The Moving Word

Writer, Preacher, Bookworm, Student of the Word

Huldah the Prophetess

Praying woman hands

In 2 Kings 22, King Josiah begins to reform the nation’s spiritual practices. His grandfather Manasseh and his father, Amon, were idolaters. Young Josiah saw a better way.

Hilkiah the High Priest finds the book of the Law in the temple (2 Kings 22: 8; cf. Deuteronomy 31:24-26). What a High Priest does without a knowledge of
the Torah is a complete mystery.

Shaphan the scribe reads it to Josiah and the King desires the council of God. What happens next is one of the more unusual stories of the Old Testament.

Hilkiah goes to Huldah, the prophetess who was the wife of Shallum. He went to a woman to inquire of the Lord? What’s more, she was a contemporary of Jeremiah and related to the prophet by marriage (2 Kings 22:14; Jeremiah 1:1; 32:7-8).

A lot of theories are given as to why Hilkiah went to a woman. Many of them are misogynistic while others are just wild guesses. Simply put, we don’t know where Jeremiah was at the time. It appears that Zephaniah came onto the scene later.

They consulted Huldah and she spoke the Word of the Lord with boldness (2 Kings 22:15-20). She pronounced doom on the nation but King Josiah would be saved as a result of his faith. Judah’s penalty came upon them after Josiah’s death (2 Chronicles 36:15-23).

The Jewish Encyclopedia said that Huldah had a school. We know she lived in the Second Quarter which was part of an expansion of the walls of Jerusalem. Later there was a Gate of Huldah in the second temple, but it doesn’t appear that it had anything to do with her. She was one of the seven prophetesses called by name in Scripture.

We have to respect Huldah. The King came to her and she did not take advantage of the situation. She didn’t question their motives or intentions. She simply spoke the word of God and let it stand on its own.

Do we put the Lord above our own needs (Colossians 3:15)? Or, do we try to find a way of glorifying him and helping ourselves at the same time (Ephesians 3:20-21)?

Let us always send people to God and his Word (2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Corinthians 4:6). Transformation means we always put the Lord first (Romans 12:1-2).

We can thank Huldah for her stand and example. May we speak boldly and clearly when our opportunity arises.


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