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A Verse-by-Verse Study Of 2nd Chronicles 34:21-28

Learn how dangerous women preachers really are!

It always costs to disobey God's Word!


 A Preacher in his Study






"Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book. And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect. And she answered them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah: because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched. And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the LORD, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard; because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD. Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again." 2nd Chronicles 34:21-28



Today we begin a series of Bible Studies that will certainly be controversial. What this Paragraph of Scripture teaches is not politically or socially correct, not any more! But it is right in the sight of God!

I speak of 2nd Chronicles 34:21-28. This inspired paragraph tells of an event in the life of godly King Josiah of Judah.

This young King began reigning at the age of eight, obviously with the help of wise counselors.

One of Josiah's best-known accomplishments is the rebuilding of the Temple of God, which had fallen into disrepair due to negligence.

As the Temple project progressed, a Book was found! Here's how the Chronicler described it: "Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. And Shaphan carried the book to the king." 2nd Chronicles 34:14-16

What they found was probably a copy of the whole Pentateuch, the five Books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy!

It had been lost due to neglect. Disuse, really!

Well, when you have a Text, you need a Preacher! An expositor! A teacher to help explain and illuminate those precious words.

And the King was eager to hear God's Word! "Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes." Josiah was convicted over what he heard!

Now, we are ready for today's Verse, 2nd Chronicles 34:21, where the King issued a command. "Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book."

Josiah wanted to know more!

The verb "go" is an imperative and is spelled "halak," meaning "walk" 122 times in the Bible.

"Enquire" is "darash," a major verb used 164 times in Scripture. It means "to search" something. Another imperative, two verbs now have issued clear directives, orders really!

Apparently Josiah had read nearly all the Scroll, reaching the last chapters of Deuteronomy. There God pronounces blessings upon the obedient Israelites and curses upon the rebellious or disobedient ones.

Such truth frightened Josiah!

He knew that Judah's recent apostasy was set to unleash God's wrath! "Chemah" means "fury" or intense "anger. Its root word describes that which is "boiling!"

Josiah fears God's Judgment!

The verb "poured out" translates "nathak," meaning "to drop" as rain, "to melt," precipitation obviously!

To "keep" God's word, "shamar" in Hebrew, means "to guard" for safety! It also can mean "to observe, give heed, keep," having that sense here in our pericope.

Israel had disobeyed!

What to do?

How should this potentially powerful Revival opportunity be handled?

That's the question good King Josiah asks.

But, sadly, he asked the wrong person!

And I'm telling you right now, in any life situation your advisor is critical to your overall well-being! Especially your spiritual advisor! In fact, Heaven and Hell, one's eternal destiny lingers in the forthcoming counsel!

Having the right Book is critical!

Josiah did have that, the Bible!

But also, having the right Preacher to interpret and teach and model the Book well may be equally important!

It's like the Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip in Acts 8:30-35. "And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: in his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus."

Philip was God's Man. The Eunuch was saved that glorious day!

But Josiah, somehow, asked the wrong preacher!

It may have been an organizational error, but it was deadly nonetheless!

He did not seek God's Man!

In fact, he sought a woman!

Big mistake!

God does not choose ladies to be spiritual leaders, not when their doing so violates the Word of God! "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." And 1st Timothy 2:12 cannot be changed, now or ever!

More tomorrow, Lord willing, about choosing the right Preacher!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Today we meet the Prophet from whom King Josiah's men sought advice. A Bible had been found, likely a Scroll of the Old Testament Books of Moses. It, once read, soon quickens hearts. Judah has sinned! And God has promised judgment!

What should be done?

"And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college: and they spake to her to that effect." 2nd Chronicles 34:22

Hilkiah is the Priest, likely the High Priest of the land. His name means "My portion is Jehovah."

He is the man who sought the counsel of this woman preacher, Huldah by name! His unwise decision led to the untimely death of good King Josiah. That conclusion will be further explained as we continue through the Text.

Yes, they sought the advice of Huldah the prophetess while Jeremiah the Prophet was somewhere in the area preaching God's Word! Talk about a lack of maturity!

The other men whom the King had appointed for this task were equally undiscerning. Ahikam, who is named as a supporter of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 26:24, was one of them. Plus Abdon and Shaphan the Scribe and Asaiah. Five men, a committee indeed! But again, they went to the wrong Preacher! They are all listed by name in 2nd Chronicles 34:20.

Now, let's meet this woman "Huldah." Her name means "weasel." That alone says a lot! In Hebrew it is spelled "chuldah." We know nothing about her except what's told us here. The noun prophetess is the feminine form of "nabiy." It literally means "to preach under the influence of a divine spirit!"

She apparently had no particular reputation of her own; therefore, her husband is named to help give her identity. "Shallum" is his name and this means "retribution." His Grandfather's name was "Hasrah," meaning "something is lacking!"

I agree!

Shallum was the "keeper of the wardrobe," sort of a lady's job it would seem! But a man whose wife is a preacher would probably be quiet and timid and sort of withdrawn anyway, maybe a little effeminate too.

Perhaps Huldah's living in a college is supposed to increase her clout. Lending her academic prowess maybe. A Degree or two can help authenticate one's profession, especially if all is politically correct!

By the way, why didn't King Josiah himself get involved in the interpretation of this newly found Scroll? Why did he entrust such a vital decision to a group of men who played a part in the Law being lost in the first place?

It just seems to me that nobody here is serious about the Word of God!

Or about having the right kind of Preacher!

Or about hearing from Heaven!

And this much can be guaranteed, with the so-called Preacher they chose, Huldah the prophetess, Truth is not going to be discovered! At least not the real Truth, not all of it!

Oh, how valuable it is to hear God's Word from the right kind of Preacher!

Be careful to whom you listen as Sundays come and go!

Your life depends on it!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




King Josiah needed some help. A Scroll of the Law of Moses had been found in the Temple, having been misplaced there for some time.

Once read, that divinely inspired Scripture brought a host of questions to the Monarch's mind.

He needed someone to interpret and explain the Text!

Part of it was ever so clear! God judges sin!

Part needed explanation.

Having been instructed to "go and enquire of the Lord concerning the words of the newly-found Book," a group of the King's advisors sought a Prophet of God.

One was in residence.

Living in the city of Jerusalem with her husband, Huldah was located. As to why Jeremiah the great Prophet of God was not sought, the Bible is silent. Apparently Josiah did not care who interpreted the Bible, anyone qualified.

Big mistake!

Bear in mind this fact. No where in all the Word of God do we find a woman prophet correctly and accurately predicting the things of God. Or for that matter, even proclaiming boldly and precisely God's perfect Will!

Truthfully, only five ladies in the Old Testament ever bore that title, even with its wide latitude of meaning. Miriam sang and was called a prophetess, hardly a Preacher of the Word! Deborah was a Judge, but in Hebrews 11 she got no credit for her exploits! And after this Huldah is mentioned, a prophetess named Noadiah opposed and hindered the work of godly Nehemiah. Lastly, Isaiah "nicknamed" his wife the prophetess!

There's not a real Preacher among them all. It is not God's Way to use women, kind and sweet and intelligent and talented as they are, to be spiritual leaders! God does not call women to pastor Churches or become Evangelists! One of the very requirements for serving the Lord in Christian ministry, according to the Apostle Paul in 1st Timothy 3:2, is to be "the husband of one wife." That surely establishes the sexual status of a Preacher!

I have said these things to show the lack of foundation, the paucity of wisdom, these emissaries of King Josiah exhibited.

They went to the wrong Preacher!

And here is part of what she said, the first sentence anyway. "Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me ...."

Yes, she uses the prophet formula that real Prophets utter! "Thus saith the Lord!" I found that exact string of words 415 times in the Bible! While Huldah might have thought God sent all her words, that is not the case! What God says is without mistake, always! Huldah erred in her prophecy. Part of it was critically untrue, mortally so!

And if she spoke words, claiming them to be from God, while she herself composed the message, she is worse than mistaken! She then is a liar! A deceiver!

Either way, she is a false prophet! Make that false prophetess! Her message contained inaccuracies.

Then notice in today's Verse what she calls the King! "And she answered them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me." That's all of 2nd Chronicles 34:23.

He's just a "man" to her!

Feminists never respect men!

Men to them are necessary evils! In fact, maybe not even necessary!

Violating a primary rule of respect, she quickly offers the "man" some advice! Here's how Daniel spoke to King Nebuchadnezzar, even after the "lions' den" incident: "Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever." Daniel 6:21

And here's Paul speaking to some Roman governors, "We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness." And, "But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." Neither were called just "men!" Acts 24:3 and 26:5

Huldah lacked such respect!

Age does not erase one's responsibility in  cases like this.

Nor does sex.

Nor social position.

1st Peter 2:17, although witten much later, is even more explicit. "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."

Especially the King! He is mentioned specifically!

Several "breakdowns" in spiritual discernment have occurred for things to progress this far!

Josiah was far too imprecise in asking for help.

Then, his advisors were completely inept, apparently going the convenient route only! Huldah was quite nearby! That's the old "go to the Church in your neighborhood" argument! I'm not going there if they do not preach the Word of God! Drive fifty miles if necessary, but get good Preaching!

The King should have read more of the Scroll! In it, the Books of Moses, these Prophets would have been identified; "Abraham" in Genesis 20:7, "Aaron" in Exodus 7:1, and prophetically "Jesus" in Deuteronomy 18:18. All indeed are men. However, one lady is mentioned, Miriam Sister of Moses, "And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea." They, here in Exodus 15:20, sang a hymn of victory! She did not preach! She did not advise! She did not predict the future! She praised God! That's called "testifying" today! Ladies can do all that they desire!

Had Jeremiah been consulted, the real Prophet of that hour, the results would have been different!

Again I say it today, it does matter where you get your spiritual counsel! Be sure your Preacher is Biblically qualified! He must live in communion with God!

Jeremiah once was asked, "Is there any word from the LORD?" A King posed this question nonetheless! King Zedekiah in Jeremiah 37:17.

But far from flattering the King, like Huldah did, "Jeremiah said, There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon."

Bad news for this King!

But true!

Give me the Truth, even if it hurts!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The woman was preaching, the first example of such a thing in all the Bible!

She had been consulted by King Josiah, needing to hear a message from Heaven!

Her words are recorded for us: "Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah." 2nd Chronicles 34:24

Huldah, this prophetess, has God saying, "Behold, I will bring evil upon this place." But in using my concordance I cannot locate God using these exact words, not anywhere in the Pentateuch, the Books of Moses that had been recently found during the Temple renovation.

However, I can find a real Preacher using these words, these exact words! Read with me Jeremiah 19:1-3. "Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests. And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, and say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle." I have capitalized Jeremiah's words, words which apparently were plagiarized by Huldah.

If one is not a God-called Preacher, she would have to devise words to be placed in the Lord's Mouth! And what better place to get them than another man's sermons? This is not the only time Huldah "borrows" Jeremiah's words either, not even in this one short sermon!

Now truthfully Huldah did utilize one Mosaic quote, "all the curses." Deuteronomy 29:27 records God's threats to a disobedient nation, "And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: and the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day."

Don't misunderstand me.

What Huldah says here is true. God does judge sin!

But later in her sermon she states some things that prove to be untrue!

In reality she mixes truth with error, presenting the truth first!

Did you hear that?

Some truth, some error!

That's what the devil always does too!

That's the mark of false religion.

And false prophets!

Huldah, whose very name means "weasel," will soon promise Josiah the King that he will die in peace, thereby giving him false hope concerning his later days!

This lie so altered the King's lifestyle that he eventually dies as a result of an ill-advised military campaign, one which he no doubt entered thinking that he was invincible!

After all, he had a promise from God, or at least from a prophetess who said she knew God! A promise of a peaceful death!

It can cost, cost dearly, to listen to the wrong kind of preaching!

Don't tell me what some other preacher said!

Tell me what God said!

Not to do so is dishonest!

Yes, God's judgment did fall upon sinful, rebellious Judah!

But King Josiah did NOT die in peace!

Do what you wish. Be politically correct and inoffensive and pluralistic all you care! But for me and my house, we will not sit under the ministry of a woman preacher!


                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




We are joining a sermon "already in progress!"

The Preacher is a woman.

Without Biblical precedent or authority from God, Huldah is set to advise King Josiah of Judah.

The Monarch has just found a lost copy of the Scriptures! Likely the Pentateuch, the five Books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy.

Josiah is especially disturbed by the curses promised in the Book, to be meted upon those who have disobeyed God's Law.

His Nation is "in line" for a time of severe chastisement, at least according to Moses!

Here's part of what Huldah told him, part of her sermon. This pericope is also our Verse for today. Herein Huldah speaks for God Himself! "Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched." 2nd Chronicles 34:25

The verb "forsaken" is "azab" in Hebrew and means "to leave or depart or abandon." In the King James Text it is "refuseth" one time. "They have forsaken Me," the clause itself, is a valid quote from Almighty God! It is found in places like 1st Samuel 8:8 (Samuel the Prophet) and 1st Kings 11:33 (Ahijah the Prophet) and twice in Jeremiah! Of course Huldah has already once copied Jeremiah word-for-word.

Here's how real preaching sounds! "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13

And, "Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; they have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter." Jeremiah 19:4-6

Now, back to Huldah's composition.

The "burning of incense" is nothing short of idolatry. Worshipping false gods! Isaiah used this expression in His great prophecy, "Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom." Isaiah 65:7

The verb "burn incense" is "qatar" in Hebrew. It usually refers to the fragrance emitted during a ritual of worship. However, at times it can reflect merely the sacrifice itself. In each of these instances it is framed as a piel verb, expressing intense action!

But, get this. Jeremiah in his preaching uses the string "have burned incense" five times! Again, all are piel or intensive forms, vigorous action!

"And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands." Jeremiah 1:16

"Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; to make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head." Jeremiah 18:15-16

And again, "Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents ...." Jeremiah 19:4

"And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods." Jeremiah 19:13

"Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day." Jeremiah 44:23

The same thing holds true with Huldah's expression "provoke to anger!" Little know Prophets like Ahijah (1st Kings 14:9) and Jehu the son of Hanani (1st Kings 16:2) used it. But Jeremiah nearly popularized the clause, using it seven times in His Prophecy of 52 chapters! For proof, see Jeremiah 7:18 and 7:17 and 11:17 and 25:7 and 32:29 and 32:32 and 44:3.

By the way, "provoke to anger" or "kaas" means "to be grieved, to be indignant, to be wroth," that kind of idea. It's a hiphil verb, indicating "causative" action. There is a reason behind God's being so upset, Judah's sins!

However, when "wrath" is used as a noun later in the verse, "My wrath shall be poured out," the Hebrew "chemah" is used, meaning something "hot"or "boiling" or even "poison!" And "poured out" or "nathak" can imply "dropped, melted or even rained!"

Even Huldah's remarks about God's wrath which "shall not be quenched" were Jeremiah-isms originally! If not from Isaiah that is!

"Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched." Jeremiah 7:20

"But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched." Jeremiah 17:27

This lady's whole sermon is borrowed!

If alive today, she would be labeled a plagiarist!

I once heard a great Preacher ask a group of younger Men of God this question. "Do you want to be a voice, or just an echo?" A voice listens to God and speaks originally. An echo merely copies someone else!

Huldah was an echo!

As you go to Church today, I pray you will hear a Man of God who has spent the week in the Lord's Presence, basking in the Light of His Divine Glory! A Man of God overflowing with nuggets gleaned from above! Authority! Power! Spiritual discernment!

Real exposition of the Word, the Holy Scriptures!

Not a re-hash of Dr. Somebody's philosophy and psychology from the latest politically correct publication!

And, if you do, if you hear a real Preacher, tell him how very much you appreciate what he represents!


                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The previous five lessons have, in accordance with the Word of God, placed a negative emphasis on the preaching of this prophetess named Huldah.

However, the next section of her "sermon" does include an interesting exchange of words.

Here's what I mean. Huldah goes on, "And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the Lord, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard; because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD." 2nd Chronicles 34:26-27

Notice the words I have italicized and capitalized!

Here's one lesson we are being taught. King Josiah, a godly man anyway, heard God's Words, having been read to him from the newly found Law! Then, in turn, God heard Josiah's words!

God often responds to His people reciprocally!

For example, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." James 4:8

Or, "Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, them that honour me I will honour." 1st Samuel 2:30

To this can be added, "Those who hear God respectfully and humbly will be heard by God when they cry unto Him!"

So says Huldah!

And she is right!

Here's my point today. A Preacher can have a lot of things wrong with his life. He's human! And you may not, and probably should not, place yourself or your family under his or her ministry ... but still, as he or she handles God's Word, often some beautiful truths are uncovered! 

These "nuggets" one discovers at the feet of a questionable preacher are probably not the result of his or her diligence! God cannot anoint an unqualified Servant!

No! The beautiful facts you have gleaned are simply flowing from the Word of God!

Even a rusty plow can unearth some good potatoes occasionally!

But again, it's because of the Book, not the Preacher!

I once heard a wise old Preacher say that you could get some chicken, sometimes whole pieces, out of a garbage dumpster too! But the meat just might not be worth the stench necessary to locate it!

Also, in today's verse, note this. Huldah is not exceedingly gifted with humility!  Listen to her, "And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the LORD, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard ..." 2nd Chronicles 34:26

No doubt sincerely, but sincerely wrong, this prophetess believes she is speaking the words of God! Say to him, the King, "Thus saith the Lord!"

Yet all Huldah does is quote other sources than God! Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, especially Jeremiah, very frequently! Good sources, but not Divine sources!

This reminds me of what Jesus later said in Matthew 7:22, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?" Whereupon Jesus will answer, "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

All preachers/prophets/prophetesses/singers/teachers who say "Thus saith the Lord" are not right!

Not authentic!

They have mistaken God's words!

And the words Huldah is about to deliver for King Josiah, words he took to heart and obeyed, led to his untimely death!

Premature death!

Oh, that Josiah the day he dispatched this committee "to enquire of the Lord" would have specified the Preacher he wanted to hear!

Had he only sought Jeremiah!

Then, he might have lived years longer!

The Revival might have deepened and continued for some time!

Oh, for the need of more godly Expositors, Preachers of the Word!

God-called and God- qualified ones!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Sadly, Jeremiah 23:21 is in the Bible! "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied."




There are two views of things spiritual.

One is called theocentric and the other is anthropocentric.

Briefly defined, theocentric means God-centered. The Greek word for Deity is "theos." See in that stem words like theology and theologian and even theosophy.

And, conversely, anthropocentric means man-centered. Again, the Greek word for mankind is "anthropos." In English we use related terms like anthropology and anthropologist and anthropomorphism.

Today's Bible Verse, taken from the "sermon" of a bogus Old Testament prophet, prophetess really, named Huldah, will illustrate our two new words.

She says, sending her message back to King Josiah, "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD." 2nd Chronicles 34:27

Let's just notice the psychology of this Text.

It certainly focuses on the King!

Every bit as much as it focuses on God!

In other words; King, you are so good!

Your heart is tender! This is "rakak" in Hebrew and means "soft." He is not hard-hearted.

You are humble! "Kana" means "brought low, subdued," and is a spiritual compliment indeed!

King, you are a wonderful listener too! "Shama," the Hebrew word for "heard," means not only to perceive, but to obey what has been received!

Thou has rent thy clothes, using "qara," the verb that means "to rip or tear" something. This is a good sign spiritually! Outright and complete repentance is being indicated!

King, you also have wept before God, "to cry aloud, to shed tears," so means "bakah" in Hebrew.

Five positive things ... in a row!

Now hear me.

No man is that good!

Not one negative thing is even hinted!

This comes dangerously close to what Paul called scratching "itching ears." Patting each other on our backs!

The very "heart" of the prophetic office in Scripture is to reprove and rebuke sin, wherever it is found, even on the royal throne!

Here is the classic Biblical mandate for a Prophet, a real prophet of God: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isaiah 58:1

Such commissions are repeated often throughout Scripture!

But not Huldah, not her!

Not when it comes to the King!

He will hear sweet words!

It can not denied that Josiah was a good man, and a good King, but he was not that good!

Now, in all fairness to Huldah, the preacher here, she did earlier mention some of the sins of Judah, the Nation! But it seems that their Leader, the King, had none!

That is man-centered preaching!

This must be said with respect, the King is one of God's anointed men, but Josiah raised some wicked sons! Jehoahaz reigned briefly after his father's death. But he was a wicked man! Then Jehoiakim, another son of Josiah's assumed the throne, also an ungodly man. Then Josiah's grandson began to reign, again a wicked man, Jehoiachin by name.

A dynasty of unfaithfulness!

All that is being said is this, no man is perfect!

And a Prophet of God, of all people, is to show us where we are weak and need to grow spiritually!

This Huldah did not do!

She may have been more interested in impressing the King!

Theocentric or anthropocentric?

What kind of preaching do you hear week after week?

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Here's God's "Test" for a Prophet. When he speaks prophetically, the thing he has forecast must come to pass! Otherwise, he is not a true Prophet of God!

Read how Moses explained it to the Israelites. "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:22

If the prophecies are not fulfilled, you are dealing with a fake!

By the way, notice that the sole pronoun used of this Prophet is "him!" That's masculine! Also, the noun used for "prophet" is in the masculine gender, both times!

Yes, Bible Prophets were men!

But we have been studying a woman who says she is a Prophet! Huldah is her name. "Chuldah" in Hebrew means "a weasel," of all things!

Here are some of her prophecies, one verse full anyway. Let's see how well she does with accuracy.

From Huldah to King Josiah, "Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again." 2nd Chronicles 34:28

The essence of Huldah's prediction is this, "Thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace." 

Let's subject this part of her preaching to the "Prophet Test" as outlined by the Lord!

Did this prophecy happen?

Did King Josiah die in peace?


No, he did not!

Here's how it ended for Josiah, godly as he was. "After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah." 2nd Chronicles 35:20-24

Josiah did not die in peace!

Any way you "spin" it, he died violently!

That, folks, is called an unfulfilled prophecy!

And it says a lot about this prophetess named Huldah.

Personally I believe good King Josiah entered that confrontation with Pharaoh Necho ... believing that he would not die! That he could not die! Feeling invincible and safe!

Why would he feel that way?

Because a prophetess of God had sent him direct word that he would "die in peace!"

This was a promise of God, Huldah claimed!

But ... Huldah was wrong!

And King Josiah is dead!

Wrong preaching is dangerous.

Be careful whom you hear!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Here they are.

The prophetesses of the Bible.

"And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances." Exodus 15:20 calls Mirian, sister of Moses and Aaron, a "prophetess." But a careful study of her life reveals that all she did was sing, write songs, and grumble! The grumbling episode was against Moses the Man of God and is recorded in Numbers 12. By the way, the name Miriam means "rebellion" according to a major Bible dictionary!

Then we meet Deborah. "And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time." Judges 4:4 and its context nowhere tell us that Deborah preached! She was a political leader, granted, but even then worked hand-in-hand Barak the soldier and Lapidoth her husband. And once we arrive in Hebrews 11, the Bible's great chapter of faith, she is overlooked completely! "And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of BARAK, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets." Hebrews 11:32 could be attributed to male chauvinism or some patriarchal viewpoint, but that would deny the inspiration of the Bible! God wrote the Book of Hebrews! The name Deborah means "bee."

Then we have been studying Huldah, the prophetess who killed King Josiah! That's about all that needs to be said about her effectiveness! Oh yes, Huldah as a name means "weasel."

But here's a woman prophet often never mentioned. "My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear." Here is a list of Nehemiah's major enemies in rebuilding Jerusalem! Tobiah and Sanballat are God-haters from long ago! But this Noadiah is a woman, a prophetess! Her name, deceptively, means "meeting with Jehovah." But she sought to frustrate one of the greatest building projects of all history, Nehemiah's rebuilding the walls of the great city of Jerusalem! The future capital of the world! You can tell a lot about a person by his or her enemies!

Then there is Isaiah's wife! "And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz." Isaiah 8:3 is merely calling Sister Isaiah, the wife of the Prophet by a tender and loving "nickname." There is not one shred of Bible evidence to suggest that Isaiah's wife was a preacher! She was his faithful companion who bore him two sons. Feminists can't go to this one for any Bible validation.

Then to the New Testament, we find Anna, the lady who was so thrilled to see Baby Jesus! "And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day." Luke 2:36-37 gives her genealogy, her marital status, her age, and her record of serving the Lord, but no preaching is mentioned! However, after seeing Jesus she did become quite a witness, something every Christian is supposed to be! "And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." But even then, Anna's testimony is "balanced" by that of Simeon. "And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." Now, that's discernment, Luke 2:25-32.

Here's a Bible Text that might be called problematic for those who frown on prophetesses! "And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles." Acts 21:8-11 has been quoted. Certainly, Philip had four daughters who did prophesy. But we have already seen that the term often means to sing or testify or play musical instruments, all for the glory of God! Plus, look at the Text. These girls were immediately ignored by the Lord and a prophet named Agabus came to Paul and delivered the real Sermon! How plain can a Passage be?

And let's not forget the Corinthian women, a few of them anyway! Paul, instructing his most troublesome congregation, writes: "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven." 1st Corinthians  11 is here giving some guidelines for the orderly conduct of a Church service. Again, the verb "prophesy" can indicate something as innocent as testifying or singing or even offering a brief word of encouragement. It need not mean preaching! Here, in fact, it does not! And do remember this, no prophesying women are mentioned in Philippi or Thessalonica, Paul's more mature congregations! It's the carnal Corinthians who are delving into such issues! It is also here that the ladies seem to have been often out-of-order! Thus Paul had to later write, "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak."

Then lastly, in Revelation 2:20, to the Church at Thyatira our Lord says, "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." Now here's another prophetess! Just one problem, the Lord opposes her! She encourages the saints of God to commit some type of fornication! She is doctrinally and practically wrong!

All I am trying to say is this. We had better be careful where we get our spiritual advice! The Preacher you hear week after week should be a Man of God who is saved, Spirit-filled, called, and qualified ... powerfully preaching the Word of God! Standing for righteousness and against sin!

Prophetesses in the Bible are not presented in a good light.

I do not mean this Study to be mean-spirited. But I have a Bible mandate to be truthful and honest, preaching the whole counsel of God. Paul did so to the Ephesians, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." Acts 20:27

Truthfully, in Isaiah chapter three, God indicates that once a Nation begins losing her moral standards, slipping into apostasy, a number of social indicators will surface. First, her wise leaders will be moved off the scene! "For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem ... the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator." Then, God adds, "And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable." Authority, order and respect crumble! The Nation's leaders are here called "children" and "babes," due to their childish ways and lack of wisdom! Then comes the bombshell as far as radical feminism goes. The Lord continues, "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them." It's a sign of judgment from God when women rule a land. I did not say this. God did!

But do remember Psalm 11:3, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" I fear they are about destroyed in America! That's why things look as bleak as they do.

And Psalm 9:17 is still in the Bible. It is written about Nations, too! "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."

So says the Lord.


                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Text is quite unfamiliar to many Christians. It was to me. Ezekiel the Prophet relates the incident. He is the "son of man" to whom the Lord here speaks. "Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them." Some women prophets, prophetesses I guess, are mentioned, Ezekiel 13:17.

But notice what they are doing in the next verse! "And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?"

Sewing pillows to armholes ... some type of sorcery or witchcraft meant to bring "good luck" ... and kerchiefs, veils apparently ... to protect from death! This verse implies that these prophetesses actually can bring life or death to their subjects, their devotees!

Ezekiel 13:19 continues, "And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?" These wicked women, so-called preachers mind you, "desecrate or prostitute or wound" God's people, the Jews! These are the listed meanings of the Hebrew verb "chalal," translated "pollute" in our Text.

But, they want pay for their work, money! Yet, conversely, they work cheaply too! Handfuls of barley! Just a few pieces of bread! Curses or blessings ... for sale!

They, upon proper payment, promptly kill people who should live and spare people who should die! The power of Satan! Demonic!

God will judge these prophetesses! These who "catch" God's people in nets and snares as fowlers would catch birds in Bible days. That's the idea behing "fly" in Ezekiel 13:20. "Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly." To "tear" is "to rip or cut or rend" something, "qara" in Hebrew. God is displeased!

More from the Almighty, "Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the LORD."

And the result of such wicked prophesying? Twofold! "Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life." Ezekiel 13:22 calls them liars! They have both saddened the true followers of the Lord and encouraged the wicked to continue in their ungodly ways! Perhaps bad preaching always accomplishes these two terrible things.

Also this idea of "promising life" gets political! If these people will obey the prophetesses and pay them and accept their charms or armbands and veils or caps ... the Babylonians, the enemies of Judah ... will not harm them! They, these women, are really promising peace "When there is no peace!" Here's Jeremiah 8:11, "For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace."

Finally God says, "Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD." God apparently removes their power here in verse 23. This verb "see" translates "chazah" and means "to prophesy" as well as "to behold." Hence, the occupation "seer," a synonym for prophet. All their so-called "preaching" is here termed "vanity." It means, "shav" in Hebrew, "emptiness." And "divine divinations" is a double ""qasam qesem," witchcraft of witchcrafts! Despicably wicked in God's Eyes! Here's God's Law in the matter, "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer." The word from Deuteronomy 18 that I've capitalized is "qesem."

God has spoken!

In His Word I mean.

I've only included this Biblical account from Ezekiel 13 to further illustrate the danger of prophetesses as presented in the Bible!

Avoid them!

God calls men to preach, not women.


                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



Several facts still need to be mentioned.

Back in 2nd Chronicles 34:21, the first verse of our Text, King Josiah had the Scriptures in his possession, yet needed further help understanding them. He needed a Preacher to explain what he had read. So did the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. "And Philip ran thither to him (the eunuch),and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him."

So did the people in Nehemiah's day. "So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading." Nehemiah 8:8 here expresses the very basis for expository preaching!

Josiah did right by seeking help, but wrong by seeking it from the most convenient person, from Huldah the prophetess.

Then again, how did Hudah rise to such an elevated position in the Kingdom? I suspect the answer is political! Note her residence and the occupation of her husband. "And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college: and they spake to her to that effect." This "wardrobe" is either that of the King or of the Priests! Both men in control! Her husband knew the most powerful men in the country! An influential position! And whatever "college" means, it's in the inner City, the Capital of the Nation! Where the "movers" and the "shakers" live and work! Politics is NOT the way to choose a Preacher! The Holy Spirit of God should lead in that area!

But now do remember this. Huldah did not violently oppose Jeremiah the Prophet. She merely ignored him. Jeremiah did have enemies too! Pashur, an ungodly priest, fought Jeremiah and physically harmed him! See Jeremiah chapter 20. The weeping Prophet also had an outright confrontation with a false prophet named Hananiah in Jeremiah 28. That's right. No "fights" occurred between Jeremiah and Hudah, none mentioned in Scripture. Yet not openly opposing someone is not the same thing as being in favor of him either! Anyway, Jeremiah is slighted and Huldah is exalted in our Text. A very bad decision for King Josiah as we saw.

Then look at this. Again referring to Jeremiah 28, Hananiah the false prophet, the royal "hired" court preacher, opposed Jeremiah and soon died for his rebellion! While godly King Josiah obeyed Huldah the prophetess and painfully died in the process, even after she promised him otherwise! This surely shows us where the Lord placed His premium, on Jeremiah the God-called one!

And here's what happened to Preachers in Jeremiah's day, Prophets who did not please the King! "And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah: and when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt; and Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt. And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people." Here in Jeremiah 26:20-23 Urijah died. While Huldah lived and prospered!

Lastly think of the suffering Jeremiah endured, again and again! "Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words." Jeremiah 18:18

"Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD." Jeremiah 20:2

"For then the king of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house." Jeremiah 32:2

And Jeremiah 38:6, "Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire."

But with this woman preacher, "Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum, keeper of the wardrobe; now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college," royal wardrobes and collegiate surroundings, luxury and plenty! No suffering!

Yet Paul would later say, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2nd Timothy 3:12

A life of ease does not always indicate closeness to God! A lack of hardships! No enemies!

Just a few concluding thoughts!

If they don't help you, they do encourage me!

Preachers, stay "in" God's Word!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell






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