Huldah

HULDAH (hŭl'da, Heb. huldâh, weasel). A prophetess in the reign of Josiah (2Kgs.22.14-2Kgs.22.20; 2Chr.34.22-2Chr.34.28). She was the wife of Shallum, keeper of the wardrobe, who lived in the second district of Jerusalem. When Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law in the temple, Josiah sent messengers to Huldah. She attested the genuineness of the book and prophesied ruin because of desertion of the Law. Her message, accepted as from God, greatly influenced the reforms carried out by Josiah.


HULDAH hul’ də (חֻלְדָּ֨ה). A prophetess who appears only in 2 Kings 22:14-20 and 2 Chronicles 34:22-28. She was the wife of Shallum the “keeper of the wardrobe” and she lived (or was sitting, i.e. to proclaim oracles) in Jerusalem, in the “Mishneh,” the “second or added quarter” of the city (cf. Zeph. 1:10 and esp. J. Simons, Jerusalem in the Old Testament [1952], pp. 290-293). Hilkiah the priest, Shaphan the scribe and some others, having been commanded by Josiah to seek an oracle from the Lord concerning the lawbook found in the Temple, came to her to fulfill the request. She then prophesied judgment and disaster upon Jerusalem and its people, but not for Josiah, since his reading of the lawbook had led to repentance. For him she prophesied “I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I shall bring upon this place.” It is interesting to note that she was consulted on the matter even though both Jeremiah and Zephaniah were prophesying at the time. In this regard she had a precursor in Deborah (Judg 4) and a worthy follower in the prophetess Anna (Luke 2:36).

Her prophecy about Josiah occasions difficulty in that he died in battle (2 Kings 23:29, 30). The words “you shall be gathered to your grave in peace (בְּשָׁלוֹם) ” may mean that Josiah would be gathered to his rest before the catastrophe befell the city, and hence, as the text says, not “see the evil which I will bring upon this place.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A prophetess who lived in Jerusalem during the reign of Josiah. She was the wife of Shallum, keeper of the wardrobe, and resided in the "Mishneh" or second part or quarter of Jerusalem (location unknown). Cheyne says it should read, "She was sitting in the upper part of the gate of the Old City," i.e. in a public central place ready to receive any who wished to inquire of Yahweh. He gives no reason for such a change of text. The standing and reputation of Huldah in the city are attested by the fact that she was consulted when the Book of the Law was discovered. The king, high priest, counselors, etc., appealed to her rather than to Jeremiah, and her word was accepted by all as the word of Yahweh (2Ki 22:14-20; 2Ch 34:22-29).