The Bible and Critical Theory, Vol 1, No 3 (2005)

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Gazing at Huldah

Judith McKinlay

Abstract


This paper considers the representation of the prophet Huldah in 2 Kgs 22. Huldah has frequently been seen as a positive figure, one of the biblical women who might even be regarded as a model for women readers and women scholars. This paper seeks to query this by asking questions of the way in which the deuteronomistic writers may have been employing her as a woman to set the Josiah reforms in train. As a feature of the reform was the removal of the A/asherah, and if Asherah worship was associated with women as 23:7 would imply, was Huldah set up to justify a removal against her own particular cultural heritage as a woman? Even a woman recognised the need for such action. If so, such a strategy has sobering postcolonial implications as can be seen in the situation in which the Maori members of parliament, including the three Maori women members, have found themselves in the current seabed and foreshore debate in New Zealand.

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391