Women of the Word: Noadiah

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Around 445/444 B.C., a remnant of Jews who were in Judah were suffering from low morale because the city of Jerusalem had been torn down and no one had the strength or mind to rebuild it. The city still had a temple, but all the walls around the city had been torn down. Jerusalem had no protection from enemy attacks. During this time, a man named Nehemiah, was cup-bearer to the king of Persia, who was called Artaxerxes. (We learned about Artaxerxes’ supportive queen wife in an earlier post.) When Nehemiah heard about the sad state of affairs in Jerusalem, he asked King Artaxerxes for permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city. King Artaxerxes let him do so, even providing him with timber from his own forest.

So, Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem, rallied the people, and in a few weeks they had the walls around Jerusalem rebuilt, giving the city protection from their enemies. However, Nehemiah and those who worked with him, were not without opposition while they worked. They were repeatedly harassed and opposed by two enemies in particular, Tobiah and Sanballat. Also in league with Tobiah and Sanballat was a woman named Noadiah. She was a prophetess.

Thankfully, Nehemiah did not allow himself to be distracted by Tobiah, Sanballat or Noadiah. He simply remained focused on God. Nehemiah 6:14 says that he prayed:

Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.

Nehemiah’s prayer reveals the way in which Noadiah tried to get him to stop his good work. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Huldah

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Huldah is mentioned in 2 Kings 22:13-20 and 2 Chronicles 34. She was the wife of Shallum and is one of the few women, along with Miriam, Deborah, Noadiah, Isaiah’s wife, Anna, and the daughters of Phillip, who are mentioned in the Bible as one of God’s prophetesses. She was respected so much that when the high priest Hilkiah found the lost “Book of the Law” in the Temple, King Josiah sent him to Huldah to find out all he could about the book. They knew Huldah would have a word for them because:

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Women of the Word: Anna

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In the days that Jesus was born in Israel, prophets were rare and prophetesses were even rarer. But that is exactly what Anna was. She is mentioned in Luke 2:36-38 as the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. Anna was an old lady. She had been married for seven years but after her husband died, she remained a widow for eighty-four years. Because of her faithful dedication to God, she was blessed to see His only begotten Son in human form – Jesus the Christ. Here are three things we can learn from the prophetess Anna.

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