The Old Testament Foretells the Coming of a Virgin

According to the Christian view of God's Creation, Eve, the first woman, soon became the one who, with Adam, brought the downfall of humanity with the original sin. God promised a Savior, and the mother of the Redeemer was announced at that time in the Book of Genesis: "I will put enmity between you and the woman" (Gn 3: 15)

"Abraham's most authentic daughter

Abraham, our "father in the faith", obeyed God wholly and unconditionally even when, because of outside events, it was very difficult for him to imagine how God's promises would be fulfilled. Pope John Paul II, in his sermon given in Nazareth on March 25, 2000, called the Virgin Mary "Abraham's most authentic daughter" because she became the Mother of the Messiah, and of all believers, through her strong faith (cf the sermon published in the Osservatore Romano on April 4, 2000). Let us look at some of the symbols of the Virgin Mary, found in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testatment for Christians:

Imagery of Mary

In Genesis and Isaiah, a Virgin Mother is promised, the Daughter of Sion, the Garden of Eden, the beloved of the Song of Solomon, the Arch of the Covenant. Ruth is a symbol of Mary and the Church since she is providentially placed in Christ's family tree. Esther and Judith are also symbols of Mary, as they are associated with the Savior in the sequence of events of God's divine plan of Salvation. (1)

Mary could be seen as the greatest glory of the Jewish nation after Christ

After her son Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary could be seen as the greatest glory of the Jewish nation. It is at the heart of this nation that God made the Covenant and chose this exceptional person who would give birth to the Savior of all mankind. Let us pray that the Virgin Mary may obtain for us the grace of always promoting better Judeo-Christian relations.



(1) The promises in the Old Testament about the Virgin Mary can be classed in 3 "catagories":

- images: Morning Star, Tower of David, Throne of Wisdom, etc.;

- figures: Sarah, Rachel, Deborah, Judith, Esther, and so many others...;

- prophecies: Gn 3: 15; Is 7: 11; etc.)


Cardinal Francis Arinze