Mary, Ark of the Covenant
This Fall I've been teaching the book of Revelation in the Twin Cities. Today we spoke about "the woman" in chapter 12. I had mentioned that many times on my travels to Israel I was inspired by a statue of Mary on top of a church in the ancient city of Kyriat Yearim (Abu Gosh). The statue depicts Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant. The Old Testament Ark was in Kyriat Yearim for twenty years before Israel brought the Ark to Jerusalem.
There are some striking parallels between David bringing the Ark into Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6:1-19 and St. Luke's account of Mary's visit to Elizabeth in Luke 1:39-56.
In 2 Samuel 6:2, "David arose and went" to Judah.
In Luke 1:39, "Mary arose and went" to the hill country of Judea.
In 2 Samuel 6:9, David cries out: "How can the ark of the Lord come to me?"
In Luke 1:43, Elizabeth asks: "Why is it granted me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
In 2 Samuel 6:14-15, David is found leaping and dancing before the ark of the covenant.
In Luke 1:41-44, the baby in Elizabeth's womb is leaping for joy in Mary's presence.
In 2 Samuel 6:11, the ark of the covenant remained at the house of Obededom for three months.
In Luke 1:56, Mary (the new Ark of the Covenant) remained at the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah for three months.
Another interesting comparison between the Old Testament ark and the New Ark (Mary) is that the Old Testament ark contained a bowl of manna, the two tablets of stone (10 Commandments) and Aaron's budding rod (speaking of his authority). In Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant we find Jesus, the living bread from heaven, the Word made flesh and the King of Kings and Lord of Lord's.