Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Introduction to Mary as the New Eve
The redemptive role which women play in the history of salvation has been long scorned, culminating in the monstrosity that is this age. This is a lamentable loss. What was once a glorious pedestal of utmost importance has been torn down and perverted, spit upon and mocked, ignored and twisted into either an empty equity or a sad subservience. Which direction shall we go in? Which path shall we take in this touchy topic? Shall we remove all distinctions and make women out to be in the same roles as men, yet with some clear biological distinctives, or shall we make women out to be a group which has no redemptive significance since they are barred from the pastorate, or neither?
We must only look to the word of God to walk this tightrope, to cut this Gordian knot, to diffuse this bomb, to drench this forest fire (whatever illustration works for you). If we look very closely, tracing those female saints of old through redemptive history, all roads lead to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the New Eve, and much more. In this we see something glorious, a spiritual service of utmost importance, incessantly necessary for the salvation of the world and the growth of the kingdom of God, that is, motherhood. Yes, motherhood is that theological path we must walk, which is the jewel of the redemptive role of women. Both Feminists and Misogynists—if such a term even has meaning anymore—have fallen off the path and I am shining the glorious light of scripture to illume the truth path again, which will lead to something which affirms both the creational nature and redemptive telos (purpose) of women. Cease to hate the light, cease to butcher femininity into either masculinity, or something worthless, both come from the same sexism which equates masculinity and femininity, favoring the former and hating the later.
In our quest of biblical theology,1 we will start with Eve and end with the Blessed Virgin Mary, showing how the chief contribution of each of these is in the children they bear and nurture, the types of Mary as the New Eve, being contrasted to the types of Christ as the New Adam.
Let us begin with Eve, in creation they were given the command to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion.”2 It was by this “multiplication” via childbearing that the earth would be “replenished,” and in this they would “subdue it, and have dominion.” For her very name is Eve “because she was the mother of all living.”3 But, she failed this task. Rather than being the “mother of the living,” she bore death for all. Due to this, her womb was cursed, and by extension all wombs, that “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children,”4 yet in God’s unmerited grace, He gave her a promise that her womb would bring froth life, though she had brought forth death, saying “I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”5 Redemption will come, and it will come through the wombs of women in general, by bearing prophets, priests, and kings, and in particular the Prophet, Priest, and King with Mary as the New Eve.
Next, we move on to the wife of Noah and the wives of Noah’s Sons. In this situation “all flesh died that moved upon the earth,”6 and those who were “corrupt before God”7 were destroyed, and “eight souls were saved by water.”8 God had destroyed the “seed of Satan” and preserved the “Seed of the woman,” preserving the church on earth, and then echoing what Genesis 2 says “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,”9 commanding them to bear the offspring of a New Humanity on this “New Earth,” to replace that old and sinful humanity which was corrupted by sin and destroyed by the flood.
Thirdly, we have the patriarchs’ wives. Between the time of the flood and Abraham, the earth again was filled with idolatry. Out of this, God called Abraham to possess a new land and bear a new people. Sarah (Abraham’s wife) is barren, and this is the driving force behind the account of her in Genesis. God, though, shows His grace to her, promising to Abraham that “I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly,”10 and that this line would be through Sarah, saying “I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.”11
This hearkens back to Eve’s “mother of the living,” that out of her bareness will come forth “Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.”12 Sarah becomes the “freewoman” who bore a child “by promise,” and is described as an “allegory” of “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”13 Following suit is Rebecca, and Rachel and Leah who bore—by miraculous intervention—children which built the nation of Israel.
The next major figure we run into is that of Moses. Moses’ mother (Jochebed) is famous in the preservation of her Son against the Egyptian slaughter. For she “conceived, and bore a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein, and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.”14
In the period of the Judges there is the example of Manoah's wife, the mother of Samson.15 She “was barren, and bore not,” but “the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, ‘Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.”16 This son, like Samuel, was to be dedicated to the Lord, and “be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”17