Archive | October 2013

Academy of Huldah the Prophetess

Huldah, the Prophet: Midrash and Aggadah

by Tamar Kadari

Huldah is one of the seven women prophets of Israel enumerated by the Rabbis: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah and Esther (BT Megillah 14a); she is also mentioned among the twenty-three truly upright and righteous women who came forth from Israel (MidrashTadshe, Ozar ha-Midrashim [Eisenstein], p. 474).

Huldah was descended from Joshua son of Nun, as is alluded in II Kings 22:14, according to which  she was “the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah son of Harhas”; and Jud. 2:9 states that Joshua was buried “at Timnath-heres” (BT Megillah 14a). Another tradition maintains that Huldah was one of the eight prophets and priests, including Jeremiah, who were descended from the harlot Rahab. This is derived from her identification as “the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah,” combined with the account of Rahab’s actions in Josh. 2:18: “you tie this length [tikvat] of crimson cord” (Sifrei on Numbers, 78). In an attempt to resolve these two traditions, the Talmud suggests that Rahab converted and became Joshua’s wife, so that Hulda is a decendent both of Rahab and of Joshua (Megillah, loc. cit.). For additional traditions concerning Rahab, see the entry: “Rahab.”

The midrash relates that Huldah was gifted with ruah ha-kodesh (the spirit of divine inspiration) by merit of her husband Shallum son of Tikvah, who was one of the outstanding individuals of his generation and who engaged in acts of kindness every day. He would sit at the entrance to the city and would revive any new arrival by giving him drink from a goatskin of water. According to the Rabbis, Shallum son of Tikvah is “the man” of whom II Kings 13:20–21 speaks. After Shallum’s death, according to the midrash, all Israel sought to repay him for his kindnesses and accompanied him to his grave. When they came there, they saw the legions of Moab, and they cast Shallum into the tomb of Elisha. Upon coming into contact with the latter’s bones, Shallum immediately came back to life. Afterwards a son was born to Huldah and Shallum, named Hanamel, who is Hanamel the son of Jeremiah’s uncle Shallum who features in Jer. 32:7 (Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer [ed. Higger], chap. 32).

In the Rabbinic account, three prophets were active in the time of Josiah: Jeremiah, Zephaniah and Huldah. Jeremiah would prophesy in the marketplaces, Zephaniah in the synagogues, and Huldah’s audience consisted of women. The Israelites ignored all this prophetic activity and did what was displeasing to the Lord (Yalkut Shimoni, Zephaniah, para. 566; R. David Kimhi on II Kings 22:14, in the name of the Rabbis).

In another tradition, Huldah  lived during the time of Jeremiah and prophesied concurrently with him. Because they were related (see above), he did not take offense at her prophesying together with him, even though he was a more important prophet. When King Josiah found the Torah scroll in the House of the Lord, he sent messengers to the prophet Huldah, and not to Jeremiah, on the grounds that women are merciful (BT Megillah  14b). Josiah apparently hoped that Huldah would be more moderate in her revelations, or that her compassion would succeed in canceling the anticipated future tribulations. However, contrary to his expectations, Huldah uttered harsh prophecies to the king.

The Rabbis charge Huldah with acting arrogantly when she told King Josiah’s emissaries (II Kings 22:15): “Say to the man who sent you to me”; she should have honored the king and said to his representatives, “Say to the king.” Because of her haughty deportment, she was given a denigratory name, “huldah,” meaning “weasel” (even the Aramaic translation of her name—karkushta—sounds ugly) (BT Megillah 14b).

II Kings 22:14 has Huldah “living in Jerusalem in the Mishneh,” which the Aramaic Targum renders as “study hall,” i.e., academy, a place of Torah.  Another view is that she taught the Oral Law (= the Mishnah) to the elders of the generation. According to another tradition, she would preach in public and expound all the subjects mentioned twice in the Torah, and revealed the punishments for those who act counter to the allusions and hidden things in the Torah. Huldah’s chamber, close to the Gazit Chamber, was open to the outside and closed in the direction of the Sanhedrin, out of modesty (see the midrashic traditions cited in Rashi’s commentary on II Kings loc. cit; and on II Chron. 34:22).

These traditions might possibly be connected with the Huldah Gates on the Temple Mount. The Tannaim assert that there were five gates to the Mount, two of which, known as the Huldah Gates, were the southern entrance to the Temple Mount (M Middot 1:3). The Holy One, blessed be He, took an oath that the Western Wall, the Priest’s Gate and the Huldah Gates would never be destroyed, until He restored them to their former glory (Cant. Rabbah 2:9:4).

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Taken from: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/huldah-prophet-midrash-and-aggadah

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A Closer Look at the Prophet Huldah

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First we need to understand the importance of Huldah during her own time.  We may not hear a lot about Huldah today, but during the reign of King Josiah, she was the “go-to guy”.  Jeremiah was preaching during this exact point in time.  So were Zephaniah, Nahum and possibly Habakkuk as well.  These are names we are more familiar with, yet the King does not inquire of any of these male prophets.  He also does not turn to his own male seer, Jeduthun (2 Chronicles 35.15).  When Josiah sends “his men” to “inquire of the Yahweh”, they go straight to Huldah. Who are these men King Josiah sends?

  1. Hilkiah, the High Priest
  2. Ahikam, the son of Shaphan (his son becomes governor of Judea, 2 Kings 25.22)
  3. Abdon son of Micah
  4. Shaphan, the secretary (i.e. Secretary of State)
  5. Asaiah the king’s attendant

These men are the top leaders in the kingdom.  They have the king’s ear.  Hilkiah is the High Priest!  Please notice that neither Josiah nor Hilkiah think the High Priest is the one who should speak Yahweh’s message concerning “this book”.  Some claim that the priesthood is analogous to the preaching ministry today.  I think not. We should also consider the textual importance of Huldah.  Chronicles and Kings do not mention most prophets.  Those that are mentioned, like Jeremiah, are usually mentioned in passing (2 Chronicles 35.25) in one or the other but not in both Chronicles and Kings.  Very few (such as Isaiah) are mentioned in both.  Huldah is not only mentioned, but she receives almost a page of text in each.  Her introduction alone is more text than many kings get!

Most importantly, this Hebrew text is structured into a chiasm.  A chiastic structure points to the main idea of a story by building up to it, then unwinding back out using parallel points.  Here is the chiastic structure of the Huldah narrative:

A. Introduction (2 Chronicles 34.1-2)

B. Cultic Purification of Jerusalem and Judah (34.3-5)

C. Purification of the North (Northern Kingdom) (34.6-7)

D. Discovery of the book (34.8-18)

E. The Prophecy of Huldah (34.19-32)

D. Implementation of the book (34.29-32)

C. Purification of the North (34.33)

B. Celebration of the Passover (cultic observance) (35.1-19)

A. Formulaic Conclusion (35.20-36.1)

Huldah is the focus of the story.  She is the theological and structural center.  The structure stresses the authority of the prophetic word and what comes to be “scripture.”  The spoken word of God (Huldah), along with the written word of God (the book of the law), dominate this passage.
What exactly did Huldah do? Huldah does three major things in this story.  First, she authenticates/authorizes scripture.  Please understand that this is the first time this has ever happened.  We discussed earlier that Deborah was the first author of scripture and now Huldah is the first person to declare, with authority, that a writing is scripture (i.e. from Yahweh).  This is what King Josiah is asking his advisor to find out.  Is this book the real thing?  He just got some really bad news (since the people had not been obeying the laws) and he wants to know if it is true.  Huldah tells him it is and he believes her.
Second, Huldah interprets Scripture.  She says that the people of Judah will be struck with disaster because they have forsaken Yahweh and instead worshiped idols.  The book of the law does say this directly.  Huldah is “preaching” the message of Yahweh as his mouthpiece (prophet).
Third, Huldah delivers a custom message from Yahweh.  She tells the King that since he responded with humility and angst when he found out about the book, Yahweh will suspend his judgment until after Josiah’s rein.
Huldah’s authority is accepted by the King and High Priest of Judah, and then by all “the remnant.”  Those that claim her authority was limited to a closed-door session are mistaken.  The words of Yahweh as they came from Huldah had authority over all of Judah.  Furthermore, there is never a hint that a woman acting in this authoritative role is unexpected or unwelcomed by the men in the story.  Her womanhood is irrelevant to the authoritative role Yahweh gave her.  Huldah, like Deborah, was married.  This also did not affect her role as prophet of Yahweh.
Conclusion Yahweh used Huldah to lead His people back to Him.  She was viewed as Yahweh’s spokesperson and the King’s men went directly to her to find out Yahweh’s will.  She authenticated the book of the law, interpreted it in the present context and delivered a personal message from Yahweh to Josiah.  The King and his advisers, including the High Priest, accepted her authority.  Josiah went on to restore Judah based on Yahweh’s words though Huldah and through the book of the law she validated.

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Taken from: http://ccp-boys.blogspot.com.au/2007/10/women-of-bible-huldah.html

The Importance of Huldah the Prophetess

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Sorry for the delay in my blog but I have been out of town for the last week. I appreciate those who came by during that time. I offer here something that is longer than a “traditional” blog, my study of the female prophet Huldah. This a presentation I did at the Abilene Christian University Lectures.
Where to Begin?
I have long been fascinated by the enigmatic figure of Huldah. I discovered Huldah in 1988 in an “OT” Survey class reading through the Bible. We never actually discussed her and I am not sure we could have done so. But I never forgot her.  She has been a poltergeist floating in my mind for nearly 20 years!
Here was this woman placing a stamp of authenticity on Scripture, interpreting it and exercising authority over men . . . all at the same time! I did not know what to do with her. Since then I have been involved in many discussions regarding women in Scripture. Invariably I am told a woman never exercised authority over men with God’s approval because Paul forbade it. I then ask, “What about Huldah?” The response is almost (without exception) “Huldah Who?”
Here are two representative samples (out of many that could have been picked) of some attitudes towards women’s role among conservative Christians. I mention these not to make fun, nor to demean, but simply to illustrate my point:
“Prophets were not preachers. They did not preach; they did not do the work of a pastor nor the work of an evangelist, nor of a Bible teacher. To prophesy means to foretell the future. A prophecy is a revelation of the future. A prophet is a man who receives a divine revelation. A prophetess is a woman who receives a divine revelation concerning the future.
Prophetesses never preached in the Bible. They received brief divine revelation to give to individuals, but were never sent to preach, to address public assemblies as expounders of the Word, nor to do the work of a pastor or evangelist.”
John R. Rice, Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives and Women Preachers (Sword of the Lord Publications, 1941), 48-49
“Lindy Adams’ article dealing with the role of women reveals an area of debate that fails to consider the heart of the problem. We are not saying a great deal about the role of women in the secular realm. This is the heart of the issue. This the area in which all the problems of leadership originate. But the first question we must answer is, “Does the Bible authorize women to be in positions of authority over men in any area of life?” It is my belief and one in which I would debate, that women have no biblical authority to be over men in any area of life. Her subjection role was given at creation and has never been changed.”
Tony Demonbreun, “Letter to the Editor,” Christian Chronicle 61 (December 2004), 31
But there is another perspective. It comes from a 9 year old little girl. I did not ask for this, but Rachael gave it to me. She knew I was studying for this presentation [for ACU] and got out her Bible. She laid out on the floor next to me and asked where she could read about Huldah. She went off and made a ‘report’ (we do this often for our home schooling) on Huldah and gave it to me on Friday night . . . If you do not mind I would like to share it with you. Please bear in mind this is written by a 9 year old girl.
The Prophetess Huldah by Rachael Valentine
The King of Jerusalem sent the priest Hilkiah over to Huldah to speak to her she said to him a message from the Lord, to be sent to the King. The Lord God is ruler over Jerusalem. The people will be under a curse. The fire of my anger won’t be put out. I am doing this because for so long have you worshipped the Baals. You will be with your ancestors. You won’t see what I am going to do to this place.
God is having a little trouble with people [sic]. He is troubled with the people’s disobedience to the Covenant. The Covenant was a promise to only to worship God. But as I said, they had been burning insence [sic] to the Baals, breaking the Covenant. Obviously, Huldah is warning them, giving them a chance to repent. And repent they do. The King of Jerusalem gathered a meeting of all the people. They burned offerings to the Lord. The King sent away the priests who served other Baals. The people are trying to get out of God’s anger. My daughter, Rachael, told me what to say. If any of you would like to have some encouragement let us know while we stand and sing.”
The open faith of a child . . . Sounds quite a bit different than what we saw a moment ago from some older men. I laughed until my stomach hurt at that last line, but I was so moved by it I asked her if I could share it with you.
What is a Prophet?
You will recall that Rice stated that a prophet simply predicts the future, that a prophet never acts the part of an evangelist, nor as a Bible teacher. (One wonders if he ever heard of Jonah? Or Moses? Surely these prophets were evangelists and bible teachers) Others, like LaGard Smith (and I am not picking on him), take away from the authority of the prophetic ministry by saying prophets were only ad hoc agents and the “real stuff” of God was located in the priesthood. I have serious problems with characterization. Can we come to a biblical definition of what a prophet is?
1) In Exodus 7.1 Yahweh says “See I make you as God to Pharaoh and Aaron your prophet.”
2) Amos 7.16 Amaziah says to Amos “Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not preach against the house of Israel.” The parallelism here make it almost certain that “to prophesy” and to “preach” are the same thing.
3) Paul says in 1 Cor 14.3 that “those who prophesy speak to other people For their up building and encouragement and consolation.”
From just these very select passages it is clear that a prophet speaks a word from God. Some times a prediction but more often it is not. The prophet preaches the word of God to build up, to encourage and to console . . . and to challenge.
Female Prophets in Scripture
For those who know who she is, Huldah has been either an irritant or an inspiration. But she need not be the former for there are other women with the honor of “prophet”
Miriam (Exodus 15.20; cf. Micah 6.4)
Deborah (Judges 4-5)
The False Prophet Noadiah (Nehemiah 6.14 . . . False for not telling the truth, not because she is a woman)
Wife of Isaiah (Isaiah 8.3)
Huldah (2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34)
False Female Prophets of Ezekiel (13.17-23, cf. vv. 1-16 for false male prophets)
Anna (Luke 2.36-38)
Female Prophets of Pentecost (Acts 2.17-18)
Philips Four Daughters (Acts 21. 8-9)
Corinthian Female Prophets (1 Corinthians 11.4-5)
The Bible of the early Church also contained wonderful stories of other great women of God like Susanna, Judith and Greek/Old Latin Esther . . . Wonderful narratives of women in the service of God. In Tobit, Sarah (wonderful prayer of hers) and Anna are brought to life. We should avail ourselves to these tales of faith and courage by women of God.
Setting of the Huldah Narrative
Huldah is extremely important to the history known as Joshua-Samuel-Kings and also Chronicles. Most of the names we think of when we here the word “prophet” are not even mentioned by either of these histories. Jonah and Isaiah (“writing prophets”) are mentioned in Kings. Jeremiah is not, to my knowledge mentioned at all. In Chronicles Isaiah is mentioned as is Jeremiah mentioned briefly as the author of a lament over Josiah (2 C 35.25) and in 2 C 36. 12, 21. He is never mentioned in connection with Josiah’s reform . . . But Huldah is given considerable space (comparatively) by both Kings and Chronicles.
As we shall see the Huldah narrative is central not only to the Josiah episode but to the entire structure of Chronicles (where I will spend most of my time). Here is a structural outline that highlights what I mean:
A. Formulaic Introduction (34.1-2) B. Cultic Purification of Judah & Jerusalem (34.3-5) C. Cultic Purification of the North (34.6-7) D. Discovery of the Book (34.8-18) E. Prophecy of Huldah (34.19-32) D’ Implementation of the Book (34.29-32) C’ Cultic Purification of the North (34.33) B’ Celebration of the Passover (35.1-19) A’ Extended Formulaic Conclusion (35.20-36.1)
This structure, known as a chiasm, places Hudah’s work as the theological and structural center of the Josiah narrative. It stresses the authority of the prophetic word and scripture. The king and the people stand under the prophetic word.
Josiah’s Question (read 34. 14-21)
In response to the discovery of the “book of the Law” Josiah is alarmed. But he is not foolhardy. He needs to know if this work is authentic . . . If it is “true.” What Josiah does next fits well with what we know from Assyrian parallels of Esarhaddon and Nabonidus. When the king receives an oracle or an omen he would “double-check” it with another “god.” Josiah has just received bad news (an omen!) and wants to know if it is really the word of the Lord. So he “double-checks” so to speak with the Prophet Huldah.
So Josiah sends five men to “inquire of Yahweh.” Not just any men but some of the, if not the, most important men in the nation. It might pay to reflect on who these men are for just a moment:
1) Hilkiah the High Priest. The highest spiritual leader in the country.
2) Ahikam son of Shaphan. The Shaphan family is important in Judah. Ahikam is father of Gedaliah who becomes governor (2 Kgs 25.22)
3) Abdon
4) Shaphan the Secretary. He is basically the secretary of state or chief of staff for the king.
5) Asiah the king’s attendant.
These men are important in ancient Judah both theologically and politically. We should not miss this fact.
Josiah’s instruction to these five men is “inquire” or literally “seek the Lord.” “Seek” is a major theme in Chronicles. God seeks seekers in Chronicles. Josiah does not “seek” for himself alone but for the entire people of God (v. 21). The question is a question about authenticity and interpretation: “seek/inquire . . . ABOUT what is written in this book.” Is it true? Will we die? Is there no hope? These are significant questions, in Josiah’s day and our own.
Enter Huldah Who? (34.22-28)
When Josiah was in the midst of a great spiritual and moral crises, Huldah is the single person to whom he turned. We do not know if Josiah told these men to go to Huldah but that is what they did. The King wanted answers and these five very important men went directly and naturally, apparently, to Huldah!
Given our history, and disposition, one is disposed to ask “why Huldah?” The question is even more important when we realize that there were male prophets active at this time. Most “famously” would be Jeremiah. But Zephaniah, Nahum are also active prophets at this time and Habakkuk would be prophesying by no later than 612. Another male prophet is mentioned in the narrative, a “Jeduthan” who is called the “king’s seer” (35.15) So why her? One scholar opines, “It is clear that Huldah was a major cult official, and her reputation in her own time probably was greater than Jeremiah” (John Otwell, And Sarah Laughed: The Status of Women in the OT, p. 158). I think in light of Huldah’s place in the narrative of both Kings and Chronicles and the relative silence regarding Jeremiah and other prophets that Otwell is probably correct in his opinion.
After the longest “introduction” given to a prophet in Chronicles (Hicks, p. 296) we hear the word of God flow from the lips of a female prophet. (READ 34.23-28).
Huldah “authorizes” the Book. She places her stamp of approval on the content as truly from the Lord. For the first time in history (that is recorded) we read of a writing being declared to be scripture . . . And a woman did it! As another has written,
“The authority to pass judgment on this initial entry into the canon was given to a woman. At the beginning of the Bible we find Huldah; in her we discover the first scripture authority. . . How could we have lost sight of her all these years” (Swidler, p. 1783)
Huldah’s authority is unquestioned by the king or his men. I have to conclude that she likewise had the authority to declare the “book” to be a fraud. If she would have declared it to be a hoax I do believe that Josiah would have believed her. But her authority is what gave the book credibility and power. But she did more than authenticate the book.
Josiah had placed the burden of the guilt of Judah in the past (v.21, “because of our fathers”), Huldah places the burden in the present (v.25, ‘they have forsaken me”). Please note that Huldah did not only place her stamp of approval on the book brought by the High Priest and his entourage. She became its interpreter. She set its announcement of doom in Judah’s contemporary condition. In fact I believe there are three implicit claims made by Huldah . . . And endorsed by the inspired authors of Kings and Chronicles. These claims are in “authorization movements”:
1) Huldah began as an authoritative person, one who made a claim, recognized by the king, the high priest and the secretary of state as a legitimate claim, to speak for the Lord God of Israel.
2) Regarding the text she claimed the authority to declare it worthy of obedience and representative of the will of God in the present day (of Judah)
3) She judged the validity of the text vis-à-vis history by interpreting it in light of the present condition.
These are no small claims but these are in fact what the Chronicler describes Josiah and the People of God giving her . . . And he does himself.
By way of just passing notice does not Esther do the same in Esther 9.29, 32?
Huldah the Female Prophet of God did the following things: she declared this book to be scripture, she interpreted it and applied it for and to both men and the nation of Israel as a whole.
Huldah in Light of Chronicles’ Theology
The second half of Huldah’s oracle gives a positive word to Josiah. Because he repented and “humbled” himself before Yahweh he would not see these evil days. The term humble oneself is a key theme in the larger framework of the book. It appears in a number of significant passages which are not found in the parallel accounts in Kings.
A key to the Chronicler’s use of the term “humble oneself” is 2 C 7.14. After Solomon prays at the temple dedication, the Lord promises that the peoples prayers will be heard if they “humble themselves”. In the Chronicler’s account, Rehoboam is spared when he “humbles himself” (2 C 20). Hezekiah humbles himself before the Lord in 2 C 32.36. Manasseh is spared and restored to the throne in 2 C 33.12 and 19 because he “humbled himself” before Yahweh. Josiah is spared destruction in his day because he humbled himself before God. This is the only one of these passages which is paralleled in Kings. What is important for our purposes is that the Hebrew root is used only once in 2 Kgs 22.19 but the Chronicler uses it twice in 2 C 34.27 in order to emphasize it.
The last occurrence of the term “humble oneself” in the book of Chronicles is also significant and forms a climax to the mercy theme God grants to those who are humble before him. This is found in 2 C 36.12 in the introduction to Zedekiah. He did “evil” in the sight of God and the Chronicler adds “he did not humble himself” before the word of the Lord.
This theme expressed by the word “humble oneself” ( ) runs through out the Chroniclers account of the kingdom from Solomon’s prayer to the fall of Jerusalem when Zedekiah refuses to humble himself. The use of “humble himself” twice in the prophecy of Huldah makes her articulate one of the most important concerns of the Chronicler himself. Far from being a peripheral character she expresses the heart of the theology of Chronicles.
This theological analysis lends support to our previous structural analysis suggesting that Huldah is not a “who” but a very important person in the history of redemption.
Huldah’s Legacy
What is Huldah’s legacy? Does she have one? Yes and No! If her legacy was great in the modern church I would not have titled my presentation “Huldah Who? The Forgotten Story of a Female Prophet.”
But it has not always been so. She has been an inspiration to both men and women of God through the centuries beginning with our biblical historians. They did not want her forgotten . . . Historians are selective in what they can place in a work and they made sure she was included. That says a lot, I believe. If we had only Kgs we would never even know Jeremiah or Amos existed . . . But we would know of Huldah!
The early church recognized her greatness (along with other women of God) in the prayer for the ordination of a deaconess in the Apostolic Constitutions (Fourth Century A.D.):
“O eternal God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of man and of Woman, who filled Miriam, Anna, Deborah and Huldah with the Spirit . . . Look upon your servant who is chosen for the ministry and grant her your Holy Spirit.”
Women from our own history like Abigail Roberts, Nancy Towle, Rebecca Miller, Sadie McCoy Crank, and Selina Holman have felt the call to ministry or teach . . . And all appealed to Huldah. Miller for example appealed to Huldah as an example of women serving the Lord in ministry:
“That Huldah, being an approved prophetess of the Lord, was consulted by Josiah, the penitent king of Judah, to whom she sent so thrilling a message from the Lord that it cause all Judah and Jerusalem to tremble and turn to the Lord” (quoted in Brekus, Strangers & Pilgrims, p. 218)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton defended her work on behalf of women’s rights by appealing to Huldah. In her mind Huldah was one of the greatest of all God‘s servants:
“The greatest character among the women thus far mentioned (in the OT) is Huldah the prophetess, residing in the college in Jerusalem . . . Her wisdom and insight were well known to Josiah the king; and when the wise men came to him with the ‘Book of the Law,’ to learn what was written therein, Josiah ordered them to take it to Huldah, as neither the wise men nor Josiah himself could interpret its contents . . . We should not have had such a struggle in our day to open the college doors (to women) had the clergy read of the dignity accorded to Huldah. People who talk the most of what the Bible teaches often know the least about its contents.” (quoted in Phipps, p. 15).
Final Thoughts
Huldah is an incredible woman of God. She was called by God to be a prophet. She had a great reputation in ancient Israel. She did in fact exercise authority by the very nature of her ministry. She is the first person to declare a text scripture but she also interpreted and applied it to her day. She stands at the very heart of the Josiah narrative and in fact his reform movement was the result of her prophetic work. But the Chronicler also uses her to articulate one the central motifs of his entire work . . . The theme of mercy given to those who humbly seek the Lord.
One of our own, C. R. Nichol, wrestled with Huldah in a book written in 1938 called God’s Woman. This is an amazing book. As we close our time together I would like to share some of his conclusions from studying Huldah:
“Sex relationship was the same in the days of Huldah that was in the days of the apostles. Huldah was inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach a group of men, and she did teach them without violating the law of Jehovah. Though we do not have inspired men and women today, it does not follow that a group of men may not be taught by a man, or a woman. (God’s Woman, p. 30).
I do not have all the answers to the tough questions regarding women, or even, men in God’s church. But I do know this that we need to deal with all of God’s word and we need to deal with it honestly. We need to let Huldah challenge our notions. It is simply not the case that a woman has never exercised authority over men with God’s approval. Huldah did that . . . And much more. Must Huldah remain “Huldah Who?” Can we not be like Josiah and Hilkiah and learn from her?

Hesed & Shalom,
Bobby Valentine
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