Bible mysteries explained: The Annunciation the Ark and the Angels

The Ark of the Covenant is, of course, an ancient archetype (no pun intended) for the Blessed Virgin. The Ark contained the tablets of the Word of God. She was the bearer of the Word Incarnate. The Ark contained the manna of the wilderness. She held in her womb the Bread of Life. The Ark held the budding staff of Aaron. Within her was the spring of new life from the stump of Jesse. That she is the Ark of the Covenant is seen in Revelation 11-12 where, in John’s vision of heaven, he sees the Ark of the Covenant, and immediately afterwards sees the sign of the woman in heaven clothed with the sun who bears the child who rules with the rod of iron.

So the angels overshadow the Ark of the Covenant. Then there is that interesting story of Ruth in the Old Testament. You may remember that the young widow Ruth was entitled to marry her kinsman Boaz, who would look after her. According to custom she presented herself to him, and as a sign of his acceptance of her he takes her under his cloak. Now, the Hebrew word for a cloak is the same as ‘angel wings’ and is the same root as the word ‘to overshadow’. As a sign of betrothal, Boaz “overshadowed” her with his cloak.

Jump forward to the Annunciation and we see that the angel says “the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” This “overshadowing” therefore alludes to the angel wings, and to Boaz’ cloak of betrothal and to the wings of the angels that overshadowed the Ark of the Covenant. Thus in one little word the full imagery of the Old Testament prophecies about the Blessed Mother are brought to fulfillment. Also, we see why that curious (and seemingly superfluous) story of Ruth was included in the Old Testament.

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2 Comments

  1. Challenge yourself. Google First Scandal.

    • Dear Robert,

      Interesting…but not convincing. Smacks of Gnosticism. The old “Satan’s Seed” theory is much more intriguing. And besides … I happen to like St. Augustine!

      Cheers!

      Doug


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