One of the great mysteries in religious history is the location of the Ark of the Covenant which held the tablet Moses held on Mount Sinai. It seems to have disappeared from the earth. But what if the Ark's disappearance is because a "new Ark" emerged in history, an Ark of a New Covenant. Christians know that Jesus ushered in the New Covenant–the Everlasting Covenant. He is the fulfillment of the law that was contained in the Ark in which the Law of Moses was contained. And what contained Jesus...the womb of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God. Could the Ark of the Old Covenant be gone because the Ark of the New Covenant–Mary was prefigured by it. While this may not be the thought of all Christians, Catholic Christians (for the most part) will find this idea hard to swallow. Therefore as a celebration of The Feast of Mary the Mother of God, Jan.1, 2022, I will be posting the text of an essay I wrote for a Bible course I took through the Christendom@project arguing for this position that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant. Here is the essay...
In 2 Samuel 6:1-15, David brings the Ark of the LORD into Jerusalem. Verse one of 2 Samuel 6 uses the word “again” when it describes David gathering “all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand” which shows David attempted to bring the Ark into Jerusalem before. This shows David’s dedication to the Lord. These men do bring the Ark into Jerusalem “on a new cart” The word “new” stands out for it emphasizes the honor that David and his men give the Lord. The text states in verse 5 that “David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the Lord”. This demonstrates how being in the presence of the Lord causes unrelenting joy that must be expressed.
Yet in this merry-making Uzzah absentmindedly touches. the Ark “for the oxen stumbled”. This angers God perhaps because Uzzah like all humans suffers from original sin, so by touching the Ark Uzzah defiles it. However, this may not be the case, Uzzah may have been struck down for not being a Levite, therefore being unworthy of touching the Ark. David experiences mixed emotions. Initially, David feels angry at God (2 Samuel 6:8) however, he then fears the Lord stating “‘How can the ark of the Lord come to me?’” (2 Samuel 6:9). This shows how when the wrath of the Lord is shown it scares us for it shows us how weak we are. Due to this action, David moves the Ark outside the city to the house of Obededom and the house was blessed by God. After, this David orders the Ark to be brought back into the city. While it enters the city, David “sacrifices an ox and a fatling” and dances “before Lord with all his mind” (2 Samuel 6:13-14). The text in verse 15 it says “David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn”. It gives the reader a sense that this event is a great celebration which warrants the “shouting and…sound of the horn” (2 Samuel 6:15).
This passage alludes to the Blessed Virgin Mary the Ark of the New Covenant. When Exodus 40:34-35 is added to the mix, the allusion becomes stronger. Exodus 40:34-35 states how Moses could not enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud of the Lord overshadowed it as Joseph did not have sexual intimacy with Mary because was the Mother of the Lord. This foreshadows Luke 1:35 when the Archangel Gabriel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would “come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you;” alluding to how she will conceive Jesus. It then says that how whenever the cloud “was taken over the tabernacle” Israel was able to move forward foreshadows the Spirit, whom had overshadowed Mary, moved in her to go visit Elizabeth. As David is the chosen king of Israel, Jesus is the Chosen King of the Universe; the chosen men of Israel foreshadow both Mary and Elizabeth as the chosen women to bear the prophet who would proclaim the messiah (John) and the Messiah (Jesus). As Uzzah and Ahio go before the ark driving the new cart as before the annunciation the Lord in his wisdom had Mary conceived without sin to have a stainless human woman to carry the stainless messiah. After Uzzah is struck down for touching the Ark, David chooses to leave the Ark with the house of Obededom, This house is blessed in the three months that the Ark resides there. This prefigures the three months that Mary spends with Elizabeth before she births John.
Thus, the blessings poured out on the house of Obededom encourage David to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem. This points to Elizabeth voicing her astonishment at “blessed are you among women,…is the fruit of your womb. And why iis this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”(Lk 1:42-43). The six paces David takes before making his sacrifice alludes to two facts: Gabriel appearing to Mary in the sixth month and Elizabeth being in her sixth month of pregnancy with John during the beginning of the Visitation. David’s dancing before the Lord emphasizes the great joy people feel in the presence of God; this prefigures John leaping in Elizabeth’s womb “when the voice of (Mary’s) greeting reached (Elizabeth’s) ears…” (Lk 1:44). Both “(the) songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals” (2 Samuel 6:5) and “(the) shouting and…the sound of the horn” (2 Samuel 6:15) prefigure Mary’s Magnificat (Lk 1:45-56) where she praises God for the great blessing of bearing his Son and for “lifting up the lowly” for she responds humbly to God’s call.
Well That's the essay and the end of post number 1 for the day...this afternoon I will be back with more reflection on Mary and the gift that she is to me and so many other Catholics. See you then.