Photo from Rick Willoughby
There are among us very reliable resources in good friends and wise advisors. Today's first reading would never lead you to the typical "wise advisor," the behind the scenes font of wisdom and support. There is an omission in the presented text about Huldah, a little know prophetess of the Old Testament.
It was this woman who read the book of the law found during temple renovations by the High Priest Hilkiah. The discovered book became the backbone of the Book of Deuteronomy. Hilkiah had taken the book to King Josiah's secretary and read it aloud to him. The content of the book greatly disturbed the king. In these words the king felt he had discovered by the Lord God had visited such destruction upon the people of Judah. Predecessors had not followed stipulations of covenants made with Yahweh. So angered by by his ancestors' failures to live up to covenant agreements, King Josiah ordered the High Priest to take the book to someone to consult God for him and all of Judah.
Hilkiah and others went to the prophetess Huldah. She became the voice of God of Josiah and the people, ultimately earning for them Yahweh's forgiveness. The prophetess reported to Hilkiah that God would not allow the kingdom to be further damaged by conquering heroes. Josiah's disappointment with his ancestors and their behavior, saved the nation from further losses.
Receiving this promise through Huldah, Josiah read the book to all the people and led them in a new covenant agreement with Yahweh. They promised to fulfill the "ordinances, statutes and decrees." In doing this, they renewed the terms of the earlier covenants made with their ancestors.
For us, the "missing verses" in the presentation of the reading, offers us the opportunity to recognize the role that women did offer communities in Old Testament days. Strong women spiritual advisors saved the day for Judah!