Monday, March 12, 2007

The Woman Behind the Wardrobe

Johanna W. H. Bos,
Dora Pierce Professor of Bible and Professor of Old Testament

2 Kings 22:8-17
March 9, 2007

Huldah is a mostly forgotten prophet but a crucial one who authenticates a written document as God's word. She is in the text introduced by her profession, her husband's name and the names of his immediate forefathers as well as her husband's profession, "keeper of the wardrobe." She speaks a word of strong judgment of God against God's people because they have not been faithful to God.

Being faithful to God in ancient Israel, also according to Deuteronomy meant taking care of the stranger, poor women, people without a voice and representation. Today, our communities are trying to change their mentality and practices of inclusion, even as the people of ancient Israel were called to do. We too have fallen short, not just in the past but also in the present. Women have come out from behind the wardrobe, together with Huldah.

Yet, in the light of International Women's Day, celebrated on March 8, we call to mind the fact that more than 400 million women in the world are counted among the unemployed or underemployed and that a great deal still needs to be done to bring down the house of patriarchy and to usher in an age of equality and dignity for women. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.