Huldah, a Prophetess
…went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke with her. 2 Kings 22.14
Now, for some background
Josiah, a good king, was reigning in Judah and he did what was right in the sight of the LORD. During his eighteenth year he sent his scribe, Shaphan, to the House of the LORD to inquire where the money, which was brought into the House of the LORD, was being put to use. King Josiah wanted all the monies to be divided up and given to those who were doing the restorative work in the House – he went so far to say there needn’t be any accounting of the monies given to the workers because the workers and craftsmen had proven themselves faithful.
A Book of the Law was found
The high priest, Hilkiah, told Shaphan the scribe that during the work a book of the law had been found by the workers.* Immediately Shaphan read the book.
Shaphan returned to king Josiah and told him that the monies were disbursed according to the king’s word and the king was pleased. Then Shaphan told king Josiah that during the work a book of the law had been discovered and Shaphan proceeded to read it to the king.
King Josiah was distraught and consequently tore his clothes.
King Josiah commanded the priest Hilkiah to inquire of the Lord
Go, inquire of the LORD for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that written concerning us.” 2 Kings 22.13
Hilkiah and some others went to Huldah, the prophetess at once.
Thus says the LORD
Then she said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to Me, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants—all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read— because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched.’ ” ’ But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Concerning the words which you have heard— because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord. “Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.” ’ ” So they brought back word to the king. 2 Kings 22.15-20
After this, king Josiah, restored true worship. He called a national assembly to renew Judah’s commitment to its covenant with the Lord. (2 Kings 23)
Huldah, used by the Lord to encourage the king
Some interesting facts about this story are as follows:
- *The book of the law, which was found is thought to be the book of Deuteronomy.
- Huldah is the last recorded prophetess until the birth of Jesus and Anna, found in Luke 2.36
- Huldah did not experience conflict between her role as wife and prophetess; nor did her husband feel threatened by her ministry.¹
- Women can have a ministry and still be a good, loving, faithful wife.²
- Marriage and ministry are not necessarily in conflict.³
Footnotes 1, 2, 3 are from Every Woman in the Bible by Sue and Larry Richards.