Why is Mary the “Queen”?

The answer to this is pretty simple: because Jesus is the King.

This is confusing for those of us who came into the world while monogamous marriages are the norm. Most recent monarchs had one wife (or at least one at a time [*cough*cough* Henry VIII *cough*cough*), and in our experience, the title of Queen always goes to whoever is married to the King.

In the times of the Old Testament however, this was not so. The leaders and Kings of Israel, like Jacob & Solomon, all had multiple wives. It wasn’t a good thing, polygamy resulted in a lot of problems for them, but it was the common practice of the time.

One of the major issues within these polygamous families was jealousy– especially once a throne was involved. Wives and children all competed with each other for favor of their husband/father/king. One of the ways to diffuse jealousy between the King’s wives was that not one of them was crowned Queen.  In ancient Israel, the Queen was always the mother of the King.

You can see it throughout scripture; it’s explicit in 1 Kings 2:13-25 (I’m not going to put the whole thing in this post, but I will describe what happened in case you don’t want to read the passage).

  • Solomon is King of Israel, Bathsheba is the Queen Mother.
  • Adonijah is Solomon’s “brother from another mother” (in all seriousness, they’re half brothers).
  • Adonijah comes to the Queen with a request, hoping she will intercede for him in front of the king since he has fallen out of favor with the monarch.
  • Bathsheba goes before King Solomon 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.” 1 Kings 2:19

The King honored his mother! He gets up and bows to her and has her sit at his right side! Without her, their would be no him. The same is true of Mary and Jesus. The Son has always existed, however, his human form has not. Because of Mary, we have Jesus, we have our King. That is what today’s feast day is all about.

Upon reaching Heaven, God honored Mary’ faith and life-long obedience by crowning her Queen of Heaven and earth. This feast shows love and honor for Our Lady, but more importantly, it shows the generosity of God. Mary gave her whole life to God, but God gave her even more.

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Just a little sidenote: I have to point out the Adonijah is trying to use Bathsheba as a pawn in his game to take over the throne. He is asking to marry a young woman who was married to King David, his father, before he died. To us, this may seem like an innocent request, but it was actually a power-play. Sleeping with King David’s wife, even though he had passed away, was like stepping into his shoes. It was a way of gaining support within the kingdom to take over the throne. Why would Bathsheba help Adonijah and bring this request to her son?  Most likely, she knows what Adonijah is attempting to do. Rather than refusing to help him, she brings the matter to the King. Solomon, upon hearing Adonijah’s request publically denounces him and has him put to death. 

If Bathsheba had not “interceded” for Adonijah, he may have found another way to take over the kingdom, or he could have fled and come back later with an army to support him. By bringing the matter before the King, Bathsheba was able to best help protect his kingdom.

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