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Setting the scene: Jerusalem had been ruled by a godless man , Manasseh, who raised idols, offered pagan sacrifices and committed great sins. He was followed by his son Amon who also :did that whic was evil in the sight of the Lord" (2 Chronicles 33:22). His young son was 8 years old when he was placed on the throne and he "did that which was right". He began a cleanup campaign to bring the land back to the way it had been under his ancestor, King David. He broke down the idol altars, the groves where the pagan rituals had taken place, and he sent his servants to take funds to the High Priest, Hilkiah, to repair the "house of the Lord his God." During this repair the High Priest took the money paid for the repairs and in putting it away found a 'book of the law of the Lord given by Moses." The book was sent to the king and when he heard the words of the book of the law, he was greatly disturbed and grieved at the way the land had drifted from the words of the Lord. He commanded his assistants go "Inquire of the Lord for me....for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord..." So several ambassadors of the king went to Hulda, the prophetess....

Who was Huldah? Hulda was a prophetess, or female prophet, who was the wife of the keeper of the garments (in the Temple perhaps but it is unclear where). Her husband was named Shallum. She lived in a region called the "Second Quarter", what they KJV calls the "college". It may have been a place where a scribal or prophetic school was located. Some have even suggested, without apparent evidence, that there was a library there as well. Some assume that she was a librarian and not a prophet. Yet, scripture is clear she was a prophet.

Why did they go to Hulda and not to one of the 'big league' prophets? Some have suggsted that she was closer, she was the only one available so they had to settle for second best, and some suggest that Josiah was hoping to circumvent God's wrath by hoping a woman would temper the punishment of the land for its sins.

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Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006



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