So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah 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
I read chapter 34 of 2 Chronicles and I noticed something new (at least to me). I only remembered two prophetesses in the Bible: Deborah and Anna, but there are actually many more. There is Miriam (Exodus 15:20), Deborah (Judges 4:4),Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14), Isaiah's wife (Isaiah 8:3), Elizabeth (Luke 1:41-45) and the daughters of Philip (Acts 21:9).
Today, we are going to look at Huldah. The context where Huldah, the prophetess is mentioned is when Josiah is king. Josiah was a godly king who destroyed the idols that had been worshiped and tore down the high places where they were worshiped. He ground the images to dust and sprinkled it on the graves of those who had worshiped them.
Josiah also worked to repair the temple and in the middle of cleaning it up, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord in which was written some of the Old Testament. Not all of it had been written by then. Shaphan the scribe(a person who copies out documents before printing was invented) read it to the king and when the king heard it, he tore his clothes. In those days, people tore their clothes usually as an expression of grief or anger. Then Josiah sent some men to inquire of the Lord about the words in the book. A prophetess is a woman who speaks with insight of things that God has revealed to her. This is what happened.
So Hilkiah and those the king had appointed went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke to her to that effect. Then she answered them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel...“Concerning the words which you have heard—because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord. “Surely...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 and its inhabitants.”’” So they brought back word to the king. 2 Chronicles 34:19-28
Josiah is a type of Christ which means that he can represent an example of Jesus. That is what the Old Testament does. It tells of things that should remind us of how Jesus lived his life and help us learn from the sins and mistakes of others so we don't do them. King Josiah was a king who loved God enough to do the hard work of removing all the idols and places of idolatrous worship from the land no matter how popular or conventional they had become. Now that is a man of God.
The name Huldah means weasel. Interesting... I wonder why? The Huldah Gates in the Southern Wall of the Temple are named after her. The first thing that comes to my mind is that she must have been a pretty important person or had a “famous job” to have a gate of the temple of the Lord named after her, but that is human thinking. Being a prophetess was a fearful and wonderful job because God spoke right to the woman either by voice, dreams, visions or by the Holy Spirit giving her the words God wanted her to speak. If you said anything that wasn't directed from the Lord when you were supposed to specifically speak something, you would be misrepresenting God and would be punished (which would be scary).
Here is some interesting history pertaining to Huldah and the gate named after her.
The Huldah Gates- First Century Jerusalem
Photo of the Huldah Gates in the Second Temple Model of Jerusalem
In the wall below the Temple were the gates of the prophetess Huldah. They were the two main gates that led into the Temple Mount in the Second Temple in Jerusalem of Herod the Great. The wall measured 211 feet. The Ophel corner was so high that from its top "an Arab with a spear looked like a flax worm."
It is indeed interesting that the only remaining remnant of the original entrance to the Temple was that of the prophetess Huldah who actually condemned Israel for her idolatries and for them not knowing who they were serving. God promised that He would come to Jerusalem and whoever of the Jewish brethren would not hear His Words would be treated as an unbeliever (Deut 18). Jesus came to Jerusalem and His Words were rejected by His Jewish brethren.
Here is a picture of a stone from the Huldah Gates
Photo of aStone from the Huldah Gates is richly embossed with floral designs and geometric patterns.