The theological significance of the propeht Huldah's prophecy : a feminist perspective on 2 Kings 22:14-20

Adonis, Melany Marildia (2002-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2002

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The question I am attempting to answer, IS "What is the theological significance of the prophecy ofHuldah, the prophet? Why is Huldah there?" Scholars have offered different reasons for the presence of Huldah in 2 Kings 22. Why Huldah and not one of the other male prophets, has been approached to "enquire from the Lord". The explanations offered, can all be challenged. It does not supply us with convincing theories which can be used to examine the theological significance of the prophecy of Huldah. I would therefore argue, that the text itself, supply us with clues which can be used to discuss the theological significance of the prophecy of Huldah. Seeing that the text is part of the Deuteronomistic History, clues (to help with the understanding of Huldah),would therefore also be found within this history. In other words, the literary context as well as the Deuteronomistic background of 2 Kings 22, provide us with clues for the theological significance of Huldah as a prophet. Furthermore, I would like to argue that the interpretations made from the clues could be enriched by the fact that I am a woman. A feminist approach could introduce a different perspective 1 therefore did a close reading of the text, 2 Kings 22 1-20 with specific focus on 2 Kings 2214-20. Special attention is given to the language used, the characters included in the story as well as the context of the story. In order to try and get a better understanding of the language, the Hebrew text was used as point of departure and a translation to Engli h was made to use in my discu sion. Through my journey with Huldah, t have been inspired The inclusion of Huldah, highlights the presence of female prophets in the history of Israel. God calls women as well as men. Huldah can be used a a different model for women. In her patriarchal society, she was a married woman who was also a prophet. A prophet who was repected by her people. The king sent his "trusted attendants" (five males) to "enquire from the Lord" and they went to Huldah, the prophet. Therefore, the story of Huldah emphasises the fact that women also played important roles in the history of Israel.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die vraag wat ek probeer beantwoord is, "Wat is die teologiese belang van die profeet Guldah ') Waarom is Guldah daar." Talle geleerdes het verskillende redes vir die teenwoordigheid van Guldah in 2 Konings 22 verskaf Redes waarorn Guldah, en nie een van die manlike profete me, genader is om " die Here te raadpleeg" nie. AI die verduidelikings wat aan die hand gedoen word, kan egter bevraagteken word. Dit verskaf nie oortuigende teoriee wat gebruik kan word om die teologiese waarde van Guldah te ondersoek nie. Ek wil dus argurnenteer dat die teks self leidrade verskaf wat gebruik kan word ten einde die teologiese belang van die profesie van Guldah te bespreek. Aangesien die teks deel is van die Deuteronomistiese Geskiedenis sal leidrade, om te help met die verstaan van Guldah dus ook in hierdie geskiedenis gevind word In ander woorde, die literere konteks sowel as die Deuteronomistiese agtergrond van 2 Konings 22, verskaf ons met leidrade vir die teologiese belang van Guldah as profeet. Verder sou ek graag wou argumenteer dat die interpretasies gernaak vanuit die leidrade, verryk kan word deur die feit dat ek 'n vrou is. 'n Ferninistiese benadering kan 'n ander perspektief in Iei. Ek het dus die reks, 2 Konings 221-20 krities gelees met spesifieke fokus op 2 Konings 22.14-20. Spesiale aandag is gegee aan die taalgebruik, die karakters wat ingesluit is in die storie, sowel as die konteks van die storie Ten einde die taalgebruik beter te erstaan, is die Hebreeuse teks as vertrekpunt gebruik en 'n vertaling in Engels gedoen, wat in die bespreking gebruik is. Die reis met Guldah, het my geinspireer. Die teenwoordigheid van vroulike profete word deur die insluiting van Guldah uirgelig. God roep vroue sowel as mans. Guldah verskaf dus 'n ander 'radikale' model vir vroue van haar tyd en daag ook sodoende vroue van vandag uit. In haar patriargale samelewing, was Guldah 'n getroude vrou, sowel as 'n profeet. 'n Profeet wat deur haar mense gerespekteer was. Die koning het sy "getroue volgelinge" (vyf mans) gestuur om "die Here te raadpleeg", en hulle het na Guldah die profeet gegaan. Die storie van Guldah beklemtoon dus die feit dat vroue ook belangrike rolle in die geskiedenis van Israel gespeel het.

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