EXEGESIS - EXODUS -- 2 KINGS -- PSALMS.
But the testimonies in the ark were the word of God, and the wood of it was imperishable, and with pure and choicest gold was it beautified within and without. For the Body of Christ is incorruptible, being by the power and brightness of the indwelling Word, and the nature and life-giving operation of the Holy Ghost, maintained in incorruption."*
"At that time, the Saviour coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own Body into the world from that Ark, which was gilded with pure gold within by the Word, and without by the Holy Ghost; so that the truth was shown forth, and the Ark was manifested... And the Saviour came into the world bearing that incorruptible Ark, that is to say His own body."+
"And David danced with all his might before the Lord." -- vi. 14.
"The prophet David danced before the Ark. Now what else should we say the Ark was but holy Mary? The Ark bore within it the tables of the Testament, but Mary bore the Heir of the same Testament itself. The former contained within it the Law, the latter the Gospel. The one had the voice of God, the other His Word. The Ark, indeed, was radiant within and without with the glitter of gold, but holy Mary shone within and without with the splendour of virginity. The one was adorned with earthly gold, the other with heavenly."++
"Purged from the earth" (probatum terrae). -- xi. 7.
"That is: the Church. Those Divine words are purged by the Holy Spirit, whom the Church received. In another sense: purged from the earth, that is, Christ the Lord, who came in that humanity, in regard to flesh, which He received from Mary -- as though signifying that the Lord received earth."**
"He bowed the heavens, and came down." -- xvii. 10.
"This is what he says in another Psalm,|| He came down like the rain on the fleece: because He presented Himself to us humble, concealed and hiding under the form of a servant. Or in another sense: the heavens, the angels were bowed down, when Gabriel came to Mary, and Christ descended and came in flesh."***
* S. Cyril, De Ador. in Spir. et Verit, p. 293. S. Maximus of Turin and other Fathers apply the Ark of the Covenant to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
+ S. Hippolytus, In Dan. vi., Patr. Gr., Tom. 10, p. 648.
++ Serm. xlii. 6, Int. Opp., S. Ambrosii.
** Breviarum in Psalterium, in loc., Int. Opp., S. Hieron. This work, though not S. Jerome's holds a place among the learned critics, much higher than that of all others wrongly attributed to the Saint, as giving many passages from his commentaries which are now lost, as well as from Origen, Hilary, and other ancient commentators.
|| See infra, Ps. lxxi. 6.