Huldah

Huldah, a professed prophetess in the time of King Josiah, was married to Shallum, son of Tokhath and grandson of Harhas, keeper of the king's wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, and was accustomed to speaking to representatives of the king, as well as the high priest, in a direct and stern manner. She had the authority to interpret whether or not something was genuine Law or a corruption of it. She was thought of as a prophetess, a powerful spokeswoman for the word of God. What is known about her personally is through her husband's connections. She may have been related to Jeremiah, the prophet. She also served as a teacher in the school.

Huldah, whose name means “weasel,” was a messenger of God blessed with the power of prophecy. King Josiah summoned her instead of the prophet Jeremiah when the high priest Hilkiah discovered the Book of the Law in the Temple.

…Tell the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the Lord…Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. (2 Kings 22:15–17)

Hilkiah, Ahikam, Asahiah, Achbor, and Shaphan consulted Huldah for her understanding of the Lord's opinion when they found the lost book. The text of the missing book addressed the coming wrath of the Lord against his children. The king wanted to know if the book (possibly later known as Deuteronomy) was authentic, and if the prophecy in the book would be fulfilled. Huldah unrolled the scroll, verified its authenticity, and read the narrative. She told King Josiah that because the people and their fathers had disobeyed God, the Lord would do what was stated; that is, bring upon them and their land disaster and ruin.

Huldah's understanding of the prophecy proclaimed many frightening events to come. One small flicker of hope remained that children of God would not be completely wiped out. A few years before Huldah was given the scroll to decipher, the prophet Isaiah had predicted a future time when the people would rise up, rebuild, and restore that which would be destroyed.

What is significant about Huldah's expression, “Tell the man that sent you …”?

It shows that Huldah was not impressed by positions of power and stature. A king or any other powerful man could consult her, but would exert no influence upon her prophetic pronouncements, because she revealed the words of the highest power — God.

Huldah told the men to tell King Josiah that because of his piety and love of the Lord, he would be spared witnessing the destruction of his kingdom, for God had spoken: “…I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place” (2 Kings 22:20). Huldah's words were accepted as Divine revelation, and the king took her words to heart. He instituted reforms, and the people returned to the faith of their fathers and became deeply spiritual.

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