Prophets speak on behalf of God to the people, especially to Israel’s leaders. During King Josiah’s reign Huldah served as a court prophet. When the book of the Law was found (probably Deuteronomy), the high priest Hilkiah turned to Huldah to discern God’s voice. Hulda’s prophecy was delivered to the highest-ranking civic and religious leaders in Israel. Though both Jeremiah and Zephaniah were prophets at the time, these leaders turned to Hulda instead.
Hulda validated the authenticity of The Book of the Law and the curses it contained against Israel for straying from God’s laws. She affirmed the curses were applicable to Israel at that moment, as Israel was engaged in horrific idol worship. Amongst the horrors, women were prostituted in the temple, and children were burned alive as sacrifices to Molech. Hulda’s prophecy came at a turning point in Israel’s history, marking the end of Israel’s occupation of the land.
When King Josiah and his court heard Hulda’s powerful message, they responded in earnest. They wiped out all traces of idol worship in the nation by smashing and grinding the idols into powder so they could not be used again. King Josiah’s humble response to Hulda’s preaching and leadership led to Israel’s greatest revival and God’s personal message to King Josiah, “Your eyes will not see the evil which I am bringing on this place.” God’s retribution would be delayed (2 Kgs. 22:8–20 and 2 Chr. 34:14–33).
To learn more, see: “Women Prophets in the Old Testament” by Christine Marchetti in Priscilla Papers.
“What is this Woman Doing Preaching in My Bible?” by Sara Ronnevik in Mutuality, October 13, 2014.