Women of the Bible
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HULDAH (Heb. huldah, weasel). A prophetess in the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 22:14-20; 2 Chron 34:22-28), and the wife of Shallum. When Hilkiah 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 greatly influenced the reforms carried out by Josiah.*
HULDAH (weasel). A prophetess. Foretells the destruction of Jerusalem (2Ki 22:14-20; 2Ch 34:22-28).*
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JOSIAH (Heb. yoshiyahu, Jehovah supports him). Son of Amon and Jedidah and the grandson of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah (2 Kings 22:1). Josiah's reign on the Davidic throne for 31 years was the last surge of political independence and religious revival before the disintegration of the southern kingdom that ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
When palace officials murdered King Amon in 642 B.C. (2 Kings 21:23) the eight-year-old Josiah was crowned king of Judah. In the eighth year of his reign (c. 632) he began to seek after God and four years later initiated reforms. Images, altars, and all manner of idolatrous practices were destroyed not only in Jerusalem and Judah but in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far north as Naphtali.
At the same time offerings and contributions were collected throughout the nation for the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem, which had been neglected for such a long period.
In the course of renovating the temple (622 B.C.) the Book of the Law was recovered. The reformation movement was now stimulated anew by its reading (2 Chron 34:15). Stirred by these developments Josiah led his nation in the observance of the Passover in a manner unprecedented in Judah's history. With the king himself leading the reformation movement, changes in personnel occurred. Priests serving by royal appointment of former kings and dedicated to idol worship were removed from office. In 609 B.C. Josiah's leadership was abruptly ended. In an effort to interfere with Pharaoh Neco's plans to aid the Assyrians, Josiah was fatally wounded at Megiddo (2 Chron 35:20-24). National and religious hopes vanished with the funeral of this 39-year-old king so that all Judah had reason to join Jeremiah in lamenting for Josiah (35:25).*
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