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The Prophet Huldah: A Woman of Few Words - Research Paper Example

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This research is being carried out to evaluate and present the special role of women in basic of the lessons from Huldah and other prominent women; Hebrew religion and women prophets; the social situation and female prophets…
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The Prophet Huldah: A Woman of Few Words
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that a look into the Hebrew religion reveals that there were five women who possessed the title of prophetesses in total. They were Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noadiah, and Isaih’s wife. A look into the Hebrew history proves that the female prophets were in no way different from the male prophets of that time. They too were respected as the mouthpiece of the sender. They spoke on behalf of the sender and foresaw the future. In addition, marital status of the prophetesses was not a consideration. To illustrate, Deborah, Huldah, and Isaih’s wife were married whereas, the marital status of Miriam and Noadiah was not specified. Out of them, the prophetess under consideration in this work is Huldah. Her name is mentioned only in two places: that is, 2 Kings 22:14-20 and 2 Chronicles 34:22-28. From the records, she was a contemporary of powerful prophets like Jeremiah and Zephaniah. 2 Kings 22 shows Josiah becoming the king of Judah at the age of eight years. Though he was a righteous ruler from the very beginning, as time passed, he forgot God. However, he tried to reform the nation by repairing the temple of the Lord. As the renovations were taking place, the high priest found a new set of scriptures known as the Book of the Law. The book revealed that curses would fall down on the nation as it was full of evil. When the message was revealed, the King became frightened and sent his leaders to seek a way out of the judgment. So, his five officials including the high priest went to prophetess Huldah to seek her advice. She prophesied that the curse would indeed fall down; but showed mercy to the king by declaring that the curse would not materialize until the king died. Though she appeared only for a very short while, she set a strong case for the consideration of research into the role of women and women prophetesses in the Hebrew religion. There are certain interesting factors which can be explored when the prophecy of Huldah is taken into consideration. The first one is that though she was a contemporary of powerful prophets like Jeremiah, yet the king chose to seek her advice instead of going to other prophets. Secondly, her role as a prophet can be set as the parameter to assess how the period thereafter dealt with women and women prophetesses. Why did the king consult Huldah? It is known that Jeremiah was Huldah’s cousin and he used to prophesy in the marketplace. Still, instead of consulting Jeremiah, the king came to Huldah. According to Neiman, one evident reason is that at that time, Jeremiah was abroad. As Jeremiah was away working among Jewish Tribes, the king was in need of another prophet. Also, Megillah (14b) reveals that Jeremiah never considered Huldah as a threat to his own prophetic status. Though these are sufficient grounds to see that it was not possible to consult Jeremiah at that point of time, the question remains as to why Zephaniah was not consulted. In order to answer this question one has to develop a complicated answer. In the words of Rachel Niemen, the answer lies in Talmud which states that “women are more compassionate than men.” Admittedly, prophets are just spokespersons of God. So, they would just declare God’s message word-for-word. If the scriptures revealed curse, then so should the prophets. So, presumably, the king was trying to get the element of compassion that only women prophets possessed, thereby getting benefit for the degree of humility he exhibited. The prophetess declared that the king would not see the punishment in his lifetime. Another possible reason, as put forward by Bronner is that Josiah consulted a female prophet because of ‘the influence of his godly mother, Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah’(88). The special role of women - the lessons from Huldah and other prominent women Despite all these controversies surrounding the consultation, there is the realization that during difficult times ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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