Prophetesses in the Jewish worldIn the Jewish world, there have been prophetesses consulted by the priests. Among these, have remained renowned Deborah and Hulda. The latter (Hebr. Huldâh) lived to the northeast of Jerusalem, in a new district (2Kin. 22, 14; 2Chr. 34, 22). At the time of King Josiah (638-609 B. C.), she was consulted by a commission of priests about the recovery of the “Law of the Lord” in the Temple. This commission went to Hulda to hear the answer of God. The prophetess confirmed the authenticity of the text that had been found. She predicted a suitable reward for the reforming zeal of King Josiah, and grave threats to who did not conform to it. The episode was decisive for the Jewish religion, and happened in 621 B. C., 18th year of Josiah’s reign. No less important was Deborah, also a prophetess, poetess and judge, heroine, wife of Lapidoth; she dwelt at Rama and Bethel, to the north of Jerusalem, in the land of the tribe of Ephraim. According to the Bible translated by the Seventy and to the Vulgate, Debbora or Débhôrah means “bee”. Because of her authority as a prophet, she sat under a palm tree, and to her had recourse the priests and the people of Israel (Judges, IV, 1-51). To be a prophet one must have special gifts, because the Holy Spirit cannot make use of just anybody. The four daughters of Philip, one of the twelve apostles of the Lord, were prophetesses. Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, recalls them when they dwelt with their father in Cesarea of Judea: “We came to Cesarea, and having gone into the house of Philip the Evangelist, who was one of the seven deacons, we stayed with him. He had four virgin daughters who prophesied” (Acts, 21: 8-9)
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