Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Monday, October 10, 2005

Huldah, Prophetess in Judah

Daily Readings
Isaiah 39 + II Kings 22 + II Chronicles 33, 34 + Lamentation 3

Quote of the Day
When all the prisoners of the land
are crushed under foot,
when human rights are perverted
in the presence of the Most High,
when one’s case is subverted
--does the Lord not see it?
Lamentations 3:34-36

Daily Text: II Kings 22

Huldah, Prophetess in Judah
The scholars seem rather clear that the book discovered in the temple is an early version of Deuteronomy. It contains both covenant and clear indication of punishment if the covenant is not lived out. The prophetess Huldah confirms the words found in the book of the law, however, she exonerates the king for he has been exemplary, and she promises that he will die in peace before evil comes on the kingdom. I suppose that one could see that this was fulfilled, since he dies years before the exile. However, as we shall see in chapter 23, he dies an untimely death at the hands of Pharaoh Neco of Egypt. The discovery of this book of the Torah and Huldah’s prophecy all come when Josiah is about 18 or 20 years old, a pretty young age to be heading up the reformation that Josiah undertakes. Assyria is losing power during Josiah’s reign and the possibility of clearing Judah and Jerusalem of all references to Assyrian religious observance, if any was required, is possible politically. His extension into Samaria as will seen in chapter 23 is also made possible by this political reality. Our author observes only religious realities, however, the political realities were present, if unrecorded. How these two interacted is unknown to us except by inference. It may be said, however, that consonant with Josiah’s faithful observance of God’s covenant is an increase in power and jurisdiction that Manasseh during his long reign would never have seen because of his role as vassal of Nineveh.

Hulduh is the single woman prophet mentioned in either Israel or Judah. She obviously was respected and her words revered and remembered. She was married to Shallum who may have been Jeremiah’s uncle (cf. Jeremiah 32:7), and Jeremiah was not the only other male prophet to be present in Jerusalem. Nahum and Zephaniah both prophesied during Josiah’s reign as well. The interesting matter of Hulduh is that nothing is made of her prominence. Women were recorded in prominent positions more often in the period of the judges, but they may have been far more prominent all along than we have any record of. This casual record suggests that such was possible. God makes use of suitable vessels in his work all along, and will continue to do so through all of time.

Wisdom and Discipline
S. Rodigast

Whate’er my God ordains is right;
His will is ever just;
Howe’er he orders now my cause
I will be still, and trust.
He is my God,
Though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall,
Therefore to him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right;
He never will deceive;
He leads me by the proper path,
And so to him I cleave,
And take, content
What he hath sent;
His hand can turn my grief away,
And patiently I wait his day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right;
He taketh thought for me;
The cup that my Physician gives
No poisoned draught can be,
But medicine due;
For God is true;
And on that changeless truth I build
And all my heart with hope is filled.

Whate’er my God ordains is right;
Though I the cup must drink
That bitter seems to my faint heart,
I will not fear nor shrink;
Tears pass away
With dawn of day;
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow all depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right;
My Light, my Life, is he,
Who cannot will me aught but good;
I trust him utterly;
For well I know,
In joy or woe,
We soon shall see, as sunlight clear,
How faithful was our Guardian here.

Whate’er my God ordains is right;
Here I will take my stand;
Though sorrow, need, or death make earth
For me a desert land
My Father’s care
Is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall,
And so to him I leave it all.


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