The Bible uses three Hebrew words for queen; shegal (king’s wife), malkah (a reigning Queen, like Queen Elizabeth II or Queen Victoria), and gebirah (generally used to refer to the Queen Mother). In Psalm 45:9, the word used is shegal. The King James Version and the RSV translate this as queen, but the New American Bible and the NIV translate it as “princess” and “royal bride” respectively. However, in Nehemiah 2:6, which uses “shegal,” both translate it as queen. Very interesting. Psalm 45 is basically a wedding Psalm and can be interpreted as the marriage between Christ and His Bride, the Church. As members of the Church, we all share in the royal dignity of Christ. For example, Revelations 2: 26 (KJV) states:
“And he (the Christian) that overcometh, and keepeth my word
unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with an iron rod; as vessels of the potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received from my Father.”
Other verses include:
DANIEL 7:27 (KJV)
“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (See also verse 21).”
LUKE 12: 43-44 (KJV)
“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.”
1 CORINTHIANS 6:2-3 (KJV)
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … Know ye not that we shall judge angels.?”
2 TIMOTHY 2:12
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him…”
1 Peter 2:9
“… a royal priesthood …”
" And around the throne (of God) were four and twenty seats (thrones): and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold."
Therefore, when we are baptized we partake in Christ’s royal dignity. Since this royal dignity is derivative, it was most appropriate that the Bride of Christ should be referred to as shegal (a queen by marriage) then malkah (a queen in her own right). Psalm 45:9, however, can also apply to the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a true Christian, and hence a spiritual bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2), Mary shares in Christ’s royal dignity. However, as the All Holy Mother of God the Son, our Savior and King, and spiritual mother of God’s people (Genesis 3:15, John 19:25), she enjoys a certain preeminence (Exodus 20:12, 1 Kings 2:19, Matthew 18:4, Luke 1:43 - 45, 48). As mother of Christ the King and of a kingly people (the Church), Mary is also the Gebirah (Queen Mother). Thus she is appropriately called “Queen of Heaven,” her Queenship - like our own royal dignity - completely deriving from her Son. Please feel free to comment, critique, or ask questions.