Scripture: Lectionary 454. Sept. 28. Zechariah 2:5-9.14-15. Jeremiah 31:10.11-12.13. Luke9:43-45:
Several of the Minor Prophets and Isaiah address Jerusalem as Daughter of Zion. We find parallel phrases in Zechariah, Zephoniah, and Joel. Isaiah also refers to the Daughter of Zion. This title has been accommodated to the mother of Jesus, Mary of Nazareth by scholars and also appears in the sacred liturgy of the Catholic Church. Certainly, the promises implied in these passages from the Minor Prophets are messianic. The mother of Jesus is the mother of the Messiah for all Christians. There are also other indications that favor a marian correspondence. The word Luke uses in the Annunciation to address Mary is Chaire (Rejoice!) and this is the same word found in the above passages in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (the Septuagint). Luke relied on this translation more often than on the Hebrew text.
There are liturgical hymns that make use of the title and both Protestant and Catholic scholars have referred to it in reference to Mary. Pope Benedict XVI wrote a book entitled “Daughter of Zion” which is easily available. One of the great theologians of the monastery of Taize in France wrote extensively on this marian interpretation. Raymond Brown covers the title from a historical critical perspective in his famous book, “The Birth of the Messiah.” Fr. Stanislaus Lyonnet was the first scholar to discover the similarities of the prophets to the Annunciation account given us by Luke who probably used these prophetic passage to form the Annunciation narrative.
“But what in reality does the text (Luke 1:26-38) say and what does the dogma mean? That God in his loving-kindness has graced Mary, that is, she in no way was ever turned away from God. This is precisely the biblical meaning of grace. Grace takes away all sin (Ephesians 1:6-7). If then , Mary was totally transformed by the grace of God, this includes God’s preserving her from sin, for God has purified and sanctified her already. We can see how rich the text is for such “mysteries” in the life of this specially chosen one. Her virginity, her holiness, her divine maternity, and the symbolism of the Daughter of Zion are implied.” ( Buby, Mary of Galilee, p.71).
Here are the texts for Daughter of Zion in referring to Mary: Zephaniah 3:14-17. Zechariah 2:14-15; 9:9. Joel 2:21-23. You can find the historical critical analysis of these texts in R.Brown’s Birth of the Messiah by using the index at the end of his book under the title Daughter of Zion.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.
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