I recently received a shock. I have come to this site with the name D. Caldera, and I searched for discussions on Jeremiah 31:22 which refers to the woman who compasses a man. Lo, and Behold, I found the subject started by Thal59 - my old ID - back in 2006! Seems I was here before. Since that time, on and off over the past 11 years, I have never found a convincing explanation as to how Jeremiah’s words “a new thing” and “created” makes sense. Some have said something in the sense that the woman plays a reverse role by wooing or courting the man. But how is that a new thing or an act of creation? ( I recently watched the DeMille movie The Ten Commandments and the daughters of Jethro danced (wooed) Moses, Charlton Heston, hoping to be selected for wife.) All current explanations go off into numerous grammatical and translator tangents that they don’t seem likely.
I know this will set the Protestant’s hair on fire - but a thought occurred to me. To compass something means to contain it, to surround it, or to limit it. To me, the expression “a woman shall compass a man” means she will equal him, contain all that he has or is, or reach his total limits. Most of us Catholics see the “woman” as Mary (the virgin described by Isaiah) and “the man” as the Messiah or Jesus. There may be an additional metaphorical concept of Israel coming to God, but I am certain the woman described is Mary. Now we go to the words “new thing” and “created.”
If Mary is the incarnation of the Holy Spirit, it would be a new thing and an act of creation. As the incarnate vessel of the Holy Spirit, she would be the “feminine” element of God referred to by the Jews as the Shekinah - “(The Shekhina(h) (also spelled Shekina(h), Schechina(h), or Shechina(h)) (Biblical Hebrew: שכינה) is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning “dwelling” or “settling” and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God. The Shekhinah is the feminine aspect of Divinity, also referred to as the Divine Presence.” [copy&paste from Wikipedia.]
As the Shekinah incarnate, Jesus dwelled inside her. Her perfect sinless immaculate conception makes her a fit vessel to bear Jesus. (No mere mortal woman, however pious, is fit to bear Jesus.) She is described as the new Ark of the Covenant in which God is present. It explains her perpetual virginity, her sinless life, and her assumption bodily into Heaven as Christ ascended bodily. And it makes the “Triune” God Father, Mother, and Progeny - a divine and eternal family unit unto himself. I do not say I believe this to be fact - but it seems to explain Jeremiah’s words. What say you?