Huldah the Prophetess

Huldah the Prophetess

So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess…. And they spoke with her. 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.’” (2 Kings 22:14-16)

In the days of King Josiah, they found the long-neglected book of the law – the Scriptures, the books of Moses and maybe a few more – in the temple. When they read the book they were deeply convicted of sin, and made confession and repented. But what to do next? The spiritual leaders of Judah needed spiritual guidance.

Huldah the Prophetess

It is fascinating to see that they went to Huldah the prophetess. We know little of this woman other than this mention here (and the similar account recorded in 2 Chronicles 34:22). With the apparent approval of King Josiah, Hilkiah the priest consulted this woman for spiritual guidance.

However, he didn’t go to Huldah for her own wisdom and spirituality, but that she was recognized as a prophetess, and she could reveal the heart and mind of God. She knew the word of God and could declare it.

At that time, there were certainly other prophets in Judah. From Jeremiah 22:15-16 we know that Jeremiah was alive at this time (Jeremiah 22:15-16) – but they didn’t go to him. The prophet Zephaniah was also present (Zephaniah 1:1), but they didn’t knock at his door. For some reason – perhaps spiritual, perhaps practical – they chose to consult Huldah the prophetess.

Her message, at least at the beginning, wasn’t positive. She assured the spiritual leaders of Judah that judgment would surely come. Speaking as a prophetess of God, she gave them this message from God: I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants.

King Josiah and the priests knew that Judah deserved judgment, and that judgment would indeed come. Judah and its leaders had walked against the LORD for too long and would not genuinely repent so as to avoid eventual judgment.

The way God used Huldah to deliver this message reminds us that from time to time, God will use an unusual messenger. There were other faithful, more established prophets God could have spoken through at this point (such as Jeremiah and Zephaniah). Yet God used a simple, otherwise unknown woman, who was filled with His Holy Spirit.

We may never know all the reasons God used Huldah, but I know one big reason. Huldah is a great example to us because she was familiar with all the words of the book. If you want to be God’s messenger, the first thing to do is to put your focus on all the words of the book. It is in the book that God most perfectly reveals Himself to us and we come into real relationship with Him.

Click here for David’s commentary on 2 Kings 22

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