The Hidden Throne of Israel & The Blessed Mother

King Solomon had a problem. He had "700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines" (1 Kings 11:3).  When the king has 1000 -- one thousand -- women in his life, who rules as the queen? Also, if Jesus is the New King of Israel, who is the New Queen? The Kingdom of Heaven was the restoration and fulfillment of the Kingdom of Israel, so who is the Queen of Heaven? 


The answer lies in the following passage from 1 Kings 2. In this passage, Adonijah is asking Bathsheba, the mother of King Solomon, to intercede on his behalf before the king. 

The Queen-Mother

But first, some back story: Adonijah and Solomon were both sons of King David. After their elder step-brothers, Amnon and Absalom had died, Adonijah considered himself the heir-apparent to the throne. Adonijah was the oldest living son of David,1 and therefore had a better claim to succeed King David to the throne. Nevertheless, Solomon fought Adonijah for the throne. Civil War had erupted and Solomon emerged victorious. 


First, 1 Kings 2:13-18 RSV-CE: 
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably.” Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Say on.” He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign; however the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Say on.” And he said, “Pray ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.” Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak for you to the king.”
Notice some of the important parts of this passage. Adonijah "prays" to Bathsheba, the mother of the King, that she would ask the King to grant Adonijah's "request." This may not be the definition of "pray" we're accustomed to hearing. Adonijah is not "praying" to Bathsheba as if she were God. To "pray" simply means to "ask" or to make a request. Also, notice that Adonijah knows that the king "will not refuse" his mother. How does he know this?


In the very next verses, Bathsheba goes to her son, King Solomon, with Adonijah's request (1 Kings 2:19-21):

So Bathsheba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And (1) the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and (2) 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, (3) “Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you.” She said, “Let Ab′ishag the Shu′nammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife.” [numbers added] 
What an important passage! Several things happened in this second passage that forever affected the structure of the Kingdom of Israel. (1) We see the king "rising to meet" his mother and then "bowing down to her." The king's subjects bow to him. The king bows to no one - except his mother. Before we get to (2), I'll first address (3). The king, himself, reiterates that he "will not refuse" his mother. This is a royal tradition that King Solomon is making a permanent fixture of the kingdom. He is literally about to "enshrine" it.  

(2) This is extremely important. The king "had a seat brought for the king's mother" and from then on "she sat on his right". The king placed a seat for his mother beside the throne. King Solomon didn't just have a servant bring a seat for his mother, so she could sit in his court before him. The king set the seat beside his own throne. The mother's chair became a throne in its own right, a royal office subordinate to the king's throne. 

This royal office of the Queen-Mother, called the Gebirah or the "Great Lady", became a fixture of the Kingdom of Israel. It lasted for as long as the Kingdom of Israel lasted. We see in 2 Kings 24, when Judah is at last conquered by the Babylonians and the Southern Kingdom falls to King Nebuchadnezzar, that the Queen-Mother, Nehushta, is still given precedence over the wives of King Jehoiakim (see 2 Kings 24:15). Jeremiah 13:18 also narrates the fall of Israel to the Babylonians in terms of the Queen-Mother losing her crown: 
Say to the king and the queen mother: 
“Take a lowly seat, 
for your beautiful crown 
has come down from your head.”  
The tragedy of this verse is finally undone at Revelation 12, where we see that the Queen's crown has been restored and fulfilled, but more on that in a bit.

The Queen of Heaven

So, what has this to do with the Blessed Mother, i.e. the Virgin Mary? It might be obvious to you by now, maybe not, that the Queen of the Kingdom of Israel was a prefigurement or foreshadowing of the Queen of the Kingdom of Heaven. 

How did the kings of Israel, with their many, many wives, resolve the issue of who would reign as queen of their kingdom? Every man only ever has one mother.  The king's mother ruled as queen. This is the tradition of the "Queen-Mother". 

This is why we call the Virgin Mary the "Queen of Heaven"! This is why we "pray" that Mary will intercede for us before the King, because that's her royal office


The Wedding at Cana

But there's more ... lots more! Check out Part Two, "What's Really Happening at the Wedding at Cana," which shows how the scene between Queen Bathsheba and King Solomon is repeated and fulfilled at the Wedding at Cana!

Please share and comment below ... 

P.S.: If you needed more proof that Mary is Queen of Heaven, just read Revelation 12:1: "And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." This woman is then described as the mother of the Messiah, i.e. the Virgin Mary. Right there, in black and white, Mary is described as wearing a crown in Heaven. Why would Mary be wearing a crown? What is a woman called that wears a crown? A QUEEN, i.e. the Queen of Heaven!



1. Adonijah was actually the fourth son of King David. All together, David had about 18 sons according to the various accounts in Chronicles and elsewhere. David's first four sons were Amnon, by Ahinoam; Daniel (also called Chileab), by Abigail; Absalom, by Maachah; and Adonijah, by Haggith. Daniel (or Chileab) is thought to have been dead by the time Adonijah laid claim to the throne. Interestingly, Rabbinic tradition holds that Daniel-Chileab was one of only four ancient Israelites to have died without sin, the others being Benjamin, Amram, and Jesse, the father of King David.

36 comments:

  1. Good study, but it would have more weight if Bathsheba's request hadn't been refused by Solomon - in fact, the fact that he made it was the trigger that caused Solomon to execute Adonijah. In other words, he most emphatically did NOT grant Bathsheba's request.

    This does not change the importance of the position of the Queen Mother, and throughout Kings you'll see the Queen Mother often named along with the king. However, I've always wondered why people would choose this particular example to use, given the outcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very thought provoking --
      thank you, Scott.

      Delete
    2. Prince of the West: You make an interesting point! I've also wondered at that. I think you could also interpret Solomon's actions as granting Adonijah's prayer, but then nullifying a precondition of marriage, i.e. being alive, haha! This would be the dark wisdom of Solomon.

      This is how typology works, though. The precursor is always feeble compared to the fulfillment. Think about the vast gulf between the conception of Solomon and the conception of Jesus! Wow! Talk about shadow and light!

      Thank you very much for your comments!

      Delete
    3. An excellent point.
      The purpose of such analogies is to estsblish "scripturally" the dogmatic rank of Mary as the equal of jesus and his Father in heaven. Those using the analogy should stop, because it defeats dogma. They will not.
      The two other passages often used are the Protoevangelium of James, and the wedding at Cana.
      Your own Catholic Encyclopedia [newadvent.org] will show you the worthlessness of the former to serious theologians or historians.
      Cana is the record of Jesus' first miracle, preceded by a simple conversation with his mother. Out of that has come the majority of Mary dogma. Why? The longer and more specific conversation with Bathsheba establishes none of it.
      And none of it mentions the Queen of Heaven or puts Mary in that place. Instead we find Yahweh identifying that one at Jer 44:17-19,25.


      We might also compare the lengthy, specific and practical refusal of Solomon to the casual conversation at Cana which the RCC has used to put Mary in the positions she currently holds in dogma. The strong example turns out to be none at all; of what use is the weak one?

      Delete
    4. Doug: Are you referring to the Protoevangelium at Genesis 3:15, which is a profound proof text for Mary and Jesus, OR the Protoevangelium of St. James, which is non-canonical?

      Delete
    5. Doug: Also, why do you think the RCC is attempting is attempting "to establish the dogmatic rank of Mary as equal to Jesus and His Father in heaven"? Where in my post, the Catechism, the Church Fathers, etc. do you find any argument for "equal" rank between Mary and Jesus or the Father? While it is obvious that Mary reigns as Queen in Heaven for a number of reasons, Revelation 12 being the most obvious, why does this indicate equality of rank? The royal office of the Queen-Mother is subordinate to that of the King of Israel, and this is exactly what is shown by this proof text from 1 Kings 2.

      Delete
    6. Scott, the Church sets her up as a goddess, a female God.
      First, she's known as a "co-redemptrix" and "co-mediatrix", in contravention of Paul's plain statement at 1Tim 2:5.
      Second, she's called "the Mother of God", which is impossible. He is "the eternal god" of Rom 16:26, who exists "from eternity to eternity". Ps 90:2, NJB. Yaweh neither has nor needs a mother. And wouldn't she necessarily be SUPERIOR to Him? Cf. Ex 20:12; De 5:16; Eph 6:2. And of course the mother of a god must of necessity be a goddess.
      Third, as a blogger once explained to my satisfaction, it would be a mistake to misunderstand that a true worshiper would "pray" to a woman; the meaning would have to be 'talk to' or 'ask'. Yet the Rosary consists of "prayers" TO Mary, as well as to Jesus. In this case prayer certainly is an act of worship. As is burning incense before a statue of a person or decorating it for a religious procession, or asking it for "intercession". John 14:14.
      Finally, the "prooftext" at 1Kings 2 was shown to be no proof at all.

      Delete
    7. The Catholic Church doesn't believe, and nor do I, that Mary is a goddess. Again, I ask you, can you cite anything that say this?

      Delete
    8. (1) While 1 Tim 2:5 rightly states there is but one Mediator between God and man, it does not say there are no Co-Mediators or Co-Redeemers. Does it? Do you think the "co" prefix means equal? It merely means "with" - it's not like a "co-manager" or "co-director" which would be equal in power and authority to their counterparts. Does 1 Corinthians 3:9 not say we are God's co-workers? Also, Jesus' own birth required Mary's mediation -- it required her consent, did it not?

      Delete
    9. (2) Was Jesus fully God and fully man from his conception and therefore God in Mary's womb? Are you saying Mary only gave birth to Jesus' human nature? Because that's impossible. Mothers don't give birth to natures - they give birth to persons.

      Delete
    10. (3) You're partly right on this one. Pray means to ask. That's what it has meant for thousands of years. It has only recently taken on a distinctly religious connotation. What do we ask/pray of Mary in the "Hail, Mary"? We ask/pray for her to "pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death." We don't ask for her to grant us forgiveness, etc., as such activities are appropriate to God alone. Are you opposed to asking people for prayers?

      Delete
    11. (4) 1 Kings 2 is a very strong proof text for the Blessed Mother's intercession and queenship. You can't just *pray* it will go away, haha. But yeah, anti-Catholics absolutely have to believe it is "no proof at all," if only for your own mental stability, because it utterly destroys your arguments. Let's go back over what King Solomon says at 1 Kings 2:19-21, part by part:
      (A) The king rose to meet her, and BOWED DOWN to her;
      (B) [The king] had a seat brought for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right.
      (C) The king said, “Make your request, my mother; for I WILL NOT REFUSE YOU.”
      (+) And from then on, there remained a throne for the Queen-Mother for the entirety of the Kingdom of Israel.

      Just be honest with yourself: Can you really in your heart of hearts just ignore this?

      Delete
  2. I have given much thought as to why Solomon had Adonijah executed. I think it comes down to two things, pulled together by one fact: Ab′ishag had been purchased as a slave to keep King David warm in bed during his old age. IOW, she was a living heating pad. She had been purchased as a concubine (a sex slave), yet scripture is very specific that David did not have sex with her. Now, suppose Solomon had agreed to the request:

    1. Supposed shortly after their marriage, Ab'ishag produces a male son. Adonijah could claim that Ab'ishag was pregnant with David's child when Adonijah married her. Adonijah may have planned to use this child (in 20 years or so) to challenge Solomon for the throne (depending on how weak the king's power was at that time).

    2. Another possibility, one that I think is most likely, also has to do with Ab'ishag's status as one who shared David's bed. It is possible that there would have been a great many people who would not believe that she had never had sex with Daniel.

    Now, the Hebraic laws on incest can be summed up simply as, Do not have sex with anyone your mother, your father, your son, or daughter has had sex with. If people believed that Ab'ishag DID in fact have sex with David, then Solomon would appear to be giving his royal permission to incest. Solomon would have then been put into an untenable position: NOT grant his Gebirah's request, or to appear to be approving incest.

    These two positions were impossible to reconcile, so Solomon had a friend kill Adonijah for Solomon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim, your second conjecture is closer to the truth.
      David had several women to share his bed; Abishag was the last. Whatever the private facts, public perception would give her the status of royal concubine, no small thing in those days. Recalling the difficulty in getting Solomon to the throne, he would have been more than usually cautious about endangering his position. Adonijah had a poor track record about kingship, you'll recall. [We can be sure Solomon recalled it.] He had been warned, and could hardly have been surprised at Benaiah's sudden appearance.
      Although the throne was Yahweh's* and not any man's, the men still engaged in their struggles for it. So Solomon's move was mostly political, and a shrewd one.

      *1Chr 29:23

      Delete
  3. Scott, Rev 12 does not mention Mary by name, and scriptural references to 'sitting at the right hand' in heaven always refer to Jesus in his relation to Yahweh. No mention of or room for a third throne, not even for a "holy spirit person".
    An alternate view held by many is that the woman is God's "wife". This is how Yahweh often referred to the earthly nation of Israel, until he cast her off for her adulteries. His new wife is spiritual Israel, the "Israel of God". [Gal 6:16; Rom 9:6 ff.] The capital of that nation is also spiritual, "the Jerusalem above ... she is our mother."
    This view is supported by scriptures without requiring putting words in anyone's mouth.
    Aside from that it keeps us from needing to invent a 'queen of heaven', who was already established by God himself, as false worship, through Jeremiah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rev 12 does not mention Jesus by name, correct? Yet, you acknowledge the child of the woman as Jesus, right? If so, how is possible to believe the child is Jesus, but the child's mother is *not* Mary?

      Delete
  4. Scott, I wrote, "the Protoevangelium of James".
    Gen 3:15 mentions the seed [offspring] of a woman, who is certainly Jesus. For the identification of Mary as that woman, she would have to have been present at the creation, which is how the dogma is usually taught. That is impossible. It is more logical and consistent, to see her as Yahweh's wife, his heavenly organization, which was present at the creation of the earth. Job 38:7. Moreover, what was wanted after the Fall was a perfect man to keep integrity to God unto death; a ransom. Mt 10:45. Life for life; man for man. Ex 21; Lev 24. No need or provision for a 'co-redemptrix'. Paul, our expert on the Law, agrees. Rom 5:15.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Gen 3:15 speaks in the future tense, i.e. "I WILL PUT enmity between you and the woman ..." It's a prophesy of the future, of the "Gospel". The woman, therefore, is a future woman, who will give birth to Jesus. Who else could that me???

      Delete
  5. I have a combined reply to your several thoughtful responses [for the writing of which I thank you]; too much for my fat fingers on the phone. Tomorrow I should have access to a desktop and the internet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! I'm glad we can engage on these topics. I really enjoy hearing your counter-arguments. Looking forward to reading the next round!

      Delete
    2. Scott, addressing your points in no particular order.
      > Is praying recent in religious use? The OED says, "Pray: ME prein. To ask earnestly, humbly, or supplicatingly ... esp. In religious use. That's Bede's era. Do I object to praying to or through Mary? Yes! My authority on prayer doesn't allow it. John 14:6
      > Trinity. My go-to scripture cuts to the chase and satisfies any reasonable, literate* person. Rev 3:12. Please read it and ponder the meaning of "my God".
      > Solomon and Bathsheba. One of your own Catholic readers showed us that incident cannot prefigure Jesus and Mary. Solomon refused his mother's request in a matter of religious and political import. Jesus kindly acceded to his mother's request on behalf of [it seems] a family friend. No type-antitype connection. Let's hear no more of Solomon.
      > I observe Mary being treated as a goddess by Catholics. My earlier reasoning stands.
      > Mediatrix. You write that 'the co prefix merely means with, not equal'; then, 'No, it means equal.' In any case, it's a word of Magisterium, not scripture. CCC 86; I prefer the master over the servant.
      > The "natures" of Jesus. A Scholastic construct. Rev 3:12 answers this for any reasonable, literate* person.
      > Gen 3:15. First prophecy, about Jesus, not about Mary. The why of that is for another time, but a woman symbolic of Jehovah's heavenly organization matches other scriptures down to Revelation, and doesn't require a "new Eve", which is not scriptural. This kingdom will replace Satan's, which has been ruling the earth since he was thrown out of heaven. Mt 6:9,10; Rev 20:1-3; 12:9,12; 21:2-4. Gal 4:26 further identifies "our mother" as this new Jerusalem, not Mary or "Mother Church". [Magisterium]. I say again: There is no mention of Mary by name; no throne for her in heaven as in Catholic art. Why not? There should be, if dogma matches scripture. But she is not there!

      * Able to understand the use of prepositions and possessives in English.

      Delete
    3. Doug: I'll try to address your points in order, though there may be some overlap.
      (1) John 14:6 says this: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.'" Why do you think this verse is relevant? This tell us how to approach the Father; it doesn't say anything about approaching the Son, and it certainly doesn't prohibit any particular way of approaching the Son, such as through Mary.

      Delete
    4. (2) I'm not sure what you're trying to argue with Revelation 3:12. There's no clear, well-developed statement on the Trinity anywhere in Revelation, nor even in the entire Bible. This is part of the reason Sola Scriptura is a fraudulent idea.

      Delete
    5. ***(3)*** Your argument just doesn't hold any water. First, Adonijah was killed precisely because King Solomon, by his own promise of "I will not refuse you", would have been forced to honor his mother's request. Second, it's a basic misunderstanding of typology to believe that every last detail of two linked passages must match. Typology is about congruence, not mathematical exactitude. The fulfillment always far surpasses type. Jesus was the New Adam and the New David: Would you argue Jesus is not the New Adam because succeeded in defeating the devil, whereas Adam failed? Would you argue Jesus is not the New David because Jesus' Kingdom is everlasting, whereas David's kingdom failed? It's only logical, therefore, that Jesus would honor the New Queen's request to the point of excessive quantity, if Solomon did indeed fail.

      Delete
    6. (4) Okay, that's fine. You may also observe a gorgon or a griffin. I can't refute your perception, merely the evidence. On that score, there is no evidence in the Catechism of Catholics worshiping Mary as a goddess, though certainly as a Queen.

      Delete
    7. (5) What is your evidence that "co" as in "Co-Mediatrix" means equal? Further, if you prefer Scriptural evidence, 1 Corinthians 3:9 states that we are "co-laborers with God". Based on this, would you still insist that "co" means "equal" in Scripture?

      Delete
    8. (6) I note that you didn't answer the question. I don't blame you, though - most Protestants, especially Sola Scriptura ones, would have great difficulty addressing the dual natures of Christ without quickly stepping into heresy. Revelation 3:12, certainly not by itself, doesn't help us answer this question. Isn't it ironic that whole segments of Christianity have basically no concept of Christology? Do you not accept, then, the hypostatic union of natures within Christ?

      Delete
    9. (7) So you believe that the Protoevangelium (Gen 3:15) addresses the mother of Jesus, the birth of Jesus, and Jesus, himself, but that the mother is NOT Mary? Instead of the obvious, you accept this theory of some nebulous heavenly bureaucracy symbolized by a mother? That's the Sola Scriptura position? Seriously? Let's be serious here. It's obvious to everybody that mother means mother, but it's also obvious that it presents some serious obstacles to the anti-Catholics. The heavenly bureaucracy symbol is just a square peg in a round hole.

      Delete
  6. ADD: Is Mary treated as a goddess by Catholics?
    From https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2017/08/13/pope-spurns-horoscopes-fortune-tellers-urges-faith-instead/
    "[The Pope] also called on the Virgin Mary to intercede to help the faithful "stay on the boat of the Church" avoiding the temptation of "amusing" yet insecure boats of ideologies.
    Q. Is 'calling on' praying?
    Q. Is praying an act of worship?
    Q. Is the Pope a model for the flock?
    Q. Is interceding anything like mediating?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right, the Queen-Mother, Mary, intercedes before the King, Jesus, exactly as at 1 Kings 2 and throughout the history of Israel until the Babylonian Captivity.

      Delete
    2. Praying/asking/calling on (all synonyms) Mary or even worshiping her as a Queen, i.e. "your worship", is not referring to her as a deity. There are different kinds of worship. Precision in language is very important. One type of worship, i.e. latria vs. dulia or hyperdulia, is reserved for God alone.

      Delete
  7. 1) John 14:6 is an exclusionary statement, as direct and clear as language gets. You want us to read instead, '... through me, or any successors or designees I may appoint.' The glorified son reports to his Father; no one else needed.
    2) "There's no clear, well-developed statement on the Trinity anywhere in Revelation, nor even in the entire Bible." You have just made your first correct statement about it. Yet the bible is BY God, ABOUT God. Literate and reasonable, I said. "Sola scriptura". Not a phrase of mine. I hear it only from trinitarians after I cite a scripture that absolutely contradicts one of their "traditions of men". Mt 15:3,6
    Literate and reasonable.
    3) The African Augustine and Origen in particular are found guilty by your own writers of building the tiniest of types into great antitypes. That's what happened with Solomon, after Mariolatry came into the Church. Let's hear no more of him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (1) No, you're not understanding. John 14:6 states the only way "to the Father" - it doesn't restrict anything in terms of the way "to the Son".
      (2) Wait, you're not a Trinitarian?? What are you?
      (3) Again, you didn't answer the question. Can you answer the following:
      "The fulfillment always far surpasses the type. Jesus was the New Adam and the New David: Would you argue Jesus is not the New Adam because succeeded in defeating the devil, whereas Adam failed? Would you argue Jesus is not the New David because Jesus' Kingdom is everlasting, whereas David's kingdom failed? It's only logical, therefore, that Jesus would honor the New Queen's request to the point of excessive quantity, if Solomon did indeed fail."

      Delete

  8. Yes, precision in language is important. In English we have possessives and prepositions to help us. Not all people, though, are equally literate and reasonable. I've known third-graders who could easily explain "my God" and "son of God", and grown men who couldn't.
    I recall offering the "square peg" just as a counterexample, another way of understanding women who may or not be Mary. It's not a simple topic, but it is scriptural. This isn't the place to discuss it, because it's off-topic, because I mistrust your ability to get the plain meaning from plain scripture, and because your blog turns out to be very clumsy on my smartphone. [Not your fault.]
    Now I will go through the rigmarole of trying to publish this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How does Rev 3:12 explain the two natures in Christ? Here's the verse: "He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name."

      More to the point, are you using this to show that Jesus was NOT God while in Mary's womb? How?

      Delete