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Ezekiel 44:1-4 and the Mother of God


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#1 Matthew M

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 06:25 PM

Can someone please explain to me this passage from Ezekiel in the wider context of the book? Being a Protestant, I see this simply as referring to the temple as the temple, not the womb of Mary.

#2 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 07:33 PM

Perhaps you are not looking hard enough. God does not do things for no purpose. Everything in the Old Testament is a precursor, a preparation of the world for the New Testament, to bear witness to the Christ, His Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection. The express purpose of the Temple was to house the Ark of the Covenant, the "resting place of God". The purpose of the Ark was to be the precursor of the Theotokos, the REAL "resting place of God".

The Temple and the Ark are Old Testament types that are fulfilled in the New Testament in the person of the Theotokos. Why, do you think, was this whole "north gate" stuff about, really? What does it MEAN? WHY did God inspire Ezekiel to proclaim it? If you can come up with a better explanation than to be the foretelling of the Theotokos, I am happy to be enlightened.

Herman the hopefully enlighten-able Pooh

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 19 September 2010 - 10:48 PM.


#3 Matthew M

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:30 AM

Thank you for your response. It was just one of many things I've been thinking about as of late. In the commentaries I've looked into, (obviously all Protestant) all said the temple was the temple, not a foretelling of Mary. This got me thinking....WHY? I want to go back further and further and see when and where the shift had happened, On the Protestant end.

For that matter, why change it at all? if indeed it was/is a foretelling what did the Protestants have to gain by arguing a different understanding?

#4 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:47 AM

Because Protestants thought there was too much emphasis on the Theotokos in the Catholic Church, so there was a strong effort to de-emphasize her role in Salvation in general. Many things in Holy Scripture had to be "glossed over" in order to make things fit into the Protestant construct so it wouldn't be "too Catholic". Of course that is a gross simplification. There were socio-political influences as well that added to the mix. I recommend you get the book The Orthodox Church by Timothy/Kallistos Ware. It has an excellent history of the Church that explains much of this and many other things as well, available at most better bookstores, online as well as brick and mortar, everywhere.

#5 Paul Cowan

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 02:53 AM

I had never read these versus and especially never taught them in my PC days.

46 And Mary said:


“ My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”


Especially the bolded part. How could the bible teach something the PC try to brush under the carpet. How could they possibly explain the amount of text space in the bible devoted to Mary without acknowledging there was really something here they should acknowledge? unless that is, they gloss over it as the other passages that don't fit the "comfort zone" of their teachings.

Paul

#6 Kosta

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:35 AM

Ezekial 44.1 is a passage which many Church Fathers saw as speaking of the incarnation and ever-virginity of Mary (Ez 44.1). As the holy of holies was the spot in the temple that contained the ark of the covenant, Mary is seen as the temple which contained God the Word. Her womb is the holy of holies and Christ is the ark.

Christ born of a virgin maiden is indicated in Ez44.2, "...It shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it, becuse the Lord God of Israel will enter by it, therefore it shall be shut."
Ex 44.3 is interpreted as Christ taking flesh from Mary, bread in John 6.32 can refer to His flesh which He took from Mary, the bread which cames down from heaven and was incarnated. Ez 44.3 is seen as the gestation period in the womb, "As for the prince, he will sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. He will go in by way of the Gate chamber and go out the same way."

Jacob's Ladder is also seen in the same light. Jacob dreamed of a ladder extending from heaven to earth, When he awoke he exclaimed in Gen28.17, "...This is none other than the house of God and this is the Gate of Heaven." Mary is the house of God, the temple, which Christ descends into, and she is the gate By which God entered into this world. Mary is also that ladder in Jacobs dream for she is the vehicle in which Christ crossed over from heaven to earth.

In Orthodoxy hymnology, Moses parting the Red Sea is seen as a similar allegory. The red sea parted allowing Moses to crossover, it closed when the egyptians attempted to cross. Thus Christ opens the womb of Mary, she is the vehicle in which God passes over into this world, yet he leaves the womb inviolate for all time, he shuts it.

Other similar scriptural verses abound. Daniel 2.34,45 speaks of the stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands. The mountain is symbolic for Mary, the stone is Christ who took Flesh from Mary and was concieved without human seed; 'without hands'

Mary is Theotokos because she is the Mountain, the Ladder and the Gate

#7 Michael Stickles

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:40 PM

I had never read these versus and especially never taught them in my PC days.

Especially the bolded part. How could the bible teach something the PC try to brush under the carpet. How could they possibly explain the amount of text space in the bible devoted to Mary without acknowledging there was really something here they should acknowledge?


Actually, in my PC days I was quite aware of these verses, and remember going over them in some Sunday School classes. But there was always another focus other than the person of Mary.

I also actually heard Mary called "blessed" by people in those days - but that was no big statement, no more than saying we were "blessed" because there was good weather for the outdoor service. "Blessed" just meant God did something neat for you. Mother of the Messiah? Pretty neat!

When starting from a PC mindset, there are very few (if any) Orthodox arguments for the special place of the Theotokos that make the least bit of sense. My own opinion, FWIW, is that in most cases a person would have to at least start getting a grip on the different way the Fall, sin and salvation are looked at, before Mary's place can come into better focus. I know that for me it worked that way.

In Christ,
Michael

#8 Matthew M

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 06:50 PM

Thanks everyone for all the responses. I went to an Orthodox Church for the first time today. It was interesting to say the least!




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