the Old Testament), but to fulfill it (Mt 5:17). He did not abolish the Davidic dynasty, but came as the final Son of David who will reign forever. Even so, He did not abolish the office of the gebirah, but set up His Mother as the final Gebirah in heaven.

  8. Didn't the kings of Judah copy this "queen-mother" tradition from the pagan Babylonians?

    There is no evidence of that in Scripture. King Solomon established this tradition at the beginning of his reign while he was still faithful to the God of Israel, long before he turned toward idols (1 Kings 11:1-3). None of the prophets ever condemn this tradition, although they condemn many practices borrowed from the surrounding nations (Ezekiel 8:3; Zephaniah 1:8).

    Yet this tradition is consistent with God's command "Honor you father and mother" (Ex 20:12). The king was obliged to keep all the commandments as an example to the people (Dt 17:18-20). This included the one on honoring one's parents. He could not honor his father, who was dead, so he honored his mother by enthroning her next to him and giving her a share in his reign. There is nothing inherently "pagan" in this practice, and it is in line with God's righteous commandments.

    Even if this office were copied from pagan dynasties, so what? The Bible tells us that the idea of a Israel having a king was itself copied from the surrounding nations (Deuteronomy 17:14; I Samuel 8:5, 20)! God did not seem too pleased with that idea at first (I Sa. 8:6-8), but He later promised that the Messiah would spring from King David's line. If God agreed to this pagan-inspired idea and even made it part of His messianic plan, couldn't He agree to the office of the queen-mother (if it were pagan in origin - which is debatable)? Since God never condemns the existence of the gevirah, He must have found it agreeable.

  9. But there were evil queen-mothers such as Maacha (I Kings 15:13); and Athalia (2 Kings 11:1-16)?

    There were also righteous queen-mothers, like the one whose advice is recorded in Proverbs 31. The existence of evil queen-mothers do not negate the validity of the office any more than evil kings like Manassah negated the validity of David's line. Yet they do reveal (in a negative fashion, of course) the authority and influence which the gevirah had in the kingdom of Judah.

  10. But Jesus did not have to continue this tradition.

    He did not have to abolish it either. Yet He had good reason to continue it. Since Jesus was born under the Law (Gal 4:4), He was bound to honor His Mother. Since He is the Son of David it was fitting that He honor her as His forefathers honored their mothers. Since he is God, He is able to honor her more than could an ordinary king of Judah, by making her the Queen-Mother of the Kingdom of Heaven itself. This is exactly what He did!

  11. The Bible does not say that Jesus made Mary his gebirah.

    It also does not deny that He did so. Yet certain passages insinuate that he did. Take, for instance, Elizabeth's statement "And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk 1:43). Elizabeth knew that Mary was bearing the Messiah, the long-awaited Son of David; and that this would make Mary the queen mother. She is amazed and humbled not only by the presence of the preborn Christ under her roof, but by the fact that the mother of her Lord - the Messiah's Gebirah! - should come to help her in her last months of pregnancy. The title "mother of my Lord" may also be an acknowledgment that Mary is the queen-mother.

    So this passage strongly indicates that there is something special about Jesus' Mother; that as the Mother of the Messiah-King she is destined for an exalted role in the kingdom of heaven.

  12. If the gevirah co-ruled with the king, then you're saying that Mary is equal to Jesus?

    No, for the gevirah was not equal to the king. She sat at his right hand in a place of honor (I Ki. 2:19), acted as his royal counselor (Pr. 31:1-9) and sometimes spoke to the king on behalf of others. But he was still the king; he had the last say and could ignore his mother's advice or deny her requests (I Kings 2:20-23). (Now since Mary only prays according to God's will, Jesus does not deny her requests (I Jn 5:14-15). Yet He is still supreme, and she subordinate to Him.)

  13. I can't believe that Jesus would pay such honor to Mary.

    Why can't you believe it? Not based on the Bible, which never denies that Jesus paid such honor to Mary. Perhaps you just don't want to believe it, in which case it is some personal prejudice against Mary and/or Catholicism which dictates that belief, not the word of God.


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