2

Some modern Jews claim that seeking the prayers and intercession of Rachel is an ancient tradition.

See https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/rachel-bible

More than a hundred years after the exile of the North, Jeremiah had a vision of Rachel still mourning, still grieving for her lost children. Moreover, he realized that her mourning served as an effective intercession, for God promised to reward her efforts and return her children (Jer 31:15–21). After the biblical period, “Mother Rachel” continued to be celebrated as a powerful intercessor for the people of Israel.

See also https://www.rashbi.org/holysites-kever-rachel

According to the Jewish tradition, the matriarch Rachel has always cried for her people whenever the Jewish people needed her. Jacob reportedly buried Rachel in Bethlehem, instead of in the Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron because he foresaw that his descendants would need her prayers en route to exile in Babylonia.

Is this practice admonished anywhere in the New Testament?

2
  • 1
    I don't think it's even mentioned in the New Testament. Jan 21, 2022 at 18:48
  • 1
    Seeking the intercession of Saints and of Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs is a longstanding tradition in the Christian community. As such, I doubt you will find Scripture that says not to do so.
    – jaredad7
    Jan 21, 2022 at 20:13

1 Answer 1

3

The practice is not admonished. In fact, in a 2018 book by Dr. Brant Pitre, who specialized in NT and ancient Judaism and who wrote a few books on the Jewish background of Jesus, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, he made the case that Mary is the new Rachel following the tradition of Rachel as a powerful intercessor.

He made the case that several NT passages connected Mary to Rachel such as:

  • The Massacre of the Infants (Matt 2:18 quoting Jeremiah 31:15)
  • The Woman with the Sun, Moon, and Stars (Rev 12:1-6 alluding to Joseph's dream in Gen 37:9-11)
  • Jesus said to the beloved disciple: "Behold, your mother!" (John 19:25-27) alluding to Jesus's comparison of crucifixion to the sorrow of a woman in childbirth (John 16:21-22 alluding to Gen 35:16-20), which can be interpreted as

    Mary spiritually "gives birth" to her second son, the Beloved Disciple, by her interior suffering and "dying" at the foot of the cross. ... In other words, just as Rachel's "soul" departed and she "died" giving birth to Benjamin (Gen 35:18 LXX), so Mary's "soul" is slain by the "sword" of the suffering she experiences at the foot of the cross (Luke 2:35). ...

    Perhaps most intriguing of all, if Mary is being depicted as a new Rachel and the apostle John as a kind of "new Benjamin", then this would provide an explanation for the otherwise baffling question of why the author of John's Gospel refers to himself as the "Beloved Disciple".

(source: Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, chapter 7, section "Mary the New Rachel")

A web article from a Russian Orthodox website Two Intercessors: The Theotokos and Rachel has more details from the book about the Beloved Disciple connection to Rachel.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .