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Deborah, Huldah, and Innibana: Constructions of Female Prophecy in the Ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-334
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Ancient Judaism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


King's Authors


In this paper I examine three female prophets: Deborah (Judg 4–5), Huldah (2 Kgs 22 and 2 Chr 34), and Innibana (ARM 26 205). The focus is on how female prophets are constructed in these texts and contexts. For the scholar of the ancient Near East, Huldah looks like a familiar character, with the twist that her authority is constructed differently from that of non-biblical ancient Near Eastern prophets. Deborah’s combination of judge and prophet is even more noticeable in that regard. The construction of Deborah as a woman within Israelite society in that text is rather ambiguous. I argue that this ambiguity is characteristic of Second Temple construction of female prophecy.

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