Gevira, Hebrew: Queen Mother
King Solomon, the son of David who became King of Israel had “seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” 1 Kings 11:3. All those women wanted power in his kingdom, and their advice to him was often more calculated for their advantage than for his. But every man has only one mother he is bound to honor Ex 20:12. So Solomon established his mother Bathsheba as the gevira, queen mother 1 Kings 2:13–20.
Abishag the Shunammite was a beautiful young maiden who had served King David in his last years 1 Kings 1:3–4. Adonijah asked Bathsheba to intercede with King Solomon, “Pray ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife” 1 Kings 2:17. Bathsheba began her request with, “Do not refuse me,” and Solomon replied: “Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you” 1 Kings 2:20. The queen mother was always the best intercessor, because her royal son loved her and trusted her. From this arose the Jewish tradition that when a man is suffering and his mother’s name is invoked in prayer, God will be more merciful toward him Ex 20:12.
The queen mother presented the petitions and often advised the king, but the king decided each case. Immediately after Bathsheba’s intercession on behalf of Adonijah Solomon ordered him killed. “Adonijah shall be put to death this day” 1 Kings 2:24. But it was not because of Bathsheba’s intercession. Adonijah had tried to usurp the throne 1 Kings 1:5 reserved for Solomon. When Adonijah also tried to get Abishag the Shunammite, King Solomon’s most beautiful wife 1 Kings 1:3–4, Solomon finally had enough, and put him to death.
Every Davidic king followed the tradition of the gevira, including 1 Kings 14:21; 15:2; 15:9–10; 22:42; 2 Kings 12:1; 14:2; 15:2; 15:33; 18:2; 21:1; 21:19; 22:1; 23:31; 23:36; 24:8; 24:18. We know this because every Scripture giving the king’s name also gives the name of his mother.
Rabbi Yeshua was in the line of King David Mt 1:6; Lk 3:31. He kept the tradition and named the Blessed Virgin Mary as his gevira. The sign of her queenship is, “And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” Rev 12:1.
This is how the Church understands Mary. Our petitions go through Mary to Rabbi Yeshua, and his gifts and graces go through Mary to us. Catholics understand that Rabbi Yeshua allows us to pray directly to him, but Catholics certainly prefer to get the intercessions Mary offers us. “I will not refuse you.”
Mary showed her intercessory love in the Wedding Feast at Cana. When Mary first told Jesus, “They have no wine” Jn 2:3, he did not appear inclined to help. “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come” Jn 2:4. But Mary simply told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” Jn 2:5. Then Jesus told them, “Fill the stone jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim Jn 2:7. After the servants filled them to the brim Jesus said, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast” Jn 2:8.
The custom in those days was to serve the good wine first, then, after the wedding guests got drunk and couldn’t tell the difference anyway, serve them something cheap. But Rabbi Yeshua gave the wedding host the best wine anyway because he wills to give us the best.
The Blessed Virgin Mary as Rabbi Yeshua’s gevira showed her intercessory love in the Wedding Feast at Cana. Ever since she has shown her intercessory love as Queen of Heaven, Queen of the Church, and Queen of the Universe, perhaps especially at Lourdes.