(Hulʹdah) [feminine form of Heled, meaning “Duration of Life; System of Things”; or, possibly, “Mole Rat”].
The wife of Shallum; a prophetess residing at Jerusalem during the reign of faithful King Josiah of Judah.
When Josiah heard the reading of “the very book of the law” found by Hilkiah the high priest during the temple repair work, he sent a delegation to inquire of Jehovah. They went to Huldah, who, in turn, relayed the word of Jehovah, indicating that all the calamities for disobedience recorded in the “book” would befall the apostate nation. Huldah added that Josiah, because of having humbled himself before Jehovah, would not have to look upon the calamity but would be gathered to his forefathers and be taken to his graveyard in peace.—2Ki 22:8-20; 2Ch 34:14-28.
Some consider Huldah’s prophecy to be in error in view of Josiah’s death in an unnecessary battle. (2Ki 23:28-30) However, the “peace” in which Josiah would be gathered to his graveyard is obviously in contrast with “the calamity” due to come upon Judah. (2Ki 22:20; 2Ch 34:28) Josiah died prior to the coming of that calamity in 609-607 B.C.E., when the Babylonians besieged and destroyed Jerusalem. Additionally, that the expression ‘to be gathered to one’s forefathers’ does not necessarily exclude dying a violent death in warfare is indicated by the use of the comparable expression ‘to lie down with one’s forefathers’ with reference to a death in battle as well as a nonviolent death.—Compare De 31:16; 1Ki 2:10; 22:34, 40.