In the Gospel of Matthew 12:42, Jesus makes a profound reference to the "queen of the south." This reference has deep spiritual and cultural significance and provides a link between the teachings of Jesus and the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.
In this blog post, we will explore the meaning of Jesus' reference to the queen of the south and its connection to Isis.
The Biblical Reference - Matthew 12:42:
In Matthew 12:42, Jesus says,
"The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here."
This reference is made in response to the Pharisees and scribes, who were demanding a sign from Jesus.
He rebukes them, highlighting the unbelief and stubbornness of his generation.
To illustrate his point, Jesus refers to the queen of the South, often identified as the Queen of Sheba, who journeyed to King Solomon's court to hear his wisdom.
The Queen of the South - A Seeker of Wisdom:
The Queen of Sheba, who hailed from the region believed to be in modern-day Yemen, is known for her legendary journey to Solomon's court.
She sought wisdom, and her visit to Solomon is recorded in the Old Testament (1 Kings 10:1-13).
Impressed by Solomon's wisdom and wealth, she declared,
"The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true" (1 Kings 10:6).
The Connection to Isis:
While the Queen of Sheba's story is distinct from the Egyptian goddess Isis, there are intriguing parallels that can be drawn between the two:
Seekers of Wisdom:
Both the Queen of Sheba and Isis can be seen as seekers of wisdom. The Queen traveled a great distance to acquire Solomon's wisdom, while Isis, in her quest to resurrect Osiris, displayed immense wisdom, determination, and magical prowess.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
Solomon makes a stunning statement in the introduction to the book of Proverbs. He gives us the cornerstone to the entire book of wisdom.
True wisdom, biblical wisdom, not the wisdom of the world, lies in this one verse. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom or understanding, as some translations would use it.
The word “fear” is not meant as a sense of fright or horror that turns one away. Instead, it refers to reverence or respect. It is a “fear” or respect that brings one to submit and to honor.
What scripture is telling us is that true wisdom cannot exist apart from having reverence for God. Many people may be intelligent, but true, biblical wisdom is reserved only for those who have a reverent fear of God.
Recognition of Greatness:
The Queen of Sheba acknowledged Solomon's greatness, just as Isis played a crucial role in recognizing the divinity of Osiris and his role as the god of the afterlife.
A Woman's Quest:
Both stories highlight the power and agency of women in their pursuit of knowledge, truth, and divine understanding.
Jesus' reference to the queen of the south serves as a reminder of the importance of recognizing divine wisdom and truth when it is presented to us. It also underscores the idea that wisdom transcends boundaries, as the queen's journey exemplifies.
In a broader sense, this reference encourages us to seek wisdom and truth in our spiritual journeys and to be open to the teachings of those who bring divine insight, much like the Queen of Sheba did with Solomon.
The mention of the queen of the south by Jesus in Matthew 12:42 carries a profound message about recognizing and valuing divine wisdom.
While the reference may not directly connect to the Egyptian goddess Isis, there are intriguing parallels in the stories of these two remarkable figures.
This reference encourages us to be seekers of wisdom, to acknowledge the presence of divine truth, and to remain open to the teachings that lead us to a deeper understanding of the spiritual mysteries that transcend cultures and religions.