Someone wrote to object saying,
It is interesting Steve, as to what you left out in your reference to 1 Kings 2:19 , Solomon’s Mother did indeed come into the throne room, Solomon did indeed, rise and bow and have her sit at his right hand. But the Queen Mother’s request was in fact denied, and the first person to go to the Queen Mother with his request was put to death that very day! So much for taking requests to the Queen Mother, doesn’t always work!
There are two ways to see the intercession of Bathsheba: 1) a naive request to the king for Adonijah and 2) a subtle and wise exposing of Adonijah’s continued deceit to claim the throne. Let me explain a bit. If we assume the first possible scenario, Solomon is a type of Christ yet Solomon was a sinner. Solomon’s sin does not detract from Jesus’ perfection as the quintessential king of Israel and the Universe.
Every king in Israel/Judah had a queen but it was never his wife; it was his mother. She was called giborah, great lady and Queen Mother.
Being a sinner and flawed did not detract from the fact that Solomon was a type of Christ. Neither does Bathsheba’s sins and flaws detract from her being a prefigurement of Mary. Solomon and his mother were sinners; Jesus and his mother were not. What Solomon and his mother failed to do; Jesus and his mother do perfectly.
You could also note that Jesus said explicitly that the only sign he would give was the sign of Jonah, but Jonah was rebellious; does that mean Jesus’s crucifixion and burial was a result of his own rebellion? Of course not–that would be an improper use of typology.
Also, if you use Bathsheba’s indiscretion to diminish Mary, then you must be consistent and use Solomon’s sins to diminish Jesus. Queen mothers were flawed intercessors; the Mother of God is an intercessor without flaw.
But if we consider the second possibility, the second way to interpret the historical and political situation behind this event we see Bathsheba as being very wise and discerning.
It is possible and even likely that Bathsheba was wiser than she is normally given credit for and made this request to expose the deceitful intents of Adonijah? Did she inform Solomon of the plot in a diplomatic way?
The taking of a king’s concubine was a political move to grasp the throne. In this scenario, Bethsheba wisely and publically exposed Adonijah’s continued plot for the throne. It ultimately brought about the assassination of the competitor for her son’s throne. As an “image” of Mary, the request can be seen as a parallel to the revealing of the Evil One and his continued attempt to displace her Son.
Sorry, I didn’t miss anything.
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I was wondering about that. Thanks Steve. I looooove being Catholic!
You could also note that Jesus said explicitly that the only sign he would give was the sign of Jonah, but Jonah was rebellious; does that mean Jesus’s crucifixion and burial was a result of his own rebellion? Of course not–that would be an improper use of typology. Thanks Steve!
another problem with the objection: "the Queen Mother's request was denied". This is not what happened. Bathsheba knew full well what the implications of the request were, as did Solomon. Bathsheba was alerting the King to what was a plot against him. The King did not refuse her, instead he acted immediately (this day) to have Adonijah killed. Starting with Ch 2:13, we see that Bathsheba knew he was not a friend, she plays along with his intrigue to expose him. Instead of going to Solomon privately, she deliberately goes to him publicly, in the throne room, where there would most certainly be many others present. She then publicly reveals what Adonijah is (still) plotting behind the King's back. Taking the previous King's wife or concubine was a way to legitimize a claim to the throne – 2Sam 16: 21-22. Bathsheba was conveying to the King and everyone that Adonijah was still a threat to Solomon. Her "request" was actually that Solomon take action against a traitor. The whole event – a formal public appearance before the Court, Bathsheba's testimony of Adonijah's treasonous plans, and Solomon's swift action showed all the Kingdom the unity of the Queen Mother and her son the King, and that the son's judgement was just.
STEVE RAY HERE: Nicely stated! Thanks!
You are truly blessed. Keep up the good works.
With your books I have been able to bring back 2 of my friends to the catholic church in India.
God Bless you and your family.
PS. I do not miss a day without visitng this site of yours (It been since your visit here in Mumbai almost 7 plus years)
Nicely done. I wondered about that as well… thank you for the answer and the responses.
Hi Steve, one thought I’ve had is that whenever we use the Queen Mother typology, the only passage we point to is the one you mentioned. Do we have any other sources that talk about the role of the Queen Mother as intercessor? Did other kingdoms in the ancient near east also have an office of queen mother where she had an intercessory role as well? On.a related note, I also found Brant Pitre’s explanation of Mother Mary as the New Rachel quite insightful. Till then I didn’t know Jews believed in the intercession of saints.
STEVE RAY HERE: More son!