Queen of Heaven: A Socratic Dialogue

remedyHappy Feast of the Queenship of Mary!

Have you ever been asked why on earth it is Catholics refer to Mary as “Queen”?

If so, you might find this short dialogue helpful: Read my other dialogues here.

Sam: Why do you call Mary a queen?

Justin: Because she is the mother of Jesus who, we believe, is a king, the king of the universe.

Sam: Well I believe Jesus is the one true king also but I don’t believe Mary is a queen.

Justin: Why not?

Sam: Well, for starters, she wasn’t married to Jesus! For obvious reasons.

Justin: Sure, 1. Jesus was celibate, and 2. Mary was his mother. But what you seem to be implying is that a queen is necessarily the wife of a king, yes?

Sam: Well, yes.

Justin: This is how we understand it in the west, but in the ancient near east, this wasn’t the case. The queen was always the mother of the king. One of the reasons for this was that those in the ancient near east practiced polygamy. Solomon, for example, had 700 wives and 300 concubines! (1 Kings 11:3) 700 queens? Can you say, “cat fight”?

Sam: Didn’t think of that. Good point. But show me all this in Scripture.

Justin: Do you have a Bible? Compare 1 Kings 1:15-16 where Bathsheba is the wife of King David to the very next chapter, 1 Kings 2:19 . . . Read it aloud.

Sam: Okay, 1 Kings 2:19 says, “So Bathshe′ba went to the king into his chamber (now the king was very old, and Ab′ishag the Shu′nammite was ministering to the king). Bathshe′ba bowed and did obeisance.”

Justin: Now turn to the next chapter where her son, Solomon, is king and she is now queen. Verse nineteen.

Sam: Okay, “So Bathshe′ba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adoni′jah. 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.”

Justin: Interesting, huh? This was always the case in the Davidic monarchy.

Sam: Alright, well that was with the Davidic monarchy, why think it continues with Jesus.

Justin: Because Jesus is the new David! The angel said to Mary, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.” So if the queen is the mother of the king, and Jesus is the true and rightful king, is it crazy for me to think of his Mother as a queen?”

Sam: I guess not, but you pray to her, right? I find that weird.

Justin: Well now we’re talking about the intercession of the saints, and that’s a different thing. I think there is good Biblical support for this, but I have to get going. Perhaps we can talk about it next time.

Sam: Sounds good. Bye.

3 thoughts on “Queen of Heaven: A Socratic Dialogue

  1. The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Jer 7:18

    But we will certainly perform every word that is gone forth out of our mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. 18 But since we left off burning incense to the queen of heaven, and pouring out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. 19 And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink-offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink-offerings unto her, without our husbands?

    Jer 44:17-19

    Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and with your hands have fulfilled it, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her: establish then your vows, and perform your vows.
    Jer 44:25
    Matt, Please explain.
    Thank you
    Jack Tolland

    1. Jack,

      Those verses come from the time of the Prophet Jeremiah, long before the Incarnation, indeed, long before Mary was born. They refer to the apostate practices of the Israelites of the period, namely their worshipping and serving of pagan deities. Now, I don’t know what your Bible’s notes say, if they say anything, but the commentary to the Jerusalem Bible mentions that the “Queen Of Heaven” in Jer. is most likely a reference to Ishtar, a Babylonian/Assyrian deity.

      In any case, the onus would be on you to prove that Mary can be identified with Jeremiah’s “Queen of Heaven” despite the many things seperating them, such as the times in question.

      Pax Christi,
      Eoin

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