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The Women of the Old Testament and the Chosen Daughter of Israel

By Ann Zlotnik

Sarah (detail), 2006, acrylic on canvas, Edward B. Ostendorf, Marian Library Collections

It is Women’s History Month. What could be more historical than the women of the Old Testament? How do their stories reflect that of one of the most historically prominent women of all time, the Blessed Virgin Mary?

In an article found in our All About Mary website, Father Johann Roten, S.M. begins, “The following is an attempt to mirror Old and New Testament on behalf of Mary. In our understanding of the Bible there exists continuity between the two Testaments. The Old Testament anticipates, announces, and points to the New Testament. The two relate to each other like promise and fulfillment. Looking from the New Testament back into the Old Testament, we recognize a number of women of importance who prefigure Mary in some aspects of their destiny, personality and vocation. They are given the name type, because they typify in some ways the future mother of Jesus Christ. Mary is their anti-type, not in opposition but in contrast, a contrast which takes its measure from the uniqueness of Mary's mission. She is the mother of the Messiah, whereas her prefigurations in the Old Testament prepare, suggest and intuit his future coming.”

Continue to Roten’s full article to read the stories of 14 biblical women such as Eve, Sarah, Jachobed and Ruth. These women are woven into the fibers of the Old Testament. Find out how, centuries later, pieces of Mary’s life mirror aspects of their own.

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