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The Role and Function of Huldah as a Royal Prophet

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2022, 28(3), pp.186-216
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2022.28.3.186
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : July 23, 2022
  • Accepted : August 24, 2022

Dong-Young Yoon 1

1서울장신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Huldah was not a professionally trained religious specialist like Hilkiah the priest, but she received royal order to ask God about the contents of the book of the law found in the temple. Huldah, on the one hand, verified the priestly divination presided over by Hilkiah, confirming that the book of the law foretells the destruction of Judah. In this process, she is acting as a diviner who asks God for the king’s request and gets the answer. However, it is not clear whether Huldah’s answer is the result of the oracle. Huldah only proclaimed the prophecies received from God. Huldah also proclaimed a prophecy about the fate of King Josiah who is destined to be similar to Judah, but Huldah declares that King Josiah will enter the tomb in peace when he returns to his ancestors. The prophecy concerning King Josiah is different from the divination taken by Hilkiah which foretold the tragic death of King Josiah, but Huldah’s prophecy promotes the stability of the king’s authority and sovereignty by declaring a peaceful funeral after his death. In this respect, Huldah’s prophecy is similar to the royal oracles of Mari in the 18th century and the Neo-Assyria in the 7th century. Mari and the Neo-Assyrian royal oracles were essentially salvation prophecies because of their great interest in the security of the king and the stability of the empire, and the prophet was a critical supporter of the king. Although Huldah did not operate within the royal palace like Mari and Neo-Assyrian prophets or female prophets, the focus of the prophecy was the king. Huldah, like professional diviner of ancient, verified the divination, while supporting the reforms implemented by King Josiah by proclaiming royal oracles.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.