Perhaps you might recall that from time to time I ask people to read a few paragraphs before the assigned reading and a few additional paragraphs after the reading. It helps to put everything into proper context. We learn a little more of the story and gain a deeper insight.
I would like to amend that statement now to include when there is a gap in the reading, such as there is today, read the portion of scripture missing. Particularly today. The reading is 2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3. What happened to verses 9 to 20? Perhaps they were taken out to make the reading easier to understand or maybe to shorten it for the lectionary reading for the day?
But we miss an important figure in the story. It is the prophetess, Hulda.
We do not have much information about Hulda. But she was sought out to review the scroll that was found in the rubble because of her knowledge and position in the community as a prophetess. And this scroll was not delivered by just a commoner, but four court officials carried the document to her and awaited her decision.
The King did not share the scroll with anyone else until he had Hulda’s approval. Her approval came with a warning. Because Israel had left the worship of God, and this may have been for several decades they would be punished. But there was good news for Josiah, the king. Because he showed remorse and wanted to reestablish the Jewish faith the punishment God intended for Israel would not happen during his kingship.
Knowing this adds so much more to the reading. You can see it is more than just finding a scroll and reading it to the people. It made me stop and think of how many other women there are in the Bible that were involved in major decisions but did not make the front-page news?
As you learn more about the Bible you will discover there are seven prophetesses recognized, but we do not know much about them. They are Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Hulda, Abigail, and Esther. You might recognize several and know their stories.
I think they are important role models for many women who work behind the scenes but perhaps never receive the recognition they deserve. And maybe that is what they wanted. But so that we can understand the Bible better, here is an assignment. D0 a little research regarding these women of the Bible.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen