Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel 080066258X, 9780800662585

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Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel
 080066258X, 9780800662585

Table of contents :
Definitions of Prophet
Technical Vocabulary
Scope and Limitations of Data
Oracles of Female Prophets in Mari
Assyrian (Ninevite) Oracles concerning Esarhaddon
Assyrian (Ninevite) Oracles concerning Ashurbanipal
Female Prophets in Nineveh
Female Prophets in Emar
General Observations on ANE and Israelite Female Prophets
Miriam (Miryam)
Deborah (D'vorah)
Huldah (Chuldah)
HaNeviy'ah (the Anonymous Woman-Prophet)
Daughters Who Prophesy in Ezekiel (Yecheza'el)
Daughters Who Will Prophesy in Joel (Yo'el)
Daughters of Heman
Musical/Funerary Guilds
Scribal Guilds
Navi'/Nevi'ah in Rabbinic Texts
Navi'/Nevi'ah in the Mishnah
Navi'/Nevi'ah in the Midrash
Navi%Nevi'ah in the Talmuds
Prophetis in Early Christian Texts
General Observations from Ancient Near Eastern
and Ancient Israelite Prophetic Literature
Prophetic Constructions
Index of Scripture Citations
Subject/Name Index

Citation preview

Preface Introduction

Definitions of Prophet Technical Vocabulary Religious Intermediaries Summary

Scope and Limitations of Data Oracles of Female Prophets in Mari Female Prophets in Mari Assyrian (Ninevite) Oracles concerning Esarhaddon Assyrian (Ninevite) Oracles concerning Ashurbanipal Female Prophets in Nineveh Female Prophets in Emar General Observations on ANE and Israelite Female Prophets Summary

Miriam (Miryam) Deborah (D'vorah) Huldah (Chuldah) HaNeviy'ah (the Anonymous Woman-Prophet) Daughters Who Prophesy in Ezekiel (Yecheza'el) Daughters Who Will Prophesy in Joel (Yo'el) No'adiah Daughters of Heman Summary

Musical/Funerary Guilds Scribal Guilds Summary

Navi'/Nevi'ah in Rabbinic Texts Navi'/Nevi'ah in the Mishnah Navi'/Nevi'ah in the Midrash Navi%Nevi'ah in the Talmuds Prophetis in Early Christian Texts


General Observations from Ancient Near Eastern and Ancient Israelite Prophetic Literature Prophetic Constructions Summary Abbreviations Endnotes Glossary Index of Scripture Citations Subject/Name Index

To those who taught me: Gene Rice, Alice Ogden Bellis, Roland Murphy, Willie Jennings, Beth LaRocca-Pitts, Melvin H. K. Peters To those who have accompanied me: Barbara Breland, Fred Sherlinder Dobb, Julie Byrne, Joseph Scrivener, Valerie Bridgeman-Davis To those who facilitated production of this manuscript and its illumination: Megan Doherty and Me'irah Minsky And to those who have nurtured me on this journey: Lynn Gottlieb, Joanne Jennings, Sharon Watson-Fluker, Gayle Yee, Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Cheryl Anderson, Stacey and Juan Floyd-Thomas, Lynn Westfield, Paul Rajasheker, Stephen Ray, Minna Scherlinder Morse, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, the Dorshei Derekh Reconstructionist Minyan, Dad, and Jay Thank you all so very much. Blessed are You, Yah our God, Spirit of the Universe, who hovers over the face of the waters and replenishes the well of Miriam the prophet. ABOUT THE COVER ILLUSTRATION BY RABBI ILIINSKY: The prophet Huldah (discussed in chapter 3) sits reading the mysterious scroll found in 2 Kgs 22:8. Since Israel is situated between Africa and Asia, her skin reflects that reality. She is wearing a prayer shawl and ritual fringe (discussed in chapter 2). Her clothing is inspired by contemporary Palestinian dresses.The scroll in the picture has authentic Hebrew writing on it, but some of it is "filler letters." In medieval manuscripts, to keep the edges of the text even,

sometimes a superfluous letter would be inserted to make the side margins line up. Not so in biblical times, when letters would have been extended to fit esthetically, so this would be an anachronism.


IN 2 KGS 22:15-2o,1 HULDAH DECLARED to the king's messengers: So says YHWH, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, "So says YHWH, I am going to bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitantsall the words of the scroll that the king of Judah has read. Because they have abandoned me and have offered incense to other gods, because they have provoked me to anger with all of their handiwork, therefore, my fury will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched." But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of YHWH, so shall you say to him, "So says YHWH, the God of Israel, regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before YHWH, when you heard what I spoke against this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I for my part have heard you, says YHWH. Therefore, I will gather you to your ancestors, and you shall be gathered to your graves in peace;

your eyes shall not see all the calamity that I will bring on this place." - AN UNTOLD NUMBER OF FEMALE PROPHETS Perhaps you have never heard of the woman-prophet Huldah. Perhaps you did not know that there were any female prophets in the Bible. Perhaps you could name Miriam and Deborah, but there are so many more. There is the woman with whom Isaiah fathered a child-with no mention of matrimony in the biblical text. There is the mysterious No'adiah, who not only faced down Nehemiah, but also won over all of the remaining prophets in Jerusalem to her position. Nehemiah was terrified of them. There is a community of womenprophets in Ezekiel who have the power of life and death, preserving the lives of those whom Ezekiel said would die in the name of the LORD and killing those he said would live in God's name. There are untold numbers of female prophets hiding in the masculine grammar and androcentric focus of the Hebrew scriptures. There are womenprophets in the communities around biblical Israel, existing for hundreds of years and even a thousand years before the Israelite and Judean prophets recorded their messages. The rabbinic and Christian fathers analyzed and found more women in the scriptures who function as prophets than the biblical authors identify. Both rabbinic and Christian fathers identify Hannah and Abigail as prophets. The rabbis also add Sarah, Rahab, Rachel, and Esther. Because of their interpretative work, I add Rebekah, the women who guard the wilderness sanctuary (and their guild descendants), Lemuel's queen-mother who composed Proverbs 31, and the musical mourning guild of Jeremiah 9. All of these female prophets have an intimate connection with the God of Israel; they express that connection by singing, dancing, drumming, speaking with and for God, waging war, performing miracles, exercising statecraft, and giving birth. Each of them is a daughter of Miriam, the mother of all women-prophets.

MORE THAN THREE THOUSAND YEARS after the prophet Miriam led the Israelites dancing and drumming across the Sea of Reeds, some Jewish and Christian communities still restrict the role of women in proclamation, leadership, and presence in the pulpit on what they call biblical and traditional grounds. However, the biblical text presents female prophets leading the people of God and proclaiming the word of God unremarkably, as part of the natural order of things. - THE PURPOSE OP THIS BOOK This work seeks to supplement and, in some cases, challenge the existing body of scholarship on Israelite prophecy. Through close readings of the technical vocabulary for prophecy in the biblical texts, I will first examine the broad range of professional religious intermediaries who mediate divine-human encounters. I will begin with the Masoretic Text (MT) as the dominant text tradition for the Hebrew Bible.' However, since there is significant textual plurality for the scriptures of ancient Israel, I will also analyze the relevant passages in the Septuagint (LXX), Samaritan Pentateuch (SP), and versions of the texts found at Qumran (collectively called the Dead

Sea Scrolls [DSS]), along with the Aramaic Targumim, when relevant. Next, I will consider female prophets as a special category of professional intermediary religious functionaries in ancient Israel and the ancient Near East (ANE) through historical-critical and tradition-critical readings of texts in which they appear. Some of the questions I will consider are as follows: Who are the female prophets in ancient Israel? Which women do biblical authors and later communities in which the texts were preserved, collected, edited, and disseminated identify as prophets? What activities fall under the prophetic rubric(s) of ancient Israel? Who are (some of) the female prophets in the AND What activities fall under the prophetic rubric(s) of the AND Additionally, I will consider the natural, cultural, political, and religious stimuli that may have led individuals to seek women intermediaries on behalf of themselves or others. This work is not without challenges, because most of the academic literature of the post-Enlightenment West presents the prophet as a religious functionary with an intermediary role that largely excludes the category "woman."A close examination of the nature and function of ancient female and male Israelite prophets indicates that such constructions, with their appeals to the Hebrew Bible and superimposed systemic gender bias, are deeply flawed. Because biblical scholarship has produced narrow definitions of prophecy that regularly exclude many individuals historically considered to be prophets, prophecy will be explored and defined in terms of prophetic practices recorded in biblical and Assyrian prophetic literature.2lhis focus aims to recognize all women and men the biblical text calls prophets. - WHAT MAKES A BIBLICAL PROPHET? The biblical text uses the terms navi' (male prophet) and nevi'ah (female prophet) to describe people who engage in a broad range of interpretive practices and inquiry techniques. Deuteronomy 18:18-19

describes prophets, as established by YHWH, to be divine spokespersons who speak in God's name. Deuteronomy 18:20 indicates the existence of prophets for other gods and proscribes this practice. This verse also identifies prophets who say they speak for God but speak their own words, even though their prophecies may cost them their lives. The Torah calls four named individuals navi%nevi'ah. God identifies Abraham as a prophet who can preserve a life through prayer in Gen 20:7. In Exod 7:1, Aaron becomes the prophet of Moses. Aaron is to repeat YHWH's words mediated through Moses; he never hears directly from YHWH. The biblical text does not refer to Moses as a prophet until Deut 34:10, where he is identified as the preeminent Israelite prophet. Although he is not named prophet until the end of Deuteronomy, several biblical passages present Moses as the preeminent and prototypical prophet, one who has unparalleled intimate access to YHWH-face-to-face, literally mouth-to-mouth, and as a wonder worker. Exodus 15:20-21 designates Miriam as a prophet and describes her as a singer, dancer, and percussionist. In addition to these four, Num 11:26-30 describes Eldad and Medad, who are among those wandering in the wilderness, as prophesying ecstatically. Numbers 12:6 and Deut 13:1-5 mention unnamed, unnumbered prophets. The authors of the Nevi'im (Prophets) identify considerably more individuals as prophets. Deborah is called a prophet in Judg 4:4; she is also a judge and commander of a military expedition. In the Former Prophets, prophets are the religious practitioners formerly known as seers.' Also in Judg 6:8, YHWH uses an anonymous prophet to proclaim deliverance from the Midianites through a formulaic oracle. In the first book bearing his name, the prophet Samuel is characterized as particularly trustworthy, evoking the memory of Moses. His intimate experience of divine self-disclosure in 1 Samuel 3 reifies the comparison. The prophets Gad, Nathan, Jonah, Isaiah, and Huldah serve as royal advisors. Ahijah serves as a kingmaker, receives personal communication from YHWH (like

Samuel and Nathan), and possibly archives his prophecies. An anonymous prophet in 1 Kings 13 deceives another religious practitioner into deviating from the divinely dictated parameters of his mission and then pronounces a lethal judgment against the equally anonymous "man of God" on behalf of YHWH. In 1 Kings 16, the prophet Jehu receives a divine disclosure in a manner similar to Moses. Elijah and Elisha are a master-disciple pair of wonderworking prophets whose saga spans 1 Kings 17-2 Kings 13. In addition to proclaiming the word of YHWH, their exploits include causing and ending drought, bringing fire from heaven, contrasting the power of YHWH with the powerlessness of Baal and Asherah, executing discredited prophets, making kings, multiplying meager food stores, healing, preventing miscarriages, and raising the dead. Before his ascension to heaven in a chariot of fire, Elijah also designates Elisha as his prophetic successor. An anonymous prophet serves as a kingmaker in the story in 1 Kgs 20:13-43; he is accompanied by another unnamed prophet who helps him act out his prophecy (20:35). The prophet Micaiah dissents from the opinion of the larger prophetic community when advising the king of Israel and is struck by an opposing prophet, Zedekiah, in 1 Kgs 22.4 There are also prophetic guilds, beney-hannevi'im, literally "children" or "disciples of the prophets" (or more rarely bevel nevi'im, literally "herd" or "company of prophets"),5 with an unknown number of members,' whom the biblical authors regularly characterize with ecstasy so extreme some individuals call it mantic. The Latter Prophets contain oracles of persons the biblical text identifies as prophets in Israel and Judah; however, most individuals never identify themselves as prophets.? Rather, a narrator or editor applies that designation in the third person. First Isaiah includes prophets on a list of religious practitioners and social leaders whom YHWH will remove from Judah (Isa 3:1-5). The corpus of Isaiah refers to prophets in general but with harsh terminology.' The only individual prophet to whom Isaiah refers is the female prophet with whom he had conceived a child; she escapes his condemnation (8:3). Jeremiah also speaks disparagingly of other prophets, with the

exception of himself and of those who came before him (presumably both female and male prophets).9 Jeremiah 26-29 consists of tirades against prophets in general; chapter 28 in its entirety is a tirade against the prophet Hananiah. The text of Jeremiah credits one prophet, Uriah ben Shemaiah, with prophesying in "words like those of Jeremiah"; it is not surprising that Jeremiah has nothing negative to say about him. In Ezek 13:15-17, YHWH appears to condemn all prophets in the book of Ezekiel, including the "daughters of the people, who prophesy"; Ezekiel himself is the notable exception. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel both deliver oracular prophecy and perform sign-action, or symbolic, prophecy. Some of the activities these prophets perform include constructing, carrying, and wearing props. Isaiah's demonstrative prophecy includes the conception and naming of at least two children with instructive names: She'ar Yashuv (A Remnant Shall Return) and Maher Shalal Hash Baz (Quickly Ravage, Speedily Plunder).'° Ezekiel lies on his side in the dirt for 390 days, eats food cooked over dung, shaves his head, weighs and burns his hair, packs a bag and digs a hole though a wall, and does not mourn the death of his wife. In Jeremiah 13, the prophet places a worn loincloth in a rock and allows it to partially decay before using it as a sermonic object lesson. The authors of the Book of the Twelve both praise and condemn prophets.' They understand prophets to be sentinels and pair them with other religious people, lay and professional, such as Nazirites, priests, and judges. Joel 3:1 (NRSV 2:28) presents prophecy as an activity that will continue into the eschaton and be performed by women and men, elders and young people, free and enslaved persons. Amos 7:14 indicates that identity as a prophet or even association with a prophetic guild could be considered undesirable. Zechariah chapters, which scholars regularly attribute to another prophet, conveniently named the Second Zechariah, has an overwhelmingly negative perspective of the prophets as divine spokespersons whose ministry is largely past, while First Zechariah refers to the earlier prophets and their words several times. The last reference to a prophet in the Book of the Twelve is to Elijah, who is

prophesied to return to Israel just before the "Day of YHWH" in Malachi 3:23 (NRSV 4:5), as the forerunner to the Messiah. In 1 Chr 25:1-3, in the Kethuvim (Writings), the temple musicians who are in the guilds (or families) of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun are described as prophesying with their musical instruments. The author of 2 Chr 12:5-15 presents the prophet Shemaiah as a royal counselor. Second Chronicles 9, 12, and 13 describe Iddo the seer/ prophet as recording his prophetic visions in archives. The narratives that are largely duplications of those in the Deuteronomistic History present Nathan (1 Samuel 13; 2 Samuel 7-12; 1 Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 17,29), Gad (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 23,29), and Huldah (2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34). Furthermore, 2 Chr 20:37 describes Eliezer, son of Dodavahu of Mareshah, as prophesying against King Jehoshaphat. Second Chronicles 25:15 designates an anonymous would-be royal advisor as a prophet. The prophet Oded negotiates the release of two hundred Judeans taken captive by the Israelites in 2 Chr 28:9-15. The prophet Jeremiah is mentioned in 2 Chr 36:12 as an advisor to King Zedekiah of Judah. Ezra 5:1 and 6:14 mention the prophets Haggai and Zechariah as the rebuilders of Jerusalem after the exile. The book of Nehemiah portrays the female prophet No'adiah as the leader of the prophetic opposition to the prophet Nehemiah (6:14). In the book of Lamentations, the prophets are blind, deceptive, and iniquitous (see 2:9,14; 4:13). Daniel 9 presents the prophets, who spoke the oracles of YHWH, as a past phenomenon. This brief review of the canonical treatment of prophets indicates several things. First, women engage in prophecy in all three parts of the Hebrew canon. Although oracular discourse, particularly accompanied by formulas such as "so says YHWH" and "an oracle ofYHWH," is the dominant expression of prophecy, there is a broad range of activities the prophets of Israel and Judah undertake. These activities include engaging in intercessory prayer, dancing, drumming, singing, giving and interpreting laws, delivering oracles on behalf of YHWH (sometimes in ecstasy, sometimes

demonstratively), resolving disputes, working wonders, mustering troops and fighting battles, archiving their oracles in writing, and experiencing visions. Perhaps not every action undertaken by a prophet is itself prophetic, but there is still a wide range of behavior that is expressly characterized as prophetic by the use of n-b-'. Examples would include the following: Miriam's singing, dancing, and drumming, Ezekiel's yearlong sign-action prophecy while lying on the ground, Jeremiah's soiledloincloth-as-object-lesson, the oracles of Habakkuk and Huldah, the children conceived by Isaiah and the anonymous woman-prophet, and the mantic ecstasies of the band of prophets. The Hebrew scriptures are the primary written source for analysis of religious practices of the ancient Israelites; however, they represent a narrow, sectarian, and androcentric perspective. Therefore, they do not accurately reflect the religious experiences of all ancient Israelite women and men throughout the millennium the Hebrew Bible encompasses. In addition, the male focus of most of the texts has led their initial and subsequent interpreters, in separate and overlapping religious and academic bodies, to produce an interpretive tradition that is dismissive of the few women whom the Hebrew Bible designates as prophets. Androcentrism, and in some cases outright misogyny, has fostered the investigation of male prophets as the primary, if not the sole, objects of study in work on biblical prophecy." Women-Prophets in Modern Scholarship Until the last few decades, men have carried out the vast majority of biblical scholarship and interpretation of the biblical text. This has resulted in a tendency toward androcentric, patriarchal, and misogynist translations of the biblical texts, with similar trends in scholarship about the texts and their cultural context. These biases include the hermeneutical practices applied to and extended from the text and institutions that claim the text and its narratives as their

organizing and authoritative basis. This trend has construed the prophetic vocation, in particular, as primarily masculine either by ignoring female prophets or by applying criteria that categorize female prophets as irregular, extraordinary, or misidentified. This is largely true of scholarship from the nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, and it continues in some form into the twenty-first century. A notable early exception is Walther Eichrodt, who observes that the text reserves Deborah's judgments for those cases in which "the local judiciary was at a loss and where she, under the authority of a God-inspired seer, was able to give a decision."" He further finds that her title "Mother in Israel," places Deborah "on a par with the priest who is given the title 'ab, father. 1113 Classical scholars on the prophets such as Gerhard von Rad and Abraham Heschel do not even mention the female prophets in their seminal texts." Hierarchical understandings of race, class, and gender (and other constructed particularities) naturally impacted biblical studies in the twentieth century. These broader theological and ideological concerns were brought to bear on biblical discourse by both female and male African American, African diasporic, European-American, and European scholars who prioritized these intersecting realities as matrices through which the scriptures were read and interpreted. These scholars read through Jewish, Christian, and nonsectarian lenses. The bulk of this work is Western, with a significant concentration of North American scholarship. Spanish-speaking feminista and mujerista theologians developed similar interpretive paradigms for their contexts. In addition to continuing the conversations sketched out a century earlier, twenty-first-century biblical scholarship is also characterized by a plurality of voices reexamining standardized categories and asking new questions with gender, sexuality, and women's experiences at the center. One group of conversation partners engaged in woman-focused scholarship includes the voices of

feminist and womanist biblical scholars, sometimes in dialogue with scholars in the African diaspora. Some examples of how feminists have shifted the scholarly discussion about prophetic identity include several treatments of Deborah. Denise Carmody focuses on God's rejection of patriarchy in choosing a woman to lead the nation and its armies.15 Mieke Bal focuses on the use of poetry in rendering justice and celebrating military victories, the links between poetry and prophecy, the role of mothers in memory making, and the use of the spoken word to order chaos.I6 Jo Ann Hackett details the ways in which interpreters of Judges have reassigned the leadership role from Deborah to Barak, regularly presuming that he is her husband, Lappidoth." She emphasizes that the assumption that the phrase "woman of Lappidoth" from Judg 4:4 is a reference to a marriage partner (it is often translated as "wife of Lappidoth") is a highly contested one. While some global feminists using biblical studies to do theology have also found the Deborah narrative in Judges to be extremely productive, contemporary liberationist and womanist scholars give little attention to the prophet Deborah." One notable exception is Maria Stewart, the first American woman abolitionist to give public lectures-and arguably a proto-feminist-who maintained that she, like the prophet Deborah, was a woman, and her God was also the God of Deborah. As such, she too was divinely commissioned to speak publicly.'9 Womanism and feminism are intersecting ideological approaches that prioritize gender but differ widely on the prioritization of race and class in biblical scholarship. African American liberationist discourses share chronology with feminism, and class and race concerns with womanism. Womanist, feminist, and liberationist scholars have regularly treated one text, Numbers 12, in which Miriam and Aaron debate with Moses and ultimately, perhaps, God, about the identification of Moses as the preeminent prophet of YHWH.

While the liberationist discourse of scholars of African descent in the Americas rarely addresses women whom the biblical text identifies as prophets in ancient Israel, Randall C. Bailey, an African American liberationist scholar, views the role of Moses' new wife as the subject/ object of the dispute in Numbers 12.20 Bailey argues that the increased status Moses enjoys as the husband of a Nubian threatens the prophet Miriam. He uses a variety of biblical texts to document the high status the Hebrew Bible accords Nubians and other Africans. Although he does not focus on Miriam, he acknowledges that YHWH speaks to her and that her prophetic function serves to provide her with status in the narrative. Womanist and feminist discourses in religion are more consistently interdisciplinary than previous male-dominated discussions. Like her liberationist colleagues, Cheryl J. Sanders (an ethicist) is more interested in supposed issues of race than in the prophetic status and role of Miriam.21 She concludes that Miriam is "turned white" for criticizing Moses' marriage to a black woman.22 She does not identify Miriam as a prophet at all. Racialized readings of this text are also offered by Miriam Winter, who uses biblical studies to undergird her liturgical work.23 The scholarship of Alice Ogden Bellis is in conversation with womanists and feminists on Numbers 12.24 She begins by asserting that Miriam, in Exod 15:20, is the first person the Hebrew Bible identifies as a prophet, male or female. This assertion apparently negates the application of the designation to Abraham in Gen 20:7 and to Aaron as Moses'prophet in Exod 7:1; Bellis does not explain why she does not accept the prophetic characterization of Abraham, if she is aware of it.25 Bellis rejects the racialized scholarship of black liberationists and some white males that seeks to impose a binary contrast between Miriam (white) and the wife of Moses (black); she finds that both are women of color. Bellis couches the dispute in terms of a simple struggle for power between two prophets whom some people see as having equal divinely imparted gifts. She

concludes by sketching out the dominance of the Miriamic tradition that reoccurs throughout the Hebrew Bible. There is much more feminist biblical scholarship on Miriam than there is on any other female prophet in the Hebrew scriptures. Yet a number of feminist scholars also wrestle with the violence inherent in the prophet Deborah's martial role. Feminist scholars Lillian Sigal and Danna Nolan Fewell find the centrality of violence disturbing.26 Julia Esquivel finds in this narrative the requisite inspiration and courage for one to risk a violent death in seizing her or his own liberation .2' Bellis rejects the notion that all violence is immoral .21 Susan Ackerman concludes that Deborah is as much of a warrior as is Barak; she notes that the text does not describe either of them as possessing weapons, yet interpretive communities have long assumed that Barak alone did the actual fighting.29 Given that the biblical text does not identify either Deborah or Barak as a combatant, nor does the text place either of them outside the fray of battle, there is no textual basis for assigning them separate roles in the battle. Ackerman correctly places the disparity in perception of the combat roles of Deborah and Barak in the realm of the reader's culturally conditioned perception. In addition, Ackerman uses the work of Claudia Camp to demonstrate that the Hebrew Bible uses the title "mother in Israel" for women who are wise, who are skilled negotiators, and who will take life when necessary to "protect the heritage of YHWH"; the title is not an indicator of marital or parental status.30 One might expect that feminists would turn to the female prophet No'adiah as an agent of resistance, given her clear opposition to Nehemiah's attempt to exile women and children who do not meet his standards of ethnic purity. However, very little about her is found in feminist projects. For example, Silvia Schroer's work has only one sentence about No'adiah and her presumed opposition to Nehemiah's marriage-dissolution project: "Women are also part of the resistance against this project; among them is the prophetess

Nadiah [sic] an opponent of Nehemiah."3' Tamara Cohn Eskenazi sees No'adiah as a likely Judahite insider. Otherwise, Nehemiah would have called her foreign, and she suggests that No'adiah had high status in the Yehud (Judean) community.32 Elsewhere, Eskenazi stresses the postexilic time frame of No'adiah's ministry. No'adiah, like the woman-prophet with whom Isaiah conceives a child (Isa 8:3), is a witness to the continual prophetic function of women after the exile.33 Athalya Brenner offered a brief but nearly comprehensive examination of the female prophets in the scriptures of Israel in 1985.34 She begins by excluding the woman with whom Isaiah fathers a child from consideration. She acknowledges that giving birth to a child with a symbolic name is a prophetic act, but she says that the anonymous prophet is not described as possessing prophetic powers. She later clarifies that prophetic activity is restricted to oracle making and wonder working. While Brenner allows for the possibility that Huldah was simply better known because of her prophetic work that did not survive her, she still legitimates the sort of inquiry that privileges the prophethood of a male character who is not even named in the narrative over the named female who is designated royal prophet. Scholarship on Israelite prophets in the late twentieth century is regularly nonsectarian, but it is not value neutral. While the scholars surveyed above were more likely to include texts that describe women as prophets in the scriptures of Israel, they regularly exclude women from the category "prophet." It is also the case that feminist and womanist scholars have not focused on the prophetic function of women in ancient Israel. In fact, many of their discussions of female prophets are in the context of other conversations. Early or contemporary, feminist and masculinist scholars lack a systematic evaluation of the function of women whom the biblical writings designate as prophets.

There is, of course, women's scholarship that is not feminist. In 1991, Deborah Gill, who does not identify as a feminist, defended a dissertation on the female prophets.35 She observes, "There is little evidence that women have special access to prophetic insight. The fact is, that the predominance of women in the prophetic role is by default-it is virtually the only religious leadership role in which women are permitted participation" (emphasis in original). Gill's woeful ignorance of Israelite and ancient Near Eastern religion is demonstrated by the lack of archaeological, sociological, or cultural anthropological scholarship in her unpublished dissertation. Twenty-first-century scholarship is, of course, a relatively recent enterprise. It may be too soon to evaluate the current body of scholarship in terms of trends. However, it is apparent that some scholars are finding interdisciplinary approaches, particularly in the social sciences, to the Hebrew scriptures quite useful. The social origin of the biblical text, specifically its origin as the product of a religious and political elite and as a witness to the lives and practices of the ancient Israelites, severely compromises its objectivity. Archaeological evidence cannot in all cases flesh out the practices of ancient peoples and prove whether or not religious practices conformed to those advocated in sacred texts. Cultural and anthropological models can, however, provide, by analogy, models of practice from similar societies, both ancient and contemporary. Obviously, one cannot make direct parallels, but one can make some relevant observations. Twenty-first-century scholarship is characterized by more frequent discussions in scholarly literature of the label prophet as it is applied to women in biblical texts than previous scholarship. The most recent and thorough treatment of Israelite religion is that of Ziony Zevit.36 While he pays significant attention to the plurality of Israelite religions, including mantic religion, which he occasionally uses as a synonym for prophecy, he does not adequately address the women whom the biblical text identifies as

prophets. Specifically, Zevit classifies all female prophets as "mantic[s]" whom he equates with "preliterary" Israelite society. He discusses a number of the biblical texts in which female prophets appear, without naming the prophets and, frequently, without discussing their activities. Zevit mentions Miriam, however, not as a prophet.37 His treatment of Deborah establishes that judges function as "adjuticators" among other roles, and he addresses her song as a source for identifying kin groups, whether clans or tribes.38 Alternatively, he views Josiah's consultation of Huldah as an example of the commendable piety of "good" kings, all of whom the text associates intimately with a personal/palace prophet. For example, David had Nathan, and Hezekiah had Isaiah.39 He does make specific reference to Huldah and No'adiah by name, and to the female prophet with whom Isaiah conceives.40 He identifies her as a "prophetess" whose oracle is fulfilled. And he uses Huldah's narrative to argue simultaneously for the "weakness" of prophets in the monarchal administration and the institutionalization of their authority.41 Zevit also characterizes female prophets as practitioners of magic arts specializing in the control of life and death. His basis for this assertion is Ezek 13:19.42 Apparently, he extends Ezekiel's condemnationfound in verse 19, and by reading verses 17 and 18backward and forward through time in order to apply it to all women who prophesy, rather than only to those whom the text actually mentions. The female prophets described in Ezek 13:17-18 are those who "prophesy out of their own hearts" and fabricate veils and wristbands. It is unclear whether the women undertook this work for magical, divinatory, therapeutic, or intercessory purposes. His arguments that these women are health practitioners specializing in pregnancy and childbirth is interesting and may be supported by other texts describing women's rituals.

Twenty-first-century scholarship is also characterized by the naming of all the women who are referred to as prophets in the biblical text, even if they are immediately discounted from serious consideration as prophets. While Miriam has been a frequent subject of Jewish and Christian scholarship, other women are at least being evaluated on a regular basis. Susan Ackerman begins her discussion of the five women whom the biblical text calls prophets by discounting the title as applied to Isaiah's wife. She finds that the production of the child is an entirely commonplace event and, when combined with the namelessness of the woman in question, signifies that the title is a matrimonial honorific.43 This assertion is entirely unjustified. None of the other female prophets are married to male prophets-Huldah's husband is a glorified butler!-and the biblical text calls neither Hosea's wife nor Ezekiel's wife a prophet. Ackerman's implication that the biblical text must cite an arguably prophetic oracle or action to prove that the person called prophet in the text is indeed a prophet represents a standard that she does not apply to males bearing the title. Based on a comparison of the number of prophets per gender, Ackerman prefaces her discussion of the remaining four female prophets with the assertion that they are "anomalies" rather than "exemplars" of the prophetic tradition of ancient Israel.44 In general, she finds that the social, political, and cultic upheaval make it possible for a woman to contend for power within the community, particularly when claiming religious authority. Ackerman's theory that women are more able to grasp and wield power in tumultuous times is substantiated by Deborah's prophethood. Ackerman has difficulty accounting for the context from which Miriam's prophetic identity is supposed to have emerged because she does not recognize Israel as an entity that could have been destabilized at the time the Exodus is purported to have occurred. She proposes that it is Israel's "liminal" state as an entity caught in the crucible of being formed that provides the instability required for

a woman to achieve meaningful religious power in the putative community.45 In the same manner, she identifies the political and religious instability that precedes Josiah's reign as the context in which Huldah ascends to power. She suggests that Huldah benefits from her husband's "rank and status within the royal bureaucracy."46 This stretches credulity; there is no reason to think that one is more likely to regard the spouse of a domestic employee as a trustworthy prophet in ancient Israel than anyone with sufficient charismatic gifts. Additionally, Ackerman emphasizes the home as a site of particular empowerment for women and suggests that Huldah wields the power that she does, in part, because she works from within her home.47 However, this conclusion does not account for the provenience of the power of Miriam, Deborah, or No'adiah. She claims that the late date of Ezra-Nehemiah requires that a postexilic audience was meant to comprehend the narrative.Thus, No'adiah and her power struggle with Nehemiah are comprehensible to their intended audience living in a time of great political, religious, and social instability. Tikvah Frymer-Kensky considers some of the female prophets in her book Reading the Women of the Bible. She discusses Deborah (and Yael) in the section "Victors," whom she defines as "the great women of the Bible ... [whose] names and stories have influenced countless generations."48 In her section "Voice," Frymer-Kensky examines a group of "female oracles" who function from the period of the Judges to the monarchy and stand "at each critical juncture of Israel's history to proclaim the future."49 She includes Hannah, the ghost mistress of Endor, Abigail, Huldah, and "Woman as Voice," and additionally reconsiders Deborah. In her discussion of the story of Deborah, Frymer-Kensky leaves it to the reader to decide whether eshet lapidoth should be translated as a spousal identification, "woman/wife of (a man called) Lappidoth," or a character assessment, "woman of torch-flames (literal meaning)." She finds value in both translations. If Lappidoth is

a name, FrymerKensky suggests that it could be a pun on Barak's name: baraq means "lightning." A married woman could have an authoritative social role in the public arena. Prophetic identity is not inconsistent with marriage and (by inference) sexual activity. "TorchLady" (Deborah) and "Lightning" (Barak) evoke the heralds of the storm god in Mesopotamian cosmology, and in Judges, Deborah and Barak are the vessels of God, who uses meteorological phenomena to achieve victory. She also offers and discusses the neutral translation option "Lappidothwoman," which I will not address in detail here.50 Frymer-Kensky takes seriously the description of Deborah as judge and prophet, finding that she administered disputes and provided oracular decisions on social and political affairs.51 She also finds, following the LXX reading for Judg 4:8, that Deborah's presence was viewed as equal to that of a divine emissary, as guaranteeing success in battle.52 Frymer-Kensky also addresses the prophet Huldah. She is well aware of the trend in masculinist biblical scholarship to question Josiah's choice of Huldah as his preferred prophet in 2 Kings 22. Scholars who question the choice of Huldah usually do so seeking an explanation as to why Jeremiah was not called instead. FrymerKensky, like other feminist biblical scholars, attributes the preference for Jeremiah, or sometimes any male prophet, over the female prophet identified in the scriptures to masculinist bias.53 She makes the point that kings had the privilege of choosing their prophets but, in doing so, grants validity to the question of why Huldah was preferable to Jeremiah. Her suggestion is that Huldah and Jeremiah were "exceedingly close" in "message and terminology."54 Her recognition of Jeremiah as the expected royal prophet undercuts her own argument about Josiah's exercise of royal privilege, since she acknowledges that Jeremiah was an outsider to the court. Although she astutely perceives the bias inherent in the masculinist questioning of Huldah's prophethood, her arguments defending the expectation of Jeremiah the outsider to suddenly be transformed into an insider prophet seem to, unfortunately, give legitimacy to these questions. Ultimately, in this case, Frymer-Kensky places authority

on the canonical shape of the final text-the inclusion of a book of Jeremiah and lack of a book of Huldah- rather than on the contents of the text: King Josiah called the prophet Huldah to validate the scroll, not the prophet Jeremiah. Irmtraud Fischer's Gotteskiinderinnen: zu einer geschlechterfairen Deutung des Phknomens der Prophetic and der Prophetinnen in der Hebr,iischen Bibel (Women Proclaiming God: On a Gender-Neutral Interpretation of the Phenomenon of Prophecy and Female Prophets in the Hebrew Bible) is the most recent work that takes all of the female prophets of the Hebrew scriptures into consideration and even expands the category, as I will in the concluding chapter of this work.55 Perhaps Fischer's most compelling insight is her reevaluation of the entire prophetic enterprise in light of the texts regarding female prophets. She finds that the number of narratives about female prophets points to the prominence of women, particularly female prophets, in the crucial period of canon formation. Fischer further finds that lay and prophetic women insisted that these prophetic narratives be preserved. Fischer's finding here supports my observation that female prophets occur in each section of the canon, set in each phase of Israelite history, and therefore cannot be read as aberrations, but as a consistent expression of Israelite religious practice, undergirding the necessity to preserve these narratives. Fischer examines the language of prophetic discourse and notes the inherent difficulty in gendered languages such as Hebrew, German, and, to a lesser extent, English in identifying female persons in mixed-gender groups. We will never be able to identify all of the female prophets in the Hebrew scriptures because of the rules attendant upon the masculine plural in which "a single male subject turns a plural of thousands of women into a group described in a masculine way."56 Her solution is to translate nevi'im as "prophetically gifted human persons (prophetisch begabte Menschen)." While this is a helpful neutral translation, as opposed to the standard German Propheten (prophets), it does not help identify women who are lost to the binaries of grammar in the text.57

Fischer also reconsiders the office of the Mosaic prophet. Unlike previous generations of male scholars, she does not identify Joshua as Moses' successor, but rather Deborah. Deborah is prophet, warrior, and judge. Joshua is only a soldier, neither judge nor prophet. Deborah is also Miriam's successor as a poet-prophet with gifts of musical composition. Deborah represents a unification of the Mosaic prophetic tradition that was divided between Miriam and Moses, and, by some reckoning, also Aaron.58 Miriam is an important prophet for Fischer, one whose lineage continues through the canon to the prophet No'adiah. Miriam and No'adiah are opposed to ethnocentric restrictions on conjugal unions (as apparently was Moses, whose two recorded marriages were exogamous). Miriam opposes Moses; No'adiah opposes Nehemiah. In both disputes, the interpretation of Torah was at the center. The identity of these women as prophets, and therefore their authority to interpret, was not disputed. However, the dispute between Miriam and Moses over exogamy-which he practiced consistently-is regularly characterized as being about who is the sole authorized interpreter of Torah.59 No'adiah is particularly significant for Fischer because, as the head of a Jerusalem-based prophetic guild, she is a potential kingmaker like Elisha before her. Fischer makes the useful point that the only member of the prophetic guild who had the authority to anoint a king was the leader, the father or mother of the guild. Indeed, Sanballat's charge in Neh 6:7 is that Nehemiah has set up his own prophetic guild to anoint Nehemiah king. Fischer's reading is that Sanballat is to bring Nehemiah to the temple, to the place that represents No'adiah's authority, which is why Nehemiah names her in the prayer against Sanballat.60 This fresh take on the passage helps explain why all of the prophets in Jerusalem support No'adiah and oppose Nehemiah. Her understanding of the context of canon formation shapes Fischer's reading of the birth-giving prophet in Isaiah 8. Locating the critical work in the Persian period, she also assigns credit for perpetuating the story of the prophetic production and naming of Maher-ShalalHash-Baz to that time period.61 Fischer finds that the

anonymity of the pregnant prophet points to her prominence. Specifically, the definite article ha- indicates to her that the woman was so well known that her name did not need to be spoken.62 Accepting her chronology as support for her argument, it is conceivable that the many references to human women and female imagery in Deutero-Isaiah stem from a normative and pervasive experience of female prophecy.63 One additional very useful aspect of Fischer's work is that she opens the door to identifying other women in the canon as prophets. She does so with the female ghost master of Endor and with the sanctuary guardians of Exodus 38.64 In the concluding chapter of this work, I will also offer some new prophetic identifications. I will not follow Fisher's identification of the ghost-summoning woman at Endor as a prophet because her religious work revolves around ghosts or spirits and not YHWH as the object of inquiry. However, I will follow Fischer's reading of the work of the sanctuary guardians. With the notable exception of Irmtraud Fischer's work, there are remarkably few book-length examinations of all the women whom the Hebrew scriptures identify as prophets. While some texts explore the female biblical prophets in light of the literary record of their ANE contemporaries, and some explore the women-prophets of the scriptures of Israel in light of rabbinic discourse, I am aware of no other work that combines ANE, biblical, and rabbinic sources on female prophets. - SUMMARY What follows is an exploration of prophecy practiced by women in ancient Israel and, to some extent, in the ANE. In this work, I understand prophecy broadly as multiple techniques of inquiry of the Divine and as the interpretation ofvarious natural and supernatural phenomena practiced by religious professionals.' his project begins with the premise that the framers of the scriptures of Israel apply the term prophet (nevi'ah-feminine singular; naviy'-masculine singular) to

characters in the scriptures of ancient Israel in a fluid manner and that the term continues to represent a variety of meanings, particularly in English and in biblical Hebrew. By fluid, I mean the lack of rigid boundaries around use of the term prophet and the lack of consistent ideological content indicated by the use of the term. For example, the biblical text almost universally depicts prophets as vessels of divine communication. At the same time, it individually presents prophets as intercessors, wonder workers, oracle makers, and interpreters of dreams and the words of previous prophets. Each text identifying someone as prophet does so based on a variety of criteria that are not standardized. The five women the Hebrew scriptures specifically identify as prophets are Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, the unnamed woman with whom Isaiah fathers a child (ha-nevi'ah), and No'adiah. The rabbis modify this brief roster in the Mishnah, Talmud, and Midrash (Midrashim); therefore, I will briefly consider rabbinic texts in order to sketch out the interpretive trajectory of considerations of the female prophets in the Hebrew scriptures.65 This rabbinic modification consists of adding and removing women from the canonical list along with proof texts for those who are preserved and added. It is interesting to note that these texts offer no reasons for the removal of women from the list. Examining the biblical material in light of the rabbinic material is important because of the linguistic continuum between the two corpora and because rabbinic exegesis has significantly influenced the reception and perception of biblical texts. As the phenomenon of female prophecy continues into the Christian New Testament, I will explore female prophets in the New Testament and early Christian literature. The flexible interpretation and application of prophetic identity by the tradents of early rabbinic and Christian literature, especially when applied to women in the Hebrew scriptures, provide the impetus for the present work, which will examine female prophets in

ancient Israel, with selective comparisons to female prophets in the ANE. I will understand prophecy to have been a somewhat plastic category as employed by biblical tradents and redactors. For this reason, none of the language, signs, or actions the biblical text designates as prophetic will be excluded in order to account for the full semantic and ideological range of the term as used by generations of tradents. In chapter 1, "Overview of Biblical Prophets and Related Roles," I will explore the technical vocabulary of prophetic inquiry and decisionmaking science in the Hebrew Bible. I will also examine the flexible application of the title "prophet" to women in particular. At the end of this chapter, I will expand some texts in which the masculine plural ne'viyim is most likely masking the presence of female prophets. The phenomenon of prophecy was not (and is not) unique to biblical Israel. There are analogs to virtually every aspect of Israelite culture and religion in the broader ANE. Female religious functionaries in the ANE vastly outnumbered their counterparts in ancient Israel as represented in the Hebrew scriptures. There are more Akkadian titles describing female prophets than there are useful English translations of the distinctions between their offices. In chapter 2, "Female Prophecy around Biblical Israel," I will examine examples of female prophets in Mari, Nineveh, and Emar, as well as pertinent vocabulary and preserved oracular material, and I will compare them to the female prophets preserved in the scriptures of Israel. The practice of prophecy by female religious professionals in Mari is of particular interest because of a number of elements shared with Israelite prophecy, although prophecy in Mari predates prophecy in Israel (1776-1760 B.C.E.). Ninevite prophetic practices performed by female religious professionals are also of interest because of their chronology. These prophecies occur during the reigns of Esarhaddon (681-669 B.C.E.) and Ashurbanipal (668627 B.C.E.) in the neo-Assyrian period and during the reign of

Manasseh in Judah. The mention of Esarhaddon's enthronement in 2 Kgs 19:37 precedes the introduction of Hezekiah of Judah and his royal prophet Isaiah in 2 Kings 20. The munabbiatu (female prophet) of Emar deserves special attention in that this noun and its root verb, nabu, are likely Akkadian cognates of biblical Hebrew n-b-'(to prophesy), as are its derived nouns, including navi and nevi'ab. In chapter 3, "Female Prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures," I will analyze the biblical record as it pertains to female prophets in ancient Israel. Each reference to women as prophets using n-b-'in either nominal or verbal construction will be examined, along with each text in which these women appear. Miriam is the only female prophet in the Torah. The vast majority of the female prophets in the Hebrew scriptures are in the Nevi'im (Prophets): Deborah, Huldah, No`adiah, the anonymous female prophet in Isaiah, the daughters who will prophesy in Joel, and the daughters of the people who prophesy in Ezekiel. No'adiah is the only female prophet named in the Kethuvim (Writings). The daughters of Heman, the visionary (a synonym for prophet) in David's service who directs his sons and daughters in musical prophecy, are also in the Writings. I am examining these prophets in Hebrew canonical order, which is roughly chronological, based on their initial activity. The Hebrew scriptures provide a literary context for exploring the activity of female prophets; they also provide a source for exploring the social, cultural, and religious contexts of female prophetic activity. Each text, no matter how brief, provides some contextual information for the individual or community of female prophets it discloses. In chapter 4, "Female Prophetic Guilds in Context," I explore the multiple contexts of women whose prophetic identities are constructed in the scriptures of Israel. Specifically, I explore partners in prophecy and prophetic communities. I also examine sociocultural practices and structures such as musical and scribal

guilds, and lamentation practices as they relate to prophecy in general and female prophecy in particular. The female prophets of the Hebrew scriptures are recontextualized in post-biblical Jewish sacred literature. The sheer size of the Jewish sacred canon means that I can address only a small portion of the relevant literature. In the Mishnah, Talmud, and Midrash, the rabbis modify the brief roster of female prophets identified in the scriptures of Israel; therefore, I will briefly consider rabbinic texts in order to sketch out the interpretive trajectory of considerations of the Hebrew biblical female prophets. In chapter 5, "Rabbinic and Christian Trajectories," I begin with a consideration of female prophets in rabbinic literature and follow with an exploration of Christian literature. For this subject matter, female prophets, the rabbinic materials represent a direct continuation of the biblical materials in that these women and their narratives are represented and reinterpreted. None of the female prophets in the Hebrew scriptures appears in the Christian New Testament; however, Miriam's name is invoked in each of the "Mary's." The New Testament has its own roster and tradition of prophesying women. In this chapter, I will address the Mishnaic traditions around God's faithfulness to Miriam and around Huldah's legacy, which is preserved in the temple gates named for her in Jerusalem. In addition to the canonical prophets Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah, the Midrash identifies all of the matriarchs, particularly Sarah and Rachel, as prophets. There is also discussion of the legions of female prophets who will arise in the last days. I will discuss the prophetic status of the matriarchs and rabbinic interpretation of canonical female prophetic narratives. The Talmud identifies Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah, and Esther as prophets. I will discuss the rabbinic rationale for this. Following the disscussion of the rabbinic materials, I discuss female prophets in the Christian scriptures and Didache and draw some conclusions about the biblical, post-biblical, and ongoing

trajectories of the female prophetic vocation. In the New Testament, the female prophets are Anna (named for the biblical Hannah, who is identified as a prophet by the rabbis), who lives in the temple and prognosticates according to Luke 2:36; the four virgin daughters of Philip, who have the gift of prophecy (not further characterized) according to Acts 21:9; the female prophets of Corinth, who in 1 Cor 11:5 participate in the public liturgy of the nascent church; and a false teaching prophet who appears in Rev 2:18-28. The Didache, an early Christian document detailing, in part, the rights and responsibilities of the religious leadership, refers to prophets only in the masculine singular and plural. These texts may be relevant here for several reasons. The author appeals to the "ancient prophets" (11:11), presumably of Israel since Christianity understood itself to be heir to the scriptures and tradition of Israel; moreover, grammatically, prophetai (prophets, masculine plural) can include women and men. In both ancient Israel and nascent Christianity, there were male and female prophets, and both biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek use the masculine plural as an inclusive plural. There are, I contend, more female prophets in the Hebrew scriptures than have previously been discussed, and certainly more in ancient Israel than have been included in its scriptures. To be clear, the seemingly singular narratives of the individually acknowledged female prophets represent the interests of the canon shapers; they are never identified as the only female prophets of their times. Nothing in the biblical text limits the number of prophetsmale or female-in the text, or in the broader religious experience that is only partially represented by the text, to those prophets actually mentioned as such. In chapter 6, "Prophetic Constructions," I will identify as prophets women in the canon who are not called prophets by the canon shapers. Drawing on the behaviors that I have elicited from examining these prophets and those of some of their counterparts in

the ANE, I am prepared to construct a prophetic identity for other women in the Hebrew canon who perform the same prophetic practices. Scholars of biblical and ANE prophecy have rarely considered all of the female prophets in ancient Israel. The exclusion of a group of biblical prophets and their prophetic practices from the study of biblical prophecy produces an incomplete portrait of biblical prophecy and diminishes the value of the scholarship. The lack of primary sources pertaining to female prophets in ancient Israel, as well as a lack of consistent, thorough scholarship on the available sources, coupled with the reluctance of most scholars to take the canonical valence of the prophet label at face value and therefore the discounting of female prophets in their scholarship on the prophetic enterprise in biblical Israel, leads to the inevitability of holes in what can be known about these religious intermediaries. Since the biblical text is the primary witness to the prophetic practices of the ancient Israelites, each example of prophetic conduct offers valuable insights into the nature and function of prophecy. The practice of discounting some persons who are called prophets in the biblical text, particularly female persons, continues in the dominant-culture scholarship of the modern era. Ultimately, it is my aim to facilitate scholarly and religious conversation about all of the prophets of ancient Israel. Just as the Gates of Huldah added to the architecture of the sacred precincts, functioning as an entrance to the temple and ultimately to the holy presence of the God of Israel, so may this construction preserve the heritage of neglected prophets and usher readers onto the sacred pages and into the presence of the Divine. In the words of Huldah, "So says YHWH, the God of Israel, `Because of the words that you have heard, you have softened your heart.... You shall be gathered to your grave in peace."'


PROPHETS AS RELIGIOUS INTERMEDIARIES are members of a broad category of persons who mediate between humanity and divinity at the instigation of either human or divine beings. Female characters in the Hebrew scriptures who are identified as prophets are the primary subject matter of this book. Literary representation of Israelite prophets in general provides the context for the examination of female prophets. Prophets are not the only type of religious intermediary found in the scriptures of Israel; for example, priests and judges serve as such intermediaries. However, I will only consider Israelite prophets, in general, as a foreground to the examination of female prophets in ancient Israel. Texts analyzing Israelite prophecy are legion; however, rather few definitions of prophecy encompassing all persons designated by the biblical text as prophets have been proposed.

As a result, there is no universally accepted meaning for the constructed category prophet. However, there has been some common understanding behind its use in the scriptures of Israel, as well as among its interpreters in rabbinic and early Christian writings, scholarly discourses, and religious communal usage. The persons who shaped and interpreted the canon depicted nearly all prophets as vessels of divine communication, presenting individual prophets as a subset of the following categories: intercessors, wonder workers, oracle makers, and interpreters of both dreams and the words of previous prophets. Biblical tradents-the persons who shaped and passed on the traditions behind the Bible-employed the term based on a variety of criteria that are neither standardized nor explicated in the text. Nevertheless, they expected that hearers and readers would affirm their construction of prophets and prophecy. The smaller circles and larger communities in which the scriptures originated and were received seem to have believed that prophets spoke to and for God. Beyond that commonality, the label was applied to a variety of persons who spoke and behaved in a multitude of ways. The poetic rhythms of prophetic utterance are perhaps the most easily recognizable container for the word of God in the scriptures of Israel. Prophets transformed their experience of the Divine into poetry and performance. Women and men engage in prophecy in every stage of the tripartite canon and through each phase of Israelite history: the ancestral narratives, wilderness wandering, conquest/infiltration of Canaan, united and divided monarchy, exile, and postexilic restoration. While oracular discourse (particularly accompanied by formulas such as "so says YHWH" and "an oracle of YHWH") is the dominant expression of prophecy, a broad range of activities are performed by the prophets of Israel and Judah. Biblical tradents used the terms for male prophet and female prophet (navi'and nevi'ah, respectively) to describe people who engage in a broad range of interpretive practices, decisionmaking science, and inquiry techniques. Those activities include engaging in intercessory prayer, dancing, drumming, singing, teaching and interpreting torah

(God's revelation, legal material, sociocultural expectations, and more), delivering oracles on behalf of YHWH-sometimes in ecstasy or occasionally demonstratively-resolving disputes, working wonders, determining when to go to war, mustering troops and fighting battles, archiving their oracles in writing, and experiencing visions.' I will not value one prophetic expression over another, but I will not pay as much attention to oracular prophecy as have previous projects, in order to engage fully all expressions of prophetic work. There is an expansive list of behaviors that are identified as prophetic in the biblical text: Ezekiel lies on his left side for 390 continuous days and then on his right for forty more to demonstrate the captivity of Israel and Judah; Jeremiah uses a soiled loincloth as an object lesson; Zedekiah wears an iron-horned costume and acts out a military campaign; Samuel butchers Agag and chops his carcass into pieces in the presence of YHWH; Saul removes his clothes and lies in a trance for more than a day; the prophetic guilds use music, particularly percussion, to accompany and perhaps induce prophecy. I do not claim that every action undertaken by a prophet is prophetic; however, the didactic value of the biblical text suggests that the narratives preserved have some instructional meaning. Most scholarship on the prophets of Israel has attempted to classify the prophets by their activities. Prophets whose messages have been preserved, particularly those whose proclamations have been archived and eventually canonized, have been commonly identified as apostolic, classical, and writing prophets. Prophets who perform prophetic (including interpretive and prognostic) acts have been regularly called ecstatic, nonliterate, and sign-action prophets. Of course, there are prophets like Elijah, Elisha, and Ezekiel who both perform and proclaim and so do not fit neatly into those categories. While there is some value in this distinction, it regularly leads to a hierarchy in which the proclaimed word, especially when recorded, becomes the normative, even superior, form of prophecy. One of the consequences of this approach is that prophets whose

oracles are not preserved are trivialized. As a result, the early prophets-those active before 800 B.C.E.-and female prophets are regularly marginalized in biblical scholarship. (While the oracle of Huldah is preserved in 2 Kings, there are commentaries that completely ignore her and discuss Jeremiah's imagined absence instead.) In order to argue that female prophets functioned as long as their male counterparts and in as many capacities, it is important to look at the entire prophetic collective. I will, as much as is possible, avoid those historic subdivisions of the prophetic enterprise. I am intentionally not invoking a technical definition of prophecy; my task is not to evaluate the available definitions. I acknowledge that the terms prophet and prophecy have highly constructed and continuously evolving meanings. The simple definition of prophecy with which I am working is that prophecy is the proclamation and/or performance of a divine word by a religious intermediary to an individual or community. Such prophetic communication occurred at the instigation of either humans or divinities. - TECHNICAL VOCABULARY The Hebrew scriptures describe a number of roles for persons who mediate between human beings and non-human forces, which include the natural world, the dead, and various deities, most particularly the God of Israel.2 In broad terms, the primary concerns for these religious functionaries and their clients were maintaining appropriate levels of rainfall and agricultural fertility, prevention and response to natural disasters, and achieving and maintaining political independence and security. The Hebrew Bible identifies divinehuman mediators in the following capacities: priest (kohen), prophet (navi%nevi'ah), judge (shophet/shophtah), seer (roeh), visionary (chozeh), and man-exclusively-of God (ish [ha] elohim); all of these are recognized as legitimate occupations for the followers of YHWH. Male and female sages (ish chakham/chakhamah ishah) are affirmed in the Hebrew scriptures where they occasionally negotiate

human conflicts, but they do not mediate divine-human affairs, unlike the intermediaries listed above. - RELIGIOUS INTERMEDIARIES The intermediary roles that are regularly, but not exclusively, denounced in the Hebrew scriptures are those of the diviner (qosem qesamim); conjurer ('onenah/me'onen);3 omen taker (menachash);4 sorcerer (mekhashephah/mekhasheph); spell speaker (chover chaver); holy woman and, rarely, man (gadesh/gedeshah);5 one who consults ghosts (sho °el); one who "masters" ghosts ('asap ov/ba'alat-ov);6 one who is possessed (yidde'oni);7 and one who inquires of the dead (doresh el-hammetim).s An additional category may be professional (or lay) dreamers (cholem chalom). In Dent 13:1-10, dreamers who attempt to entice the people into worshipping other gods are condemned, as are the prophets with whom they are paired in the verses. The ultimate sanction, execution, is imposed in Deuteronomy 13; however, subsequent texts make it clear that practitioners of nonsanctioned inquiry techniques were not regularly executed. Most of these titles come from the list of proscribed religious practitioners in Dent 18:9-14. However, occasionally persons who are favorably regarded by the biblical tradition and/or associated with YHWH are identified as practicing inquiry techniques forbidden by the Deuteronomistic historian. For example, YHWH taught Laban through omen taking that Jacob blessed him with material prosperity (Gen 30:27-28), and Joseph tells his brothers that he is a diviner in Gen 44:15. Both practiced n-ch-sh-divination, omen taking, and/or implementation of snakes in divination. The varied practices of divination in the Hebrew scriptures are illustrative. Divination is notoriously difficult to define, but generally consists of determining future events through the manipulation of ritual objects or substances. The use of Urim and Thummim by priests is also widely recognized as divination (see Num 27:21; Ezra 2:63; Neh 7:65).9

Divination was widely practiced according to the Hebrew scriptures, in spite of its regular proscription. The renowned Balaam is executed in Josh 13:22 for practicing divination, in spite of the previous benedictions he has pronounced over Israel on behalf of YHWH; however, it was with great reluctance that he became involved with the Israelites at the request of King Balak son of Zippor (Num 22:13). Yet in Isa 3:2, diviner (qosem) is paired with elder (zaqen) as a legitimate leadership role in Judah; others include warrior (gibbor), soldier (isb milcbamab), judge (sbopbet), and prophet (navi'). Divination is associated with prophecy in Jer 14:14, in which it is a synonym for prophecy; and they are equated in 29:8. In Jer 27:8-9, prophets, omen takers or soothsayers, dreamers, diviners, and sorcerers are depicted as being equally effective but in the matter at hand-rebelling against the king of Babylon-quite wrong. Some diviners used the prophetic rubric "an oracle ofYHWH" (ne'um YHWH), as attested in Ezek 13:6 where the entire chapter links prophecy and divination. Prophecy and divination are paired in Mic 3:6-7, and in verse 11, prophets perform divination. As professionals, diviners were paid for their services, as was Balaam ben Beor (Numbers 22).10 Divination is also associated with the priesthood in 1 Sam 6:2; however, since this linkage is made by the Philistines, it may not be intended to reflect Israelite practice. Divination is associated with teraphim-perhaps the teraphim were used as instruments of divination-in Zech 10:2; the verb cb-z-b ("to envision") suggests that the diviners using the teraphim are visionaries. Divination is both a regularly castigated and a regularly practiced form of inquiry in the scriptures of Israel. When practiced by foreigners, divination is proscribed; when practiced by Israelites, divination is frequently a prophetic practice. The use of Urim and Thummim and the casting of lots (gorolotb) are examples of sanctioned Israelite divination (see Lev 16:18; Josh 18:6; 1 Chr 25:8; Neh 10:35, v. 34 in NRSV). In the categories previously discussed, women are specifically described as a conjurer (Isa 57:3), sorcerers (Exod 22:17; NRSV 22:18)," ghost masters who practice divination (1 Samuel 28), a

judge (Judg 4:4), and prophets (Exod 15:20; Judg 4:4; 2 Kgs 22:14; 2 Chr 34:22; Isa 8:3; Neh 6:14; and other veiled references).12 Of these categories, only sages, judges, and prophets were recognized as legitimate occupations; only judges were linked with prophets. Since sages do not function as divine-human liaisons, but only mediate human affairs, I will not further consider sages in this project. As demonstrated above, ancient Israel had a complex and specific vocabulary for those who were religious intermediaries, and there is considerable overlap in the behaviors and practices of the religious practitioners. In addition, some religious intermediaries can be understood as a subset of the prophetic office, such as man of God, seer, visionary, diviner, and prophet. The practice of judging is occasionally related to prophetic practice. Related terms for prophet are sentinel (tzopheh) and messenger (mal'ak). The messenger's traditional formula, "so says the (great) king," has been appropriated and modified by the prophet on behalf of an even greater sovereign: "so says YHWH."I will more closely examine men of God, seers, visionaries, diviners, judgers, and prophets. After a consideration of the role and function of prophets, I will consider the semantic range and lexical function of n-b-'. Man of God The title "man of God" (ish [ha] elohim) was given to men known by other prophetic titles, most notably Moses, Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha. There are men known only by that title, such as Igdaliah, the man of God who lived in the temple in Jerusalem but who is otherwise unknown (Jer 35:4). There are a number of anonymous men of God. One example is the man of God from Judah who spoke against the altar at Bethel in 1 Kgs 13:1-4 and 2 Kgs 23:16-18. Another example is the man of God who told Amaziah to release his army and fight only along with YHWH in 2 Chr 25:5-10. Last, a divine messenger (mal'ak-YHWH) is mistaken for a man of God, specifically, the messenger who announced Samson's birth to his

parents in Judges 13. The title is specific to servants of Elohim; there are no men of YHWH, or even of El. These three names (or titles) are the most common names used for the God of Israel. Elohim is a generic plural that means "gods" when used in reference to deities outside Israel and "God" with reference to Israel. The narrative context generally determines which is appropriate (compare Gen 1:1 and 31:19). El is the name of the senior Canaanite deity and is appropriated by the Israelites and their God (see Isa 45:22). YHWH is the unique name of God revealed to Moses on Mount Horeb.13 There are no formulaic titles for women incorporating any of these divine names; that is, there are no "women of God." Seer Seers (ro'im) mediate with the Divine through visionary experiences during which they are awake; they are never described as dreaming their encounters with the Divine. As religious professionals, seers charge fees for their services (1 Sam 9:8-9) and are associated with sacred sites (1 Sam 9:18-19). In both texts just cited, there is an assumption that the seer can see more than is naturally visible. In the account of Saul's father's missing donkeys (1 Samuel 9), Samuel the seer is expected to discern their location, which presumably is not readily apparent. The seer eventually becomes conflated with the prophet: "The one who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer" (1 Sam 9:9). While it is the case that there are no individual women identified as seers in the scriptures, it does not follow that they were not included in the general category, especially in light of its conflation with prophets, a category known to include women. The biblical text identifies Samuel, Gad, Hanani, and an unnamed man as seers. Samuel is called both a prophet and a seer (1 Chr 9:22; 1 Sam 9:89, 9:18-19; he was available to Saul as an intermediary as both a royal and a common person. Gad served David as prophet and seer (2 Sam 24:11). Hanani the seer served during the reign of Asa of Judah (2 Chr 16:7). In the genealogy of Hur, Moses' assistant, in 1

Chr 36:52, one of the children of Hur's descendant Shobal is identified only as "the Seer.1114 The royal seers, Samuel, Gad, and Hanani, chronicle the reigns of the monarchs they served, as would other prophets, who are not called seers. Visionary Visionaries (chozim) are regularly called prophets. Gad is called both prophet (1 Sam 22:5) and visionary (2 Sam 24:11); he served David as a royal advisor, calling to mind the archival service of the seers. Iddo is also identified as both prophet (2 Chr 13:22) and visionary (2 Chr 9:29; 12:15); his prophetic visions pertained to Jeroboam son of Nebat, and he archived the reigns of Rehoboam and Abijah (2 Chr 12:15; 13:22). Isaiah, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk are described as visionaries in the first verse of their respective works (and Isaiah is credited with archiving the reigns of Uzziah and Hezekiah). Isaiah and Obadiah envision visions (chazah chezyonoth), while Nahum and Habakkuk envision oracles (masa', which usually appears in the singular).I5 Isaiah sees "the word" (hadavar) in Isa 2:1 and "an oracle" in Isa 13:1. Astrology is linked with envisioning in Isa 47:13: "those who study the heavens ... those who gaze [hachozim] at the stars." Micah envisions the word of YHWH (1:1). By contrast, Amos sees his own words (1:1). In the dispute preserved in Amos 7:12-14, Amaziah identifies Amos as a visionary and instructs him to take his prophecies (chozeh lek ...) back to Judah and to stay away from the royal sanctuary, Bethel. In response, Amos denies being a prophet or a member of a prophetic guild but rather claims to be a farmworker. He then goes on to pronounce an oracular word of YHWH (Amos 7:16-17). Both visionaries and seers were associated with the monarchy in an advisory and/or archivist capacity and were identified as prophets. The terms visionary (chozeh) and seer (ro'eh) are only used interchangeably once, in spite of their obvious overlap in semantic range. Most English translations use the word "seer" indiscriminately to translate both terms.16 In the NJPS (New Jewish Publication Society translation of the Tanakh; "New" distinguishes the 1985

translation from the 1917 translation of the same name) and NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) translations, Hanani is called a seer in 2 Chr 16:7 and 19:2. However, only the former verse uses the Hebrew seer (roeh); in the latter verse, the Hebrew word is visionary (chozeh). Visionaries and prophets are paired in Isa 29:10 and 30:10. Ezekiel links the two: "The vision that he envisions is for many years ahead; he prophesies for distant times."Visions and divination are linked in Ezek 13:23 and 21:28 (NRSV 21:29). Divination, visions, and prophecy are linked in Ezek 22:28. Zechariah 10:2 draws wider parallels: "The teraphim speak iniquity, the diviners envision lies; the dreamers speak false dreams and give futile comfort."There is a connection between visionaries and the music of the cult. Heman, the visionary, along with his sons and daughters, served David and the temple, linking prophecy with cultic singing (1 Chr 25:1-7). In this text, Heman (identified as a visionary in verse 5) is the father of women and men who prophesy musically. They employ "lyres, harps and cymbals" in verse 1, and sing in verse 7. In Rabbinic Hebrew the chozeh becomes the chazzan, a minister in the synagogue. In subsequent Jewish tradition the chazzan becomes a liturgical singer, the cantor. Further association between visionaries and cultic musicians is made by the identification of the psalmist Asaph as a visionary in 2 Chr 29:25-30 and 35:15. Judge One of the titles given to Moses and his successors, until the establishment of the monarchy, was that of judge (shophet/shophtah). The qal participle of sh-ph-t functions as a substantive and is most regularly translated as a noun, "judge."I7 The term broadly denotes "administration" and can refer to the governance of kings, judges, and chiefs. Its semantic range includes settling disputes, passing judgment, administering justice, making decisions, ruling, and governing.18 A brief overview of the biblical occurrences of sh-ph-t and a closer examination of its use in Judges

provide a contextually cued semantic range. The verbal noun occurs sixty-eight times in the Hebrew scriptures. The usage of the term in the Torah is critical to understanding its use in the Former Prophets, because the Torah provides a literary and cultural etiology for the office. The first use of the title shophet is in Gen 18:25; Abraham identifies the deity as the "Judge of all the earth." In its next occurrence in Exod 2:14, it is linked with ruling office as Moses is asked who made him "a ruler and a judge" (sar veshophet). The singular reference to judges in Num 25:5 grants them authority to kill those who have abandoned YHWH for Baal Peor. This is the first instance of judges being granted the authority to administer cultsanctioned violence. The seven references to judges in Deuteronomy portray the judges as administrative, juridical officials. Here judges are to "render justice [ushphattem tzedek] in righteousness ... for citizens and aliens" (1:16); every tribe and town should have officials and judges to render justice in righteousness (16:18). Judges should be consulted in conjunction with Levitical priests (17:9); they investigate circumstances surrounding a dispute in order to settle it justly (19:17-18). Judges work with town elders to determine responsibility for unclaimed human remains (21:2) and administer corporal punishment (25:2). Deuteronomy 17:12 imposes a death penalty on anyone who disobeys a judge. The three references to judges in Joshua mention them in conjunction with other governing offices: elders, officers, and heads (8:33; 23:2; 24:1). The participial form occurs in Judges eight times; six of those are in 2:16-19, which describes how "YHWH raised up judges, who delivered them out of the power of those who plundered them" and how the people disobeyed the judges, prostituted themselves in the service of other gods, and abandoned the paths of their ancestors, including the commandments of YHWH. This passage describes YHWH's attentiveness to the cries of Israel and YHWH's desire to relieve Israel of persecution and oppression through the military prowess of the judges. The text describes

Israel's immediate lapse into apostasy upon the death of the judge, explaining the repetitive nature of the narratives in Judges. The other occurrences of the substantive include the introduction of "Deborah, a woman, a/the woman of Lappidoth, she was judging Israel at that time" (Judg 4:4) and "Let YHWH, who is judge, decide today for the Israelites or for the Ammonites" (Judg 11:27). The only other form of the verb sh-ph-t that occurs in Judges is the waw consecutive.'9 It is used to describe the judging activities of humans and, on one occasion, YHWH. Uses of the verbal noun in the Former Prophets do not deviate from its usage in the Torah, with one significant exception. When Azariah (Uzziah) became diseased (metzora') and could no longer rule because of the stigma and cultic taboo, his son Yotham ruled (shophet) in his stead (2 Kgs 15:5 and 2 Chr 26:21). In addition, David is described as appointing judges in 1 Chr 23:4. The Latter Prophets use the substantive as it had been used in the previous texts, as one office among many in ancient Israel (Isa 1:26), identifying YHWH as a righteous judge (Jer 11:20) and identifying the human ruler of Israel (Mic 5:1; NRSV 5:2). The one new development in the Latter Prophets usage of the term is to link judges with prophets (Isa 3:2). The Writings focus on righteous administration and governance. Psalms in particular focuses on the righteous administration of justice by YHWH as opposed to that by mortals. Based on its use in the canon, it can be argued that while shophet was used initially for dispute resolution, its semantic range includes generic administrative functions as well as governance. The NJPS uses "chieftains" to translate the noun and "ruled" or "led" to translate the verbal forms. The expansive use of the term does not preclude the narrow use of the term. Deborah is the only woman identified as judging Israel; it is not clear whether other women served in this capacity and were masked by the masculine plural. (The masculine plural is normally used for exclusively male plural subjects and mixed gender plural subjects, and rarely for female

plural subjects.) In premonarchal Israel, these tribal leaders also served as military leaders in periods of imminent peril. Three judges were also identified as prophets: Moses, Deborah, and Samuel. In Dent 34:10, Moses is identified for the first time in the canon as the preeminent and prototypical prophet: "Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom YHWH knew face to face." In Exod 18:13, Moses "sits in order to judge the people." Based on this narrative, Moses' judging consists of (1) inquiring (lidrosh) of God, (2) solving disputes between members of the community on request, and (3) instructing-the hiphil places the emphasis on learning-the complainants in the statutes and toroth of God. In response to the advice of his father-in-law, Moses appoints administrative officers; among their responsibilities was to judge the people in his stead, in order that he not exhaust himself (Exod 18:17-26). The judicial administration that Exodus presumes was established by Moses, with officers who judge over groups of ten, fifty, one hundred, and one thousand, does not appear to function in the book of Judges. Instead, charismatic individual saviors deliver military victory and are called judges. Judges are initially described in 2:16 as "those established byYHWH who saved [the Israelites] from the grasp of their attackers." There are a number of military saviors in Judges who are described as judging Israel for a specific period, but only Deborah is described as having a seat of judgment, with her seat located between a palm tree that bore her name and Ramah in the hills of Ephraim. The location is significant in that it made her accessible to a majority of the tribes that she would muster for the war and presented consultation of YHWH through her as an alternative to the priestly consultation in Bethel (Judg 4:5).20 Deborah is described as sitting (yoshevet), just as Moses sat (vayyeshev), to judge the people. The seated ruler regularly represented royal and/or divinely sanctioned human authority.2' Deborah is the only judge in Judges who is also called a prophet, in 4:4: "Deborah, the female prophet-the fiery woman-she was Israel's judge at that time."

Given the expanded semantic range of shph-t and its uses in Judges, Deborah's judging should be viewed in terms of governance, consultation, and military deliverance. Jabin's subordinate, Sisera, ruled yoshev-from his seat in Harosheth-hagoiim, and Deborah ruled-yoshevet-from her seat under the Palm of Deborah. The text uses the same verb, y-sh-v, for both in 4:2 and 4:4 when introducing the two leaders. Daniel Block understands from these parallel introductions that Sisera functions as the viceroy of King Jabin and that Deborah functions as the viceroy of the sovereign YHWH.22 Judges 4:5 makes it clear that the Israelites came up to her for judgment, decision making, and conflict resolution, all encompassed in lammishpat. By introducing Deborah as a judge in 4:4 after explaining in 2:16 and the following verses that the reason YHWH raised up judges was to deliver the Israelites from their oppressors through military might, the author is including Deborah in that group. In 1 Sam 7:15, Samuel is described as having "judged Israel all the days of his life." In the next verse, Samuel's three-point administrative circuit is defined as Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. Samuel is widely recognized as "a trustworthy prophet ofYHWH" in 1 Sam 3:20. And he presides over a prophetic guild in 1 Sam 19:20. His last juridical duty is to appoint his sons as judges in his stead when he becomes elderly (8:1). Except Solomon, who judges from his throne in 1 Kgs 7:7, there are no individually identified judges after Samuel. Absalom longs to be named judge in 2 Sam 15:4. There are also references to the former judges (for example, 2 Kgs 23:22) and to judges appointed by David (1 Chr 23:4). Individual Prophets and Prophetic Communities The normative vocabulary for prophets in the Hebrew scriptures derives from the stem n-b-'. The nominal forms of the stem n-b-' include individual female and male prophets and collectives of

prophets (navi', nevi'ab, nevi'im), along with their prophecies (nevu'ab, absolute; nevu'at, construct). Verbal forms refer to the activities of the prophets; for example, "the daughters of your people who prophesy" in Ezekiel 13:17. In this work, the primary criterion for prophetic identity is the use of the root n-b-'in nominal (noun-form) and/or verbal (verb-form) constructions. Parallels for the Hebrew n-b-'are found in Eblaite, Amorite, Akkadian, Ethiopic, Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic texts. In this work, Akkadian provides the most useful analog since extrabiblical prophecies from Mari, Nineveh, and Emar will be considered in chapter 2. The semantic range of the G and D stems of the Akkadian nbi includes "to name," "call," "call into being (create)," "be called," and "cry out."23 In addition, the Akkadian mabu has been understood to mean both "to rave" and "to prophesy," as has n-b-', incorrectly. (Analysis of each occurrence of the verb n-b-'is undertaken in the chart following this chapter.) However, it is generally agreed that its usage in Mari means only 41 to prophesy."24 The verbal forms include niphal and hitpael stems. Only the hitpael is used in the Torah (but, all three usages are in the same narrative),25 and hitpael is used predominately in the Former Prophets. There are several technical expressions that denote formal, if not professional, prophecy. The most common is the introductory formula "so says (koh amar) YHWH."This is a variation of a standard messenger formula in ancient Israel and the wider ANE. Deities, monarchs, and ordinary humans commonly used this formula. This prophetic formula occurs 293 times in the Hebrew scriptures. The expression "utterance [ne'um] of YHWH" regularly punctuates oracles in the Hebrew scriptures, occurring some 268 times. However, all oracles or prophetic proclamations are not directly attributed to YHWH; Balaam and David both make proclamations using ne'um. Some of Balaam's proclamations are proverbs; mashal (usually proverb) is a rare term for (nonproverbial) prophetic speech.

Oracles are more regularly designated as mas'oth; a masa' is either a burden, especially in the Torah and Writings, or an oracle, where it occurs in the Prophets about forty times. There is one expression for the process of prophetic inquiry of the Divine that is used only by prophets in the canon; to inquire of the deity specified by the lexical root d-r-sh is a formal, and I argue professional, practice occurring about two hundred times in the canon.26 The stem d-r-sh generally means "to ask," "to seek," or "to inquire"; it is most regularly used in the Hebrew scriptures with humanity as its subject and God as object.27' he biblical text does not spell out how prophets learn to inquire of God, nor does it specify that they all earn a living practicing inquiry. But d-r-sh inquiry is practiced virtually exclusively by professional prophets such as Ahijah, Elisha, Ezekiel, Huldah, Jeremiah, and Micaiah son of Imlah; therefore, I argue that it is a professional practice. In 1934, Alfred Jepsen and Alfred Guillaume analyzed the verb nb-'and found that whether the verb occurs in the niphal or the hitpael, its meaning shifts over time from "rave" to "prophesy.112' Their contention was that there was widespread support for both translations; however, there is no scholarly consensus as to when one or the other is appropriate. The traditional translation of n-b-' in the hitpael as "rave" or "frenzy" exemplified by the NJPS and NRSV cannot be supported. The use of both stems in prophetic rhetoric by Israelite prophets, describing their own presumed legitimate activities as well as the activities of others, without accompanying reports of erratic behavior make any translation other than "to prophesy" highly interpretive. An analysis of each use of the verb n-b-' in nipbal and hitpael is performed in the chart following this chapter. Because biblical scholars so often translate the bitpael of n-b-' as indicating persons engaging in emotional, ecstatic, or even mantic prophecy, I will argue that this is not a useful practice. In the first account of Saul's prophetic behavior (1 Sam 10:1-13), and in the consultation of Micaiah and the four hundred prophets (1 Kings 22), both hitpael and nipbal stems are used in the same

pericope.There bitpael exclusively describes the prophetic activity of Micaiah, and both stems are used for the four hundred prophets on whom YHWH has imposed a lying spirit. The predominance of the stems is inverted in the prophetic corpus of the Hebrew scriptures. Of the thirty-nine occurrences in Jeremiah, five are bitpael and thirtyfour are nipbal. The Book of the Twelve uses nipbal exclusively. In the Writings, the stems are used equally: the bitpael is used once in Ezra 5:1 to refer to the activities of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, and in 2 Chronicles, four of the eight occurrences are nipbal and four are bitpael. There is a tendency to understand the nipbal as implying oracular prophecy and the bitpael as including effusive, ecstatic prophecy and/ or acting like a prophet.29 An examination of the immediate literary context of the relevant passages in the chart following this chapter demonstrates that the lexical use of the two stems is text specific and not necessarily indicative of disparate prophetic practices. The division of prophetic practices into rational or oracular and ecstatic or frenzied is late to the text and more reflective of the ideological questions posed by the Enlightenment period in which biblical studies flowered than of the assumptions of biblical tradents. This is best demonstrated by examining the texts in which both nipbal and hitpael forms occur. In 1 Sam 10:5-11, Samuel predicts that Saul will encounter a band of prophets prophesying with musical instruments and that, during this encounter, the spirit of God will possess Saul. Saul will prophesy and be turned into a different person. The hitpael is used in Samuel's predictive comments and in their fulfillment. In verse 10, Saul engages in prophetic behavior described by the bitpael, vayyitnabe'; however, the nipbal is used in verse 11 by persons observing Saul, nibba'. Prophecy in this narrative could be understood as ecstatic because of the use of musical instruments, which might have been used to induce a trancelike state, but not based on the usage of bitpael versus nipbal.30 Likewise, in the doublet of this narrative in 1 Sam 19:20, the prophetic guild is described in the nipbal, and the messengers who are possessed by the spirit of God are described in the hitpael.

Again, this narrative does not suggest a distinction between the two types of prophecy. The strongest evidence for ecstatic prophecy here is verse 24, in which Saul is described as stripping himself naked and lying on the ground for twenty-four hours while prophesying. The hitpael is used in this description, but the narrative makes clear that Saul is temporarily joining the guild that is described in the nipbal. If there is a difference between the two stems here, it might be that the experiences of Saul and his messengers exceed those of the guild; however, the guild's activities are never described, so it is not clear whether the members of the guild also remove their clothes and lie prostrate. The next narrative in which both the hitpael and niphal are used is that in 1 Kings 22, where the hitpael is used exclusively for the prophet (Micaiah in verse 8) who prophesies correctly, whereas both stems are used for those prophets under the influence of a lying spirit sent by YHWH in verses 10 and 12.31 The types of prophetic practices described in this narrative include predictive military prophecy and the performance prophecy of Zedekiah son of Chenaanah. References to Jeremiah's prophesying exclusively use the nipbal, except when he is contemptuously described as "playing the prophet" by Jehoiada the priest in Jer 29:26.32 In Jer 14:14, YHWH describes false prophets using both bitpael and nipbal. Individual false prophets, Passhur (NRSV and NJPS use the spelling Pasbbur), Ahab, Zedekiah, and Shemaiah are described in the nipbal, as are all of the prophets of Judah, who are regularly castigated for prophesying their own imaginations (see Jer 20:6; 29:21, 31; 5:31). The prophets of Samaria who prophesy through Baal are described in the bitpael (Jer 23:13). The nipbal is used almost exclusively in and for Ezekiel, but in the two occurrences of the bitpael, one involves Ezekiel describing himself (37:10), and the other is Ezekiel's reference to false female prophets (13:17). In Ezek 37:7, Ezekiel prophesies to the bones in the nipbal, venibbe'ti; in verse 10, he prophesies to the four winds in the bitpael, vehinnabbe'ti (also see

verse 9, for context). There is nothing in the narrative to suggest a difference in the two prophetic acts, although it should be noted, again, that every other prophetic act of Ezekiel, including those in the remainder of the reconstituted, formerly skeletal army, is in the nipbal. One might argue that Ezekiel's use of the hitpael participle in describing the prophecy of the castigated Israelite women is intended to contrast their activity with his described in the nipbal in the same verse (13:17). That argument could be sustained only if that narrative were evaluated apart from chapter 37, in which both hitpael and niphal are used to describe Ezekiel. (YHWH commands Ezekiel to prophesy using the niphal in verses 4, 7, 9, and 12. Ezekiel complies, using the hitpael in verse 10, and successfully summons the spirit-breath to resurrect the dry bones.) In summary, in 1 Samuel 19, it is possible to understand those who prophesy in the hitpael as extreme in some manner: (1) the spirit of God comes over-vatehi `al-Saul's messengers who have no previous prophetic identity; (2) the spirit of God comes over Saul, vatehi `alav; and (3) Saul strips and falls down naked for the better part of twenty-four hours in some sort of trance (vayyipol `arom). The notion that the use of the hitpael suggests some extreme form of prophecy cannot be easily maintained for 1 Samuel 10; here prophetic activity articulated with the hitpael is delineated as simply playing musical instruments in verse 5 and is not described at all in verse 11. There are no histrionics. In 1 Kings 22, the hitpael marks both the truth-telling prophet of YHWH and the prophets of YHWH under the influence of a lying spirit sent by YHWH; the niphal also applies to the prophets of YHWH under the influence of a lying spirit sent by YHWH. In Jeremiah, both stems are used for true and false prophets, but Jeremiah himself is exclusively spoken of in the niphal. In the vision of the dry bones, the text uses both niphal and hitpael to describe the prophecy of Ezekiel. While it is possible to read the use of the hitpael in the books of Samuel and Kings as relating to either ecstatic prophecy or the prophetic activities of irregular prophets, it is not clear that this is distinct from the use of the niphal, which is also used for irregular prophets (for example, Saul and the Judean

prophets possessed by the lying spirit). It is clear that the niphal becomes dominant in the remainder of the canon and is equally applied to true and false prophets. The description of Haggai and Zechariah in Ezra 5:1 in the hitpael may suggest a lexical development in biblical Hebrew in which former prophecy was understood as somehow different, represented by the use of the hitpael. Ultimately, the variety and tenor of prophetic activity can only be determined descriptively, not lexically. Prophets functioned individually (Deborah, Nathan) or in prophetic communities (Elijah and Elisha, Isaiah and the WomanProphet). Larger prophetic communities included a prophetic father or mother and a community of disciples. Deborah is hailed as a "mother in Israel" in Judg 5:7. Elisha addresses Elijah as father in 2 Kgs 2:12. The old prophet of Bethel in 1 Kgs 13:11 has "sons" who could also be understood as disciples without affecting the flow or outcome of the narrative. Isaiah refers to his children (8:18) and his disciples (8:16) in the same pericope; the two groups function interchangeably in the text.33 These communities were represented by the following expressions: disciples (literally children) of the prophets (beney-hannevi'im),34 band of prophets (bevel nevi'im),35 and, in one instance, association of prophets (laqahat hannevi'im).36 There are a few cases in which the size of the prophetic guilds is mentioned. In 1 Kings 18, Obadiah takes the one hundred prophets who survived Jezebel's massacre into hiding. Obviously, there were more than a hundred prophets ofYHWH before she started killing them off. Also in 1 Kings 18, the prophets of Baal are numbered at 450, and the prophets of Asherah are numbered at four hundred. Later, in 1 Kings 22, there are about four hundred prophets of YHWH; remembering that Jezebel killed an untold number, there were likely many more than four hundred members of that guild. In 2 Kgs 4:1-7, the possibility that women are included among the disciples of the prophets (veney-hannevi'im) is offered in the narrative of a woman who is described as follows: "a woman, one of the women of the disciples of the prophets." She could be a woman

from the women of the prophetic guild, in other words a disciple herself, since the masculine plural veney-hannevi'im can include but would also mask the presence of female disciples. She could also be a wife from the wives of the male prophetic-guild members, and it is certainly possible that she is one of the children/disciples of the prophet Elisha. In any case, the grammar suggests that the group of prophets has women present as either prophets or the conjugal partners of prophets, or perhaps as both. If some women were accepted into the prophetic community as spouses, considering that women functioned in the office of prophet at each phase of Israelite prophecy, it is entirely feasible that some women were also accepted as prophetic disciples. The identification of this woman as the widow of "the servant of Elisha" in the text makes it possible to construct a prophetic identity for the deceased; however, that does not exclude the possibility that this woman was also a member of the prophetic guild in her own right. There is not enough information in the narrative to affirmatively identify this woman as a prophet, but neither is there any reason to assume that she is not "also among the prophets."Brenner identifies her as a member of the prophetic guild but restricts her role to that of a "companion."37I believe her to be a disciple of Elisha and, therefore, a prophet herself. However, I acknowledge that her need for Elisha to intervene in her financial distress demonstrates that she was not able to support herself and her children and thus may not have been a prophet. The text is ambiguous. In the Hebrew Bible, prophets overlap substantially with seers, visionaries, diviners, men of God, and, occasionally, judges. These women and men function individually and in community. Their spoken and written words have been traditionally recognized as the normative expression of their prophetic work, but they engage in numerous practices that they and their contemporaries certainly also identified as prophetic. The postexilic reinstitution of the Israelite cult with the rebuilding of the temple, combined with the pressure to regulate and identify

the worshipping community, led to an entrenched institutionalization of the cult. The proclivity toward standardization was intolerant of unauthorized and therefore uncontrollable charismatic prophecy. The primary challenge of spontaneous inspiration to organized religion involves who has access to the Divine and how. One of the forces that drove the evolution of prophecy was the inability to determine which prophets were authentic. This contributed to the standardization of prediction-fulfillment oracles, dramatizations, stigmatizations of prophets as raving, reinterpretations of previous oracles, and focus shifting to eschatological time frames. There was a general consensus by the scribal-priestly theocracy that all of the previous prophets venerated by the tradition were authentic; it was the recent candidates who were problematic. This led to a deepening of the perception that all revelation had already been given and that it was the job of the current cultic hierarchy to interpret and preserve those revelations. Subsequently, the priesthood and, later, the sages are institutionalized as authentic bearers of the prophetic mantle as preservers and interpreters of all previous revelation, most notably the Torah. This did not mean that there was an end to revelation but rather that the cult did not recognize external authority in cultic matters. Practically speaking, the destruction of the temple and the monarchy greatly reduced patronage of prophecy, so some decline was to be expected. The notion of the end of prophecy with the end of the canonical prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi is critical to the fate of women-prophets in the biblical canon and beyond.31 After the demise of the monarchical period, as Yahwhism became Judaism, the role of the prophet changed drastically. After the dedication of the Second Temple in 515 B.C.E., no prophetic literature was published, pointing to both a radical change represented in part by descriptions of Levitical singing as prophetic (1 Chr 25:1; 2 Chr 20:19-20, 28; 29:25-26) and the initiation of a canonical process. This final stage in the evolution of prophecy as it is presented in the Hebrew scriptures was characterized by a shift toward institutionalized interpretation of

previous prophetic utterances by temple-affiliated scribes and priests. An example of the preservation of prophetic oracles and their subsequent recitation by other prophets would be the use of Micah by Isaiah (Isa 2:2-4/ Mic 4:1-3, and Jeremiah (Jer 26:18/Mic 3:12). This evolutionary development led to the marginalization of independent prophetic voices. As the reins of interpretive power were solidified in the institutionalized temple, women as shapers and interpreters of the Israelite religious tradition were almost completely eliminated from official rhetoric of the living tradition by being relegated to inscribed memories interpreted by others. The disavowal of independent prophetic activity along with continuing prophetic activity frames the need for a renewed examination of biblical prophecy and all of its practitioners. - SUMMARY Prophets in ancient Israel engaged in a broad range of activities. They interceded with YHWH on behalf of human beings; performed musical compositions; commanded military forces; performed miracles; saw things that no one else could see; determined life expectancy; appointed monarchs; advised monarchs; archived monarchal reigns; mediated human disputes; archived prophetic utterances; validated divine proclamation; made, taught, and led disciples; constructed and guarded the temple; inquired of the Divine; and proclaimed the word of YHWH. The proclamation of the divine word is the dominant component of prophetic activity. The proclaimed word regularly focused on social, political, and religious matters; concern for right relations between humanity and divinity; relationships between humans; and appropriate religious practices. The receipt of the divine word was an extraordinary, extrasensory experience. Some prophets saw or envisioned the word; others experienced it intimately-literally, "the word of YHWH happened [hayah]"to the prophet. Some prophets experienced divine communication in more than one medium. Proclamation of the divine message was multifaceted: singing, preaching, and performing were

regular modes of prophetic expression. The most common expression of prophetic utterance included the introductory formula "so says YHWH."


THE PHENOMENON OF PROPHETISM was not (and is not) unique to biblical Israel. There are analogs to virtually every aspect of Israelite culture and religion in the broader ANE. Records of female religious functionaries in the ANE vastly outnumber their counterparts in ancient Israel as represented in the Hebrew scriptures. Of most importance to the present study is that there are more Akkadian titles describing female religious officials, including a great variety of priestesses and prophets, than there are useful English translations of the distinctions between their offices. Richard Henshaw has proposed five categories for organizing professional religious work in the ANE: (1) chief functionaries who perform sacrificial or other liturgies and occasionally proclaim oracles; (2) music-based specialists who sing, play, or dance; (3) word-based specialists including prophets, seers, healers, diviners, sorcerers; (4) fertility specialists; and (5) auxiliary officials.' Female religious specialists in Henshaw's third category share the

overlapping roles of prophet, diviner, and seer with their counterparts in the Hebrew scriptures. Simo Parpola notes that in the ANE, prophets and seers are equated through the parallel usage of the terms raggimu (prophet) and sbabru (seer).2 In addition, prophetic work frequently included diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic health and wellness work. This chapter will examine examples of female prophets in Mari, Nineveh, and Emar and the vocabulary that pertains to their roles along with preserved oracular material; it will compare them to the female prophets mentioned in the scriptures of Israel. Although prophecy in Mari predates prophecy in Israel, the practice of prophecy by female religious professionals in Mari is of particular interest because of a number of convergences with Israelite prophecy. The Mari corpus dates from 1776 to 1760 B.C.E.3 Ninevite prophetic practices performed by female religious professionals are of interest because of their chronology. These prophecies occur during the reigns of Esarhaddon (681-669 B.C.E.) and Ashurbanipal (668-627 B.C.E.) in the neo-Assyrian period and during the reign of Manasseh in Judah. The mention of Esarhaddon's enthronement in 2 Kgs 19:37 precedes the introduction of Hezekiah of Judah and his royal prophet Isaiah in 2 Kings 20. The munabbiatu (the invocation or lamentation prophet) of Emar deserves special attention in that this noun (and its root verb, nabu) are likely Akkadian cognates of biblical Hebrew n-b-'and its derived nouns, including navi' and nevi'ab.4 I will consider primary and secondary literature relating to female prophets in Mari, Nineveh, and Emar for characteristic elements comparable to those from ancient Israel. Several Akkadian terms for prophesying women (some with and some without male counterparts) have been discovered in the archaeological record of the ANE. In addition to the munabbiatu,

described in the previous paragraph, are the gabbatu/gamatus (the speaker-prophet), the apiltu (the prophetic "answerer" or prophetic respondent), the mubbutu (the cultic [priestly] or ecstatic prophet), and the raggintu/ raggimtu (the prediction or proclamation prophet).6 I will address each type of female prophet in its geographical and literary context. - ORACLES OF FEMALE PROPHETS IN MARI In the temple of Annunitum in the city of Ahatum the womanservant of Dagan-Malik went into a trance and spoke as follows, saying "0 Zimri-Lim, even though for your part you have spurned me, for my part I shall embrace you. Your enemies I shall deliver into your hand."ARMX 8

O Zimri-Lim, the city Sharrakia I [Dagon] shallgive to its enemies and those who encircle it. I [Innibana the apiltu] hereby give my hair and my fringe. Let them declare free [clean].

I [Queen Shibtu] asked the man and the woman ... I am not making them agree. On their own they speak, on their own they agree. ARMX 4

The qabatu [speaker-prophet] of Dagan of Terqa came and said this to me [Princess Inibsharra]. So she spoke, "The peace moves of the man of Eshunna are sheer deception. Beneath the straw the waters course. But I shall gather him into a net which holds fast. I shall put an end to his city and property which from ancient times has not been destroyed. I shall destroy. "ARM X 80

If an anomaly's [aborted calf?] right ear is cropped and inflated-crazed women [mubbatum-ecstatic prophets] will seize the land. If an anomaly's left ear is cropped and inflatedcorrespondingly for the land of the enemy. - FEMALE PROPHETS IN MARI Prophecy in Mari, like that in Israel (in contrast with most of the religious practices of the wider ANE), entails a direct disclosure of the god or goddess of the people to the prophet. For this reason, Malamat claims that the Mari prophets were more like the Israelite prophets than "any other divinatory manifestation in the ancient Near East." 7 Andre Parrot found some twenty thousand cuneiform clay tablets at Mari, complete and fragmented, just prior to 1972. Between 1972 and 1979, Jean-Claude Margueron found several thousand more. Fifty-five documents, which deal with prophets and prophecy, have been recovered from Mari. Women, mostly the royal women of the palace, wrote nearly half of them, with Queen Shibtu being the most frequent correspondent. Qabbatu (Qamatu) The qabbatu or speaker-prophet spoke for the deity when consulted. When inspired by the deity, she frequently charged for her services and was regularly in the employ of the monarch and/or the temple. There is no male counterpart for the qabbatu, the speaker-prophet, attested in Mari.' There is considerable lexical confusion between qamatu and qabbatu. Henshaw agrees that qamatu is an error and should be read gabbatu.9 William Moran cites Georges Dossin as arguing for qabbatu as the preferable reading.10 Abraham Malamat concurs." This is the most plausible resolution, deriving the noun from the verb gabu (defined below), which encompasses many types of ordinary, ritual, and legal speech. Based on the lexical range given

by the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (CAD), such a prophet can be said to make speeches or statements addressed to a god or goddess including promise, prognosis, and prognostication.12 She can also be understood as one who issues orders on behalf of the deity and may seek permission from, as well as grant the guarantee of, the deity. The verbal root gabu means to ask, call, declare, decree, demonstrate, designate, enumerate, list, name, object, order, promise, pronounce, recite, repeat, say, speak, swear, tell, and utter. All of the above meanings are attested in the Old Babylonian literary dialect, Standard Babylonian, and NeoBabylonian Akkadian. Moran presents transliterations and translations of several letters from the royal archives of Mari addressed to King Zimri-Lim by his queen, Shibtu, and his daughters, Kirum, Ereshit-Aya, Naramtum, Inibshina (sometimes transliterated "Inibsharra"), and Shibatum. Among the prophets whose oracles are passed on to the king is a gabbatu, sent to him from Princess Inibshina. This prophecy is in response to the oracle of a (male) cult musician: The gabbatu (speaker-prophet) of Dagan of Terqa came and said this to me. So she spoke: "The peace moves of the man of Eshunna are sheer deception. Beneath the straw the waters course. But I shall gather him into a net that holds fast. I shall put an end to his city and property which from ancient times has not been destroyed. I shall destroy."This is what she said to me. Now guard yourself. Without an omen do not enter the city. Here is what I hear: "He keeps moving about by himself." You are not to keep moving about by yourself. ARMX 8013

This text demonstrates the function of the gabbatu as an oracleproclaimer who is in the service of the deity and the king in the political sphere. The speaker-prophet speaks on behalf of Dagan in the first person; the deity, not the prophet, will catch and destroy the

king's enemy. This text also demonstrates the interpretive practice of Inibshina. She supplies her interpretation of the prophecy-that he should stop moving himself about-to make sure that he complies with the word of their god. The gabbatu in the service of the palace and/or the temple was most likely supported financially by those institutions. One gabbatu is recorded as having charged a specialized garment and a gold nose ring for her services; however, such payment was usually only demanded when a petitioner sought the word of a god or goddess. Spontaneous utterances were generally without charge. Voluntary offerings were customary.14 Apiltu The second category for consideration here is that of the "prophetic answerer" or respondent, the apiltu.ls She is understood as a dialogue partner of her god or goddess. In this capacity, she is also attested only at Mari in Middle and Standard Babylonian Akkadian. Her discourse with the Divine is considered to have occasionally been formalized dissent with regard to the politics of the city-state. Malamat understands this class of prophet to be a court prophet with influence over the king similar to that of Nathan over David.16 The example would also extend to Huldah's influence over Josiah. Paul Hoskisson finds a priestly role for the male apilu (and, not having found any evidence of genderdistinct functionality, I would argue for a complementary priestly role for the female apiltu).17 Bryan Beyer shares this understanding, arguing that the apiltu would have been a recognized practitioner in the formal cult.18 This reading is supported by the example of the apiltu Innibana, who prophesied for the monarch Zimri-Lim and delivered her oracles in the temple. Among the divinities who were served by prophetic respondents are Adad of Kallassu (near Aleppo), Dagan of Terqa (also on the Euphrates, at its confluence with the River Balih), and Tuttul, Diritum, and Shamash in Sippar. One prophetic respondent identifies himself (in this case) by his relationship with the temple he serves.'9

An intriguing possibility is that an apiltu may also have been a doorkeeper. This calls to mind the female sanctuary servitors (hatzovoth asher tzave'u) of Exod 38:8. The apilu as doorkeeper is attested to in Middle and Standard Babylonian Akkadian and is listed after "answerer" and "dissenter" in CAD; the context of this "doorkeeping" is not delineated. The notion of the apiltu as a dissenter suggests that her counsel was regularly perceived to be in opposition to that of the monarch. CAD quotes a text from Keilschrifttexte aus Assur religiosen Inhalts 460:16 to make the point: "The king will have no one who dissents from him in his palace .1120 While the apiltum (inclusive plural of apiltu and/or apilu) certainly delivered oracles at the temples and at the palace, they were not restricted to these locations. In one case, Queen Shibtu sent a letter to her husband, Zimri-Lim, telling him of the prophecy of an apiltu that took place at the gates of the city.21 Malamat finds that, like the Israelite prophets, apiltum functioned in prophetic guilds and traveled widely.22 Male and female apilu- and apiltu-prophets are regularly described as prophesying together, so it is possible that their guilds included prophets of both genders. This is demonstrated by lines 89,24-25, and 29-31 of a cuneiform tablet found at Tell el-Hariri and transcribed by Adolphe Lods. Lods believes it to have originally been part of the archives of Hammurabi's contemporary, Zimri-Lim, King of Mari:

Adad of Kallassu transmits his intentions for the dynasty of the king, whom he endorses, through the prophets. The god chooses these women and men for this task, and they transmit the divine willin this case by means of oracles. This relationship between the god and his servants is paralleled in the Hebrew Bible. While neither a female nor an Israelite prophet, Balaam son of Beor deserves some attention here as he is most likely the only apiluprophet attested to in the Hebrew Bible. In Mic 6:5, the verb `-n-h (to answer) is used to indicate the type of oracle that Balaam delivered for, and not to indicate dialogue with, Balak. Malamat considers this technical usage of the verb in conjunction with Balaam's cultic work (the sacrifice made by King Balak, Num 23:2-3; Balaam's own sevenfold sacrifice, 23:14; and his direction to Balak to perform a sevenfold sacrifice, 23:29-30) to be evidence of Balaam's identity as an apiluprophet.24 Balaam is unique in that YHWH, the Israelite deity, seeks him out on at least four occasions in Numbers 21-24 (not counting the appearance of the emissary ofYHWH in chapter 22, likely an addition to the original text).25 The spirit of God comes over Balaam and speaks through this foreign apilu as through any number of orthodox Israelites.26 Numbers 24 presents Balaam's prophetic technique in some detail: (1) he hears the words of El, (2) he sees visions of Shaddai, (3) he obtains knowledge from the Most High, and (4) he collapses, but his vision is not impaired. Balaam demonstrates that he knows the Israelite God by more names than any other prophet in the text. He works alone in the Numbers text, but he works with a female respondent prophet, an apiltu, in the Balaam inscription, found at Tell Deir 'Alla and dating from the seventh to eighth centuries B.C.E. She is also designated as a priestess, compounding the evidence for cultic role for apilu- and apiltuprophets.27 Usage of the verb `-n-h (to answer) in the Hebrew Bible may indicate an Israelite understanding of prophecy comparable to the

ANE category of apilu-prophecy. In Exodus, Moses and YHWH answer each other (4:1; 9:19), as do YHWH and Isaiah in 6:11. Ezekiel (24:20) and Zechariah (5:2) also use the language of respondents in reference to their vocation. Jeremiah (23:21-39) condemns several types of oracular manifestations and their representative language (that is, dreams, oracles) but seems to endorse prophetic answering. The prophets of Baal and Elijah in 1 Kgs 18:26 and 18:37 both use `-n-h. Huldah is also presented as "answering" in the account of the Chronicler, and in Mic 3:7, disgraced seers and diviners receive no answer from YHWH. The prophet Miriam "answered" (vata`an) the deliverance of the Israelites with an oracular, choreo-poem, that is, a poem or chanted song accompanied by dancing, in which she is accompanied by "all the women," associating percussion music with prophecy in the Hebrew Bible. In his discussion of `-n-h, Malamat claims that God (and not the prophet) is the respondent in the Hebrew Bible, while the prophets (and apparently not their god or goddess) are respondents in Mari.2S As in the biblical references above, the biblical evidence simply does not support that claim. In Archives Royales de Mari, Textes (ARMI) X 50, lines 22-26, an unnamed muhhutu, a cultic prophet, describes her prophesy as "answering," connecting her work with that of the apiltu. Muhhutu The muhhutu rose in the temple of Annunitum and so said: "Zimri-Lim, do not go on the expedition. Stay in Mari and I alone will take responsibility." My lord must not be negligent in guarding himself. I my[self] seal my hair and fringe and send to my lord.29 A third category of female religious intermediary is that of the muhhutu.30 She is regularly described as an ecstatic prophet with cultic responsibilities.3' This role is also attested at Mari and in Old Akkadian, Old Babylonian, and Standard Babylonian Akkadian. This

prophet is sometimes called an ecstatic prophet because of the semantic range of its root, mahu. The label ecstatic has been demonstrated to be pejorative in religious studies and requires some discussion here. The related verb, mahu (to rave), is associated with trance behavior and "spasms."32 Male cult prophets, mahhum (also called muhhum), are in fact described as "being drenched in their own blood" and performing ritual (dance?), circling movements.33 However, the depictions of muhhutum (plural of the feminine muhhutu) do not regularly include descriptions of ecstatic behavior. Beyer "hesitate[s] ... to draw a sharp distinction between the functions of the [male] muhhum and the [female] muhhutum."34 His hesitation is preceded by an acknowledgment that there are no form or content differences between the oracles delivered by the prophets with respect to gender, but he does not discuss delivery practices that might be considered ecstatic. The extraordinarily weak case for ecstatic prophecy in the Hebrew Bible rests in part on an idiosyncratic tradition of translating the hitpael stem of n-b-'and the occasional use of meshugga'(raging, mad, "crazy") in conjunction with n-b-'. The pual substantival participle of sh-g-', "to rave," which Malamat claims is a synonym for n-b-', is mesbugga. However, only those who are questioning or deriding an individual prophet, a prophecy, or a group of prophets use it. All of the cases cited by Malamat are those in which individual prophets, or the behavioral genre, are found objectionable in one way or another.35 He draws a comparison between the Israelite possession (madness) and the Mari ecstatic prophet on semantic grounds.36 However, his comparison is problematic in that in Hebrew the term is used for those who are suspected of being mad and/or suspected of being false prophets. It may be that mentally ill individuals were so labeled and that the term applied to anyone with suspect behavior, including authentic prophets.37 Jean-Marie Durand identifies these prophets as "clairvoyants.1131 Johannes Pedersen considers the male counterpart of the muhhutu, the mahhu, to be a priest or holy man

called "god's man."39 My limited work in this area has indicated that there are no gender-based differences in the function of these prophets. I suggest the muhhutu could also have been considered a priest or priestess. These priestly prophets, like the respondent prophets, participate formally in the cult and deliver oracles. Many of the oracles were delivered as conscious, deliberate acts, not in an ecstatic state or a mindless frenzy, so Malamat's offering of "lunatic" is troubling with its connotations of female instability in accord with the lunar cycle.40 Erle Leichty goes so far as to translate mubbutum as "crazed women": If an anomaly's [aborted calf?] right ear is cropped and inflated-crazed women [mubbutum-ecstatic prophets] will seize the land. If an anomaly's left ear is cropped and inflatedcorrespondingly for the land of the enemy.4l

The label ecstatic is problematic, and not just because it calls to mind the notion of hysterical women; it is regularly viewed as nonrational and generally functions as a derogative label in biblical and ANE studies. Pedersen finds that a previous generation of scholarship "regarded ecstasy as something abnormal and morbid" and correctly counters with the ancient Israelite (and one might argue ancient Near Eastern) understanding that ecstasy is indicative of superhuman strength and the presence of God's spirit within a specific individual.42 He is referring to the notion of being "overwhelmed by the spirit," which, in fact, is not a synonym for prophecy in the Hebrew scriptures. Indeed, in none of the muhhutum oracles analyzed for this work were the prophets described as functioning in ecstasy or even prophesying through the use of the verb mahu. In his comparative work, Pedersen also finds that the cult prophet was a member of a guild, as were the male and female apiltu-prophets; these guilds had proprietary methods to induce the

desired state of union with the deity, which may have been manifested either in trance behavior or in clear discourse. Moran uses the term "ecstasy" but clarifies that the ecstasy of these prophets is not "extreme mantic frenzy"; rather, he uses the language of "lucid trance" as distinct from "somnambulistic trance."43 It is important to note that there is an Akkadian term for a true ecstatic: The zabbu/zabbatu is associated with, but distinct from, muhhutum and mahhum. Zabbu-ecstatics are described as smearing themselves with dirt and cutting and mutilating themselves in other ways.44 They are also not associated with a deity. Given that the mahhu-prophets are not in fact mad, but rather out of themselves and consumed by the personality and communion of their god or goddess, the language of trance is preferable to that of madness and craziness, or even ecstasy. Trance work was performed by more than one type of Assyrian religious functionary. In ARM X 7, Shelebum, a male assinu or cult musician, went into a trance (immahu), and the goddess Annunitum spoke through him.45 There are also recorded instances of female cultic prophets (muhhutum) going into trances in which the goddess or god speaks through them. In the extract below, a prophet whose guild is not identified goes into a trance to deliver her oracle: In the temple of Annunitum46 in the city of Ahatum the womanservant ofDagan-Malik went into a trance [immahima] and spoke as follows, saying "0 Zimri-Lim, even though for your part you have spurned me, for my part I shall embrace you. Your enemies I shall deliver into your hand. More than that, I shall seize the men of Sharrakia and gather them to the destruction of (the goddess) Belet-ekallim. The following day Ahum the priest brought me (Queen Shibtu) this report, the hair and the fringe and I have written my lord. I have sealed the hair and fringe and dispatched to my lord."ARMX 847

Beyer finds that this type of prophet regularly delivered her oracles at the temple as well as the palace. And he notes that she was either well compensated on a fee-for-service basis or received tremendous voluntary offerings. One mubbutu is recorded as having two personal women-servants; others collected regular royal rations of grain and oil, and still others received clothing, including headdresses and silver jewelry.48 Muhhutum are also found to serve Dagan of Terqa and Tuttul and are associated with the temple of Annunitum. Beyer identifies Nergal, Itur-Mer, and Ninhursagga as deities served by (male) mahhum.49 This service would have been at different locations, as there is no evidence that there was more than one of any type of prophet at any given temple. Bernard Frank Batto also identifies the (male) mahhum as temple personnel in one case, in the cult of Ishtar.50 In an intriguing text published by Stephen Langdon, the female and male cultic prophets play a role in atonement from Ishtar and Tammuz. In return for their services, they receive temple rations of bread.51 These cultic prophets served in conjunction with nonprophetic temple administrators who were responsible for sending token representations of the oracle to the government or king after a public oracle. The prophet was not subject to anyone but the god or goddess in relation to when to deliver the oracle.52 Batto finds that the apiltu, muhhutu, and gabbatu were professional prophets, associated with a particular deity and enjoying temple support.53 Their regular employment was to communicate the will of the god or goddess to seekers. Batto demonstrates that there is but one individual belonging to any given category of prophets at each temple, so that they are simply identified as the speaker, respondent, or ecstatic prophet of the god or goddess or temple.54 However, an individual temple or deity may have more than one kind of prophet.55 (For example, both respondent and ecstatic prophets served Dagan.)



- FEMALE PROPHETS IN NINEVEH In 1875, George Smith published a collections of oracles found in Nineveh pertaining to King Esarhaddon (681-669 B.C.E.) of Assyria. Simo Parpola has retranslated some of those oracles and made the corpus available for modern study. This discussion of the Assyrian prophets whose prophecies were discovered in Nineveh is based on his work, primarily Assyrian Prophecies.67 Two categories of professional prophet seen in Mari are also present in the Ninevite literature. The term raggimu/raggimtu is the primary designation for prophets in the neo-Assyrian context. A secondary designation is mahhum/muhhutum, cultic prophet. The Ninevite oracles are of particular interest because of their temporal and textual intersections with the scriptures of Israel. They occur during the seventh century, the time of Isaiah and Nahum. One of the two neo-Assyrian monarchs to whom these prophecies are directed, Esarhaddon, is mentioned in 2 Kgs 19:37; Isa 37:38; and Ezra 4:2. Nineveh is the subject of Jonah's discourse as well as the vision of Nahum. In Zeph 3:4, Zephaniah discredits prophets of an unnamed, defiled, oppressive city (see 3:1) as reckless and treacherous persons. It is possible that these are Ninevite prophets and that the masculine plural includes but masks the presence of both genders (see Zeph 2:13-15, directly preceding 3:1). Assyria and

Nineveh are named in 2:13, in the verse that leads up to the condemnation of the prophets. However, some identify the city in 3:1 as Jerusalem and not as Nineveh. Jerusalem may be seen as defiled by the prophet, but it is hardly an oppressor.61 In Assyrian Prophecies, thirteen prophets proclaim twenty-eight oracles. Eight of these prophets were female; four were male. One additional prophet was a biological male who performed a female gender role as a result of castration, possibly voluntary. Both feminine and masculine grammatical markers were used to describe this prophet. In this chapter, I am primarily concerned with the oracles proclaimed by (biological) female prophets. The prophecy of the biological male who self-identified as "the woman Baya, the son of Arbela" is similar to those of the biologically female prophets. S/he repeats, "Do not fear," twice on behalf of Bel, who watches over the heart of Esarhaddon.69 Raggintu (Raggimtu) Early definitions of the raggintu70 include "oracle priestess" or "conjures," indicating her ability to make her words come to pass.71 This type of prophet also predicts the future.72 I will refer to these prophets as proclamation-prophets following Simo Parpola; he identifies this title, which is also found in Neo-Babylonian Akkadian,73 as the dominant Neo-Assyrian term for prophet. He also finds that raggimu (male proclamation-prophet) eventually replaced mahhum (male cult prophet); presumably the argument holds true for their female counterparts. For this reason, he identifies all of the prophets in Assyrian Prophecies as raggimu and raggintu prophets, even when there is no title given for the prophet in the oracle. (None self-identify as muhhutum.) If Parpola is correct in his assessment of the textual evidence, and the normative terminology for prophet shifted from mahhum/muhhutum to raggimu/raggintum, then these prophets represent the dominant category of prophets in the ANE.

Parpola also reports two oracles from clearly identified raggintum in an earlier publication.74 The first, Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal (LAS) 317, is an oracle of the raggintu Ninlin-abu-usri and was found on a tablet.75 Ninlinabu-usri prophesies in the temple after taking the king's clothes to Akkad for an unknown reason, using the verb from which her title is derived, ragamu. Because of a break in the tablet, the deity is not identifiable. The prophecy pertains to the monarchy and functions to legitimate occupation of the throne. The prophet Ninlin-abu-usri is exercising the king-making function common to royal prophets:

In the second text, LAS 280, on the occasion of the death of the regent Damgi, who governed "Assyria, Babylon, and their territories," a servant of the king writes to tell him an unnamed raggintu prophesied (also using the verb ragamu) that the ill-fated Damgi would rule after the king. This is a clearly failed attempt at kingmaking. Parpola identifies a majority of the prophecies addressed to or concerning Esarhaddon as being from raggintum. Sinqisha-amur of Arbela proclaimed both an encouragement oracle for Esarhaddon and an oracle concerning Babylon.76 The encouragement oracle is addressed to the unnamed "King of Assyria" from the goddess Ishtar, spoken "by the mouth of the woman Sinqisha-amur of Arbela."77 Ishtar is identified as being from the same city, Arbela, as her prophet. The proclamation on the unbroken portion of the encouragement text reads, "King of Assyria, have no fear! I will deliver up the enemy of the King of Assyria for slaughter.... I have

given you faith, I do not sit [idle]!"78 The Babylonian oracle of Sinqisha-amur is lengthy and intact to a point. In this oracle, the goddess makes it clear that the king is her son: "I am your father and mother. I raised you [the king] between my wings."79 The Ninevite corpus also contains a few prophecies concerning Ashurbanipal. The prophecy of the raggintu Mullissu-kabtat suggests to Parpola that she may have been from Nineveh, where Mullissu was honored.SO This is a tender word of comfort from a Divine Mother to a crown prince who is like a frightened young calf. Four times the goddess tells Ashurbanipal, "Fear not!" She promises to "carry [him] on [her] hip like a nurse," and "put [him] between [her] breasts like a pomegranate." These images are similar to YHWH's embrace of Ephraim as a child in Hosea 11 and Moses' desire that YHWH would relieve him of nursing Israel in Numbers 11. The encouragement oracle of Ahat-Abisha of Arbela is preserved in its entirety.81 It is directed to Esarhaddon's mother and also speaks directly to the king. Her assurance to the king includes the following: "Now fear not, my king! The kingdom is yours, yours is the power." The brief encouragement oracle of Remutti-Allati is also completely preserved: "I rejoice with Esarhaddon, my King! By the mouth of the woman Remutti-Allati of Dara-ahuya, a town in the mountains."82 The fragments of Ilussa-Amur's encouragement oracle are followed by a clear attestation: "By the mouth of the woman Ilussa-Am[ur] of the Inner City"S3 Issar-Beli-Da'-'ini is apparently speaking in the first person on behalf of Ishtar when she says, "I will cut the conspiring weasels and shrews to pieces before his feet. You (f.-the prophet?) are you. The king is my king! By the mouth of the woman Issar-Beli-Da'-'ini, a votaress of the king. 1114 The oracle of Urkittu-Sharrat of Calneh is lengthy with several breaks in the middle.S5 It is introduced with the formula "The word of Ishtar of Arbela, the word of Queen Mullissu," and concludes with the formula "By the mouth of the woman UrkittuSharrat of Calneh."

There are prophecies addressing Ashurbanipal, Esarhaddon's successor, by female prophets in the Nineveh corpus in addition to those addressed to Esarhaddon. One oracle for Ashurbanipal included a date: Nis[an] 18, which Parpola assigns to 650 B.C.E. He makes this identification based in part on the origin of the text, "eponymy of Bel-shadu'a, governor of Tyre," also specified in the oracle .16 The author of this prophecy is Dunnasha-amur.S7 Here, Ishtar/Mullissu tells Ashurbanipal, "I have ordained life for you in the assembly of the gods."88 What is most striking about these oracles is their use of the messenger formula "By the mouth of the woman X," calling to mind the notion that authentic prophecy is from the "mouth of YHWH" in Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. The gods and goddesses speak through these prophets to comfort the kings they have enthroned at moments of crisis. - FEMALE PROPHETS IN EMAR In 1993, Daniel Fleming published an article on two previously unknown religious functionaries, the nabu and munabbiatu, in texts discovered by Jean-Claude Margueron in the 1970s at Meskene Qadime. Known in antiquity as Emar, the site is dated from the late twelfth to early fourteenth centuries B.C.E.89 Emar was a port city on the Euphrates and was ruled at times by Ebla and Mari in the twenty-fourth century and by Aleppo in the nineteenth century B.C.E.90 Most of the texts were written in Akkadian; however, some were written in Hittite and Hurrian. Fleming is certain that the female religious functionary, the munabbiatu, and her male counterpart, the nabu, are connected to the navi' and nevi'ab of the Hebrew scriptures, but that does not clarify what it is exactly that these religious persons do.9' There are four references to these female religious officials, the munabbiatum (plural of munabbiatu) of Emar, three times in the name of the goddess Isharra ("She of the munabbiatum") and once in a list with

other religious professionals receiving rations of meat. The same texts mention both munabbiatum and nabum (plural of nabu). The fragmented reference to the nabu can be reconstructed to identify "the house of the nabum" within the temple of Isharra. Since the masculine plural includes the munabbiatum, "the house of the nabum" is most likely the house of the munabbiatum and nabum. Additionally, since prophets of both genders are associated with Isharra, it is evident that both functionaries were in the service of the goddess. Both terms are found only in the plural at Emar; these prophets function in guilds. The verb nabu exists only in one place and describes a female heir who is legally designated both female and male and is now required to nabu, invoke (name) or lament the dead.92 The most common meaning of nabu is "to call" or "to name."There is a second form that means "to lament." Each of the Emar citations could support a definition of lamentation, which easily applies in the case of the female heir and may fit the temple context of the female and male prophets. Lamentation and invocation are not polar opposites; indeed, proper lamentation may require appropriate invocation of the deceased. Lamentation and prophecy are associated in the Hebrew scriptures in 2 Chr 35:25, where Jeremiah composes a lament for King Josiah that is performed by female and male singers. YHWH directs Ezekiel to prophesy using the form of a lament over the princes of Israel in chapter 19, Tyre in 27:2 and the following, the prince of Tyre in 28:12 and the following, and Pharaoh in 32:2 and the following. In Mic 1:8, the prophet laments and wails, going barefoot and naked in mourning over Judah. However, the masculine noun also appears in Mari, and there it is paired with "diviner" and functions as a synonym for apilu.93 Fleming finds that the male functionary issues a prophecy based on the presence of the god during the divination and is therefore a prophet like the apilu. Eugen Pentiuc argues that male nabum were prophets and closely related to the biblical nevi'im, but female munabbiatum were not prophets but wailers.94 His argument-that nabu is derived

from a passive G stem (comparable to niphal in Biblical Hebrew, active G is comparable to qal), and munabbiatu is derived from an active D stem of nabu (D stem is factitive or causative, comparable to hiphil in Biblical Hebrew), and the two stems impart different meanings to the verb-is somewhat speculative. I believe that he is influenced by the traditional, mistaken, division of meanings between the niphal and hitpael stems for n-b-' in biblical Hebrew95 I am more convinced by Fleming's recitation of other Akkadian D feminine and G masculine word pairs in which both are active and have the same meaning: ne'iru/muna"ertu (murderer) and za'izanu/ muza'iztu (distributor).96 I am persuaded by Fleming's argument that the function of the munabbiatum and nabum is "invocation, naming and so calling on a divine being to give cult or seek aid."This does not rule out invoking the deity in lamentation or prophesying using the lament form. Neither does the existence of invocation prophets rule out use of the verb nabu by a layperson to lament or invoke her ancestors. - GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON ANE AND ISRAELITE FEMALE PROPHETS Moran identifies a fivefold prophetic formula in use by professional prophets that is similar to, but distinct from, that used by lay dream prophets: (1) The prophet identifies herself by title and/or name. Because each god or goddess had only one of each type of professional prophet at any given temple, the individual name of the prophet was not necessary. (2) The prophet identifies her place of prophecy. This identification also serves to identify the deity who associated with the particular temple or city, including the palace for royal oracles. (3) Professional prophets rise to utter their prophesies. This presumes that they are keeling or sitting in prayer or other communion with the deity prior to utterance. (4) An indicator of a direct quote precedes (5) the quoted oracle, which is usually in the second person and nearly always begins with a vocative.97

Moran also notes that professional prophets never identify themselves as being sent by their deity when they deliver their oracles from the temple (as distinct from lay dream prophets who sometimes slept in the temple to induce a holy dream).9S' he (lay) prophet, in the ANE, is not the messenger but the "mouthpiece" of the Divine. Ancient Israelite prophets used formulas such as "so says YHWH" but also had a number of diverse prophetic practices. A further distinction between lay and professional prophets is that ANE laywomen-prophets were frequently identified with reference to their husbands to indicate their social accountability.99 This is not the case for professional prophets in Mari but may be the case for Huldah the wife of Shallum. (It may be behind interpretive attempts to transform the fiery prophet Deborah into a married woman.) It should also be noted that there is no evidence of the "lay prophet" category in biblical Israel. Malamat compares and contrasts the prophets of Mari with those of Israel. He is firmly convinced of the "superiority" of the Israelite prophets, and his work reflects his presupposition. He also understands prophecy to be less "rational" and less "academic" than magic arts such as omen taking.'°° Yet his work is a fruitful place to begin to compare prophecy in ancient Israel with that in Mari. Much has been made of the fact that the Mari prophecies are singularly royal in content and that there are no prophecies concerned with the well-being of the community at large (as in the many social-justice prophetic texts in the Hebrew scriptures). However, it should be remembered that the archive in which the Mari texts were found was the royal archive. The focus on the royal house does not distinguish prophecy in Mari from Israelite prophecy, where there were many royal or dynastic oracles that were collected and preserved. Malamat concedes that if we were to discover biblical books such as 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, or 1 and 2 Chronicles in isolation, we might be led to the same conclusion-that Israelite and Judean prophets were solely concerned with the monarchy and had no interest in the lives of the majority of the community. A singular

collection of royal artifacts does not tell us anything about how prophecy functioned outside of the interests of the monarchy. The varied contexts reflected in Israelite prophecy and contrasted with the singular royal context of Mari prophecy make it difficult to compare all Israelite prophecy with that in Mari. However, a comparison of the Israelite archival prophetic material (Samuel, Kings, Chronicles) with the Mari material yields a similar portrait of prophetic activity: concern of the deity for her/his chosen monarch expressed through the prophet, divine/prophetic advice on matters of warfare and statecraft, and divine intervention in political and ecological events on behalf of the monarch. I find the corpora to be comparable, without making a value judgment of superiority or inferiority. An initial comparison between Israelite and Mari prophecy reveals that neither used enabling magical rituals. Both were generated at the instigation of the deity but could also be accomplished in response to a petition. Prophets from both constituencies remained cognizant of their own identities and mission while delivering their oracles. Prophets from both communities came from the central city as well as the outlying areas (Tuttul and Terqa in Mari; Tekoa, Moreshet, and Anathoth in Israel and Judah). Prophecy in both cultures thrived in agrarian economies, occasionally supplemented by pastoralism and limited mercantilism, and in small but expanding cities within tribal environs. Both genres of prophecy included the socalled oracle of doom as well as prosperity oracles. Another similarity was the intermediary role played by prophets and joined by other cultic functionaries at the request of, or on behalf of, the king (this was certainly not unique to Mari and ancient Israel). In ARMT V1 45 and X 8, female prophets and temple priests worked in concert to deliver an oracle to the monarchy. In the same manner, the biblical Huldah gave her oracle to Hilkiah the high priest at the direction of King Josiah and delivered an oracle for the monarchy (2 Kings 22). In a comparison of 1 Samuel and the Mari Documents, Malamat notes three confluences between the corpora: (1) an

adjudicatory circuit of four towns is made by Asqadum, the chief diviner of Mari, and by Samuel in Benjamin (ARMV 65, lines 15-28, and 1 Sam 7:16-17); (2) both corpuses have sagas detailing the losing and finding (with prophetic intervention) of donkeys belonging to the king-Saul just before his anointing (1 Sam 9:3-20) and ZimriLim during his reign (ARM 26/1 63); and (3) old men are associated with prophecy whether as living elders (a fragment ofARM26) or as the ghosts of the dead (1 Sam 28:7-19; Num 11:24).101 The royal archives at Mari contain first or second drafts of prophecies spoken and written within the span of a decade, whereas the prophecies of the Hebrew Bible were spoken, written, heavily edited, and redacted over more than a millennium. Yet in both corpuses, in only a single instance do prophets hire scribes to assist with their labor: "Atarum the respondent of the Shamash came here and so he spoke to me as follows, `Send me a competent and discrete scribe that I may have him write down the message of Shamash to the king"' (ARM 26/2, lines 29-34); "Then Baruch answered them, `He spoke all of these words to me by mouth and I wrote them with ink on the scroll"' (Jer 36:18). The Israelite prophet Miriam is comparable to a Mari apiltu, or respondent, in that the language of "response"-a technical term among Mari women-prophets and Balaam, as attested in the Hebrew Bible and outside-is used of her surviving oracle. Also, she is associated with a professional guild, in her case a musical one. The WomanProphet, the mother of Isaiah's child, is another Israelite prophet associated with a guild, like that of the apiltum. She, along with her presumed husband, Isaiah the Visionary, and their disciples, formed a prophetic community after rejecting the royal patronage of King Ahaz.102 The biblical prophets Miriam and Deborah are also comparable to an ecstatic prophet, a rnubbutu prophet, in that their oracles are delivered through music. Huldah maybe the most easily identifiable female prophet in the Hebrew Bible in that she uses the prophetic formula "so says YHWH" and is associated with the temple and the palace. Her formal hierarchal connections make her most

comparable to an apiltu. The female prophets of the Hebrew scriptures exhibit the most similarities to the apiltu and mubbutu prophets of Mari. If the analysis of Simo Parpola is correct, the female prophets of the Hebrew scriptures would be most widely recognized as raggintum by their neo-Assyrian neighbors. Confirmation of the prophet's oracle was a serious concern throughout Mesopotamia. Some apiltu and muhhutu prophets served in conjunction with temple administrators; in some cases, the temple officials sent the king tokens or symbols of public prophecy. The most frequent tokens of such prophets were a lock of hair and fringe from the prophet's garment sent to the king through a temple officer. This practice served to identify the prophet and may have served to prove that there was in fact a genuine prophet issuing oracles.103 In the following oracle, the prophet Innibana gives a lock of her hair and a portion of the fringe from the hem of her garment to Princess Inibsharra, daughter of Zimri-Lim, who then sends the oracle to her father with the hair and fringe. Innibana the apiltu rose and spoke as follows: "0 Zimri-Lim, the city Sharrakia I shall give to its enemies and those who encircle it.... I hereby give my hair and my fringe. Let them declare free [clean]."ARMX 8110'

The fringe and hair served to demonstrate the credibility of the prophet but apparently were not required when the prophet was suitably well known or intended to appear before the king hersel£IOS The Akkadian sissiktu (fringe) is a cognate of the biblical Hebrew tzitzit (fringe), in use in Old Akkadian, Old Babylonian, and Akkadian, and as an "Akkadogram" in Hittite; it is spelled zizziktu (or sissiktu) in Neo-Assyrian.I06 The fringe on the hem of one's garment was knotted in marriage and cut in divorce proceedings. It also served as a form of identification; individuals who did not have cylinder seals "signed" documents by pressing the imprint of their hems into clay

tablets before they dried. The fringe was used symbolically in dream interpretation; discarding a cut portion discarded sickness or other evil portents in dreams. An individual's fringe was used in divination on her or his behalf and could be used in sorcery to make effective a curse against that person. It may be that the association of the fringe with the divine realm, sorcery, divination, prophecy, and dream interpretation (and manipulation) contributed to the notion of it as a religious object throughout the ANE, including ancient Israel.107 In Num 15:38-39, YHWH through Moses commands the beney yisrael, the children of Israel, to "make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the ages; let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner," so they would look at it and recall all the commandments of YHWH and observe them, and not follow the desires of their hearts and eyes, described as commercialized sexual desires (zonim). The masculine plural beney yisrael has been traditionally understood to apply to males in this case. However, in most instances, beney yisrael means "Israelites." For example, all of the Israelites (beney yisrael), female and male, left Egypt in the Exodus. It is possible that the wearing of tzitzit in ancient Israel was common among women and men, as was the wearing of sissiktu by both genders in the wider ANE. Moran and Malamat both understand that possession of the tokens of the prophet gave the possessor some sort of power over her, magical or otherwise. Moran specifies that the tokens were routinely subjected to omens to determine the veracity of the prophet. However, as this practice was not universal, his argument that the "natural knowledge" of these women (and he does not include their male counterparts in his argument) was subject to the "technical knowledge" of the male augurers assumes a gender bias that is not supported by the texts.IOs Another technique for verifying the oracle was to sequester several prophets in separate locations and compare their oracles:

I asked the man [apilu] and the woman [apiltu] ... I am not making them agree. On their own they speak, on their own they agree.ARMX 4 [sent to Zimri-Lim by Queen Shibtu]I09

Bahdi-Lim, one of Zimri-Lim's administrative officials, sent him the hair and fringe of an unnamed muh'h'utu in his correspondence along with the written report of the priest who received them. The issue at stake is sealed in the report and not disclosed in the surviving correspondence."" - SUMMARY According to Batto, the egalitarian nature of prophetic activity in Mari is a reflection of"an unusual amount of power [accorded] to the women of the royal family [by Zimri-Lim]."III However, when FrymerKensky makes some generalizations about female prophets in Mesopotamia to contextualize Deborah's oracular function, she observes that "most of the Assyrian prophets were women" and comments on the common practice of women inspiring their own military forces while mocking those of the enemy. 112 Her conclusion is that Deborah's activities, which are presented as exceptional, if not unique, in the Hebrew scriptures, would have been culturally consistent with early readers (or hearers) of her poetic and prosaic narratives. Batto reads the female prophetic activity in Mari in isolation from other ANE evidence and states that it is "unusual." By stipulating that the egalitarian prophetic activity in Mari is a function of the power of royal women, he makes that prophetic tradition derivative and, to some degree, aberrant. Frymer-Kensky reads female prophetic activity in the ANE as normative and contextual for the prophetic activity of women in ancient Israel. The opinions of these two scholars demonstrate the degree to which each scholar's views, expressed and unarticulated, shape their respective perspectives.

The relationship between prophecy in the ANE and in ancient Israel is complex, with distinctions and commonalities. Neither tradition is dependent on the other; they are interrelated. However, the broad portrayals of female prophets in Mari, Emar, and Nineveh offer ways of understanding the role and function of Israelite female prophets beyond their limited portrayal in the Hebrew scriptures.

THE FIVE INDIVIDUAL FEMALE PROPHETS of the Hebrew Bible are not designated as prophets in each of the texts in which they appear or, for those who make more than one appearance, in subsequent texts. Yet in most cases, it is apparent that narratives in which these women appear recognize the prophetic identity asserted in other narratives. Therefore, all of the texts in which these individual women and the groups in which female prophets were explicitly identified will be considered. Miriam is the only female prophet in the Torah. Most of the female prophets named in the Hebrew scriptures appear in the Prophets: Deborah, Huldah, No'adiah, the anonymous female prophet in Isaiah, the daughters who will prophesy in Joel, and the daughters of the people who prophesy in Ezekiel. No'adiah is the only female prophet named in the Writings. There are also the daughters of Heman, the visionary in David's service who directs his sons and daughters in musical prophecy. For this examination, I am using the Masoretic Text (MT) as the primary textual tradition and examining each reference to women as

prophets using n-b-' in either nominal or verbal construction. The narratives in the Septuagint (LXX) largely parallel those in the MT, with a few notable exceptions.' The biblical Hebrew noun nevi'ab, female prophet, is translated as prophetis in the LXX and nevi'ta' in the Targumim and is the most common indicator of female prophecy in the Hebrew scriptures. The hitpael participle, bammitnabbe'otb, describes female prophecy in one text. The verbal constructions venibbe'u and banibbe'im (K, haniv'im, Q may each indicate female prophecy. (K, "Ketiv-written" refers to what is written in the MT; Q "Qer-read," refers to what is read when the MT has margin notes indicating a scribal correction.) The masculine plural verbs have dual, male, and female subjects: "Your sons and daughters will prophesy" and "those [subsequently identified sons and daughters] who prophesy."I am examining the women identified as female prophets in canonical order, which is roughly chronological, based on their initial activity. A note about the names of biblical characters is in order here. The traditional names used in standard English translations of the Bible have come into English usage through combinations of languages: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, and occasionally others. There is very little standardization. For example, the names of the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah are both spelled with the Hebrew letter that corresponds to Y. Isaiah has come through Hebrew to Latin; Jeremiah has come through German. (All names beginning with a j come through German, as there is no j in Hebrew, Greek, or Latin.) In the translations that follow, I use the names of biblical characters with which the reader is most likely to be familiar. I am including their names as they appear in the respective manuscripts in parentheses after their first mention in each text where there are differences.2 - MIRIAM (MIRYAM)3Exod2:1 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and gave birth to a son; and when she saw him-that he was beautiful-she4 hid

him three months. 3 When she was no longer able to hide him, she got a papyrus basket for him and plastered it with tar and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the River.' 4 His sister6 stood at a distance, to discern what would happen to him. 5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the River, while her women-servants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. 6 When she opened it, she saw him. The baby boy was crying, and she took pity on him. She said, "This must be one of the Hebrews' children." 7Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" 8 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Yes."So the young woman went and called the baby's mother. 9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, "because from the water I drew him." 7

Exod 6:20 (LXX)8 And Ambram took Jochbed (Yocheved) the daughter of his father's brother for a wife, and she bore to him both Aaron and Moses, and Mariam their sister: and the years of the life of Ambram were a hundred and thirty-two years.

Exod 15:20 Then Miriam (Miryam) the woman-prophet, Aaron's (Aharon's) sister, took the drum in her hand; and all the women went out9 behind her with drums and with dancing. 21 And Miriam answered them:'° "Sing to YHWH, who has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider YHWH has thrown into the sea.""

Num 12:112 And Miriam (Miryam) spoke, also Aaron (Aharon), against Moses (Moshe) on account of the Nubian woman whom he had taken (in marriage), for he had indeed taken a Nubian wife.13 2 And they said, "Indeed, is it only through Moses that YHWH speaks? Does not YHWH also speak through us?" And YHWH heard. 3 Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any earthling on the face of the earth. 4 And YHWH said suddenly to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out you three to the tent of meeting!" And the three of them came forward. 5 And YHWH went down in a standing cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and the two of them came out. 6 And he14 said,15

9 And the anger of YHWH burned against them and he left. 10 And the cloud turned away from the tent and then and there! Miriam was diseased like snow! And Aaron turned towards Miriam and then and there, diseased skin! 11 And Aaron said to Moses, "It is in me, my lord, please do not place on us the sin in which we have been foolish and in which we have sinned. 12 Please do not let her become as one dead who goes out from the womb of his mother and half of his flesh is consumed."" 13 And Moses cried out to YHWH: "Please God '20 please heal her!" 14 And YHWH said to Moses,

"Indeed, if her father had only spit in her face, would she not be ashamed seven days? Let her be shut out seven days outside the camp and afterward she will be gathered." 15 And Miriam was shut out, outside the camp seven days, but the people would not travel until the gathering of Miriam. 1621 And afterward the people traveled from Hazeroth and they camped in the wilderness of Paran.

Num 20:1 The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam (Miryam) died there, and was buried there.

Num 26:59' he name of Amram's22 wife was Jochebed (Yocheved) daughter of Levi, who was born23 to Levi in Egypt; and she bore to Amram: Aaron (Aharon), Moses (Moshe), and Miriam (Miryam) their sister.

Deut24: 9 Remember what24 YHWH your God did to Miriam (Miryam) on the way when you were going out of Egypt.

1 Chr 5:29 (NRSV 6:3) The children of Amram: Aaron (Aharon), Moses (Moshe), and Miriam (Miryam). The sons of Aaron: Nadab (Nadav), Abihu (Avihu), Eleazar (El'azar), and Ithamar.

There are explicit references to Miriam in Exod 15:20-21; Num 12:115; 20:1; 26:59; Dent 24:9; 1 Chr 5:29 (LXX 5:29; NRSV 6:3); and Mic 6:4 in the MT. In addition, she is named in Exod 6:20, only in the LXX. The unnamed sister of Moses, traditionally identified as Miriam, is introduced in Exod 2:4. In Exodus 15, Miriam is identified as Aaron's sister, but no relationship with Moses is articulated. In the disputation in Numbers 12, the account of Miriam's death in Num 20:1, and the warning in Dent 24:9 to remember what God did to her, no familial relationships are described for Miriam, Moses, or Aaron. However, in the genealogies recorded in Num 26:59; 1 Chr 5:29 (LXX 5:29; NRSV 6:3); and Exod 6:20 (LXX only), Aaron, Moses, and Miriam are identified as the offspring of Jochebed and Amram in the tribe of Levi. Micah 6:4 records that the three, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, were prophets sent by God but does not specify a relationship between them.25 The lack of consistent articulation of Miriam as the sister of both Moses and Aaron, combined with the namelessness of Moses' sister in Exodus 2, calls into question the identification of the prophet Miriam with the women referenced in each of these texts. Miriam's age throughout her saga is also difficult to estimate. If we read the "sister," in Exodus 1, as Miriam, then she is older than Moses, but it is impossible to relate her in terms of age to Aaron. However, based on the narrative, she must be old enough to walk and talk, more than that, to negotiate and advocate. Exodus 7:7 says that Aaron is three years older than Moses. It is possible that narratives of more than one woman were conflated into the Miriam saga. The author/editors of Micah and Chronicles were clearly relying on earlier material, as were the translators and editors of the Septuagint. This leaves us with only the genealogy in Numbers 26 in the MT identifying Miriam as the sister of both Aaron and Moses. This identification is projected onto the other texts that mention Miriam, Moses, and Aaron in canonical and

traditional readings, which suggest a strong Miriamic tradition supported by these diverse surviving narratives. Miriam of the Exodus is described as a singer, dancer, and percussionist in Exodus 15, where the prophecy attributed to her is one of the oldest26 portions of the Hebrew scriptures: "All sing to YHWH, for YHWH has triumphed triumphantly; horse and rider YHWH has thrown into the sea." Musical performances, particularly when accompanied by percussive instruments, are identified as prophetic performances in 1 Samuel 10 and 1 Chronicles 25. In 1 Samuel, the members of the prophetic guild play the harp, hand drums, flute, and lyre while they prophesy. In 1 Chronicles, the children of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun prophesy with lyres, harps, and cymbals in the worship system organized by David. First Chronicles 25:5 specifies that Heman is a visionary in the service of the king and has fourteen sons and three daughters. The next verse states that all of them served under their father in the musical guild. As is generally the case when a prophet is introduced, prophetic action follows prophetic introduction.27 As a prophet, Miriam conducts the first religious musical performance in post-Exodus Israel; it is characterized by an exhortation to worship through song, charismatic singing and dancing led by women playing tuppim, hand drums.2' As noted previously, Miriam's age is virtually impossible to estimate. However, Moses is eighty and Aaron is eighty-three when they began to demand the freedom of their people (Exod 7:7); Miriam is perhaps five, seven, or more years older than Moses. Miriam is a mature, perhaps elderly woman when she leads the people through the Sea of Reeds; she is at least an octogenarian, perhaps even a nonagenarian. Miriam's prophetic identity is revealed in the text at the moment she and her dancing disciples perform the song of thanksgiving that she choreographed to celebrate salvation through the waters of the Sea of Reeds. Her preserved prophetic activities include engaging in interpretive prophecy; by tradition, facilitating the birth of future generations; and miraculously watering her flock from the well that God gave to her.29

In Numbers 12, Miriam is afflicted with a skin-ravishing disease by YHWH after a disputation over Moses' role as primary prophet. The passage can be read either as a single heavily redacted narrative or as two (or more) heavily redacted narratives depending on whether one considers the account of Moses' remarriage to be integral to the subsequent dispute. I read this text as one heavily redacted text designed to demonstrate Moses' superiority as a prophet in response to the argument involving a united Miriam and Aaron against Moses about his role as senior prophet in light of his recent remarriage. I further find the context for the marriage and ensuing disputation in Moses' divorce and abandonment of his previous wife, Zipporah, and their children in Exodus 18. I suggest that the initial compound subject and other indications of plurality in the text of Numbers 12 indicate that both Miriam and Aaron were the complainants before the text was redacted. The specific indicators of plurality are in verse 1, "She spoke, Miriam and Aaron"; verse 2, "And they asked, `Does he (YHWH) not also speak through us?" ; verse 5, "He (YHWH) called Aaron and Miriam and they went out"; verse 8, "Why were you two not afraid?"; and verse 11, "Please do not punish us."The surviving verb forms may indicate the prominence of a preexisting Miriamic tradition that was not fully suppressed, as well as a much later attempt (during the time of the priestly contribution to the Pentateuch) to reassign all iniquity to Miriam and to preserve or establish a mythic history of cultic purity for Aaron. The dual subject of verse 1 very probably represents the original solidarity between Miriam and Aaron on the issue of the challenge, and their equal responsibility for the consequences to be borne. Miriam is the person to whom the challenge is ascribed in verse 1; however, it is Aaron whom YHWH names first when calling the two of them to step forward away from Moses in verse 5. As Miriam was an authentic prophet of YHWH, and Aaron was merely the prophet of Moses, who was in turn the prophet of YHWH, her name is listed first to reflect her standing in the community, not an imaginary hierarchy of guilt.

A secondary issue is the context of Miriam's challenge. I read her challenge as based on Moses' recent behavior in divorcing Zipporah and marrying the unnamed Nubian woman.30 Moses had previously married Zipporah and sent her away (shillucheyha); in other words, he had divorced her, in Exod 18:2.31 The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB) suggests that the term shillucheyha is a noun meaning "dowry" or "parting gift"; in this reading, the dowry is sent away, while The Hebrew andAramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT) sees it simply as dismissal. If they are correct, Zipporah herself still would have been sent away, as the return of the dowry would have signaled the return of the bride and the end of the marriage.7he NRSV has this sense, translating "sending away"where the NJPS has "sent home." Nahum Sarna argues that the choice of sent home "is by no means certain" and that neither "dowry" nor "sending home" makes sense in this context.32 This "sending away" can be understood as divorcing based on the usage of the word in other texts (i.e. Den 22:9, Mal 2:16) and on Zipporah's subsequent return to her father's tent with her children and all of her possessions. An understanding of Moses'sending away of his first wife as divorce suggests that the Nubian in question was a second, but not polygamous, wife. However, Jethro later attempts to return Zipporah and her children to Moses (Exod 18:2-7). The text does not state that he took them back; rather, it leaves the opposite impression, which does not necessarily eliminate the possibility of a divorce but certainly reduces the possibility that Moses reunited with Zipporah and suddenly married an unidentified Nubian. In fact, Moses appears to ignore his wife and children as he warmly and affectionately greets Jethro and escorts him into his tent, presumably leaving Zipporah and her children standing outside. Zipporah is never mentioned again after Exod 18:6. The spectacle of a recently remarried Moses facing his abandoned wife and children in the presence of her formidable father from whom he learned the traditions associated with the worship of YHWH is provocative, and it is what I understand as the provocation leading to Miriam's

challenge.33 The relevance of her challenge when read in the context of Moses' remarriage is that his behavior is problematic and potentially disqualifies him from preeminent prophet status. YHWH's response does not address the context but affirms that Moses' status is not affected by anything as mundane as his matrimonial behavior. In Numbers 12, Miriam is never called a prophet, but the narrative is an account of a dispute between her and Moses (with Aaron in a supporting role on her side) over prophetic identity and authority. Prophetic identity is constructed as being the spokesperson of YHWH in 12:2: "Has YHWH spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?" YHWH affirms Moses in a theophany as the preeminent prophet, but the prophetic identities of Miriam and Aaron are also affirmed, though granted in an inferior way. Moses is both proto-prophet and prophetic archetype, never to be matched.

As their punishment for speaking against Moses, Miriam and arguably Aaron are afflicted with a disfiguring skin disease.34 In verse 10, the disease is imposed twice: the first time, Miriam is diseased, and the second time, I contend that Aaron was diseased: "And the cloud turned away from the tent, and then and there, Miriam was diseased like snow! And Aaron turned towards Miriam and then and there, diseased skin!" In verse 11, Aaron examines

himself and finds certainly guilt, and possibly the disease. "And Aaron said to Moses, `It is in me, my lord, please do not place on us the sin in which we have been foolish and in which we have sinned."' Readings of Numbers 12, influenced by contemporary race relations and critical race theory in the West, have obscured the context of this text and the text world it creates and preserves. However, the premodern, postbiblical Targum Onkelos equates "beauty" with "Nubian" by rendering hakkushit (the Kushite woman) as shaphireta' (the beautiful woman). A multitude of scholars from Cain Hope Felder to Phyllis Trible interpret the comparison to snow to mean that Miriam became as white as snow.35 The emphasis on whiteness assumes that Miriam was being punished for speaking about Moses' African wife and that Miriam is receiving a sort of poetic justice for her racist objection to the marriage by being turned white for speaking against a presumed interracial marriage. The issue of whiteness is present even when the scholar in question reads the narrative in terms of a more general power struggle, as does Trible. (Whiteness is emphasized by the interpretive choice "white as snow" as opposed to "flaky as snow.") One major difficulty with this approach is the assumption of racism in the biblical world that underlies this hypothesis. Recent scholars have argued effectively against the presumption of this kind of racism in the ancient world.36 Further, the old notion that leprosy is a divinely inflicted punishment for sin, and the linguistic leap from "snow" to "white," reflects the contemporary racial assumptions of the commentator. It cannot be overemphasized that the word "white," lavan, is not in this text.37 Bellis and Abrams among others have suggested that "leprous as snow" can be interpreted as "flaky/scaly like snowflakes," "cold/dead as snow," or "wet as snow."3S Acquired leukoderma, vitiligo, is a relatively common affliction of women of color in which portions of their skin lose pigment and become scaly in texture. It can disappear and reappear, seemingly at random. Adams points out that this expression only occurs three times in the Hebrew Bible (Exod 4:6;

Num 12:10; and 2 Kgs 5:27), and its victims are all prophets or the disciples of prophets who have in some way transgressed. One possibility for this association between diseased skin and prophetic intermediaries is that, since the notion that diseased skin indicated divine disfavor, a prophet with such an affliction would lose the ability to receive a message from God and thus her or his livelihood. The possibility that it is Moses and not YHWH who has caused all of this suffering radically changes the interpretative applications of this text. In verse 9, YHWH leaves before the imposition of the disease in verse 10; one implication is that Moses has afflicted Miriam. This reading is supported by Aaron's first intercession in verse 11, in which the human form of adon, adoni (lord, my lord, a common form of address for human males that is read in place of the divine name indicated by the Tetragrammaton, YHWH), is used rather than the Tetragrammaton, pointing to Moses and not YHWH as the addressee. This verse suggests that Aaron is also afflicted with the skin disease. When the cloud departs, Miriam is diseased. When Aaron turns, there is a repetition of the exclamation, metzora`at, disease! (The NRSV adds at the end of the verse that Aaron "saw that she was leprous"; the text only has "then and there, diseased skin," without specifying that Aaron saw or that Miriam was diseased.) My reading is that the second imposition of disease was on Aaron. Talmud Bavli, Shabbat 97a records that Rabbi Akiba also held this view. The LXX Num 12:10 has: "Look there! Mariam was leprous, as snow; and Aaron looked upon Mariam, and, look there! She was leprous," suggesting that Miriam was diseased twice. In the MT, Num 12:11, Aaron says, "It is in me, my lord, please do not place on us the sin in which we have been foolish and in which we have sinned." I read that Aaron is crying out that the skin disease is also in him. Notice that he asks to be absolved of the sin, which he confesses he committed with Miriam. The "placing" of the sin in this reading would be the imposition of the skin disease. The LXX Num 12:11 also emphasizes that both Aaron and Miriam have sinned: "Do not place sin on us, for we were ignorant when we sinned."

Miriam is banished for seven days, after which the Israelites refuse to leave Hazeroth without her in verse 15; after her "gathering," they depart for Paran.' he strength of the Miriamic tradition is revealed in the narrative of the refusal of the people to leave Miriam behind after her affliction; the congregation would not continue to the Promised Land until the "gathering of Miriam." The mystery of Miriam's death corroborates her prophetic identity; each of the three prophets of the Exodus narrative, Miriam, Moses (Dent 34:5-7), and Aaron (Dent 10:6; 32:50), dies in the wilderness without the stipulation of a cause. No details are given of Miriam's death or burial; the mention of both of those events in the biblical text, particularly the location of the grave, is a marker of cultural prominence. The account of her death is recorded in Numbers 20, suggesting her status in the community.39 Her canonical epitaph is in Mic 6:4, which preserves the Miriamic tradition, presenting Miriam as one of the three leaders of Israel, ordained by God in the wilderness. The canonical and cultural witness to her legacy is the great number of women who bore her name in the New Testament, in Palestinian Aramaic inscriptions, in the literature of the communities at Qumran, and in contemporary times. - DEBORAH (D'VORAH)40 Judg4' 4.4 Deborah (D'vorah), a woman, a female prophet, a fiery woman,42 she was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel' in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment.44 6 She sent and called for Barak son of Abinoam (Baraq ben Avinoam) from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, "Did not45 YHWH, the God of Israel, command you? Go-march on Mount Tabor, and take ten thousand men from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. 7 I will march towards you to draw to you by the Wadi Kishon Sisera the commander of Jabin's (Yavin's) army, with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand."46 8Then Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if

you will not go with me, I will not go."47 9 And she said, "I will surely go with you; however, there will be no glory for you on the path you are taking, for YHWH will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman."Then Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak summoned Zebulun (Z'vulun) and Naphtali to Kedesh; and ten thousand men went up with him; and Deborah went up with him. 11 Now Heber the Kenite (Hever the Qeynite) had separated from the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had encamped as far away as the Oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh. 12 Sisera was told that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 Then Sisera summoned all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth-ha-goiim to the Wadi Kishon. 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, "Get up! For this is the day on which YHWH has given Sisera into your hand. Is not YHWH going out before you?" Then Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15 And YHWH threw Sisera and all his chariots and all his army into a panic before the sword, before Barak. Sisera dismounted from his chariotseat and fled on foot. 16 And Barak chased after the chariots and the army to Harosheth-ha-goiim. So the entire army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a single one remained.

Uudevorah ishah nevi'ah eshet lapidot hi' shophtah-And Deborah (D'vorah), a woman, a female prophet, a fiery woman, she was

judging Israel at that time." The long string of feminine descriptors in Judg 4:4 highlights the gender of Deborah.This construction does not appear anywhere else in the Hebrew scriptures; there is no comparable description of a male prophet. Deborah is described as both a prophet, employing n-b-'as a feminine noun, and a judge, employing sh-ph-t as a feminine substantival participle, in Judges 4.74 The term sh-ph-t broadly denotes "governing" and can refer to the administration of kings, judges, and chiefs.75 The judge herself or himself could be responsible for leading the military, resolving disputes, advocating for the powerless, and making decisions. During Uzziah's reign, when he was stricken with leprosy, a judge ruled in his stead as regent.76 A related role, that of sbapit/tu(um), governor, is attested at Mari.77 Like its Hebrew cognate, the title indicates broad administrative authority.78 There the judge managed public works, oversaw religious matters, managed royal property, administered justice, and commanded the military, in addition to serving as a regent in the absence of the monarch. The Ugaritic synonym thpt includes ruling the people as well as protecting the powerless.79 During the time period covered by the rubric "period of the Judges," premonarchal Israel was in a tense relationship with the Philistines, Phoenicians, Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites. Some of the social characteristics of this time period were the lack of a standing army and the lack of centralized worship or centralized administration of government. Israelite administration portrayed in Judges is basically tribal; the narratives of individual judges focus on the fortunes of their own larger kinship. Nili Sacher Fox finds that judges in the premonarchic period were selected from familial and tribal leaders.80 With the exception of Judges 5, the tribes never join forces to defend each other. The lack of supertribal political structure made it possible for leaders to be endorsed based on their ability as opposed to credentials or lineage. Many of the heroes of Judges represent those who were in some manner marginal: women, junior sons, children born outside of primary marriage, and so on. This variety of leaders served to reinforce the underlying theme that the

only legitimate leader in Israel was YHWH, so it did not really matter who the human representative was. First Samuel marks the beginning of a shift toward state leadership.S1 There may be the expectation that the biological children or figurative children (disciples) would succeed the judge.12 (While Eli is not identified as a judge, his throne suggests an expansion of his priestly duties to include some form of governance.) Judges (chapters 6-8) and 1 Samuel (chapters 1-3) both document the beginnings of the accumulation of power and wealth, as demonstrated by the Gideon and Eli sagas. Deborah is introduced as a woman, a female prophet, and a female judge rather redundantly in Judg 4:4: "Deborah, a woman, a female prophet, a fiery woman, she was judging."83 Her name consists of the consonants of dibberah, "she spoke," which I find preferable to the traditional etymology, "bee.1114 She is also introduced as "the woman of Lappidoth." I understand this to be descriptive, "a fiery woman,"rather than a conjugal association. Lappidoth is not otherwise attested as a name and has no patronymic (father's or ancestral name) as do other male names in Judges. Her narrative is reframed in poetry in chapter 5, which also includes some of the oldest passages in the Hebrew Bible.s5 She is the judge, prophet, and military commander of a number of confederated tribes.S6 As a judge, Deborah resolves disputes in addition to serving as a military savior and ruling the tribes over which she has mustering authority. Her seat of judgment is identified in the text (4:5) as being centrally located. Daniel Block finds that Deborah's judging was an aspect of her prophecy in that she heard the people's disputes on God's behalf, she inquired of YHWH on their behalf, and YHWH answered her inquiries. He also suggests that Deborah's unusual introduction is because she is a both a layperson and a woman, referencing the Deuteronomistic tradition that expected judges to be paired with priests. Instead, Deborah is stationed between Bethel and Ramah as an alternative to the priesthood, which is viewed as totally corrupt in Judges.17

Deborah's narrative includes the command of YHWH to Barak, a predictive oracle of military victory in verses 6-7: "Go, take position at Mount Tabor, bringing ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin's army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand."The text does not preserve a conversation between YHWH and Deborah; none was needed because she functioned as YHWH's emissary with her own authoritative autonomy.88 When Barak refuses to go without her, Deborah pronounces a second, predictive oracle: "YHWH will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman" (v. 9). Her third oracle is to summon Barak to battle on the appropriate day: "Get up! For this is the day on which YHWH has given Sisera into your hand. YHWH is indeed going out before you."Deborah functions as the alter ego ofYHWH. Her very presence guarantees victory in the same manner as the presence of a divine emissary of YHWH.89 Both manuscript traditions of the LXX make this point in their rendering of Barak's response to Deborah's command in verse 8: "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go, for I do not know the day on which the Lord will providentially guide his messenger with me." (The italicized portion is unique to the LXX.) Deborah's oracles indicate that she is both military strategist and warrior.90 The command of YHWH, contained in verse 6, is to take up position on Mount Tabor with the militia of Naphtali and Zebulun. Deborah suggests a flanking move, dividing the troops. Barak objects to this because it means he would be separated from her. Barak's refusal to march without Deborah suggests that the initial plan was for Deborah to draw out Sisera without Barak while he occupied Mount Tabor. Barak's need for Deborah's presence may also indicate that he believes her presence would guarantee victory as though the divine emissary of YHWH were present.9' It is not clear whether she expected an armed force to accompany her. It is clear that she expected to defeat Sisera herself on the field of battle: "I will give him into your hand." In the poetry of chapter 5-generally understood to be earlier than the prose of chapter 4-verse 15 states

that Deborah led the chief warriors of Issachar while Barak led the troops of Issachar. In spite of the clarity of intent in this text, every commentator consulted dismisses the possibility of a martial role for Deborah. Here in Judges, Machir (a clan of Manasseh) and Gilead (perhaps replacing Gad) are recognized as full tribes, though they are not so reckoned anywhere else in scripture; there is no mention of the tribe of Judah or Levi. There is also a "tribe" that does not occur anywhere else in the canon, Meroz. Deborah's confrontation of Sisera and his army represents the successful execution of her own military strategy. When YHWH panics Sisera and delivers his army to Barak in 4:14-15, Deborah, functioning in the military-savior aspect of the office of judge, is the vehicle of deliverance. The older poetic portrayal of Deborah in chapter 5 presents her as a wordsmith. She is credited, along with Barak secondarily, with the authorship of the poem that makes up most of the fifth chapter. In verse 12, however, she alone is identified as the singer. The martial nature of Deborah's songs and oracles situates her in the community that celebrated YHWH as the Divine Warrior.92 This is the community that produced and performed the battle-hymns of YHWH and proclaimed the victory of YHWH. The YHWH-rousing songs of Deborah fit the former category, and the celebrations of Deborah and Miriam fit the latter. Deborah's war cry is not preserved but could have been similar to the one preserved in Ps 68:1: "Let God rise up, let God's enemies be scattered; let those who hate God flee before God." Deborah's portrayal as a warrior for God is complemented by her depiction as "a mother in Israel" in Judg 5:7. These are not oppositional characterizations.93 The appellation "mother" evokes the memory of Elisha's address of Elijah as father in 2 Kgs 2:12; however, Deborah is not portrayed with a community of disciplechildren; instead, she is the mother of Israel in the literary construction of the poem. As a mother, Deborah provided military

and political security for all of her children. It also appears that she addressed economic injustice, since 5:7 states that the mighty "grew fat" in Israel until Deborah arose, suggesting that under her rule there was a more equitable distribution of resources than before her rule.94 While clearly taking credit for the deliverance she provided by her own hand in her song, Deborah shares credit for the victories of the day with her fellow warriors. At the same time, Deborah offers her song and her actions memorialized in song to YHWH, possibly as a call to action (5:2, 9). She honors her predecessor Shamgar ben Anat (5:6) and her comrades-in-arms Barak (5:12) and Jael (5:24). Jael's actions complete the destruction of Sisera and his forces: Deborah and Barak lead their troops to Kadesh to draw out Sisera's troops (4:9-13), and YHWH confuses Sisera's troops (4:15) poetically rendered as the stars joining the fight from the heavens (5:20). Barak dispatches the entire army with the sword (4:16), but Sisera himself escapes (4:17). Jael executes him in her tent (4:21); it is ironic that he fell between her thighs or legs, as his mother expects him to return late after raping the women of the conquered people (5:27-30).95 While discussing Sisera's delayed return with her womenservants, Sisera's mother muses:

In her musings and in Sisera's imagined actions, captive women are reduced to their reproductive organs: racham rachamatayim. The identification of these women with their reproductive systems suggests that they will be made sexually available to their captors, both as conjugal partners to produce progeny and for the immediate exercise of sexual control in the form of rape. The military setting means that there will be no negotiations between families, no dowry, no consent.

Deborah may be unique among the judges in regard to her gender. She is certainly exceptional in terms of her character, indicated by her portrayal in the text. Block concludes that Deborah is the only judge "the narrator casts in an unequivocally positive light," in addition to being the only judge already in divine service before being called up for military action. Also, each judge who succeeded her represented a decline in quality and character.96 Deborah's narrative epitaph is found in the single line of prose at the end of chapter 5: "Because of her the land had rest for forty years." - HULDAH (CHULDAH) 2 Kgs 22:8 The high priest Hilkiah (Hilqiyahu) said to Shaphan the scribe,97 "I have found the scroll of instruction9s in the house of YHWH."99 When Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, he read it aloud.'00 9 Then Shaphan the scribe came to the king,10' and reported the matter102 to the king, "Your servants have poured out103 the silver that was found in the house, and have placed it in the hand of the workers who have oversight of the house of YHWH." 10 Then Shaphan the scribe informed the king, "The priest Hilkiah has given me a scroll." Shaphan then read it aloud to the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the scroll of instruction, he tore his clothes. 12 Then the king commanded the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah,IO4 Shaphan the scribe, and the king's servant Asaiah, 13 "Go, inquire of YHWH on my behalf, and on behalf of the people, and on behalf of all Judah, concerning the words of this scroll that has been found; for great is the fury of YHWH that burns against us, because our ancestors did not obey the words of this scroll, to do according to all that is written concerning us." 14 So the priest Hilkiah went with Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah to the woman-prophet Huldah (Chuldah) the wife of Shallum'°5 son of Tikvah son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; she was living in Jerusalem in the Mishneh,106 where they consulted her. 15 She declared to them,107 "So says YHWH, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 So says YHWH, I am going to bring calamity on this place and on its

inhabitants-all the words of the scroll that the king of Judah has read.108 17 Because they have abandoned me and have offered incense to other gods, because they have provoked me to anger with all of their handiwork, therefore, my fury will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18 But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of YHWH, so shall you say to him, So says YHWH, the God of Israel, regarding the words that you have heard: 19 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before YHWH, when you heard what I spoke against this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I for my part have heard you, says YHWH. 20 Therefore, I will gather you to your ancestors, and you shall be gathered to your graves in peace; your eyes shall not see all the calamity that I will bring on this place." They took the oracle back to the king.

2 Chr 34:14 While they were bringing out the silver that had been brought into the house of YHWH, the priest Hilkiah (Hilgiyahu) found the scroll of instruction of YHWH given through Moses. 15 Hilkiah said to the scribe'09 Shaphan, "I have found the scroll of instruction'10 in the house ofYHWH"; and Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Shaphan brought the scroll to the king, and further reported to the king, "All that was committed to your servants they are doing. 17 They have poured out"' the silver that was found in the house of YHWH and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers and those doing the work." 18 The scribe Shaphan informed the king, "The priest Hilkiah has given me a scroll." Shaphan then read it aloud to the king. 19 When the king heard the words of the instruction, he tore his clothes. 20 Then the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, the secretary Shaphan, and the king's servant Asaiah: 21 "Go, inquire of YHWH on my behalf, and on behalf of those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the scroll that has been found; for the fury of YHWH that is poured out on us is great, because our

ancestors did not keep the word of YHWH, to act in accordance with all that is written in this scroll." 22 So Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent, went to the woman-prophet Huldah (Chuldah) the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; she was living in Jerusalem in the Mishneh112 and they consulted to her. 23 She declared to them, "So says YHWH, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 So says YHWH: I will indeed bring calamity upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses' 13 that are written in the scroll that was read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have abandoned me and have offered incense to other gods, so that they have provoked me to anger with all the works of their hands, my fury will be brought to bear on this place and will not be quenched. 26 But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of YHWH, so shall you say to him: So says YHWH, the God of Israel regarding the words that you have heard, 27 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me, and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says YHWH. 28 For my part, I will gather you to your ancestors and you shall be gathered to your graves in peace; your eyes shall not see all the calamity that I will bring on this place and its inhabitants." They took the oracle back to the king.

Huldah is the only female prophet whose oracle the Hebrew Bible preserves in the standard "so says YHWH" form. This makes her exceptional for some scholars who use her as leverage to discredit other female prophets and then discount her as a singular aberration."4 She is the prophetic authority behind the reform usually attributed to Josiah. Huldah,who served as the royal prophet of King Josiah of Judah, appears in 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34.115 The most significant difference between the two accounts is the context

of the narrative. In 2 Kings 22, Josiah does not purge the land of non-Yahwhistic worship sites until after the Torah scroll has been found. In 2 Chronicles 34, he has already purged the land when the scroll is found (vv. 1-8). So in the Kings account, the word of YHWH through the prophet Huldah is the impetus for reform; in Chronicles, Josiah is credited with initiating the reform on his own. A second, significant difference is the textual variance between Kings and Chronicles on the nature of the discovered scroll. Second Chronicles 34:24 specifies, "So says YHWH: I will indeed bring calamity upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the scroll that was read before the king of Judah." Those curses are not mentioned in the corresponding Kings passage. The curses seem to refer to Deut 29:10-29, in which those who hear the words of covenant initiation will bring upon themselves (and apparently those not yet born) divine wrath for failing to keep this covenant. Specifically, "all of the curse [kol-ha'alah] written in this book" will descend upon the people "for calamity," according to Dent 29:20 (see also v. 27). Both expressions are repeated in the Chronicler's version of the Huldah oracle. (However, the plural, kol-ha'alot, is used in 2 Chr 34:24.)]16 For simplicity, I will follow the narrative in the order it is presented in Kings and supplement that reading with the additional material from Chronicles.The Huldah oracle as it is preserved and presented in 2 Kgs 22:14-20 is intriguing because of its seemingly singular presentation of the service of a female prophet and because of the nonchalant presentation of that service."' It is also intriguing because of the role this oracle played in the dramatic and drastic reformation of the cult in Jerusalem and Judah by Josiah. A careful reading of the Kings account will demonstrate that this woman and her prophetic word were instrumental in the forceful presentation of the monotheistic worship of YHWH as the sole legitimate expression of ancient Israelite religion according to the narrative in which it is preserved.

The Huldah oracle occurs prior to the saga of Josiah's reform (23:1-25) and after a series of"regnal resumes""' (21:1-26). These resumes are followed by an even briefer resume of Josiah himself (22:1-2) and his initial, and comparatively superficial, attempt at restoration of the temple in Jerusalem (22:3-7). In the context of the initial repair program, restoration is directed toward the temple structure but not its function, that is, the practices of the cult or of the practitioners.119 "The torah scroll" (v. 8) is found and read to the king (22:8-10). Josiah's response is to assemble a delegation commanded to "inquire [dirshu] of YHWH" (v 13), and they go to Huldah the prophet (v. 14). It is not recorded, but it is reasonable to assume that Jedidah, the queen-mother, guided the minor king Josiah in his personal development. Following the chronology in Kings, Josiah was eight when he assumed the throne; his father was dead, and no regent is named in the text. His mother would be the closest and most significant adult presence in his life. In several places, the Hebrew Bible documents the positive influence mothers can have on their children.120 In addition, there is significant scholarship on the role of the queen-mother in Judah.121 Josiah is given the highest praise of the Deuteronomistic editor; he is considered to be a true son of David and credited with not turning "to the right or to the left" (presumably from the path ofYHWH). It is clear to the Deuteronomistic redactors that his apostate father did not teach the young Josiah fidelity to YHWH.I22 The ruling high priest, Hilkiah, is later depicted in the narrative as unable to interpret and apply the Torah on his own and is therefore unlikely to be responsible for the juvenile king's imagined, fierce devotion to YHWH. Shaphan, the royal scribe and secretary, is depicted in the text as failing to recognize the Torah as being from YHWH (22:10). No account is given of Huldah's introduction to the royal family. She is already established as a trustworthy prophet in the service of

the king when she is first presented; she may have been in the service of Jedidah during the young king's early years. She is not simply his first choice; she is his only choice. There is a tradition that she lives and teaches in a place of study. In the MT, Huldah lives in Mishneh or Second Quarter, bammisbneb.l2s Clearly, she came to the attention of someone in the royal household prior to this incident in order that she might be considered for this assignment. It cannot be ascertained whether she came to the attention of the royal family during Josiah's minority under the regency of his mother or during his majority, when he reigned in his own right, but prior contact with the royal family and its administration is virtually certain. There may be an oblique reference to her in 2 Kgs 21:10 and the following, "YHWH said by the prophetic servants124 of YHWH, `Because King Manasseh of Judah has committed these abominations... "'If Huldah is indeed one of the prophets who warned Josiah's father, Manasseh, it would make sense for her counsel to be sought not only by the young king but also by those committed to ensuring that the young Josiah did not "walk after the ways of his father." (In 2 Kgs 22:2, Josiah is described positively as walking "after the ways of his father [ancestor] David.") TIIe consultation of the prophet Huldah as an interpreter of the divine word is built in part on a clear association between inquiry (dr-sh) of YHWH and prophecy (2 Kgs 22:13, 18).125 While d-r-sh generally means "to ask," "to seek," or "to inquire," it is affected by its context.126 The theological use of the root with humanity as its subject and God (or abstract concepts pertaining to the divinehuman relationship) as object is the most common.127 To inquire of YHWH (or Elohim) is regularly, but not exclusively, a prophetic act. 12s The prophets who are specifically said to inquire of YHWH include Moses, Ahijah, Micaiah, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, and Zechariah.129 In addition to confirming the authenticity of the scroll, Huldah simultaneously confirms YHWH as the true king of Judah and Josiah as YHWH's designated regent by initially referring to Josiah as "the man" and later as "the king" (vv. 15-16,18).130

Once the book is found, Hilkiah takes it to Shaphan. Hilkiah recognizes the book as valid; presumably, he tells Shaphan exactly what book it is that he has found. Shaphan actually reads the book for himself (v. 8), but incredibly, Shaphan cannot fathom its message and its ramifications for the Judean kingdom. Once more Shaphan reads the book, this time to the king; it is virtually impossible for him not to know what it is that he is reading, particularly as the king dethrones himself and tears his royal robes. It is more likely that Shaphan was waiting for Josiah officially to authenticate the text by royal proclamation.I3I Josiah's dramatic response to the text, particularly when compared to Shaphan's lack of response after two readings and Hilkiah's willingness to entrust the torah scroll to a bureaucrat, indicates that the king believed this scroll to be the word of YHWH and directly applicable to him and to his people (v. 11). Josiah tore his clothes to indicate immediate and sincere repentance. His secondary response is to assemble the delegation. The instruction given by Josiah is to seek a prophetic word from YHWH. The oracle is to be sought on behalf of the king personally, "the people," and "all Judah" (v 13). The latter two populations appear to be identical; the language may be a prose example of descriptive parallelism, rendering an apparent redundancy. (Alternatively, the language may indicate the presence of nonJudean Israelites as recorded in 2 Chr 34:21.) Josiah clearly understands the text to be the authentic word of YHWH; he is convinced that "great is the fury of YHWH ... because our ancestors did not obey the words of this scroll" (2 Kgs 22:13). Given Josiah's words and previous penitential actions, it is unlikely that he is now looking for mere authentication of the scroll.132 Rather, he is looking to ameliorate the curses found in the scroll.133 Josiah is looking for divine intervention through a human agent, whether intercession as some have supposed (Edelman), or expiation (Long), or comfort in the face of an unalterable fate (Bos). Canonically, the oracle serves to explain why Judah would eventually be devastated in spite of the reforms that Josiah initiates and to provide the theological framework for Josiah's reform.

Josiah's carefully composed delegation of Shallum, Ahikam, Achbor, and Asaiah goes to the prophet Huldah to inquire of YHWH (22:14). Josiah sends them, but the text does not indicate that he chose the medium of inquiry. It is possible that the high priest Hilkiah asserted his cultic/spiritual authority and chose Huldah. It has been suggested that Jeremiah was away at Anathoth and therefore unavailable '134 but surely he would have made himself available to his king when the issue at hand was the word of his God. It has also been suggested that Zephaniah was inactive at the time.I35 However, there are no textual grounds to support this suggestion, and, again, one would expect that a summons from the king, the high priest, or this uniquely varied delegation would cause any prophet worth his salt to respond with an immediate consultation on the scroll at hand. It is important to note that the biblical text does not suggest that there was any dispute between Jeremiah and Huldah. Jeremiah was extremely vocal in condemning false prophets. He is Huldah's contemporary and has nothing negative to say about her. He never mentions her by name, I think, because she is not a problem as far as he is concerned. He does make reference several times to all of the legitimate prophets YHWH has sent whom the people have not heeded, but he does not name any of them. He uses the masculine plural hannevi'im, which obscures his references to female prophets in general and Huldah in particular.136 I believe that he is including female prophets in his construction; there is no reason to imagine that Jeremiah is ignorant or dismissive of the stories of Miriam and Deborah. It is possible that he was aware of more female prophets than have been preserved in the text. While there is no textual explanation given for the choice of Huldah, it is clear that she is chosen, and preferentially, not as a last resort. The language of the text implies that the service of female prophets was commonplace and required no special introduction or accommodation. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that "good" kings (at least in the eyes of the Deuteronomist) were

associated with personal prophets: David and Nathan; Hezekiah and Isaiah. Huldah's residence in Jerusalem and the acceptance of her service, combined with the language of the text (Josiah's "inquire," dirshu, the narrator's "prophet," and Huldah's "so says YHWH"-the technical phrase introducing prophetic speech repeated no less than four times in varying configurations), suggest that she was a professional prophet.I3' The word of YHWH to Josiah through Huldah was, first of all, a reminder that YHWH and not "the man who sent Hilkiah" was the true king of Judah, also of Israel and all creation. Notice that God is said to be the sovereign of "Israel," not just Judah, in 2 Kgs 22:15: koh 'amar WIWI elohey yisrael... (so says YHWH the God of Israel). Next, YHWH, through Huldah, confirms that the scroll is authentic. Even though the transgressions were committed by previous generations, the consequences will be experienced in the present, in "this place. 11131 Judah had been entrusted with the jewel of ancient Israelite religion: the temple in Jerusalem and the rituals to be conducted within it. According to the narrative construction of the Deuteronomist, Judah had also been entrusted with the Torah, which they neglected so badly that they physically lost it. The book in question was presumably the early work of the Deuteronomist. This is evidenced by the chronicle of Manasseh's sins that precedes this pericope and by the nature of the reforms enacted following it. Specifically, Josiah's covenant ritual (23:1-3), the abolition of worship of anyone other than YHWH (23:4-14), the abolition of the cultic practice of worship of YHWH outside Jerusalem (23:15-20), the reinstitution of the Passover (23:21-23), and the abolition of divination (23:24) all have Deuteronomistic parallels (Deuteronomy 12, 16, 18, 29). The consequences of the idolatrous abominations were ultimate, because they occurred in the presence of the Divine Name that resided in the temple. For Josiah, the consequences will be mediated; he will die without seeing God's punishment on Judah (22:20). Josiah is apparently a favorite of the Deuteronomists,

described as "penitent" and "humble" in 22:19. Having acknowledged the infinitesimal nature of humanity in contrast with the infinite nature of divinity, YHWH now acknowledges the reign of Josiah in Judah. And more than that, YHWH acknowledges the condition of Josiah's heart. He is penitent not just because of his actions, tearing his clothes, but also because of his heart, which led him to improve the condition of the temple and even trust the workers to manage the accounts faithfully (22:7). Even while promising a reprieve to Josiah personally, YHWH emphasizes that Judah will be not just physically destroyed, but also "a desolation" and "a curse" (22:19). Then words of comfort are offered to the king; because Josiah's penitence has moved him to previously undisclosed tears, YHWH is moved to hear Josiah's confession. What YHWH acknowledges in the heart of Josiah leads to the threefold promise of being gathered to his ancestors, being gathered to his grave in peace, and perhaps most important, not seeing the disaster certain to come to Judah. The first promise is not remarkable; it is surely the expectation of Josiah to be so gathered (Gen 49:29). The second promise contradicts the records of Josiah's death. However, it is important to note that Josiah could in fact have died in peace had he listened to the later oracle of Pharaoh Neco (2 Chr 35:20-22). The ragged wounds inflicted on him by Neco's archers as a result of his disguising himself and reentering a battle that he was told not to fight were anything but "peaceful" (2 Chr 35:20-25; 1 Esd 1:23-31).The final promise is fulfilled; Josiah dies before the first Babylonian deportation in 597 B.C.E. The delegation takes the oracle in its original entirety back to Josiah from Huldah. Huldah was a court prophet employed by Josiah's administration, living in Jerusalem; yet her male contemporaries who were not court prophets had significant collections of their oracles preserved. Huldah's case demonstrates both an apparent lack of gender bias on the part of the king and priests who consulted her (including the high priest) and the appearance of bias on the part of the tradition preservers and shapers of the Hebrew Bible who did not conserve

her broader oracular legacy. It strains credulity to believe that a templesanctioned court prophet uttered only one oracle or that the temple and/or royal scribes failed to record her oracles. She is arguably the first person to grant authoritative status to the Torah scroll deposited in the temple treasury. That scroll is largely understood to have been the heart of the Deuteronomistic corpus. In the subsequent chapter of the Kings version of her narrative, Huldah may be obscured in the company of prophets described in the masculine plural (2 Kgs 23:2). All of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, including the prophets, assemble in the temple for Josiah's reinstitution of the Passover; surely Huldah is there. Only the priests and Levites are present with the people in 2 Chronicles 35. The last place that Huldah may appear in the biblical text is at the Passover observance that Josiah reinstitutes in response to her oracle. In 2 Kgs 23:2, the prophets are specified as participants in the event along with the priests and all of the people. In 2 Kgs 23:27, YHWH speaks to Josiah, who has just completed his purge of everything nonYahwhistic:

The medium of YHWH's speech is not disclosed; however, in the Former Prophets, YHWH speaks to monarchs (with the exception of Solomon) through prophets. The only prophet identified as being in the service of Josiah is Huldah. I propose that this address to Josiah in 2 Kgs 23:27 may have been mediated through Huldah. Was Huldah a cult prophet? Yes. She may have been consulted by the chief cultic officer on a potentially sacred document that, if valid, would change (restore) cultic rituals at the chief cultic site. Her oracle, with its concern for a type of orthodoxy, establishes her as a

cult prophet. Huldah was present at the reinstitution of Pesach (Passover) with all of the other prophets. Surely she is included in "all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great" (2 Kgs 23:2). The use of the masculine plural hannevi'im here indicates that there was at least one male prophet present. This presents a gender reversal of sorts. We do not know who is included in "all the prophets"; but we can presume that Huldah is there. The identity of the anonymous male prophet (or prophets) remains a mystery. - HANEVIY'AH (THE ANONYMOUS WOMAN-PROPHET) Isa 8:1 YHWH said to me, Take for yourself a large tablet139 and write on it inla0 ordinary writing, "For Maher Shalal Hash Baz,"I4I 2 and have faithful witnesses, the priest Uriah and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah (Zekaryah ben Yeverekhyahu) to testify to me. 3 And I went to the Woman Prophet,142 and she conceived'43 and gave birth to a son. Then YHWH said to me, Name him Maher Shalal Hash Baz; 4 for before the child knows how to call "My father" or "My mother," the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria" will be carried away by the king of Assyria.

The female prophet with whom Isaiah conceives his son MaherShalalHash-Baz is not named in the text (Isa 8:1-4), nor is she specifically identified as his woman/wife. The use of the verb q-r-v, "to approach," to describe their union suggests strongly that they were married. This verb is used to describe sexually "approaching" one's legal spouse in Deuteronomy, and the Deuteronomist has made several contributions to the Isaianic corpus, including the title navi'that Isaiah otherwise avoids. Interestingly, she is the only prophet mentioned in the entire sixtysix chapters of Isaiah who is not excoriated, excluding Isaiah

himself, who is called a prophet only by the narrator. The only action attributed to the anonymous prophet is the conception of a child with Isaiah who was named Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, which means "swiftly savaged and rapidly ravaged."The production of a child whose name is a portent of the future of Judah is a prophetic performance, foretelling that the kingdom of Judah will be swiftly savaged and rapidly ravaged. I understand the prediction, conception, gestation, and delivery of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz as depicting a joint prophetic undertaking between Isaiah and the Woman-Prophet. Given the mores of the time, the Deuteronomistic language, and Isaiah's acceptance among temple and palace elite, it is likely that they were a conjugal couple. It is also possible that they were not married, since none of the traditional language invoking what has come to be called "marriage" is employed. There is no specific term in biblical Hebrew for marriage, nor are there specific terms that mean only "wife" or "husband. "While there are no descriptions of specific or standardized civil or religious rituals around conjugal unions, there are social practices, negotiations, gift giving, and parental permission in some cases. Three verbs are used to express conjugal unions: (1) l-q-ch, (2) v-`--1, and (3) ch-t-n. L-q-ch means "to take," generally, and, with "woman" as the object, describes normative conjugal unions and is the most frequently used (about seventy-five times, for example, Gen 4:19). V-`-l carries connotations of hierarchy and dominion and, in its masculine nominal form, means "master" as well as "husband." It is used ten times (Gen 20:3; Isa 54:1). Ch-t-n means only "to marry" in its sixteen occurrences (Dent 7:3) and, in its one nominal use (Song 3:11), means "wedding." I also suggest that the Woman-Prophet was the mother of Shearjashub, Isaiah's child whose name means "a remnant shall return," who was introduced in Isa 7:1-9; the circumstances of his conception are not revealed. Both children function as tangible representations of the divine word.'45 My reading is an autobiographical one. These children are to be understood as

Isaiah's (possibly but not necessarily his actual children, but the story serves the rhetorical aims of the collection); however, Joseph Blenkinsopp reads the entire episode as a "literary construct.1114' Both readings are supported by Isaiah's "miraculous" foreknowledge of the child's conception.147 No narrative is given detailing previous prophetic proclamations or performances on her part. Her title, hannevi'ah, the WomanProphet, has been generally understood in two disparate fashions: either she is graced with an honorific title based on her husband's occupation and is, therefore, "Mrs. Prophet," or she is a prophet herself. The former understanding is relative to the commentator's contemporary time frame and, therefore, asynchronous with the biblical period.14' Alfred Jepsen provides a succinct and compelling response to the suggestion that the Woman-Prophet of this pericope was merely the wife of Isaiah, with no independent prophetic charisma of her own.149 He counters the suggestion that in ancient Israel, women were known by the titles of their husbands. After comparing titled women with their husbands, Jepsen finds no support for this theory and notes that the husbands of Huldah and Deborah were not themselves nevi'im, nor is it even certain that Isaiah is a navi'. While it is certainly the case that the wives of melakhim (kings) are on occasion called the feminine equivalent, melakhah (king/queen in English does not convey the same sense), this is not true in every case. The wives of Solomon are called nashim saroth ("women, princesses" or "royal women") in 1 Kgs 11:3, and perhaps more significant, in Isaiah the wives of kings are also called princesses (49:23). In Neh 2:6, the queen consort of Artaxerxes is hashegal, the consort.ISO Other examples of titles applied to women with no direct correlation to men include the perfume makers (raqqachot), cooks (tabbachot), and bakers (ophot) in 1 Sam 8:13 and the weavers (orgot) in 2 Kgs 23:7. Certainly, it does not follow that the title bannevi'ab, the WomanProphet, is reflective of Isaiah's title, because it is clear that Isaiah did not use this title for himself. This is also Blenkinsopp's

reading, that since Isaiah does not refer to himself as a navi', and male Israelite prophets did not refer to their wives as female prophets, she is an "officially recognized member of the nabi' class." 5' This argument is based solely on the MT. The Isaiah scroll from Cave 1 at Qumran, 1QIsaa , uses the masculine singular noun bnby', thereby rendering any discussion of a marriage-based title null and void. The use of the masculine title for the female prophet is intriguing; it opens the door to the possibility that the masculine singular in biblical Hebrew came to be used as a neuter form. Isaiah's prophecies are uttered and preserved within the context of a fractured Davidic monarchy. There was a very real threat that the dynasty would end with Ahaz if Rezin and Pekah were successful in dethroning him. During the Syro-Ephraimitic crisis, Isaiah prophesies against Ahaz and his reign, likely as a result of Ahaz's offer to submit to Tiglath-Pileser. At some point in the 730s B.C.E., King Rezin of Syria (Damascus/Aram) and King Pekah of Israel (Samaria/Ephraim) formed a combined assault against King Ahaz of Judah. Based on Assyrian inscriptional sources, Irvine concludes that Rezin and Pekah were joined by King Hiram of Tyre, King Mitinti of Ashkelon, Queen Samsi of Arabia, and King Hanno of Gaza, who in turn may have been supported by Egypt and/or Ethiopia and were likely involved in a revolt against the expanding Assyrian Empire.112 In concert with the biblical account, Rezin of Syria is understood to have been a ringleader. King Ahaz seems to have singularly refused to join their alliance. As a result, there is a further development in the conspiracy, namely to replace Ahaz with "the son of Tabeel" as a more cooperative puppet king.I53 In reference to these events, Isaiah speaks a series of prophetic discourses to Ahaz and acts some of them out, one in concert with a female prophet. Three children are prophesied and named in advance of their gestation: Shear-jashub (7:3), Immanuel (7:14), and MaherShalal-Hash-Baz (8:3). The seemingly sudden transition from infancy to toddlerhood is a literary device, illustrating the rapidity of YHWH's intervention on behalf of Judah.

The three sign names form a unit on the basis of prophetic onomasticon (naming practices): A Remnant Shall Return, God Is with Us, and Spoil Swiftly, Ravage Rapidly; however, it should be noted that there are stylistic differences among the narratives. In the first two pericopes, Isaiah is referenced in the third person; in the last, the first person is used. The biblical text clearly identifies Shearjashub and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz as Isaiah's sons. Shear-jashub's mother is not identified, and the mother of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz is the WomanProphet. Isaiah makes specific reference to his children as a prophetic production in verse 18: "I and the children whom YHWH has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the SOVERIEGN of Celestial Armies, who dwells on Mt. Zion." In order for Isaiah's prophetic vocation to remain valid, his oracles must come true in spite of Ahaz's and YHWH's rejection of each other. Therefore, his community became the remnant of whom he prophesied. This community has generally been understood to have been composed of Isaiah and his disciples; in all probability, his partner prophet and their children were also part of the remnant community.'54 It has been suggested that the Woman-Prophet of Isaiah is a secondary wife based on the allusion to a woman/wife who will not bear children in chapter 5. This allegorical woman is understood to be Isaiah's first (and/or primary) wife, with the Woman-Prophet, therefore, a secondary wife, both temporally and in status.I55 This reading is dependent upon a premise that the Song of the Vineyard (vv. 1-3) is a poetic airing of the intimate details of Isaiah's household. However, verse 7 makes it clear that the Song is an allegory about "the house of Israel" and "the people of Judah" and their relationship with YHWH. It may be that Isaiah ben Amoz had more than one wife; unfortunately, there is no substantiation in either direction. Ronald Clements understands that the same woman is the mother of all of the sign-named children whom Isaiah predicts, names, and presumably fathers."

If one understands that the latter portions of the Isaianic corpus that have come to be called Deutero- (and possibly Trito-) Isaiah were in fact written by the disciples of (First) Isaiah and/or their disciples, it becomes possible to suggest a role for the WomanProphet in the community and in vocation. The reasons for Isaiah's identification of this woman as a prophet are lost; yet one may assume that Isaiah understood her to have an authentic prophetic vocation, whether as an oracular poet, liturgical wordsmith, percussionist, or practitioner of any of the other activities that fell under this rubric. One may further understand that her identity did not change with her move into the community of those who understood themselves to be the remnant of God, in lieu of the rejected Ahaz, Jerusalem, and Judah. Of the anonymous oracles preserved in Isaiah 40-66, it can never be determined which, if any, are hers, although she is as likely a candidate as any unnamed disciple. - DAUGHTERS WHO PROPHESY IN EZEKIEL (YECHEZQ`EL) Ezek 13:17 And you, mortal, set your face against157 the daughters of your people, women who prophesy from their own minds;151 prophesy against them15918 and say, So says the Lord, God:160 Woe to the women who sew bands on all wrists, and make coverings for the heads of persons of every height to hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls among my people, and preserve your own lives? 19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and breadcrumbs, putting to death persons who should not die and preserving persons who should not live, by your lies to my people, who listen to lies. 20Therefore, so says the Lord, God:161 I am against your bands with which you hunt souls; I will tear them from your arms, and release the souls, the souls that you hunt down like birds. 21 I will tear off your coverings, and deliver my people from your hands; they shall no longer be prey in your hands; and you shall know that I am YHWH.

22 Because you have disheartened the heart of the righteous with lies, when I have not afflicted him, and you have strengthened the hand of the wicked in not turning from his wicked way and preserved his life; 23 therefore, you shall no longer see false visions or practice divination; I will save my people from your hand. Then you will know that I am YHWH.

An unknown number of female prophets in Ezekiel are thoroughly castigated.162 It is not clear when or how long this specific group of women-prophets was active. They are "the daughters of the people, who prophesy from their own hearts," as opposed to prophesying from the heart ofYHWH in Ezek 13:17-23. Ezekiel addresses the female prophets as a collective, which, when considered along with the fees that they charge, suggests that these women function as a prophetic guild; however, no individual woman is singled out as their "mother."The context for the book of Ezekiel is the Babylonian exile. These women along with Ezekiel were deportees, and they are depicted as practicing Israelite religion outside of Israel in captivity.163 The context for Ezekiel's castigation of these female prophets is his castigation of prophets in general. At the beginning of chapter 13, Ezekiel experiences the word of YHWH to prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are themselves prophesying, nevi'ey yisrael bannibba'im hinnabe'. The masculine plural construction nevi'ey yisrael (prophets of Israel) can include all prophets, male and female. All of these prophets are charged in verse 2 with prophesying out of their own hearts or imagination, linevi'ey millabam. This charge is repeated against the women's guild in verse 17; the women-prophets are prophesying out of their own (female) hearts, bammitnabbe'otb millibbeben. Previously, in verse 16, all of the prophets, indicated by the use of the masculine plural, neviey yisrael, are charged with falsely prophesying peace over Jerusalem. Specifically, they are charged with "envisioning a vision of peace for Jerusalem when there is no

peace." Their prophecies have been proved painfully false by the traumatic conquest of Judah, plunder of the temple, and deportation of the people. The female prophets in Ezek 13:17-23 are charged with inventing their prophecies; specifically, the visions they envision are not true visions as incontrovertibly demonstrated by current events. In addition, particularly troublesome, their vision-based proclamations are combined with some sort of proscribed charm-making practice. Their charms are apparently quite potent.164 They are able to preserve the lives of individuals whom YHWH would rather see dead and kill those whom YHWH would prefer to keep alive.16' They are also described as charging fees payable in foodstuffs for their services. These prophets both see visions (described as false in verse 23) and practice divination. Ziony Zevitl66 argues that these women are health practitioners specializing in pregnancy and childbirth and characterizes all female prophets as practitioners of magic arts, specializing in the control of life and death. However, there are no other narratives pertaining to female prophets that suggest this type of life-altering (or life-sustaining) power. Nancy Bowen makes a compelling case for reading these prophets as reproductive healthcare specialists. Reading Ezekiel in light of Mesopotamian healthcare practices and associated rituals, she finds that the sewing and fabrication of specific articles of clothing in 13:18 corresponds to the "tying and binding" of knots to stop vaginal hemorrhage during pregnancy, to prevent miscarriage, and to facilitate delivery.167 Bowen also notes that grain and bread (like the barley and pieces of bread in v. 19) have a role in childbirth rituals. She rightly observes that YHWH's judgment of the women also utilizes the manipulation of the material world for ritual purposes; in verse 21, YHWH (likely through Ezekiel) forcefully removes the same articles of clothing from the prophets that they constructed for their clients, thereby negating the women's work.161 She finds that the female prophets and Ezekiel perform the Mesopotamian categories of "witch" and "exorcist," respectively.169

Specifically, the language of Ezekiel's condemnation, "bands" and "head coverings," seems to conform to the Maglu exorcism ritual.170 Like the Mesopotamian witch and exorcist, the female prophets and Ezekiel perform the same kind of prophecy, involving material manipulation. Bowen understands that Ezekiel's opposition to these women is not to their practices, nor to their reproductive context, but to diverse religious practices and beliefs.171 The practices of these prophets were likely part of a tapestry of sociocultural religious ritual and practice that flourished in biblical Israel before and after the exile. In Bowen's ideology, "any religious practice that lies outside Ezekiel's priestly worldview is considered to be illegitimate and dangerous, and therefore must be condemned and destroyed.11172 - DAUGHTERS WHO WILL PROPHESY IN JOEL (YO`EL) -

The largest community of female prophets is the one mentioned in Joel 3:1-2 (NRSV 2:28-29).175 In this community, all flesh, certainly all humankind, will prophesy. The unknown number of female prophets expected in the eschaton depicted in Joel 2:28 are part of a broader phenomenon in which virtually every Israelite will have some sort of intimate access to YHWH. The context of this allencompassing prophetic activity is the future. The introduction to the oracle, "And it will happen after this," is one of two expressions used in the book to denote the consummation of time in a divine-human encounter that will change everything. The other, "Look! In those days and at that time," introduces the next oracle in 4:1 (NRSV 3:1)

and describes the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem. The return of YHWH's spirit in 3:1 (NRSV 2:28) and the widespread prophetic activity of all of the people are linked to the restoration. One of the hallmarks of the eschaton is daughters who prophesy, accompanied by prophesying sons. In this vision, not only will both the sons and the daughters of Zion prophesy, but the elders will dream dreams, and youth will see visions; those in debt servitude will receive the outpouring of the spirit of YHWH. Related to the prophetic practices of the women and men is apparently dream proclamation, performed by the elders of the community. The identity of the lay dreamers as the elders of the community suggests that the female and male prophets are young adults, not yet old enough to be reckoned as "elders."Given the all-encompassing tone of this passage, both "elders" and "young people" should be read as inclusive since the masculine plural regularly includes, but masks, the presence of women. These young adults are most likely unmarried; the same terms, bachur, "young man," and betulah, "young woman," are paired in Deut 32:25 to indicate the marital eligibility of young adults.'76 The visions (chezyonoth) seen by the young people may also be prophetic, given the use of ch-z-h as a synonym for n-b-'. Joel's prophecy maintains the continued function of prophetic religious intermediaries in the eschaton,but expands them so that everyone in the community becomes a religious intermediary. All people, without regard to gender, age, or social standing, will function as prophets. The combination of gender pairing, the merism (opposites and everything in between) "old" and "young" people, and the specific inclusion of male and female servants provide a portrait of radical universality. This text fulfills Moses' desire in Num 11:29: "Would that all YHWH's people were prophets, that YHWH put God's spirit upon them!" - NO`ADIAH -

Neh 6:14 Remember, 0 God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their deeds, and also the prophet No`adiah177 and the rest of the prophets who terrified me.

One scant verse mentions No'adiah the prophet. She is only mentioned in a portion of Nehemiah's prayer that God remember No'adiah and all the rest of the prophets who terrified him.17' No'adiah was apparently the leader of the prophetic opposition to Nehemiah in Jerusalem in Neh 6:14. While the LXX uses the masculine prophete to describe No'adiah, I follow the MT identification of her as a female prophet.179 The discrepancy may arise from the fact that it is virtually impossible to determine the gender of characters with Hebrew names by their names alone.lso Reading the narrative behind the narrative reveals the following scant textual evidence of No'adiah's prophetic role: (1) No'adiah was a prominent leader of the prophetic opposition to Nehemiah, (2) she had all of the other prophets (uleyeter hannevi'im) in Jerusalem on her side, (3) her opposition was formidable enough to send Nehemiah to appeal to YHWH, and (4) Nehemiah was terrified of what she could or would do if YHWH did not intervene. Following Robert Carroll's reconstruction of No'adiah's role as the "anti-Nehemiah," I suggest that she was opposed to his policies, which included breaking apart families and leaving women and their children as persons without status or identity, with neither shelter nor sustenance.ISI This may appear to be at odds with the immediate context of the dispute, the rebuilding of the walls. However, I understand the rebuilding project to be about literal and figurative separation of the reconstituted Judeans from the peoples around them. The wall cannot be for defensive purposes, since Yehud (the province formed by the postexilic remains of the kingdom of Judah) is a vassal state and Persia is sponsoring the rebuilding (Neh 2:7-9). This reading is clearly speculative, since there is so little in the text. It is difficult to conceive of "all the prophets in Jerusalem" opposed to

rebuilding the temple. One would imagine that project would have had widespread support. The number of men with unacceptable foreign wives and children in Ezra 10:17-44 and Neh 13:23-24 suggests that this was a serious issue for the community and that the separation decree would have had a significant impact. My reading begins by recognizing that Nehemiah has stepped up the rhetoric of his predecessor Ezra as it pertains to banning exogamy to maintain ethnic purity. Where Ezra beat himself and pulled out his own hair (Ezra 9:3), Nehemiah beat the returnees and pulled out their hair as he cursed them and forced them to abandon their wives and their children (Neh 13:25). The context of No'adiah's dispute with Nehemiah is the transformational crisis in nascent Judaism occasioned by the loss of the Jerusalem temple and Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel). The surviving community needed to reconstitute itself and maintain its identity with its only remaining national treasures, memories, cultic heritage, and collected sacred writings. A hierarchy was established between the deportees and those who never left Yehud largely along ethnic and cultural lines as a result of the pluralistic Samaritan heritage of those who remained. Second Kings 17:24 records that TiglathPileser of Assyria deported many of the inhabitants of Samaria when he captured it and settled the area with captives from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim. The narrative goes on to say that the remaining inhabitants intermarried with these new settlers and that their offspring did not know how to appropriately worship YHWH. The emphasis on reconstituting a community that was cultically acceptable was left in the hands of an elite cadre who had the backing of the Persian authorities. The belief that improper marriages contributed to the loss of Eretz Yisrael, combined with the search for new or renewed support for Yehudite identity, led Ezra and Nehemiah to focus on contemporary exogamy. The description of the prophetic community in Jerusalem opposing Nehemiah is interesting. In his prayer, he names them as

"the prophet No'adiah and the rest of the prophets." It is possible to identify this community of prophets, particularly with its unified opposition as a prophetic guild, using Carol Meyers's definition: "any association of people [here, women] for the promotion of common interests."182 Since only No'adiah is named, she perhaps was recognized as its leader or "mother."We do not know how many prophets there are or what their gender is (the masculine plural is used); the guilds whose numbers are estimated in 1 Kings 18 and 22 range between 100 and 450 prophets. There is, of course, no reason to presume that all of the prophets left in Jerusalem are male. The other persons named in this prayer are powerful men who are charged with interfering with the ongoing rebuilding project. Tobiah is called an Ammonite by Nehemiah, which marks him as an outsider to the religious community of Yehud under the regulations of Ezra and Nehemiah (2:19). However, he is also described in the text as the clan chief of a large family who was deported in the exile and who, upon their return, found themselves excised from the community of their ancestors, unable to prove their ethnic identity. In Neh 7:62, 642 members of their family are proscribed from the priesthood and forbidden access to their holy rations. Nehemiah's revocation of the sacred donations indicates that what is at stake is not just Israelite identity, but priestly identity. Tobiah is also related to Eliashib the priest, who arranges housing for him in the temple precincts. Presumably, he recognizes the legitimacy of a relative's claim regarding his ancestry. Nehemiah personally throws Tobiah's belongings out of the room. The mention of Tobiah and No'adiah, in Nehemiah's prayer, as his adversaries suggests that not only were all of the prophets in Jerusalem opposed to his reformulation of Israelite identity, but so were the priestly families. The other person named in the prayer is Sanballat, the governor of Samaria. His family was presumably not considered important enough to be deported by the Babylonians, which, when combined with his ancestry (those who were left behind intermarried with non-Israelites imported by the Babylonians; see 2 Kgs 17:24-41), made him unacceptable to Ezra and Nehemiah. No'adiah's association with these two men, Tobiah

and Sanballat, suggests an organized rebellion with the support of some of the priestly families (both those recognized as legitimate, such as Eliashib, and the disenfranchised), the local inhabitants, and all prophets left in Jerusalem (according to Nehemiah's prayer). It was clearly not the intent of redactors of Ezra-Nehemiah to detail the activities of the prophet No'adiah and her status in the community, so our knowledge of her and her program is speculative. Based on the limited information in the text and its broader context, we can conclude that Nehemiah experienced her as a worthy adversary because of his plea for divine intervention. We can also reasonably conclude that her opposition was to his program, in part or in whole, and that she was not alone in her opposition to Nehemiah. Last we can conclude that No'adiah enjoyed some status in the Jerusalem prophetic community since they are mentioned as a collective and she alone, of all the prophets in Jerusalem, is named in Nehemiah's plea. - DAUGHTERS OR HEMAN1 Chr 25:1 David along with the commanders of the army set apart for the (worship) service the progeny of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun (Yeduthun), who should prophesy1S3 with lyres, harps, and cymbals. The list of those114 who did the work for their service was: 2 Of the progeny of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah, sons of Asaph, under the hand of Asaph, who prophesied under the hands of the king. 3 Of Jeduthun (Yeduthun), the progeny ofJeduthun (Yeduthun): Gedaliah (Gedalyahu), Zeri (Tzeri), Jeshaiah (Yeshayahu),185 Shimei, Hashabiah (Hashavyahu), and Mattithiah (Mattityahu), six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun (Yeduthun), who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to YHWH. 4 Of Heman, the progeny of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah (Mattityahu), Uzziel, Shebuel (Sh'vu'el), Jerimoth (Yerimoth), Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer,

Joshbekashah (Yoshbekashah), Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth (Machzi'ot). 5 All these were the progeny of Heman the king's visionary, in the matters of God for exaltation;116 for God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. 6 They were all under the hands of their father for the music in the house of YHWH with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the order of the king. 7 And their number with their kindred,187 who were trained in singing to YHWH, all of whom were skillful, was two hundred eighty-eight. 8 And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike.

The last mention of female prophets in the Hebrew scriptures is somewhat tenuous. They are the daughters of Heman, David's visionary. Heman, Asaph, and Jeduthun (Yeduthun) are described in 1 Chr 25:1 as the heads of families that are also musical guilds. Their musical offerings are designated as prophetic performances through the use of the plural niphal participle hannebbe'im (those who prophesy).188 (Jeduthun is himself described as "prophesying"with the singular niphal participle hannibba', in verse 3.) The offspring or apprentices, beney, of the three men, who are also credited with psalms,189 were "those who prophesied with lyres, harps, and cymbals." Verses 2-4 name the apparently male offspring of the senior musicians.I90 Verse 5 explains that Heman had three daughters who are not named, in addition to his fourteen sons whose names are given in verse 4. Verse 6 states that kolelleh, "all of these," were "under the hand of their father for the music in the house of YHWH with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God." Given that masculine plurals include but regularly obscure female presence, that the offspring/apprentices of Heman (beney heman) are described as hannibbe'im, "those who prophesy," and that all of Heman's children are described as being under his direction, not just his sons, I conclude that the daughters of Heman were musical prophets as were their brothers. It is also possible that

there are female relatives of Asaph and Jeduthun who prophesy musically. The total number of named offspring who play musical instruments is twenty-four; the total number of singing and playing relatives is given as 288 in verse 7. Verse 8 concludes that "they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike." The use of the label prophecy to describe musical performance in the context of formal, highly structured Yahwistic worship is unique to the Chronicler. - SUMMARY Female prophets are a consistent expression of ancient Israelite religion at each phase of Israel's national development: Miriam in the Exodus; Deborah in the settlement of Canaan; Huldah, the WomanProphet, and, most likely, the daughters of Heman in the monarchy; the castigated women's guild in the exile; No'adiah in the return. There will continue to be women-prophets in the "days to come," the eschaton. These female prophets survived the redaction and canonformation processes of the Hebrew scriptures and bear witness to the importance of their narratives to communities that preserved and normalized the text. The majority of the female prophets who have been examined functioned in some kind of community. Miriam functioned in a prophetic triumvirate with her brothers, Moses and Aaron. The difficulty in establishing the biological relationship of the three has already been addressed; it may be helpful to see them as siblings in the prophetic enterprise that is without hierarchy, in contrast to the way in which some prophetic guilds were constructed, with a mother or father. Certainly, most of the surviving traditions indicate that Moses was the most prominent of the three, yet Mic 6:4 points to an egalitarian relationship: "I [YHWH] sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam." The unnamed Woman-Prophet functions in partnership with Isaiah and likely in community with his children and disciples. Given that she is presented as the biological mother of at least one

of those children, Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz-and the possible mother of another, Shear-jashub-and that Isaiah uses the terms "children" and "disciples" interchangeably, perhaps his children and disciples are her children and disciples. Their prophetic practice hinges on partnership; neither can produce the sign children apart from the other. The condemned prophets of Ezek 13:17 represent an allfemale prophetic guild. No'adiah is certainly part of, and most probably the "mother" of, a Jerusalem prophetic guild. The female prophets of the eschaton in Joel form a sort of global guild. Deborah and Huldah function without a guild or community of disciples. Deborah, like the other savior-judges, rules alone. Her relationship to Barak is that of a commanding officer to a subordinate. Her appellation "woman of Lappidoth" does not clearly indicate that she is married; there is no role in her judicial administration, nor in her military campaign or prophetic compositions, for a spouse. While Deborah is called "Mother," she is mother to the entire people, not a group of disciples. The prophet Huldah served as the royal prophet to Josiah. The grammar used for the presence of female prophets varies widely: (1) the noun bannevi'ab, "prophet" in the feminine singular, is used six times; (2) the feminine plural bitpael participle bammitnabbeot is used once; (3) the masculine plural nipbal, venibbe'u, is used with a compound subject, specifying men and women; (4) the LXX uses the masculine singular noun propbete for No'adiah; (5) 1QIsaauses the masculine singular noun bnby'; and (6) the masculine plural noun and masculine plural nipbal participle nevi'ey yisrael bannibba'im are used together for all Israelite prophets, including female prophets. The female prophets of the Hebrew scriptures should be regarded as a diverse group of religious intermediaries. As such, they were one of several classes of religious professionals who were available for consultation or who were sent or inspired by YHWH into a particular context. Female prophets proclaimed and/or performed

the divine word in a number of ways: predictive and interpretive oracles, which could be sung and accompanied by percussion, exercise of statecraft, poetic composition, political dissent, and literal, physical embodiment of the message proclaimed.

FEMALE PROPHETS IN ANCIENT ISRAEL, whether portrayed as functioning independently of other prophets (Deborah and Huldah) or cooperatively with other prophets (Miriam, the mother of Isaiah's child, No'adiah, and the female prophetic guild of Ezekiel 13), functioned in community. While the ability of the prophet was based on her gifts, as opposed to training or apprenticeship, I will consider some female prophets as guild members when their activities take place in specialized communities, with other prophets or specialized groups.' In regard to gender, there are three guild groupings of prophets attested to in the Hebrew scriptures: (1) those that are presumed to be all male because of masculine plural descriptors and a lack of delineated female presence-most references to the disciples of the prophets, beney hannevi'im, fit into this category; (2) mixed-gender groups such as the guild in 2 Kings 4 in which women are present as the conjugal partners of male prophets and possibly as prophets themselves; and (3) allfemale guilds-the vilified community of female prophets, bammitnabbeot, in Ezekiel 13 is the exemplar. There are two other guilds with female

members that may be related to prophetic guilds in general and female prophecy in particular: the funerary and scribal guilds. - MUSICAL/FUNFRARY GUILDS Female musical guilds in the Hebrew scriptures are characterized by percussive music-usually on a small frame drum, toph-and chanted or sung poetry celebrating victory and offering praise to YHWH. Women who are identified as playing the drum in the scriptures include Miriam and the women of the Exodus, Jephthah's daughter, and the women of Israel who celebrate David's exploits.' In several texts, a masculine plural expression denotes contexts, including the prophetic guild of 1 Samuel 10, in which women and men likely drummed together.' Carol Meyers has conclusively demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of drummers in Israel and neighboring Phoenicia were female, so it should be presumed that the drumming groups indicated by the masculine plural are mixedgender groups.4 Dance is also a regular element accompanying women's percussive music. The women of Exodus follow Miriam with drums and dancing, betuppim uvimcholot. The women of Israel who welcome Saul and David in 1 Sam 18:6, celebrating their exploits, do so with singing (vatta`aneynab lasbir-Qere [Q scribal correction, to be read instead of what is written; Ketiv [K], what is written in the text-lasbur), drums (betuppim), and dancing (bammecbolot). Young women dance, macbol, in Jer 31:4 and 31:13 accompanied by drums, betuppim. Other dancing women who may be accompanied by percussive music are the women of Shiloh who go to dance, lachul, in a cultic setting in Judg 21:21 and the Shulammite of the Song of Songs (7:1; NRSV 6:13). The general exhortation to praise YHWH with drum and dance in Ps 150:4 certainly includes women. When Judith returns with the head of the vanquished Holofernes in Jdt 15:12, all of the women of Israel assemble and perform a dance (choron) in her honors

Women who sing are characterized by two verbs: `--n-h (IV)6 and shy-r. Miriam in Exod 15:20 and the women who celebrate Saul and David in 1 Sam 18:7 sing with `-n-h (IV). When Miriam commands the people to sing with her, she uses the verb shy-r; the women who celebrate David and Saul are first described as singing with sh-y-r in 1 Sam 18:6. Masculine plural uses of `-n-h (IV), which certainly mask female singers, include the representation of the women's song from 1 Sam 18:7; 21:12 (NRSV 21:11); and, again, 29:5. Deborah uses this verb in her song, as do the singing women (sharim vesharot) in 2 Sam 19:36 (NRSV 19:35). There are also singing women in the Writings: sharot in Eccl 2:8, banot hashir in Eccl 12:4, meshorrot in Ezra 2:65, meshorarot in Neh 7:67, and the female funerary singers, hasharot, in 2 Chr 35:25. In 1 Chr 25:6, the three daughters of Heman, along with his sons, are directed by their father "in the songs (bashir) of the house of YHWH." In verse 1, Heman and all of his children-and Asaph and Jeduthun and their children-are described as prophesying with (or better perhaps, accompanied by) musical instruments. There are a number of singing groups indicated by the masculine plural whose members may have included women; some of these references occur adjacent to verses in which female singers are specified.? The practice of reading women into these groups when they are not mentioned rests on challenging the assumption that masculine plural means all male and on the previously delineated evidence that singing and hand drum playing were predominantly done by women. Lamenting women include the daughters of Israel who went out yearly to lament Jephthah's daughter in Judg 11:40, Bathsheba lamenting her murdered husband Uriah in 2 Sam 11:26, Rachel weeping for her children in Jer 31:15, the daughters of Rabbah in Jer 49:3, women of Gentile nations in Ezek 32:16, and Josiah's funerary singers in 2 Chr 35:24. Widows of priests in Ps 78:64 and widows of common men in Job 27:15 are prevented from lamenting. In Zech 12:10-12, Jerusalem, the house of David, and the house of Nathan will mourn, with the women of the two houses lamenting in separate groups. Judah, personified as a woman, is instructed to cut off her

hair and lament in Jer 7:29. The skilled lamenting women whom YHWH teaches a lament in Jer 9:19-21 (NRSV 9:20-22), using the prophetic formula "so says YHWH," are charged with teaching the lament to their daughters and neighbor-women, who should be understood as apprentices.' Other associations of "daughters" or guild members include the "daughters of Israel" in Judges 11, the "daughters of Shiloh" in Judges 21, the Gentile women who lament in Ezek 32:16, and the "daughters of song" in Eccl 12:4. And there are the laments of two unidentified women (actual or personified?) in Micah 7.9 The vocabulary of lament is varied in the Hebrew scriptures. The lament for Jephthah's daughter, tanot, is a retelling of her life, employing t-n-h (II)10 in the piel." Bathsheba's lament, from spb-d, utilizes the verb most commonly associated with mourning.12 Isaiah 32:12 indicates that beating the breast was a component of this form of lamentation: "on the breasts, lament (or beat)"-`al shadayim sophdim. The women of the houses of David and Nathan who lament in Zechariah 12 also use this form. The widows in Psalm 78 and Job 27 are prevented from this form of lamentation. The song (or chant) of lamentation is occasionally identified as a qinah. Personified Judah and the funerary guild in Jeremiah 7 and 9 both intone this type of lament. The women of the funerary guild (lamegonneot, el-hachakhamot) in Jer 9:16 (NRSV 9:17) are masters of this genre and are instructed by YHWH to teach this form to their neighbor-women in 9:19 (NRSV 9:20). Jeremiah himself is described as offering this kind of lament at the death of Josiah, accompanied by singing women and men in 2 Chronicles 35. It should be noted that the only men who perform this kind of lament in the Hebrew scriptures are men of high status, specifically prophets and kings.13 (The singing men accompanying Jeremiah and the singing women in a royal lament are an exception, but they function at a highstatus event.) The ordinary women of the Gentile nations in Ezekiel 32 will perform this genre of lament, teqonenah and qonenuha.

Jeremiah describes Rachel as making the sounds of bitter weeping and wailing (nehi) in 31:15.14 Jeremiah exhorts the daughters of Rabbah to lament (heylili); the verb y-l-l is used frequently in the Prophets for wailing in general. Using masculine plural imperatives, Joel (1:2-3) instructs the elders and inhabitants of Judah to listen to him and to tell their children about the locust infestation. In verse 8, he switches to a feminine singular imperative, instructing someone (all personified?) to lament, eli. This is the only use of the verb '-l-h (III)15 in the Hebrew scriptures. The abundant terminology for lamentation in the Hebrew Bible suggests a rich and complex tradition. The musical traditions associated with funerary practices, particularly the singing of the qinah, link lamentation with the broader musical tradition in which women regularly sing the praises of YHWH ('-n-h; IV), pound out accompanying rhythms on the toph (hand drum), and dance. Female prophets overlap with both groups: Miriam, Deborah, and the daughters of Heman all sing and prophesy. Miriam also plays the toph, and the percussionplaying prophets of 1 Samuel 9 and 10 must be viewed as mixed gender in light of the archaeological and textual evidence that drummers "in the East Mediterranean in the Iron Age were exclusively women. 1116 - SCRIBAL GUILDS In addition to general musical guilds and specialized funerary musical guilds, there is evidence of one other guild including female members in the Hebrew scriptures: the scribal guild. The mention of a female scribe and her disciple descendants in Ezra 2:55 and Neh 7:57 is not a singular oddity. There are communities of scribes whose individual members' gender is impossible to identify because of the linguistic binary in biblical Hebrew; that is, every word is either feminine or masculine. Female scribes are in regular employ in the ANE, including, and particularly, in the nations with which the monarchy of Judah would have contact for more than a thousand years before a female scribe is individually identified in the biblical

text. While male monarchs employed male and female scribes, in the wider ANE, royal women tended to employ female scribes. The Mesopotamian city Mari parallels the monarchy of Judah in many ways, including visible and vocal women in the monarchy as prophets and as scribes. It is possible that the women of the scribal guild in Judah served the royal women who had administrative roles there; it is also possible that they served male monarchs. The following is a list of the names of female scribes that I have been able to uncover in a brief survey of the literature: 1. Amat-Mamu 2. Inanna-Amamu 3. Ayatum 4. Iltani 5. Batabum 6. Shat-Aya 7. Nin-azu 8. Amat-Shamash 9. Ninba-antuk 10. Mana 11. Mannashu 12. Muhadditum 13. Aya-kazub-matim'7 14. Shamash-erish 15. Ishtar-ummi1S 16. Attar-Palti'9 17. Aha-assunu 18. Ahata-abi 19. Da-dani 20. Iliha-atni 21. Ishtar-Shamshi

22. Ni-ih-matum 23. Ribatum 24. Sa-amtum 25. Shubu-ultum20 26. Sopheret and her disciple descendants2l In Oral World and Written Word.•AncientIsraelite Literature'22 Susan Niditch defines a scribe as "a writing professional." Philip R. Davies suggests, in Scribes and Schools'21 that scribes in Mesopotamia (and Egypt) were part of a well-defined social class that enjoyed a monopoly on writing and literary education. In Education in Ancient Israel, James Crenshaw understands the general context for this education to be the home, with the royal court serving as a "notable exception."24 In the royal context, he imagines that "specialized scribes taught privileged young men the art of writing."25 Contrast Crenshaw's construction of "privileged young men" with Samuel Meier's assertion, in "Women and Communication in the Ancient Near East,"26 that "female scribes are certainly a feature of Mesopotamian culture." Meier takes exception with his brother scholars who insist on evaluating the literature produced by scribal schools in Mesopotamia as "schoolboy studies."27 He directs the reader to Rivkah Harris's 1975 demographic study of ancient Sippar, first as an independent citystate, then as an incorporated Babylonian city flourishing between 1894 and 1595 B.C.E., which documents thirteen female scribes.21 Meier adds a fourteenth to the list of female scribes in Sippar and mentions another Babylonian female scribe.29 In 1956, Maurice Birot presented nine female scribes from a list of royal officials receiving rations of oil in Mari; as was customary in Mari, the overwhelming majority of the officials were female.30 In 1967, Benno Landsberger presented a list of royal personnel that includes six female scribes from the Neo-Assyrian Period.31 Stephanie Dalley and J. N. Postgate32 present yet another female scribe resident in the queen's household of the Sargonic-era Fort Shalmaneser.

The largest body of female scribes in the ANE dates from the second millennium, specifically the Middle Bronze Age. The female scribes of the first millennium are more difficult to identify because of standard Sumerian grammar in which there is no indication of gender in occupations served by women and men.33 Grammatical gender distinctions appear with the use of Akkadian but are not employed consistently in the literature.34 The royal scribe Attar-Palti is identified as a male scribe in one document, and as a female scribe in a second text and on the envelope to the first tablet. She is also identified without a gender marker in another text. She is clearly identified as the female scribe serving the king's primary wife and responsible for managing the queen's household in other places. She is identified as female in every other document in which she appears; in two cases, she lends large sums of silver to male debtors.3' The Babylonian scribe Ishtar-ummi also identified herself with the masculine Akkadian title. The choice of title seems to be a personal one; female scribes cotemporal to and colocal with AttarPalti and Ishtarummi use the feminine Akkadian title.36 In broader perspective, the names of relatively few scribes, male or female, are preserved in the literature of the ANE; as a rule, scribes did not sign their names unless they were serving as witnesses in legal matters. The presence of male and female names in those documents indicates that the larger volume of anonymous scribal material is the product of female and male scribes. That there are no differences between the work of female or male scribes means it is impossible to gender the anonymous scribal literature of the ANE. There are also no indications of scribal academies segregated by gender. This also means that female scribes learned with and from male scribes (and perhaps from female scribes) the same standardized set of professional techniques and practices. The theo-narratives (stories about the gods) of the ANE suggest that female scribes were normative and that at one time women were the primary instructors in the scribal academies. The shift from the goddess Nisaba to the male god Nabu as the chief deity of

scribes and as the scribe of the gods makes this point: the activities of divine beings have parallels in the activities of human beings.37 Some female scribes were daughters of male scribes; InannaAmamu, a vowed religious woman, a naditu, was one such daughter of a male scribe. There may, however, be some gender distinction in employment; there is some evidence that royal cloistered women used female naditu scribes preferentially. Note that male monarchs used the services of both female and male scribes. Amat-Mamu had the longest attested professional career of any female scribe in the archaeological record. Her scribal career lasted at least forty years; she was in the service of three kings, including the well-known Hammurabi the Law-Giver, followed by his successors, Samsu-iluna and Abi-eshuh. Amat-Mamu was a vowed naditu woman, a professional religious woman. A forty-year career for a woman of letters in the ancient world was perhaps more remarkable than such a feat today, given the life expectancy of women in the Bronze Age. Richard Jones finds that the average life expectancy in the biblical world and wider ANE was thirty to forty-five years, with women's life expectancy regularly less than that of men, sometimes by as much as a decade.31 Amat-Mamu was no doubt well fed, clothed, and housed because of her professional status. However, Simo Parpola cautions with regard to scribes (and perhaps the modern academy) that "scholarship and luxurious life do not generally go very well together."39 Other female scribes who had significant careers include Ayatum, with twelve years of service, and Iltani, with seven years of service; both were also naditu women. There is some evidence that female scribes continued to function in post-biblical Jewish history. A Yemeni scribe named Miriam, the daughter of a male scribe, produced a codex of the Torah that she signed and annotated, "Please be indulgent of the short-comings of this volume; I inscribed it while nursing a baby." Shelomo Dov Goitein, who provided the last citation, also makes note of an Iraqi Jewish family name, Ibn an-Nasikha, "the son of the female scribe."40 Women of letters left their mark on the world from the time

of the poet Enheduanna, more than 4,300 years ago. They had thriving forty-year careers before the Iron Age, and there was at least one scribal guild in the biblical text dating from the time of Solomon headed by a female scribe whose disciple-descendants continued in her path for more than six hundred years. Of course, a scribal vocation in the ANE depended upon literacyin the case of royal scribes, regularly multilingual literacy, perhaps not unlike the contemporary requirement that lettered scholars be able to conduct research in more than one language. Sumerian is arguably the first written language, not only in the ANE, but on the planet; its cone-shaped symbols dating from 3100 B.C.E. became known as "cuneiform." Female literacy dates virtually to the invention of writing. The poet, priestess, and princess Enheduanna wrote volumes of poetry that survived her for millennia after her death. Her works date from 2300 B.C.E., only two hundred years from the end of the "Old Sumerian" era, and her poems are extant today. Certainly, her privileged status as the daughter of Sargon the Great made her literacy possible, but the late Tikvah Frymer-Kensky argues convincingly in her classic text, In the Wake of the Goddesses,4l that she not be read as an anomaly. Most of the poetry produced in that era was anonymous; it is simply impossible to identify the gender of the author. While literacy can be achieved by learning one aleph-bet-reading and pronouncing a few words and possessing limited arithmetic ability according to some definitions-what was required to function as a scribe in ancient Mesopotamia and biblical Israel is fluency. The ancient Near Eastern scribes of both genders needed to be fluent in cuneiform in a variety of Semitic dialects: Babylonian, Assyrian, Elamite. These scribes would also have some skill in deciphering the old Sumerian signs and may have spoken different dialects of Akkadian and/or Aramaic, at a minimum. The activity of royal women as administrators, female prophets, and female scribes links biblical Israel, particularly the monarchy of

Judah, with Mari. As in Mari, monarchs in Judah relied heavily on prophetic council. I will not detail that here except to point out the cases in which queen-mothers42 interacted with prophets or were most likely to: (1) Bathsheba and Nathan worked together to get Solomon on the throne in 1 Kings 1, and (2) Jedidah (Yedidah), the mother of the righteous Josiah, was more likely to have installed Huldah as court prophet than her now-deceased but formerly apostate husband or her eight-year-old son who ascended the throne in 2 Kings 22. The Targumic tradition identifies Huldah not only as literate, but as a scholar and Torah teacher. On a side note, Zibia, the queen-mother of Joash/ Jehoash, chose priestly instruction rather than prophetic guidance for her seven-year-old son when he ascended the throne in 2 Kings 12. Ezra 2:55 records the exodus of people, including the descendants or, better, disciples of the female scribe, from Babylon back to Judah: "The descendants/disciples of Solomon's servants: the descendants/disciples of Sotai (a personal name), the descendants/disciples of Hassophereth (literally,'the female scribe'), the descendants/disciples of Peruda (a description: `the single one')."43 The verse is repeated in Neh 7:57 with some minor changes: "The descendants/disciples of Solomon's servants: the descendants/disciples of Sotai (a personal name), the descendants/ disciples of Sophereth (literally, `a female scribe'), the descendants/disciples of Perida (a description: `the single one,'variant spelling)."44 Sophereth is the feminine singular qa/participle of s-ph-r, "to write," literally, "she who writes" or "female scribe." Hassophereth is "the female scribe. While the text makes clear that the senior scribe in this guild was a woman, it does not identify the gender of its members. The masculine plural in biblical Hebrew indicates that at least one of the scribes in the guild (or one of her descendants) was male. This scribal guild is identified, along with some individuals, as "servants of Solomon."That likely means that their eponymous ancestor, the female scribe whose name has been forgotten, was

active during the Solomonic era. A Solomonic list of royal officials in 1 Kgs 4:3 places scribes as the second in the hierarchy after the priest, following the Davidic hierarchy established in 2 Sam 8:17.45 The decision to utilize transliteration (phonetically reproducing the Hebrew word in English) rather than translation for the participle suggests gender-bound limitations on the part of the translators. This apparent gender bias is all the more apparent when evaluating the 270 other feminine singular qal participles that are translated in the Hebrew scriptures, not transliterated (with the possible exception of the woman identified as Hammolecbetb in 1 Chr 7:18, which means "she who reigns"). The masculine participle sopher, "he who writes" or "male scribe," occurs some fifty-four times in the canon and is regularly translated as some sort of administrator in the NJPS and NRSV translations. For example, it is translated as "marshal" in Judges; "secretary" in Samuel through Isaiah and in Esther; "scribe" and "secretary" in Jeremiah and Chronicles; and "scribe" in Psalms, Ezra, and Nehemiah. Six of those references are plural; the masculine plural can include but also masks the presence of female scribes. I have explored the obscuring of women in masculine plural biblical Hebrew expressions and concluded that women cannot be automatically excluded from expressions such as beney, "sons of," "children of," or "descendants of."46 For example, when the beney yisrael, the sons of Israel (usually translated "children of Israel" or "Israelites"), exited Egypt in the Exodus, they did not leave the banotyisrael, daughters of Israel, behind in bondage. In addition, "son/child of" and "daughter of" regularly indicate community of origin or a personal characteristic and can indicate broader familial relationship in addition to parent/child and teacher/ student relationships. Examples of parent/child language employed in guild settings include a term primarily employed to describe the prophetic guild, beney hannevi'im (the sons or disciples of the prophets, usually translated as "disciples of the prophets" in NJPS

and "the company of prophets" in NRSV). For example, see Elisha's address of Elijah as "father" in 2 Kgs 13:14, Isaiah's reference to his children and disciples in Isa 8:16-18, and the daughters or disciples of the mourner's guild in Jer 9:20. The notion may also be employed on an individual basis in the description of Deborah as a mother in Israel in Judg 5:7 and in the mention of Tekoa, the city of the female sage, in 2 Sam 20:19. First Chronicles 2:55 makes reference to mishpechot sophrim, "the families of the scribes,"living in Jabez during the settlement of Canaan. The references to the anonymous unnumbered scribes of the non-Israelite king Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes of Persia) in Esth 3:12 and 8:9 may well include women, given the regular occurrence of female royal scribes in Mesopotamia. It is important to note that the postexilic scribal guild recorded in Ezra and Nehemiah as disciples and/or descendents of a mother scribe (see earlier discussion of "the/a female scribe" in Ezra 2:55 and Neh 7:57) is not a product of exilic Judean contact with Babylonian or Persian administrative practices. It is dated to the time of Solomon and may be shaped by Solomon's international interactions. The repatriation (or, perhaps better, rematriation) of the scribal guild to the reconstituted province of Yehud (Judah) ensured its survival in its community and in the pages of scripture. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi suggests that the female guild in the Hebrew Bible with the closest correlation to the scribal guild is the guild of women who proclaim good news.47 These evangelists-the English is derived from the Greek LXX version of these passages using various forms of the participle for euanggelizo-appear twice in Isa 40:9, as the heralds of good news, and in Ps 68:12, as the great company of women who proclaim the good news, tzava'hamevasserot rav. Her linkage is based on the similar use of feminine participles: Hassophereth, the woman-scribe (with her disciples), and hamevasserot (the womenpreachers), who appear to be a guild. Both guilds advance forms of communication. I would add

the women who served the desert sanctuary in some military capacity, hatzov of asher tzave'u, in Ex 38:8. My reading of them (in chapter 6) is that they used their mirrors as signaling devices and therefore are also part of a "communications" guild. - SUMMARY The existence of the three related guilds that include, and in some cases solely consist of, women-prophets, musicians (in general; drummers in particular) and funerary singers, and scribes-facilitates the reexamination of long-held scholarly assumptions about Israelite society. The term patriarchy is an inadequate description of Israelite society, as it cannot account for the guilds under consideration. In the musical and funerary guilds, authority and expertise lie with the skilled and experienced performers; both the experts and the novices are women. There is no father or father figure in these organizations. This holds true for the female prophetic guild in Ezekiel 13 and the independent female prophets. The whole notion of "top-down hierarchy" as a framework for understanding Israelite society is undercut by the organizations of these guilds and their internal hierarchies.48 The authority and influence of these women extend beyond the circle of their guilds. The public and performative aspect of the work of each type of guild means that these women exert influence on a wider, mixed-gender, public sphere.49 This influence is not mediated through male authority. By taking a closer examination, as we have done in this chapter, we see that the women are there, just below the surface.


The subsequent interpreters of the Hebrew Bible in the Mishnah, Jerusalem (Yerushalmi) and Babylonian (Bavli) Talmuds, and Midrash (Midrashim) demonstrate the fluidity of the label prophet by its application to a number of persons whom the biblical tradents do not label as such.' Perhaps the most striking feature of the rabbis' discourses on female prophets is the distinct roster of women they identify as prophets and their justifications. The work of Leila Bronner and Rachel Elior has demonstrated that the rabbis were concerned with gender relations in their own times and imported their concerns into their exegeses.2 The addition of women to the list of biblical female prophets known for their physical, particularly sexualized, characteristics makes the point that women were perceived by the rabbis in terms of their sexual potential rather than their intellectual or spiritual capacity. This is demonstrated in their ascription of perceived genderbased character flaws to female prophets, such as

eavesdropping and gossiping; in their invention of husbands for Miriam and possibly for Deborah; and in their concern about male access to the female body.3 This is particularly true for the Babylonian Talmud. Bronner examines the rabbinic constructions of female prophets in the Hebrew Bible and the portrayals of the women the rabbis added to the prophetic guild. She finds that the rabbinic portraits of biblical women are framed by their gender stereotypes; that in rabbinic literature women enjoy lower status than do women in biblical literature; and that this holds true for prominent women, such as the prophets.' For example, even though the rabbis add Sarah to the prophetic guild and say that she exceeds Abraham in prophetic ability, Bronner finds Sarah's absence from the Agedab ("binding," the rabbinic name for the "binding of Isaac" story in Genesis 22) troubling. She observes that the rabbis do not take the opportunity to demonstrate Sarah's ability in the context of this narrative; instead, Abraham calls her "lightheaded" and does not consult her about the divine command to sacrifice Isaac.5 Bronner wonders, "Why wasn't Sarah-the only woman prophetess to speak with God, a woman superior to her husband in prophecy, one who died by a kiss of Godnot even consulted by her husband at the important moment of the great trial?"6 Bronner also finds that the rabbis view women in particularly physical and sexual terms. They regularly supplement the biblical text to demonstrate the great beauty of biblical heroines, and in providing husbands and children for single women, the rabbis give these characters "an acceptable status."7 The rabbis also had difficulty with (presumably) married biblical women, particularly when their own exploits outshone those of their husbands.' Bronner notes that "the rabbis were, no doubt, very perturbed by the fact that both Deborah and Huldah overshadowed their male contemporaries."9 Bronner observes that the rabbis have a particular difficulty with Deborah because she judges Israel, and they have determined that

women are not qualified to judge.10 To undermine Huldah's authority as a royal prophet, the rabbis subordinate her to Jeremiah's authority, and he permits her to accept Josiah's entourage and inquiry. In so doing, the rabbis claim that Huldah's compassion was called for by the occasion. Bronner finds that "compassion" is a female virtue for the rabbis and is contrasted with "intelligence" as a male virtue. She finds that this interpretive move undermines Huldah's role as a Torah teacher. Bronner's reading of b. Megillah 14b is that Deborah is also a Torah teacher but that the public prophecy and teaching of these women were so unacceptable to their rabbinic interpreters that they denigrated their gifts and authority." Because beauty was such an important physical characteristic for women, the rabbis give the most prominent female prophets ugly names to disparage them.12 Overall, Bronner asserts that the rabbis do not regularly subject female prophets to their cultural expectations of modesty for women (Deborah would be the notable exception) and that the rabbis "generally tolerated" the exceptional public behavior of these extraordinary women. However, rabbinic "tolerance" (in this case) does not resemble contemporary notions of tolerance.13 The scholarship of Rachel Elior highlights the discord between the biblical and rabbinic traditions of female prophecy. She finds that female prophets are "a natural phenomenon" in the biblical world, but in the rabbinic world, by virtue of being female, they "have neither place in leadership, public activism, positions of authority, nor in the world of study and creativity, or spiritual, legal or ritual leadership."4 As did Bronner, Elior notes the sexualized physicality of the female prophets in rabbinic tradition. Unlike Bronner, Elior links the emphasis on physical beauty to expectations of female modesty that were part of the normative private realm of women as opposed to the public realm of men.I" In her analysis of rabbinic exegeses, Elior states that the invention of a husband for Miriam is an act of domestication that

seeks to undermine the public nature of her prophetic leadership and supplant it with a private, wife-mother identification.16 Her analysis of the Huldah traditions emphasizes the genealogy that the rabbis create for the prophet, making her a descendant of Rahab, the notorious prostitute.17 (Rahab is virtually always named in terms of her sex work and not in terms of her collaboration with the spies or her fealty to YHWH.) However, Elior fails to mention that in the same genealogy, in b. Megillab 14b, Jeremiah, Baruch, and a number of other priests are also listed as Rahab's descendants. In her analysis of the Aramaic names the rabbis give the prophets Deborah and Huldah, Elior claims that the rabbis read the encounters between these prophets and men in their narratives as disordered. Both women are charged with failing to observe appropriate gendered norms: Deborah with sending for Barak rather than going to him, and Huldah for referring to Josiah as "the man" rather than "the king." In each of these exegeses, Elior demonstrates that the rabbis are intentionally dismantling "traditions in which spiritual power, divine inspiration, status, authority and leadership are attributed to women by creating alternative traditions in which they are associated with abasement, marginality and diminished value."" One of Elior's most valuable contributions is situating rabbinic opposition to the public prophecy of women in terms of kolbaisha erva, their notion of the indecency of hearing a woman's voice in public.19 Rabbi Samuel says in b. Kiddushin 70a and in b. Berakhoth 24a that "a woman's voice is indecent, `rvh."20 A woman's leg, hair, and, potentially, little finger are also identified as `rvh, indecent; the exegesis continues, "If one gazes at the little finger of a woman, it is as if he gazed at her secret place." This particular rabbinic exegesis effectively silences the voices of the female prophets. Tal Ilan's consideration of nonprophetic Jewish women in the Hellenistic and Roman periods also examines rabbinic sources. Ilan

notes that women in rabbinic literature are characterized as "lightheaded," "more susceptible than men to promiscuity," gluttonous, possessing completely "illicit nakedness" (as opposed to partially illicit male nakedness), odiferous, and, particularly, prone to sorcery.2' The rabbis were primarily concerned with women's potential for adultery and the production of illegitimate children. To avoid these potential (in their reasoning, likely) catastrophes, restrictions were placed on speaking to or looking at women in public; in some cases, men were advised to refrain from speaking to or looking at their own wives in public.22 The best method of preserving a woman's chastity was considered to be to keep her at home and out of contact with men who were not relatives.23 This makes it almost inevitable that the female biblical prophets, whose activities take place outside their homes, who converse with men to whom they are not related, and who are not all married as a matter of course, would pose significant interpretive challenges. It is not surprising to find husbands invented, concerns for chastity attributed to the female prophets, and the prophetic roster expanded to include wives and mothers who more closely conform to rabbinic expectations of womanhood. The following portion of this work will focus on my reading of rabbinic literature in which the rabbis label some women as prophets.24 - NAvi'NEVI'AH IN THE MISHNAH The Mishnah is the second iteration of Jewish sacred literature after the Hebrew Bible. It is the written account of the Oral Torah, which, according to tradition, God revealed to Moses at Sinai along with the Written Torah. The Mishnah was produced in Israel/Palestine in the late second and early third centuries C.E. under the patronage of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi, Judah the Prince (or Patriarch).25 It has at least ten references to prophets, commenting on and expanding the traditions of the Hebrew Bible: Yoma 5:2 discusses the setting stone on which the ark of the covenant had rested from the time of the nevi'im ri'shonim (early

prophets), understood to be from the time of David and Solomon.26 Ta`anit4:2 understands the early or former prophets to be David and Solomon, who ordained twenty-four courses or orders of priestly service in the temple.27 Sotah 9:12 contains another reference to the early or former prophets: "When the former prophets died, Urim and Thummim ceased." (The cessation of Urim and Thummim refers to the loss of the ability to inquire of YHWH). Sotah 1:9 explains that the Israelites waited seven days for Miriam to be cleansed from her skin eruption because she had waited an hour to ensure that Moses was adopted by Bat (the "daughter" of) Pharaoh.21 Sanhedrin 11:5 provides a brief description and contrast of false and authentic prophets. A false prophet, navi' hasheger, is one who concocts a prophecy; the hands of human beings should kill such a prophet. An authentic prophet, navi', who suppresses his own genuine prophecy (literally, from his bones, `atzmo), or those who fail to heed the words of another authentic prophet, will be killed by the hands of heaven.29 Pirke Avoth begins in 1:1 by tracing the revelation and transmission of the Torah, Oral and Written, from Sinai to Moses, Moses to Joshua, Joshua to the tribal elders, the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to the charter members of the Great Assembly (first Sanhedrin council).30 Pe`ah 2:6 presents a similar account of the transmission of Ilalakah, from Sinai to Moses, Moses to the prophets, the prophets to the Zugot,31 the Zugot to Abba (the "father" of) Rabbi Measha, Abba Rabbi Measha to Rabbi Measha, and Rabbi Measha to Nathan the Scrivener.32

Middot 1:3 states that architecture of the temple memorializes the legacy of the prophet Huldah. Two of the five gates that provided entry to the Temple Mount are named the Huldah Gates. Shevuoth 2:2 states that only the judgment of a monarch'33 prophet, Urim and Thumim, or a Sanhedrin numbering 171 can modify the architecture of the city or its temple-any of the aforementioned groups-plus two thanksgiving offerings with singing can modify the architecture of the city or its temple. Yadaim 4:3 presents a lengthy (and somewhat obscure) disputation regarding tithes that Israelites living in Ammon and Moab are to pay at the time of the Jubilee (remission of debts every seven years). The rabbis debate the relative authority of the prophets and scribes of the Second Temple period (elders) to render judgment. It was decided that the legitimate arguments made by the scribes could not be argued from the prophets, but only from scribal jurisprudence. In other words, the judgments of the scribes are not based on prophetic discourse, although they may be in agreement.34 The mishnaic portrait of prophetic identity and activity from these texts includes the prophets' unique access to YHWH (whether directly or through divinatory practices) and the establishment and maintenance of the architecture and infrastructure of ancient Israelite (and, later, rabbinic) religion. While the rabbis acknowledge prophetic identities for some persons from the ancestral period, that is, Moses and Miriam, they regularly refer to the monarchy as the beginning of prophecy. This portrait presupposes that oral discourse, whether exegetical or juridical pronouncements, is the primary mode of prophecy because the only prophetic practice the rabbis discuss is proclamation. The mishnaic portrait of female prophets, like the midrashic portrait, focuses on the role of the prophet as an agent of God. This differs greatly from the talmudic portrayal of female prophets, in which their status as divine intermediaries is greatly undermined.

- NAVI%NEVI'AH IN THE MIDRASH Midrash is rabbinic exegetical biblical commentary. Midrash includes both narrative (aggadic) and legal (halakhic) discourses. The Midrasb Rabbab or "Great Midrash" contains commentary on the ten biblical books of the Torah and the Megillotb 35 and is distinguished by having much more aggadic content than halakhic content. There are at least 825 references to prophets and/or prophecy in the Midrash Rabbab. Because of the great number of midrashic texts discussing prophecy, I will limit myself to those that discuss female prophets. The midrash on Gen 17:15, occurring in Exodus (Shemot) Rabbah 1:1, is the first to refer to Sarah as a prophet, where she is Abraham's "ruler," referring, in part, to Gen 21:12, "Obey Sarah in everything she says to you." In response to God's instruction to Abraham to do whatever Sarah tells him regarding the disposition of Hagar and Ishmael, Rashi's midrash on Gen 21:12 states that "Abraham was inferior to Sarah in prophecy."36 In this reading, Sarah's prophetic identity is constructed around her knowledge of how to handle Hagar. In the discussion on Gen 29:34, Rashi finds that the early matriarchs were prophets because they knew "by means of the Holy Spirit" that the twelve tribes would descend from Jacob and four women. Particular knowledge, insider knowledge as it pertains to the divine will, is a consistent trait of prophets in the Hebrew scriptures and in rabbinic literature. Sarah is also identified as a "righteous woman" and the only woman with whom God spoke in the Genesis (Bereshit) Rabbab XX:6 on Gen 3:16 (in this text Sarah is being identified with Eve). The identification as "righteous" is occasionally synonymous with prophetic identification.37 The matriarchs in this text, like Sarah earlier, have special knowledge of God's intentions and actions. They are identified as prophets by Rabbi Hanina ben Pazzi in the midrash on Gen 30:1 (Genesis Rabbah LXXII:6). The prayers of the matriarchs are described as their prophetic activity. Here Rachel is singled out.

According to Rabbi Abba in the same discussion, her prophetic acts included changing the gender of the child whom Leah conceived through prayer from male to female, and producing Dinah. The practice of intercessory or intervening prayer is another characteristic of prophets. In the discussion on Gen 28:11 (Genesis Rabbah LXVIII:11), Jacob is described in the midrash as the ancestor of all "the righteous men and righteous women, the male and female prophets." It is common for prophetic gifts to be used to predict or enable the birth of special persons in the tradition. Miriam is discussed in various midrashim on Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. In a discussion on Dinah and her brothers in Genesis Rabbah LXXX:10, the rabbis comment on the description of Miriam the prophet as the sister of Aaron (but not Moses) in Exod 15:20. They conclude that Miriam is identified as Aaron's sister because of his special affection toward her. The same text is considered in two places in Exodus Rabbah. In Exodus Rabbah 1:22, the rabbis determine that Miriam is not yet Moses' sister because he has yet to be born at the time of that text; the argument is repeated in Numbers (BaMidbar) Rabbah. A later passage in Exodus Rabbah XXIII:7 discusses the "Song of the Sea" of Exodus 15. In this discussion, the rabbis conclude that after Moses begins the song, angels accompanied by female drummers follow him. They cite Exod 15:20, in which the prophet Miriam plays a hand drum, as proof. The last mention of Miriam is in Deuteronomy (Devarim) Rabbah. In a discussion of Deut 24:9, Deuteronomy Rabbah VI:12 states that it is because Miriam sang at the sea that she was named a prophet. That Miriam's song is declared prophetic underscores the notion that prophecy was largely understood as verbal discourse, in this case, oral and musical. In Esther (Ester) Rabbab V:4, the rabbis discuss Mordecai as being the right person in the right place at the right time to accomplish divine purpose. In that discussion, the prophet Deborah is identified among the examples of other suitable persons along with Moses, Solomon, and David.

In commenting on Song 1:17, which contains the statement, "The beams of our house are cedar," Song of Songs (Shir HaSbirim) Rabbah says in three places, 1:25,1:70, and 111:9, that "these are the righteous men and righteous women, male and female prophets that would descend from [Jacob]."The broader context is a comment on the stone on which Jacob slept. The cedar beams the Song mentions sprang forth from those stones. Later on in Songs Rabbah VII:19 is another discussion of all righteous people, again a synonym for prophets, which mentions "the righteous men and righteous women, the male and female prophets."In this discussion, the prophets are planted by God in the vineyard that is Israel. In commenting on Song 4:11, "A dropping honeycomb are your lips," Songs Rabbah IV:23 states, "Just as there arose 600,000 male prophets for Israel, there also arose 600,000 female prophets for them.1131 In the discussion of the prophets in Songs Rabbah, it is clear that the prophets are distinguished persons with distinguished ancestry. They are handpicked (planted) by God for their tasks. The last mention of a female prophet in the Midrash Rabbab is a discussion of Huldah's ancestry in Ruth (Rut) Rabbah 11: 1. There were ten priests who were also prophets who were reckoned to have been descendants of Rahab the prostitute.39 To this list, some rabbis (who are not named in the passage) add the prophet Huldah. My brief reading of these midrashic texts suggests that prophets perform a narrower range of activities in these texts than do the prophets in biblical texts. With respect to the female prophets mentioned above, these midrashic texts indicate that prophets are conversation partners of YHWH (Sarah), persons who must be obeyed (Sarah), have particular knowledge of God's intentions (Sarah and all matriarchs, Hannah), and are used by God (Deborah). According to these midrashic texts, prophets also use verbal discourse (Miriam, Sarah, Rachel), have significant genealogies (all female prophets, Huldah), and work miracles (Rachel). Most of the examples delineated above rely on oracular discourse as the primary mode of prophetic activity. However, changing the gender of a child

before it is born is a powerful example of wonder working, which is a regular characteristic of biblical prophets. The broader rabbinic portrait of prophecy in the Mishnah presumes that oral discourse is the primary means of prophecy and that a prophet serves to reify the Oral and Written Torah. The rabbis imply that a prophetic identity is honorable, particularly for the parents/ancestors of the prophet. - NAVI YNEVIAH IN THE TALMUDS The Talmuds, which re-present and reinterpret scripture, Mishnah, and midrashic commentary, may be considered the canon-closing epic works of rabbinic Judaism.40 I have examined the Gemara of both the Jerusalem Talmud (Yerushalmi) and the Babylonian Talmud (Bavli); however, none of the references to female prophets that I have identified in Bavli are in extant in Yerushalmi.41 The Gemara is talmudic commentary on the Mishnah, whether halakhic or aggadic. There is so much talmudic literature discussing prophecy that I will narrow my focus to those texts that discuss female prophets, and I will also examine texts that demonstrate the flexibility of rabbinic thought regarding the prophetic enterprise. There is one explicit reference to female prophets in Yerushalmi that I was able to identify. In Berakhoth 9:3, Rabbi Judah ben Pazzi says, "Our mother Rachel was one of the earliest prophets."42 He relates the incident in which Rachel changed Dinah's gender from male to female while she was still in Leah's womb. Rachel also prophesies that "another will rise after me." This incident is also discussed in Genesis Rabbah LXXII:6. Rabbi Abba ben Kahana in Talmud Bavli Megillah 14a-b states that "forty-eight male prophets and seven female prophets prophesied to Israel who never took away from nor added anything to what was written in the Torah with the exception of the reading of the Megillah."43 In response to the question "Who are the seven female prophets?" the Talmud lists Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah, and Esther. The numbering of the forty-eight male

prophets differs slightly among commentators. Therefore, I will follow Rashi for the first forty-six and the Vilna Gaon (as does the Schottenstein Talmud) for forty-seven and forty-eight, as Rashi could not identify the last two:44 Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Phineas (but apparently not Hophni), Elkanah, Eli, Samuel, Gad, Nathan, David, Solomon, Iddo, Micaiah ben Imlah, Obadiah, Ahijah the Shilonite, Jehu ben Channai, Azariah ben Oded, Haziel the Levite, Eliezer ben Dodavahu, Hosea, Amos, Micah the Morashite, Amoz (father of Isaiah), Elijah, Elisha, Jonah ben Amitai, Isaiah, Joel, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Uriah ben Shemaiah, Ezekiel, Shemaiah (called "a man of God"), Jeremiah, Baruch, Neriah (father of Baruch), Shiryah (brother of Baruch), Machseyah (grandfather of Baruch), Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Mordechai, Oded, and Hanani. In addition, Baba Bathra 15a-b lists seven prophets who prophesied to the Gentile nations: Balaam ben Zippor, Zippor (Balaam's father), Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu. A closer examination of texts discussing female prophets may help shed light on rabbinic understandings of the nature of their role. I will begin with the rabbis' discussions of female prophets, whom the Hebrew Bible also identifies as prophets, and then consider those whom Megilloth 14a and 14b add to the roster.45 There are at least seventy references to Miriam in the Babylonian Talmud. I will limit my discussion to those that in my judgment are most relevant to her prophetic identity, juxtaposed with the prophetic resumes of other female prophets in Megillah 14. The rabbis take up Miriam's troublesome relationship to Moses and Aaron as soon as they confirm that she is identified as a prophet in Exod 15:20: "Was she only the sister of Aaron and not the sister of Moses?"The rabbis resolve this issue by saying that she is called the sister of Aaron and not of Moses in Exod 15:20 because Moses had not been born when Miriam began to prophesy.46 The rabbis recognize Miriam as a prophet in large part because the Hebrew Bible does; however, this is not the case for the woman with whom Isaiah fathered a child or No'adiah.

Deborah is identified as a wick maker for the temple Menorah. In the Hebrew text, she is called eshet lapidot, "woman of Lappidoth," which the rabbis derive from lapid, "torch." They do not understand her to have been married nor recognize Lappidoth as a proper name.47 They claim that it is because she was single that she judged under a tree, so that no one could accuse her of impropriety when men came to see her. Deborah's judicial service is the way in which she held the people accountable to God's commandments and statutes. The rabbis do not equate judging with prophecy, but regularly find that prophets hold the people accountable to previously revealed toroth.41 There is some rabbinic discussion as to how Huldah can be the royal prophet in the eighteenth year of Josiah when Jeremiah had begun to prophesy five years earlier. However, the rabbis do not raise this concern about Miriam prophesying in the time of Moses or Hannah prophesying at the time of Eli.49 Various solutions to this potential dilemma are possible. Either Jeremiah gave permission and therefore was not offended at being supplanted, or Huldah was chosen because women are more compassionate (literally, have more maternal love, rchmnyvt).50 This would be manifested in more fervent intercession after the explication of the prophecy, not in a changing of the prophecy itself. Megillah 14a-b's reasons for the inclusion of Sarah, Hannah, Abigail, and Esther on the list of female prophets underscore the broad use of the term prophet by the rabbis and have bearing on the present work. Beginning with Sarah, the rabbis turn to Gen 11:27-29, which provides a genealogy that includes Abram and Sarai: "Abram and Nahor took women [for wives]; the name of Abram's woman was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's woman was Milkah. She was the daughter of Haran the father of Milkah and Yiskah [yiskah]." The rabbis identify Yiskah as Sarah and determine that she discerns (shskth) by means of the Holy Spirit and is therefore a prophet.51 Knowledge of the divine will through the Holy Spirit is a regular characterization of prophets in rabbinic literature. A secondary

explanation in Megillah 14 that justifies the rabbis' identification of Sarah as a prophet coincides with the identification of Yiskah as Sarah because "all gazed [svkyn] at her beauty." The rabbis understand Hannah to have been a prophet because of her song in 1 Samuel 2. Philo also recognizes Hannah as a prophet.52 The essential verse for the rabbis is 1 Sam 1:1, rendered in part: "My heart exults in YHWH; my horn is exalted in my God."53 Hannah's reference to her "horn" leads to the understanding that she prophesied the rise of the Davidic dynasty. David and Solomon are anointed with a horn of oil in 1 Sam 16:3 and 26:13 and 1 Kgs 1:39, while Saul and Jehu are anointed with another type of vessel. Hannah's knowledge of God's plans for the Davidic dynasty and her proclamation of those plans make her a prophet in the eyes of the rabbis. Both Megillah 14a and 14b discuss Abigail's prophetic identity. This identification hinges on 1 Sam 25:20, which has, in part, "And she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain." The rabbis understand that Abigail came "with reference to blood that came from her secret parts"; that is, she was menstruating. Because David is understood to be a Torah sage (see Bavli Berakot 4a), she shows him some of her menstrual blood; David questions whether blood is to be displayed at night. Abigail then questions whether capital cases are to be tried at night-in reference to David's decision to execute her husband, Nabal, for his lack of hospitality. David assures her that because Nabal rebelled against a king, he can indeed be executed at night. In response, Abigail points out that Saul is still very much alive, and David is not yet famous everywhere. At this point the rabbis return to the biblical text, this time 1 Sam 25:33, again, in part: "Blessed be your good sense, and blessed be you, who have kept me today from blood [guilt]." Because damim (blood) is plural, the rabbis infer that both menstrual and execution blood are included. Abigail next uncovers one of her thighs, and David is able to travel some distance by the light of it. In reference to the light of her thigh (possibly David's

desire for her thighs and secret places) or the issue of bloodguilt, Abigail says, in part, "Do not let this be a stumbling block to you." Here Abigail's prophecy is the referent of "this."That is, "this" refers to Abigail's thigh and/or secret places or David's desire for it and is a warning to David concerning his future affair with Bathsheba. She knows that something/someone else, Bathsheba, will be a stumbling block to David. Abigail's foreknowledge and proclamation of David's trespass are prophetic. Esther's prophetic identification in Megillab 14 hinges on a portion of Esth 5:1: "Esther clothed [herself] in royalty"; that is, she put on her royal robes. The rabbis find that the subject of the verb vattilbasb (she clothed) is not Esther but rather the Holy Spirit, translating "The Holy Spirit clothed Esther in royalty."The precedent for this rendering is found in 1 Chr 12:19 (verse 18 in English), in which "[she] the Spirit, clothed [lavesbab] Amasai." (NRSV has "the Spirit came upon" and NJPS has "the Spirit seized"; neither translate the verb in the text.) Esther's intimate association with the Holy Spirit is evidence of her prophetic vocation. The Babylonian Talmud (Bavli) preserves several conversations about prophets in general and female prophets in particular that bear consideration. Bavli affirms that Moses is the preeminent prophet, both prototype and archetype. Of his successors, the rabbis teach that they only imagine that they saw YHWH, because only Moses was able to see God face-to-face: "All the prophets looked into a dim glass, but Moses looked through a clear glass" (Yebamotb 49b). Pesachim 66b cites Deborah as an example of the halakah (legal teaching) that a boastful prophet loses the ability to prophesy. Because she says, in Judg 5:7, that "the rulers in Israel ceased until I arose, Deborah, a mother in Israel," Deborah is understood to have lost the ability to prophesy and has to be urged, or compelled, to prophesy again, which she does in song.54 In the same place, we find that both Moses and Elisha lost the ability to prophesy for being angry.55 Pesachim 117a further elucidates the nature of Deborah's

prophetic service; the Holy Spirit is responsive to her call, as is demonstrated by her use of an invocation on the battle with Barak against Sisera. Close association with the Holy Spirit is a regular characteristic of prophetic identity in rabbinic discourse. Rabbi Yose ben R. Yehudah, in Ta'anitb 9a, portrays Miriam as equal to her male siblings: Three good leaders stood up for Israel: Moses, Aaron and Miriam, and three good gifts were given through their hands, the Well, the Pillar of Cloud and the Manna. The Well for the worthiness of Miriam, the Standing Cloud for the worthiness of Aaron and the Manna for the worthiness of Moses. This is one underpinning of the tradition that associates Miriam with the "Well," which provided water for the wandering Israelites.56 The Gemara on Avoth 5:6 understands the mouth of Miriam's Well to have been created on the eve of Shabbat.57 Because the well itself moves, the waters of Miriam's Well are understood to have been perpetually clean. According to Rabbi Chiyya, it was visible from the top of Mount Carmel as a division in the middle of the sea.58 Cbullin 91b92a, which comments on Gen 40:10 (the three branches are understood to be the three prophets, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam), presents the gifts of Miriam, Aaron, and Moses as equal.59 Bavli Sotah 11b identifies Miriam as the legendary Hebrew midwife Puah (pu'ah), from the Hebrew pv'h (calling out), referring to her calling out the infants from the womb, just as she calls out water from the wandering rock-well. She also used to cry out, pvh, through the Holy Spirit, "My mother will give birth to a son who will be the savior of Israel." For posterity, Miriam is known as the ancestor of either the priesthood or the Davidic monarchy as a reward for her fidelity in Sotah 11b-12a.60 The ensuing discussion identifies Miriam as the referent for several women in the household of Joshua's companion, Caleb.61 First, she is Azuvah, `azuvah, the wife of Caleb; Miriam is forsaken, `--z-v, because of her skin eruption. Then she is Yerioth, yeri'ot, because her face is so pale, like curtains,

lyry'vt, due to her illness. Miriam is referred to as the two wives of a man-also identified with Caleb-because she is like two different women, Helah (chel`ah, an invalid) and Naarah (na'arah, a young girl). She is known as Zereth (tzeret) because she is envied (tz-r-h) for her beauty, Zohar (tzochar) because she shines (zocharayim) like the noonday sun, and Ethnan (etnan) because her beauty prompted husbands to give (n-t-n) gifts to their wives. Attention to naming and genealogy is common in rabbinic discussions of prophets. Sotah 11b-12a credits Miriam for reconciling her parents, and indeed every married Israelite couple in Egypt, after her father, Amram, divorced his wife, Jochebed, so he might prevent any more children being born in response to the genocidal decree of the Pharaoh. Every Israelite husband followed his lead in both divorce and reconciliation. Miriam and Aaron are said to have danced at their parents' second wedding (Baba Bathra 120a). In the midst of the prolonged discussion of Miriam in Sotah 12b, Rabbi Chama ben Chanina describes the daughter of Pharaoh as prophesying without knowing that she is doing so.62 In the Gemara on Sotah 1:9, Rabbi Isaac states that Moses' sister is not Miriam but the Shekinah, the Divine Presence (always expressed in feminine grammar), as in "Say to Wisdom you are my sister" in Prov 7:4; here, biblical Wisdom (chokmah) and the rabbinic Shekinah (God's glory or emanation) are understood to be synonyms.63 Finally, in Sotah 13b, Mount Nebo (nevo, the first two letters are the same as navy', prophet) receives its name for being the death scene of the three prophets (nevi'im): Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. In Mo'ed Qatan 28a, Rabbi Eleazar teaches that Miriam in Num 20:1, like Moses in Dent 34:5-6, died by the "Divine kiss"; but it would have been unbecoming for the Hebrew Bible to record that she died by the "Mouth of YHWH," presumably because of her gender. In the same place, Rabbi Ammi teaches that the account of Miriam's death (Num 20:1) is next to the account of red cow atonement (ch. 19) because the death of a righteous person can atone for the unrighteous.64

As in Sotah 9:12, b. Sotah 48b understands the "former prophets" (referred to in Zech 1:4; 7:7; 7:12) to be all of the prophets except Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.65 The commentary of Rabbi Bertinoro adds that prophets contemporary to these three are also excluded. This would account for the mention of No'adiah and other unnamed prophets who oppose Nehemiah's regime in Neh 6:14. Underneath this discussion is likely the realization that there were many persons recognized as prophets in biblical Israel, like No'adiah and her colleagues, who were not sanctioned by the civil and religious leadership. Yoma 9b and Sotah 48b suggest that a lesser form of prophecy continued through the bat kol ("daughter voice") of God in the absence of the Holy Spirit.66 The so-called end of prophecy is, in some sense, a shift in the means of revelation and the authority to interpret revelation. In Baba Bathra 12a-b, Rabbi Abdimi from Haifa says that prophecy was taken from the prophets and given to the sages on the destruction of the temple.67 The sages were exclusively male, unlike the prophets who preceded them. The nominal, titular form (chkhm, chkmym) was generally restricted to the learned men who replaced female and male prophets as the spokesmen for the Holy Spirit.68 The following texts present a general discussion of prophecy in the Talmud. According to Shabbat 63a, "All the prophets prophesied only for the days of the Messiah." Ezekiel's detailed description of the glory ofYHWH emphasizes that authentic prophecy rarely occurred outside of the Holy Land, Israel, proper in the scriptures of Israel. The rabbis feel that Ezekiel needed to prove that he had indeed seen the Divine outside of Israel, in the Babylonian exile and captivity.69 The rabbis think a prophet had to be wealthy enough to be self-supporting.70 They found this witnessed to in Moses' assurance to YHWH that he had not taken a single donkey from the Israelites.71 The rabbis believe that prophets were more likely than kings to live a long life: "There is not a single prophet who did not outlive four kings" (Peshachim 87b). The rabbis use the term "Watchers" to refer to prophets at the end of the First Temple

period.72 Bekoroth 45a demonstrates that neither the prophets nor the sages were required to explain their oracles or teachings. Megillah 3a states that no prophet will ever introduce anything new, that is, nothing other than that which Moses received as both Oral and Written Torah. Giving birth to prophets (and kings) was a reward for women who were modest in the houses of their fathers-in-law.73 A true prophet, such as the one promised in Deut 18:15, is to be obeyed in all things, "even if he [sic] tells you, `Transgress any of all of the commandments of Torah' as in the case of Elijah on Mt. Carmel [who offered a sacrifice outside of the temple in 1 Kgs 18:31 and the following], obey him in every respect in accordance with the needs of the hour" (Yebamoth 90b). This brief review of some rabbinic discussions of female prophets and prophecy provides an evolving portrait of prophetic identity and activity. The talmudic portrait of prophets includes several features: 1. Biblical identification as a prophet is important (Miriam, Deborah, Huldah) but not essential (Sarah, Hannah, Abigail, Esther). 2. Intimacy with YHWH/Holy Spirit is noted, as with Sarah as YHWH's conversation partner, Esther clothed with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit responding to Deborah's call. 3. Knowledge of divine intent is another feature, with Sarah as Yiskah (the "discerning woman"), Hannah's knowledge of the Davidic monarchy, and Abigail's knowledge of David's sin. 4. Prognostication and proclamation are also cited, in all seven female prophets, to some degree. 5. Correct interpretation and observance of Torah are highlighted; to this end, momentary abrogation of an individual mitzvah (commandment) is permissible (Abigail's display of menstrual blood).

6. Since prophecy was the gift of God, it could be (and was) removed when the prophets' human follies discredited them from divine service (Deborah, along with Moses and Elijah). 7. Prophecy is addressed primarily to Israelites by Israelites, although the phenomenon was attested among the Gentiles without the requirement that the prophet be restricted to her or his own people (as seen in the discussion of the fortyeight male prophets). 8. Prophets, namely those of Israel, are responsible for preserving and protecting the heritage of YHWH (as seen in the seven female prophets and the general discussion). 9. Prophets hold divine authority that requires obedience (ubiquitous). These talmudic constructions of the female prophets are not without difficulty. The rabbis regularly characterize women, particularly in the Talmuds and less so in the Mishnah, in terms of their own notions of gender.74 All women are characterized as "greedy, eavesdroppers, slothful and envious." For example, in Genesis Rabbah 18:2 and 45:5, Sarah is identified as an eavesdropper. Marriage is the normative state for women in the view of the rabbis; female prophets who do not have husbands in the biblical text have them supplied by the rabbis. Both Deborah and Huldah presented particular difficulty for rabbinic interpreters. In the protracted discussion of the female prophets in b. Megillab 14b, both Huldah and Deborah are called haughty and identified as having hateful names. Deborah is called a hornet, and Huldah is called a weasel. Because names are so significant in the biblical text and rabbinic exegesis, the ascription of negative names is a serious attempt to undermine the character and authority of these prophets.75 - PROPHETIS IN EARLY CHRISTIAN TEXTS -

Early Christian discourse includes another example of the trajectory of interpretation of the role of female prophets from the Hebrew Bible. In the New Testament, the female prophets are Anna, named for Hannah, who lives in the temple and who praises the infant Jesus as the Redeemer of Jerusalem according to Luke 2:36; the four virgin daughters of Philip, who have the gift of prophecy (which is not further characterized) according to Acts 21:9; the female prophets of Corinth who, according to 1 Cor 11:5, participate in the public liturgy of the nascent church, but should do so with their heads covered (there is no discussion as to whether female prophets should prophesy in public); and a false teaching prophet who appears in Rev 2:18-28. The firstcentury epistle of 1 Clement identifies Rahab as a prophet in 12:8. (She is recognized as the foremother of prophets in rabbinic literature.) Antoinette Clark Wire's reconstruction of the female prophets in Corinth offers a way of understanding female prophets more broadly in Christian discourse.' She notes that in 1 Corinthians, Paul uses the masculine plural to address women and men together.77 In this way, she reads the entire letter as addressed to the entire Corinthian community, including the female prophets, so that Paul's rhetoric is addressed to them as members of the community throughout the letter, not just in the verses in which they are specified. She also observes that Paul's instruction for women to pray and prophesy with their heads covered indicates that they are praying and prophesying publicly with their heads uncovered.71 The Didache, an early Christian document detailing, in part, the rights and responsibilities of the religious leadership, refers to prophets only in the masculine singular and plural. These texts may be relevant here for several reasons. For one thing, the author appeals to the "ancient prophets" (11:11), presumably of Israel since Christianity understood itself to be heir to the scriptures and tradition of Israel; moreover, grammatically, prophetai (prophets) can include women and men.79 In both ancient Israel and nascent Christianity, there were female and male prophets, and both biblical Hebrew and

Koine Greek use the masculine plural as an inclusive plural. Some of the relevant texts enjoin the catechumen to "honor the one who speaks the word of God as the Lord" (4:1) and to defer to the prophets in liturgical matters, even when they alter the sanctioned liturgy (10:7). For their part, itinerant prophets who stay too long (more than three days) in a community, who ask for money, and who do not follow their own teachings show themselves to be false prophets (11:4-5). The community cannot judge true prophets; that would be an unforgivable sin, the same as blaspheming the Holy Spirit (11:7); that is, in part, why the elders wrote the instructions in the Didache, to keep the community from leaping to its own conclusions. A brief overview of the texts pertaining to prophecy in the Didache yields the understandings that (1) these prophets are identified with the Holy Spirit; (2) the early Christian prophets are faithful heirs of ancient Israelite prophecy; and (3) prophets are to be obeyed even if that would entail changing fundamental worship practices. The most significant observation about these references to prophets is that there are not accounts of women or men performing miracles or undertaking prophetic action.80 While the prophets of the Didache were received as normative in the broader Christian tradition, the female prophets of the Montanist movement, who are beyond the scope of the present work, were soundly condemned.81 Whether true or false, these early Christian prophets do preach, pray, and prognosticate. Finally, the epigraph of the prophet Nanas in Phrygia as reported and read by Ute Eisen suggests the activity of women-prophets during the formative period of the New Testament: The prophet Nanas, daughter of Hemogenes. She implored the Lord who is worthy of all reverence, the Immortal One, with prayers and fervent petitions, with songs and hymns of praise, she prayed day and night. She showed fear of the Lord

from the beginning, she had visitation(s) of angels and a mighty (?) voice. Nana the highly praised, whose tomb ... 12 The unique form of her title, propbetisa (rather than the standard prophetis), leads Eisen to date her to the Hellenistic period.83 - SUMMARY The rabbinic portrayals of female prophecy are fascinating. The rabbis were clearly uncomfortable with the phenomenon, largely because of their discomfort with women in public life. Their discussions of the female prophets inscribe their own cultural norms (or desired cultural norms) atemporally on the biblical female prophets. However, because they do take the phenomenon seriously, they expand the roster of women who function as prophets in the biblical text, adding Sarah, Abigail, and Esther. In addition to displaying prophetic behavior, according to rabbinic exegesis, these three women are all appropriately married and, therefore, more in keeping with rabbinic social expectations for women. The rabbis display the most discomfort with the biblical female prophets who are not married: Miriam, Deborah, No'adiah, and the woman with whom Isaiah fathered a child. They censure (and censor) the biblical female prophets in a number of ways: Miriam is married off; Deborah is called names and castigated (as is Huldah, who is properly married but who is not subservient to husband or king); No'adiah and Isaiah's partner in the prophetic pregnancy are simply erased from the canon. However, the rabbis cannot do away with the phenomenon entirely. Female prophecy is expected to continue in the next world, ha 'olom ha ba (the world to come), on par with male prophecy (according to the numbers estimated by the midrash on the Song of Songs). Female prophecy also continues in the early Christian offshoot of rabbinic Judaism. A number of female prophets are identified in the New Testament, including Anna and the seven unmarried daughters of Phillip. The phenomenon of female prophecy continued in the development of normative and marginalized Christian communities.


IN THE COURSE OF THIS WORK, I HAVE previously only considered women who were designated by the biblical tradents as prophets or as doing prophetic work with nominal or verbal constructions of n-b-'. This, however, by no means presumes that these few women represent all of the prophesying women in ancient Israel. Drawing on the list of behaviors that I have elicited from examining these prophets and the behaviors of some of their counterparts in the ANE, I am prepared to construct a prophetic identity for other women in the Hebrew canon who perform the same prophetic practices. Performing these practices alone does not make a woman (or a man) a prophet; they must be performed in the context of an intermediary relationship with YHWH. A brief list of these practices includes the following: 1. interceding with YHWH on behalf of human beings 2. performing musical compositions

3. commanding military forces 4. performing miracles 5. appointing monarchs 6. advising monarchs 7. archiving monarchal reigns 8. evaluating and legitimating Torah 9. making, teaching, and leading disciples 10. mediating human disputes 11. archiving prophetic utterances 12. constructing and guarding the temple 13. serving as executioner 14. inquiring of the Divine 15. proclaiming the word of YHWH My readings will be based on the established presence of female prophets in each phase of Israelite history-Miriam in the Ancestral Period and the Exodus, Deborah during the settlement of Canaan, Huldah and the Woman-Prophet with whom Isaiah conceived a child during the monarchy, the discredited female prophets in Ezekiel during the exile, No'adiah during the restoration, and countless more in the days to come, as promised in Joel.' My readings will also be based on the impossibility of knowing how many members of a group designated by the masculine plural are really male-one is all that is necessary for grammatical purposes. Finally, I will say a word about those female prophets in ancient Israel who cannot be reconstructed from the text, whose names and stories are lost to us. - PROPHETIC CONSTRUCTIONS Rebekah:'Ihe Inquiring Prophet Gen 25:21 Isaac pleaded with YHWH on behalf of his woman, because she was barren; and his plea was granted, and his woman Rebekah conceived. 22 The children struggled

together within her; and she said, "If this is so, why am I ... ?" So she went to inquire of YHWH. 23 And YHWH said to her,

The first woman in the Hebrew Bible whose identity I will reconstruct as prophetic is Rebekah. Her qualification is simple and straightforward: she goes to inquire of YHWH, who responds directly to her (Gen 25:21-22). To inquire of the deity, with the verb d-r-sh, "inquire," is to perform a technical prophetic act. This is true whether one inquires of God or Baal-zebub of Ekron (2 Kgs 1:2). Inquiry of the dead (Dent 18:11) is technical and professional but, in my reading, not prophetic. In 1 Sam 28:6, Saul attempted to inquire of YHWH, but YHWH refused to answer him. Unlike Rebekah, Saul attempted his inquiry through Urim, prophets, and possibly dream incubation. He eventually resorted to inquiry through another religious professional, the female ghost master whose work was designated unorthodox. Saul also changed the object of his inquiry from YHWH to the spirit of Samuel. Named prophets who used this technique to inquire of YHWH include Ahijah, Elisha, Ezekiel, Huldah, Jeremiah, and Micaiah ben Imlah. Rebekah's intercession on her own behalf is prophetic, as are all such acts using the verb dr-sh, whether the prophet's intermediary work is on behalf of an individual or group, for the benefit of others or oneself. Prophet-Warriors and Sanctuary Guardians Exod 38:8 He made the basin of bronze with its stand of bronze, from the reflective tablets2 of the women warriors stationed at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

Relying on Irmtraud Fischer's reading, I recognize a potential prophetic identity for the sanctuary guardians, batzovot asher tzave'u, of Exod 38:8. The NRSV translates them as "women who served," and Tanakh (NJPS) as "women who performed tasks"; both of these traditions reduce the women to performing menial tasks. Of course, the primary semantic range for tz-b-'is martial; its primary definition in IIALOT is "wage war." In noun-form, a tzava' is a mustered army; when the term describes the Israelites, it is acknowledging their organization in military formation. Here, two related verb forms are used: (1) hatzovot (feminine plural participle)the members of this military unit consist of an unknown number of women; and (2) tzave'u (masculine plural conjugated verb functioning as collective plural). The deity is also regularly described as being "SOVEREIGN of Warriors" (YI-IWI-I Tzevaot). The traditional translation "LORD of Hosts" softens and obscures the military metaphor but still does not reduce it to "LORD of Servers" or "LORD of Workers." Everett Fox's translation "the women's workingforce that was doing-the-work" also dilutes the military metaphor.3 The LXX also dilutes the militaristic connotations of the divine title by rendering Tzeva'ot as "almighty" (pantokrator) most frequently and also as "power" (dunamis). In a number of instances, tzevaot is not translated and simply transliterated as sabaoth. The God of Israel is known as YHWH Tzevaot, the God of Warriors. Borrowing from the rabbinic practice of reading words with similar forms and spellings as words with different lexical meanings, the God of Israel can be said to be the God of Women-Warriors in that the plural suffix -0th is a feminine plural suffix. In keeping with the martial semantic range of tz-b-' and the desert-sanctuary context, I translate batzovot asher tzave'u as "the women-warriors stationed." Outside of the worship context, the text can be translated as "the women-warriors who wage war." Waging war is a prophetic action, particularly when God is using the warrior as an avatar.4 The Eastern religious concept of the avatar is

especially appropriate in that ancient Israelite religion is an Eastern religion, located on the cusp of West Asia (and East Africa) a number of shared cultural and religious components. Other prophetwarriors include Moses, Deborah, Elijah, and Samuel. The LXX completely eradicates the militaristic tone by rendering batzovot asher tzave'u as "the fasting women who fasted."5 My earlier understanding of the women-warriors stationed at the entrance of the sanctuary was that they served as some sort of honor guard but also had a real-world military mission. I found it highly likely that their mirrors, mar'ot, were used as signaling devices in combat, making the women a Bronze Age signal corps; communication is an essential part of any army. Irmtraud Fischer's reading has modified my previous understanding. She identifies the marot as "vision tablets," on which these female prophets recorded their prophetic visions. It is an intriguing possibility, one that is not precluded by the text.6 The primary meaning of mar'ah is "vision," which is clearly attested in the other ten usages of the noun in the canon. In this one instance it has traditionally been translated as "mirror," but traditional translations are regularly distorted by gender biases such that some Hebrew words are treated as though they have a second semantic range that only applies to the feminine gender. One notorious example is the translation of chy-l as individual or collective soldierly identity or prowess for men, but as virtue or nobility for women; another is t-w-b as pristinely good for men and creation, but as physically beautiful for women.7 Fischer traces the service of the female sanctuary-guardian prophets through 1 Sam 2:22 (where the sons of Eli sexually abuse them) to No'adiah, who summons Nehemiah to the temple gates where she serves as prophet, as the inheritor of their legacy.' Beyond Fischer's reconstruction, I would like to suggest that their order continues into the Christian scriptures, in which they are represented by "the woman who guarded the gate" of the temple in

John 18:16, whose permission had to be sought before Peter could be granted admission during Jesus' trial before Caiphas. Her memory is preserved with indicators of her prominence in each account of the Gospel narratives: she is a temple guardian in John and has the authority to interrogate Peter in all of the synoptic versions.9 As sanctuary guardians, these women functioned as exemplars for all the prophets who would follow them as guardians of the temple in Jerusalem, including the male prophets Haggai and Zechariah.' he mishnaic interpreters of the Hebrew Bible who named gates accessing the temple complex after her may have recognized Huldah as standing within their tradition. The women-warriors who guard the sanctuary also provide a paradigm for the identification of female prophets in masculine plural forms. The masculine plural conjugation tzave'u, describing a group of women identified with a feminine plural substantive participle, hatzovot, highlights the invisibility of women in masculine plural expressions. While the masculine plural is normally used for exclusively male plural subjects and mixed-gender plural subjects, in this case a masculine plural verb that usually indicates the presence of at least one male subject within the plural subject is used for an exclusively female community. Is it possible that there is at least one male in the group, or is the masculine plural being used for an allfemale group? If the latter is true, as suggested by the participle, then one can never know with certainty what gendered persons make up any group. Consequently, even groups presumed to be all male could be all female or mixed gender. I will shortly return to the subject of female prophets hidden in masculine plural conjugations. These prophet-warriors are most likely associated with the war cult of YHWH, as was the prophet Miriam, who sang of YHWH's military victories accompanied by "all the women" (who would have included these women). If Deborah is to be read as the inheritor of Miriam's prophetic mantle in addition to the mantle of Moses, she is also the inheritor of the prophet-warrior tradition exemplified by these sacred soldiers. Indeed, the memory of the women of war (sanctuary

guardians, Deborah, Jael, Judith, the anonymous temple guardian), endures in their shared description with the God of war, SOVEREIGN of (Women) Warriors. Queen-Mother and Oracle Shaper

The words attributed to King Lemuel in Proverbs 31 are not his words at all, according to the most literal reading of the introductory verse. They are the words of an oracle (masa) with which his mother instructed him (yissratu). As an oracle shaper, the king's unnamed mother is a prophet. Oracle formulation and proclamation are key technical expressions of prophecy in ancient Israel and the ANE. She is in the company of Nahum and Habakkuk, who envision oracles. Isaiah also sees oracles, some fourteen times. Jeremiah uses the form twelve times. In addition, Ezekiel, Hosea, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zechariah, and Malachi perform oracular prophecy. The royal mother's role as an oracle shaper also reifies the wisdom portrayal of the mothers and fathers who teach their children together, in Prov 1:8 and 6:20, and calls to mind disciple-making prophets such as Deborah, Elijah, Isaiah, and No'adiah. Her proficiency as a teacher parallels the targumic traditions of Huldah's proficiency as a teacher. This anonymous prophet, however, teaches her son in a way that has few human analogies. In thirty-seven of the forty-one occurrences of the verb y-s-r (instruct), God, rather than a human person, is the agent. The substance of her prophetic discourse in Proverbs 31 is that her son should not waste his warrior's strength (chayil) on kingdestroying women, but should find an eshet chayil, a woman whose warrior strength matches his own. Her oracle also includes substantial teaching on social justice issues that characterized the latter prophets and the Torah that they preserve and pass on. She calls for her son to be moderate in his consumption of alcohol so that his decrees on behalf of the oppressed will be clearheaded and just. She is not necessarily a teetotaler; she recognized the self-

medicating value of wine for the suffering. She commands her son to speak on behalf of the voiceless and transient, to open his mouth and judge righteously on behalf of the poor and oppressed. Instructions for choosing a suitable marriage partner follow moral exhortations. While the context of the oracle is prenuptial counsel, it is not clear that she is currently married, (she may be a widow), as there is no certain mention of a spouse in the text. Ba `al (vv. 11 and 28) is "lord" or "master," indicating a particular hierarchy (not "husband" as it is regularly translated). The generic ish, "man" or, contextually, "husband," is not used in verses 11 and 28. The woman who is a suitable partner for the warrior-king should be a warrior who brings home the spoils of war (shalal), as in verse 11. The reference to spoil resulting from a military campaign is in keeping with the martial aspect of chayil but is unfortunately frequently mistranslated as mere "food" in verse 11. She should also be a hunter who can take her own prey. In verse 15, tereph means "prey" and is usually provided by wild animals for their young; this word, too, is frequently mistranslated as "food." Again, according to verse 17, she should be prepared to go to war at a moment's notice. The activity of "strengthening one's arms" is a martial one; it is preparatory for combat or hunting.'° King Lemuel's unnamed mother ends her oracle with a reminder that the daughters of many may demonstrate warrior strength, but the rare woman who fears YHWH is to be praised.' he prophet is describing her desired daughter-in-law, but I think she is also describing herself. "Give her a share in the fruit of her hands and let her works praise her in the city gates" (Prov. 31:31). Mourner's Guild: Partner Prophets in Mourning

The queen-mother of Lemuel is not the only woman whose teaching qualifies her as a prophet. In Jer 9:16-21 (9:17-22), YHWH gives a prophetic word to a guild of lamentation prophets similar to the munabbiatum of Emar. Unlike Pentiuc, who found the category of "wailers" to be distinct from the category "prophet," I understand lamentation to be a form of discourse used by prophets (and certainly by nonprophets).II Prophets who use the lament genre in the Hebrew Bible include Jeremiah (who works with a mourner's

guild that includes men and women, perhaps these women, in 2 Chr 35:25), Ezekiel, and Micah.12 The first part of YHWH's speech is to an undisclosed audience, stating that they should summon the lamentation prophets. In preparation for their service, YHWH addresses the prophets directly, giving them an oracular proclamation and instructing them to teach the oracle to their daughters. I understand these daughters to be daughter disciples of the guild in the same way that male and mixedgender prophetic groups are designated as beney hannebiyim. There is no way of estimating the size of this guild; while it could include a handful of prophets, it could also be as large as 450 female prophets (see the double-guild of Asherah's prophets enumerated in 1 Kgs 18:19, 400 prophets of Baal and 450 prophets of Asherah). The two prophetic formulae-koh amar YHWH Tzeva°ot (so says YHWH of Warriors, or perhaps Women-Warriors) in .Jer 9:20, and dibber koh ne'um YHWH (speak so says YHWH) in verse 22-mark this proclamation as divine communication to the messengers of the Divine. Hidden Prophets: Obscured in Nevi'im Unless there is a specific identification of all of the prophets represented by the masculine plural nevi'im as men in a biblical narrative, there is no reason to presume that only male prophets are the intended reference. That is, all plural references to prophets probably include women and men unless there is specific language limiting the group. I have selected texts in which the immediate literary context suggests that nevi'im is referring to all of the previous prophets that YHWH has sent to Israel and Judah. References to "all of the prophets who prophesied before" must be understood inclusively, because those prophets demonstratively included women, for among "all of the prophets who prophesied before" were Miriam, Deborah, the Woman-Prophet partner of Isaiah, Huldah, the women-prophets in Ezekiel, No'adiah, the daughters of Heman, and others. In each of the texts that follow, I have expanded the standard

translation of nevi'im, "prophets," to affirm the inclusion of female prophets in the biblical narratives.13 1 Sam 28:15b Saul answered, "I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by female or male prophets. 14

1 Kgs 18:4 When Jezebel was killing off the female and male prophets of YHWH, Obadiah took a hundred male and female prophets, hid them fifty to a cave, and provided them with bread and water.I"

1 Kgs 22:6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophesying persons together, about four hundred of them, and said to them, "Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?" 7be female and male prophets said, "Go up; for YHWH will give it into the hand of the king. 1116

2 Kgs 17:13 YHWH warned Israel and Judah by every female and male prophet and every female and male seer," saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the law that I commanded your ancestors and that I sent to you by my servants, every prophesying person."18

Hos 6:5 Therefore I have cut them down by the prophets, male and female, I have killed them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes out as light.

Hos 12:11 (NRSV 12:10) I spoke to the female prophets and to the male prophets;

Zech 1:4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the former female and male prophets proclaimed, "So says the SOVEREIGN of Warriors, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds." But they did not hear or heed me, says YHWH.

Zech 7:3 Ask the priests of the house of the SOVEREIGN of Warriors and the male and female prophets, "Should I mourn and

practice abstinence in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?1121

Zech 7:7 Were not these the words that YHWH proclaimed by the former prophets, both women and men, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, along with the towns around it, and when the Negeb and the Shephelah were inhabited?

Zech 7:12 They hardened their hearts like flint-stone in order not to hear the law and the words that the SOVEREIGN of Warriors had sent by God's spirit through the former prophets, both women and men. Therefore great wrath came from the SOVEREIGN of Warriors.

Dan 9:6 We have not listened to your women-servants and menservants, the prophets, who spoke in your name to our monarchs, our chief leaders, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land ... 10 and we have not obeyed the voice of YHWH our God by following God's laws, which YHWH set before us by God's female and male prophet-servants.

Neh 9:26 "Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against you and threw yourTorah behind their backs and killed your male prophets and your female prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies.... 30 Many years you were patient with them, and warned them by

your spirit through your prophets, female and male; yet they would not listen. Therefore you handed them over to the peoples of the lands ... 32 Now therefore, our God, the great and mighty and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love, do not treat lightly all the hardship that has come upon us, upon our monarchs, our officials, our priests, our prophets, male and female, our ancestors, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until today."23

2 Chr 24:19 God sent prophesying persons into their midst to bring them back to YHWH; the female and male prophets testified against them, but the people would not listen.24

2 Chr 36:16' hey kept mocking the messengers of God, despising God's words, and scoffing at God's male and female prophets, until the rage of YHWH against God's people became so great that there was no remedy.25

This list of texts is intentionally long to make a point. There are 153 occurrences of n-b-' (the verb prophesy in a masculine plural nominal form, nevi'im (prophets), either abstract, "prophets," or construct, that is, "your prophets." Each and every instance could mask the presence of female prophets. This same argument could, of course, be extended to any number of masculine plural expressions in biblical Hebrew. I have previously suggested that the prophetic guilds were integrated (see chapter 4). I have also noted texts that did not mention female prophets explicitly but were likely to have included them implicitly; for example, the presence of all the prophets for the newly instituted Passover observance in 2 Kings 23 that comes immediately after Huldah calls for fidelity to the Torah, which prescribed this observation. I have offered here a partial list of

other texts in which female prophets can and should be read. Notice that identifying female prophets as members of the undifferentiated groups of prophets not only does not change the underlying message of these texts; in some cases, it makes the same points more forcefully. - SUMMARY The certain existence of women-prophets in ancient Israel along with their occasional reference by the masculine title (in DSS and LXX) suggest that the plural references to prophets in the Hebrew Bible should be considered as possible references to mixed-gender groups of prophets. Obvious examples would be bands, companies, and disciple groups of prophets (beney hannevi'im, disciples/children of the prophets; bevel nevi'im, association of prophets; lahaqat hannevi'im, community of the prophets). It is likely that there are more than the five women-prophets who are easily identifiable, not including those expected by Joel and those discredited by Ezekiel. The gendered grammar of biblical Hebrew, in which ninety-nine womenprophets with one male prophet in their midst must be designated by the masculine plural, may obscure the presence of an untold number of women-prophets in groups that were previously understood to be all male. The Hebrew scriptures are necessarily a narrow, sectarian, and androcentric source for analysis of the religious practices of the ancient Israelites. They simply do not and cannot accurately reflect the religious experiences of all ancient Israelite women and men, whether or not they are named or mentioned, or even hinted at, in the canon. I have demonstrated the flexible interpretation and application of prophetic identity employed by the tradents of early rabbinic and Christian literature. Staking a contemporary claim within that broad exegetical tradition (consisting of numerous divergent and convergent streams), I have made the argument that there were

more female prophets in ancient Israel than are named in its scriptures. There are more female prophets in the scriptures of ancient Israel than are named in its canon. I have identified some of these women: Rebekah, the sanctuary guardians, the mother of King Lemuel, and the mourner's guild. I have recovered the presence of female prophets obscured by masculine plural grammar. I have also demonstrated that when the latter prophets invoke the prophecies of the former prophets, they are invoking female and male prophets. Needless to say, I have not uncovered all of the female prophets in biblical Israel, or even in the Hebrew Bible.' That task is beyond me. There remain, I am certain, female prophets whose names were forgotten, whose stories stopped circulating, but we know they were there. May the memories of the prophets in this work, named and unnamed, well known and newly discovered, be a blessing for all who take up prophetic mantles, whether to prophesy or to study-for a degree or for a lifetime-those who do.

- PREFACE 1. All translations are the author's unless otherwise noted. - INTRODUCTION 1. The Hebrew Bible is the scriptural collection of Hebrew and Aramaicspeaking Jews, consolidated in the Babylonian exile. It is the linguistic basis for the Christian Old Testament but is distinct in a number of areas: names of individual books, number of books, and sequence of books. While the Christian Old Testament is now translated from the Hebrew Bible in the Western church, it was originally translated from a Greek version of the Jewish scriptures, the Septuagint. The names, number, and sequence of books in the OT is dependent on the Septuagint. ('Ihe Greek Orthodox Church uses the Septuagint as its primary text for the Old Testament.)'Ihe Hebrew Bible has three divisions: Torah, Prophets (Nevi'im), and Writings (Ketuvim).'Ihe first letter of each division in Hebrew gives rise to its acronym, the TaNaK, or Tanakh.'Ihe dominant Hebrew manuscript for the study of the Hebrew Bible is the Masoretic Text (MT), preserved in the Hebrew text printed by the Jewish Publication Society (JPS or NJPS) and in Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, 1977). The dominant Greek

manuscript for the LXX is the one edited by Alfred Rahlfs (Stuttgart: Privilegierte wurttembergische Bibelanstalt, 1935). 2. The work of J. Phillip Hyatt, Prophetic Religion (New York: Abingdon, 1942), comes to mind. He argues, as do many who follow him, that all who are called prophet are not really prophets. He considers only the "great men," whom he specifically identifies as the canonical prophets, to be legitimate bearers of the title (13). See also Julius Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History ofAncientlsrael (1883; repr., New York: World Publishing, 1957). 3. A full discussion of the terminology and functions of religious practitioners in ancient Israel can be found in chapter 1. 4. It is possible that the second part of the name translated in the NRSV as "son of Chenaanah," ben kenanaanah, is not a patronymic, but a gentilic with a redundant locative heh (see 2 Chr 18:10, 23). 5. In 1 Samuel 19:20, lahagat hanevi'im occurs as a hapax legomenon, the only occurrence of the term in the scriptures. 6.1 Kings 18 suggests that the guild numbered more than 100, whereas 1 Kings 22 numbers them at 400. 7. In the biblical books that bear their names, Isaiah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk self-identify as "visionaries" using either the verbal (chazah) or the nominal form (chazon) of the root. 8. See Isa 9:15; 28:7; 29:10; 30:10. 9. See the "Technical Vocabulary" section in chapter 1 for a detailed treatment of identifying women as a subset of masculine plural expressions in biblical Hebrew. 10. Both names are guarantees that YHWH will preserve Judah in the face of the Syro-Ephraimitic crisis.

11. For example, Max Weber's classic analysis presumes gender hostility: "All genuine religious prophecies and non-prophetic priestly systemization of religion ... [are] hostile toward sexuality"; The Sociology of Religion (Boston: Beacon, 1993), 238. 12. Walther Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament, trans. J. A. Baker (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961), 298. 13. Ibid., 299. 14. Gerhard von Rad, The Message of the Prophets (New York: Harper & Row, 1962); Abraham J. Heschel, The Prophets (New York: Harper & Row, 1962). 15. Denise Carmody, Biblical Women: Contemporary Reflections on Scriptural Texts (New York: Crossroad, 1988). 16. Mieke Bal, Death and Dissymmetry: The Politics of Coherence in the Book of Judges (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1988). 17. JoAnn Hackett, "In the Days ofJael: Reclaiming the History of Women in Ancient Israel," in Immaculate and Powerful: The Female in Sacred Imagery and Social Reality, ed. Clarissa W. Atkinson, Constance H. Buchanan, and Margaret Ruth Miles (Boston: Beacon, 1985), 15-38. 18. The women of the Ecumenical Association of 'Third World Theologians (EATWOT) use Deborah as a paradigm to "ponder the oppression of women, to discuss it, and then give [their] verdict, acting as Deborah, the judge, would have done, confident that today is the Day of Yahweh." See "Final Conference on Doing 'Theology from 'Third World Women's Perspective," in Feminist Theology from the Third World.•A Reader, ed. Ursula King (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1994),36.

19. Maria W. Stewart, "Mrs. Stewart's Farewell Address to Her Friends in the City of Boston," in Maria W. Stewart, America's First Black Woman Political Writer: Essays and Speeches, ed. Marilyn Richardson (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987). Stewart states, "What if I am a woman; is not the God of ancient times the God of these modern days? Did he not raise up Deborah, to be a mother and a judge in Israel?" (68). Stewart's address was first published in the Liberator on September 28, 1883. 20. Randall C. Bailey, "Beyond Identification:'Ihe Use of Africans in Old Testament Poetry and Narratives," in Stony the Road We Trod.-African American Biblical Interpretation, ed. Cain Hope Felder (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991), 179-80. 21. Cheryl Sanders, "Black Women in Biblical Perspective," in Living the Intersection: Woman ism andAfrocentrism in Theology, ed. Cheryl Sanders (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995), 138-39. 22. Scholars of multiple ethnicities and social locations share this reading. See, for example, Frank M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), 203-4. 23. Miriam T. Winter (WomanWisdom: AFeministLectionary and Psalter; Women of the Hebrew Scriptures, Part 1 [New York: Crossroad, 1991], 74-79, 129) makes some use of feminist scholarship as she presents her hermeneutic in a liturgical form, including a lectionary reading adapted from the Roman Catholic Lectionary, points for reflection, contemporary psalms, and prayer. She assumes that Miriam became white in her reading but does not discuss race or national identity. Her reflection questions focus on Miriam as a paradigm for women in leadership and acknowledges that authoritative women can experience critique by their own communities. She also focuses on Miriam's use of music in worship. In her treatment of the Cushite wife, Winter actually suggests that she may have been a slave.'Ihere is, of course, no evidence of this in the text. Winter is reading the history of the construct of blackness

in the Western world in general and particularly that of the American slavocracy into the text. 24. Alice Ogden Bellis, Helpmates, Harlots and Heroes: Women's Stories in the Hebrew Bible (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1994). 25. Ibid., 102-6. 26. Lillian Sigal, "Models of Love and Hate," Daughters of Sarah 16 (1990): 8-10; Danna Nolan Fewell and David M. Gunn, "Controlling Perspectives: Women, Men and the Authority of Violence in Judges 4 and 5," journal of the American Academy of Religion 58 (1990): 389-411. 27. Julia Esquivel, "Liberation,'Iheology and Women," in New Eyes for Reading: Biblical and Theological Reflections by Women from the Third World, ed. John S. Pobee and Barbel von Wartenberg-Potter (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1986), 2124. 28. Bellis, Helpmates, 117-18. 29. Susan Ackerman, Warrior, Dancer, Seductress, Queen: Women in Judges and Biblical Israel, Anchor Bible Reference Library (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 31-2. 30. Ibid., 38-41. Ackerman is reading Claudia Camp, "'Ihe Wise Women of 2 Samuel: A Role Model for Women in Early Israel?" Catholic Biblical Quarterly 43 (1981): 14-29. 31. Silvia Schroer, "Diachronic Sections," in Feminist Interpretation: The Bible in Women's Perspective, by Luise Schottroff, Sylvia Schroer, Marie-Teres Wacker (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998), 138. In the exegetical introduction to the second part of her liturgical material, Winter claims that the exilic community knew No'adiah well and that her prophetic opposition

was formidable (Woman Witness: A Feminist Lectionary and Psalter; Women of the Hebrew Scriptures, Part 2 [New York: Crossroad, 1992], 292). 32. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, "No`adiah," in Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books and the New Testament, ed. Carol Meyers (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), 132. 33. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, "Ezra-Nehemiah," in Women's Bible Commentary, ed. Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1998), 129. 34. Athalya Brenner, The Israelite Woman: Social Role and Literary Type in Biblical Narrative (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985), 5765. 35. Deborah Menken Gill, "'Ihe Female Prophets: Gender and Leadership in the Biblical Tradition" (Ph.D. diss., Fuller Theological Seminary, 1991). 36. Ziony Zevit, The Religions ofAncientlsrael.•ASynthesis ofParallacticApproaches (New York: Continuum, 2001). He does reference the prayer that Moses offers on her behalf after Miriam is afflicted with a skin disease for challenging his prophetic authority in Numbers 12, but he does so only to stress the efficacy of prayer from any location. 37. Zevit cites the name mrym to demonstrate the use of "nonYahwhistic theophoric anthroponyms." He derives the name from the deity Mar, which he understands to be an Aramaic equivalent of "lord/master," and a "pre-settlement" name, occurring only in the tribe of Levi. See his discussion and chart in Religions ofAncientIsrael, pp. 588-89, and nn. 12 and 14. Also, see his discussion of Moses' prayer for Miriam's healing, p. 668. 38. Zevit, Religions ofAncientlsrael, 499, 615.

39. Ibid., 440. 40. Ibid., 507. Here, he seems to accept the lack of preserved written oracles and prophetic archives of female prophets as evidence that they did not write, rather than questioning the canon formation process. 41. Ibid., 486, 497. 42. Ibid., 561-62. 43. Susan Ackerman, "Why Is Miriam Also among the Prophets? (And Is Zipporah among the Priests?),"journal ofBiblical Literature 121 (2001): 47-80. 44. Ibid., 50-51. 45. Ibid., 67. 46. Ibid., 58. 47. Ibid., 59. 48. Tikvah Frymer-Kensky, Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of Their Stories (New York: Schocken, 2002), 3. 49. Ibid., 295. 50. See full discussion in ibid., 46. 51. Ibid., 47. 52. Ibid., 48. Both LXX witnesses, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus, add to the MT, "for I do not know the day on which the Lord will providentially guide his messenger with me." 53. See discussion of scholarship on Huldah in chapter 3.

54. Frymer-Kensky, Reading the Women, 325. 55. Irmtraud Fischer, Gotteskunderinnen: zu einer geschlechterfairen Deutung des Phknomens der Prophetic and der Prophetinnen in der Hebrkischen Bibel (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2002). Another potentially fruitful resource is Ursula Rapp, Mirjam: einefeministicsch-rhetorische Lekture der Mirjamtexte in der Hebrkischen Bibel, BZAW 317 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2002), 262. 56. Ibid., 18. 57. See full discussion in ibid., 18-19. 58. Ibid., 122. 59. Ibid., 266-67. 60. Ibid., 265-66. 61. Ibid., 211-13. 62. Ibid., 216. 63. Ibid., 273, n. 36. 64. See her complete discussions in ibid., 95ff. and 131ff. 65. Rabbinic literature may be unfamiliar to many Christian readers, even biblical scholars. Rabbinic literature is post-biblical Jewish sacred literature. I will introduce and explore three major bodies of rabbinic literature in chapter 5: (1) Mishnah, commentary on the biblical text in narrative (aggadic) and legal (halakhic) forms; (2) the Talmuds, Babylonian (Bavli) and Jerusalem (Yerushalmi) which expand on the commentaies in the Mishnah; and (3) Midrash (also called Midrash Rabbah, sigular, and Midrashim Rabbaoth, plural) which are exegetical discussions based primarily on the Torah

and frequently include discussions of other biblical books. There are many other text collections in the field of rabbinic literature. I will occasionally cite from the Zohar, the primary mystical text of rabbinic Judaism. For a standard English translation of the Babylon Talmud (Bavli), see Israel W. Slotki, Isaiah: Hebrew Text and English Translation with an Introduction and Commentary (London: Soncino Press, 1949).'Ihe Schottensten Talmud, (Zlotowitz, Gedaliah and Hershel Goldworm, eds. Megillah.'Ihe Schottenstein edition of the Babylonian Talmud (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1991, available in part) is a contemporary English tranlastion with detailed notes. For an introduction to the rabbis whose teachings predominate in rabbinic literature, see Appendix III in Herbert Danby, The Mishnah (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), 799-800. For an introduction to rabbinic literature, see Jacob Neusner, Introduction to Rabbinic Literature (New York: Doubleday), 1994. - CHAPTER I 1. Torah is God's complete revelation; the noun comes from the verb yrh, which means "to rain" and "to teach." One way of understanding the noun, torah, is literally "that which is rained form heaven." Torah is regularly inadequately and incompletely translated as "law." Torah includes legal material along with saga, story, proverbial, and genealogical material, as do the books canonized as Torah. Torah with a lowercase t (singular) and toroth (plural) generally refer to legal and didactic material and/or divine instruction, while Torah with an uppercase T generally refers to the first five books of the Bible.'Ihis complexity means that there is no single, appropriate translation of torah. It can be said that there is torah in the Torah but not all of the Torah is torah. 2. The translation of the Hebrew titles varies widely. The terms themselves include nominal and verbal forms. Many of these occupations can be found in a proscriptive list in Dent 18:9 and the following verses.

3. Translated "soothsayer" in the NJPS and NRSV translations, in my reading this practitioner may be a "conjurer" or "magician" specializing in meteorological phenomena, given the root '-n-n means "cloud" as a noun and "to cause to appear" as a verb. These practices may be associated with trees; consider the generally untranslated place-name from the same root, "Elon-meonenim" (Oak of Soothsayers) in Judg 9:37.'Ihe feminine form occurs in Isa 57:3. 4.1he omen takers (menachesh), usually translated as "augurers" in the NRSV, can be understood as snake charmers or as otherwise utilizing snakes in their practices. See, by way of comparison, Jer 8:17: "snakes [nechashim] ... that cannot be charmed [lachash]." S. Eugene Fisher demonstrated conclusively that the traditional translation of the terms qadesh and qedeshah as "temple prostitutes" is based virtually entirely on the writings and imaginations of Herodotus and Lucian, and not on the biblical texts themselves. The one reference to the parallel term gadistu in the Code of Hammurabi makes no mention of sexual activity but merely describes temple service. See Eugene Fisher, "Cultic Prostitution in the Ancient Near East: A Reassessment," Biblical Theology Bulletin 6 (1976): 225-36. Joan Westenholz also argues convincingly that there is no sexual activity in the biblical texts that reference these sacred persons: Dent 23:18 (NRSV 23:17); 1 Kgs 14:24; 15:12; 22:47 (NRSV 22:46); 2 Kgs 23:7; Hos 4:14; Job 36:14 (in this obscure verse, the NRSV translates the last phrase "their life ends in shame" and the NJPS translates "expire among the depraved"; however, the phrase is "and they live [chayyatam] in/among the holy ones/temple servants [baggedeshiym]"). See Joan Westenholz, "Tamar, Qedesa, Qadistu and Sacred Prostitution in Mesopotamia," Harvard Theological Review 82 (1989): 245-65. Deuteronomy 23:18 (NRSV 23:17), which proscribes the Israelites from serving as qadesh or qedeshah, does not stipulate that the profession is sexual. In the following verse, the wages of prostitution are only associated with the professional sex worker, zonah (and her male counterpart, the kelev). However, what appears to be a synonymous use in the

Tamar and Judah narrative of zonah (common prostitute) and qedeshah (holy woman) is arguably intentional misdirection by the author of the narrative. In Gen 38:15, Judah believes Tamar to be a zonah (prostitute) because she is by the side of the road; her veil hides her true identity. The townspeople who presumably saw Tamar at the side of the road in verse 21 do not equate the street prostitute with the holy woman, for whom Judah's emissary asks in an attempt to disguise the fact that he is settling accounts with a presumed prostitute on behalf of Judah. Richard Henshaw is one of many scholars who suggests that the translation choice and concept "be redefined, re-entitled, or perhaps not used at all." See his Female and Male: The Cultic Personnel.- The Bible and the Ancient Near East (Allison Park, Pa.: Pickwick Publications, 1994), 7, 225ff. Two excellent contemporary discussions that reject the notion of sacred prostitution in the ANE are Phyllis Bird, "'The End of the Male Cult Prostitute: A Literary-Historical and Sociological Analysis of Hebrew Qadesh-Qdesim," in Fetus Testamentum Supplements 1995 Congress Volume, ed. James A. Emmerton (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997), 37-80, and Jeffrey H. Tigay, "Excursus 22: The Alleged Practice of Sacred Prostitution in the Ancient Near East," in Deuteronomy (7heJPSTorah Commentary, ed. Nachum Sarna; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1996), 480-81. 6. Frequently translated as "medium" in NRSV. Note that the female practitioner can be understood either as having mastery of her craft-a ghost mistress (master)-or as subservient to the ghost as its spouse. 'Ihe male practitioner is simply "one who does ghost work." 7. Translated as "wizard" in NRSV and "familiar spirit" in NJPS; regularly paired with ghost workers. These practitioners are described as "the mutterers and the moaners" (hamtzphtzephim vehammahgim). They can be characterized as the seekers of the dead along with those in the next category who inquire (d-r-sh) of the dead. "Inquire of the ghosts and familiar spirits that mutter and

moan; should not a people consult their gods, the dead on behalf of the living?" (Isa 8:19). 8. This consultation is -a direct parallel to the way in which the prophets of YHWH (or Elohim) consult (d-r-sh) the deity. 9. Though not a priest, Saul regularly consulted the Urim and'Ihummim; see 1 Samuel 14:41; 28:6. 10. In Num 24:4, Balaam self-identifies as an oracle shaper and visionary and possibly fell into ecstatic or other trances: "'Ihe oracle of one who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, but with eyes uncovered."In verse 16 of the same chapter, this description is repeated with the addition that Balaam "knows the knowledge of the Most High." 11. Note this text calls for the extermination of only female sorcerers, whereas Lev 20:26-27 calls for the execution of both women and men who do ghost work. 12.'Ihere are obscure references to female prophets, including the "daughters of the people who prophesy" in Ezek 13:17-19, who are condemned for syncretistic devotional practices. There are the celebrated daughters who will prophesy in the eschaton in Joel 2:28 (NRSV). Last, there are prophetic guilds, that is, children or, better, disciples of the prophets and more rarely bands of prophets, both with an unknown number of members, whose gender cannot be fully determined. 13. The divine name spelled with the Hebrew equivalent of the letters YHWII is the most holy name of God and has no certain pronunciation or exact translation. (It is most probably related to the Hebrew and Aramaic verbs for beingfor example, "I AM"-but is not an exact match for either language.) Due to its holiness, the divine name was traditionally replaced with a common title for male human dignitaries, "lord."'Ibis is not always helpful because human males are called by the same title in the scriptures, for example, Abraham

in Gen 23:6, Esau in Gen 32:18, Moses in Num 12:11, Eli in 1 Sam 1:15, etc. A more recent tradition is the capitalization of "LORD" when translating God's most holy name to distinguish it from other lords in the scriptures. 14. In 1 Chr 2:52, both NJPS and NRSV transliterate the title as a given name in this decidedly odd reference; note that the only possibilities for the other children of Shobal do not include obvious proper names: "Shobal father of Kiriath-jearim had other children: the Seer, and half of the Menuhoth." (Are the Menuhoth restful ones, or is the reference to half of the inhabitants of Menuhoth?) 15.'Ihe only occurrence of the plural is in Lam 2:14. 16. NRSV and NJPS are both exemplars. 17. Verbs in biblical Hebrew have a seven-tier conjugation system: (1) qal verbs are simple active, e.g., "kill"; (2) niphal verbs are simple passive, e.g., "was killed"; (3) piel verbs are intensive active, e.g., "slaughtered"; (4) pual verbs are intensive passive, e.g., "was slaughtered"; (5) hiphil verbs are causative active, e.g., "made (someone else) kill"; (6) hophal verbs are causative passive, i.e., "caused to kill"; and (7) hitpael verbs are reflexive or self-directed, e.g., "kill oneself." 18. Nili Sacher Fox, In the Service of the King: Officialdom in Ancient Israel and Judah (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 2000),164. 19.'Ihe most common narrative tense in biblical Hebrew, translated into English as simple past. 20. Daniel Block, "Deborah among the Judges:'Ihe Perspective of the Hebrew Historian," in Faith, Tradition and History: Old Testament Historiography in Its Near Eastern Context, ed. Alan R. Millard, James H. Hoffmeier, and David W. Baker (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1994),236,241.

21. Pharaoh is regularly portrayed as being seated on his throne, as in Exod 11:5 and 12:29; the anticipated king of Dent 17:18 will be enthroned; Eli is sitting on a throne by the doorposts of the temple when he encounters Hannah in 1 Sam 1:9; Eli also has a throne by the side of the road in 1 Sam 4:13; the deity is enthroned in Isa 6:1; the kings of Israel and Judah are also enthroned (repeated references).'Ihe image of seated authority endures: the Son of Man in Matthew is coming to claim a throne of glory and with his followers render justice to Israel (Matt 19:28). And Jesus recognizes the inheritance of Moses' seat by the scribes and Pharisees as the indicator of legitimate authority: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat (kathedras); therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it" (Matt 23:2-3a). 22. Block, "Deborah among the Judges," 234. 23. Hans-Peter Muller, "Naviy," TDOT 9:131. 24. Abraham Malamat, "Prophetic Revelations in New Documents from Mari and the Bible," VetusTestamentum, Supplement 15 (1966): 207-27; William L. Moran, "New Evidence from Mari on the History of Prophecy," Biblica 50 (1969): 15-56. 25. The three occurrences are in the narrative in which Moses imparts some of the spirit of YHWH that is on him to Eldad, Medad, and the seventy elders; see Num 11:25-26. 26. See also Nancy Bowen, "The Daughters of Your People: Female Prophets in Ezekiel 13:17-23,"journal ofBiblical Literature 118 (1999): 426. 27. Siegfried Wagner, "d-r-sh," TDOT 3:294,298. 28. Alfred Jepsen, Nabi (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1934), 7-8. Aldred Guillaume, Prophecy and Divination (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1938), 114-15.

29. See Muller, "Naviy," 129-50, and also Francis Brown, Samuel R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (New York: Oxford, 1951), 611-12, in which both stems can mean "prophecy" with or without ecstasy but hitpael also includes "frenzy." 30. See Simon Parker, "Possession Trance and Prophecy in Preexilic Israel," Fetus Testamentum 28 (1978): 27-185 for a discussion of percussion and trance prophecy. 31. See also 1 Sam 18:10, in which Saul attempts to impale David while being possessed by an evil spirit from YHWH.'Ihe hitpael is used there. 32. Jeremiah's presumed madness is not unique; Jehoida thinks he has seen lekol ish meshugga` (every madman) in Jer 29:26. 33.'Ihis is not the only possible reading; "son/child of "and "daughter of" regularly indicate community of origin or a personal characteristic and can indicate broader familial relationship in addition to parent/child and teacher/student relationships. 34. Guilds of prophets and their children/disciples occur in 1 Kgs 20:35 and 2 Kgs 2:5-15; 4:1-38; 5:22; 6:1; 9:1. 35. Bands of prophets occur in 1 Sam 10:5, 10. 36. This term is found only in 1 Sam 19:20. 37. Athalya Brenner, The Israelite Woman: Social Role and Literary Type in Biblical Narrative (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985), 57. 38. Bavli Yoma 9b: "After the later prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi had died, the Holy Spirit departed from Israel, but they still availed themselves of the BatKol."This is repeated in b. Sotah 48b.

- CHAPTER I CHART 1. 'Mere are eighty-seven occurrences of the niihal: two in 1 Samuel, one in 1 Kings, thirty-five in Jeremiah, thirty-five in Ezekiel, one in Joel, six in Amos, three in Zechariah, three in 1 Chronicles, and one in 2 Chronicles. 'There are twenty-eight occurrences of the hitpael: three in Numbers, ten in 1 Samuel, four in 1 Kings, five in Jeremiah, two in Ezekiel, and four in 2 Chronicles. In this text, YHWH takes some of the spirit that is on Moses and places it on the seventy who have been chosen to assist Moses in his work.'Ihe spirit is described as resting (kenoach) on the elders; there is no reason to associate prophecy induced by the resting of the spirit with ecstasy as does the NJPS translation. (Other uses of the verb n-v-ch in the infinitive construct are in Josh 3:13; 2 Sam 21:10; and Neh 9:28, with no peculiar behavior indicated.) 2.'Ihe participle is translated in NJPS as acting like a prophet; that translation is not supported by the other occurrences of the participle, indicated by "P." 3. Samuel specifies that Saul will be turned into another person as a result of prophesying with the guild.'Ihis is fulfilled in verse 9 when God changes Saul's heart to a different one. Neither frenzied nor ecstatic behavior, as suggested by the NRSV and NJPS translations, is delineated for Saul or the guild. 4.'Ihe use of the verb tz-l-ch, "to rush upon, grip, possess, envelop, overwhelm," here and in verse 10 is not an indicator of any behavior that can be construed as ecstasy or frenzy. Saul will simply be transformed. Note its use in the following texts: Samson is overwhelmed by the spirit of YHWH in Judg 14:6,19 and 15:14. He performs great feats of strength and military might. In each case his subsequent actions argue against ecstasy or frenzy; in the former narrative, he conceals his actions from his parents; in the latter he distributes the spoils of conquest to those who correctly interpreted a

riddle he composed. Also in the grasp of the spirit of God, Saul offers a sacrifice and pronounces a malediction on those who do not follow him into battle in 1 Sam 11:6-7.'Ihere is no textual evidence that tz-lch in combination with n-b-'indicates prophesying in ecstasy. When Saul tries to kill David, it is because he is in the grip of an evil spirit of God in 1 Sam 18:10. In 2 Chr 24:20, when Zechariah ben (son of) Yehoidah prophesies using the formula "so says God," his concise, cogent prophecy was clearly understood by the people who immediately stoned him for it. I will note each case where tz-l-ch occurs. 5. Saul's subsequent attempt on David's life is a result of the influence of the evil spirit and does not establish his speech to be ravings rather than prophesies. The characterization of Saul's speech as raving and not prophesying may be based on the fact that he is under the influence of an evil spirit. This extraordinary circumstance does not indicate that n-b-'in hitpael must be read as indicative of ecstasy. 6. Here the spirit of YHWH simply comes over the messengers; this is a lessforceful experience than the possession of tz-l-ch. Note that ecstasy and frenzy are used in translation for both niphal and hitpael, and for those who are under the direct influence of the spirit of YHWH as well as for those who are not. 7.'Ihe term for the prophetic guild, lahagat hanevi'im, is unique to this passage in the Bible. 8. Again, the spirit of YHWH comes over Saul in something less than the overwhelming possession represented by tz-l-ch, which is not used here. However, for the first time, behavior is delineated that can properly be called ecstatic: Saul rips off his clothes and lies in a trance for the better part of twenty-four hours. 9. Jeremiah 23 is a discourse on prophecy composed of units that can be subdivided any number of ways, as the Masoretic divisons

indicate. I am reading it as a unified piece because of its subject matter. 10. The person who is "playing prophet" here is a mentally ill person (ish meshugg'. 11. Literally lekhol ish meshugga'. 12.20:46 in English. 13.21:2 in English. 14.21:9 in English. 15.21:19 in English. 16.21:28 in English. 17. Literally "And if a person who prophesies appears again . . - CHAPTER 2 1. Richard Henshaw, Female and Male: The Cultic Personnel.The Bible and the Ancient Near East (Allison Park, Pa.: Pickwick Publications, 1994), 10. 2. Simo Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, vol. 9, State Archives ofAssyria (Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1997), XLVI. See also the discussion in n. 232 on CIV. 3. Jean-Claude Margueron, "Mari: Archaeology," trans. Stephen Rosoff, ABD 4:525-29. Stephanie Dalley, Mari and Karana: Two Old Babylonian Cities (New York: Longman, 1984), 179. 4. Daniel Fleming, "Nabu and Munabbiatu: Two New Syrian Religious Personnel,"Journal of the American Oriental Society 113 (1993): 175-83.

5. Qabbatu (gamatu) and raggimtu (raggintu) are attested and transliterated in more than one form. I am listing the normative form according to CAD first and the alternate second. See the respective entries in QQ2; R:62. 6. The designations used here for the prophets are influenced by those of Bernard Frank Batto, Studies on Women atMari (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), 119-25. 7. Abraham Malamat, Mari and the Bible: A Collection of Studies (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1975), 208. 8. Batto, Studies, 122. See Jean Nougayrol, "Ningirsu Vainquerer De Zu," Revue DAssyriologie et DArcheologie Orientale 46 (1952): 89-98, line 34; 90-91, line 41; and Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998), 66. 9. Henshaw, Female and Male, 161. Henshaw's work is problematic in that he describes all Assyrian female prophets as ecstatics in section 3.13, yet he cautions with regard to the fact that "whether or not the [male] gabba'u is an ecstatic could not be determined from the context of the letters in which he appears" (161). Henshaw gives no reason for applying the pejorative description without evidence in this case or in others. 10. William Moran, "New Evidence from Mari on the History of Prophecy," Biblica 50 (1969):16, 53. 11. Abraham Malamat, "A Forerunner of Biblical Prophecy," in Ancient Israelite Religion, ed. Patrick D. Miller, Paul D. Hanson, and S. Dean McBride (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987), 38. 12. Qabu, CAD QQ2, 18-42.'Ihere is a separate entry for the gabbatu, but there is no lexical information listed there. All of the lexical information cited is listed under gabu.'Ihis makes it extremely difficult to identify specific texts that pertain to women-prophets. See Ahw Band II, 889-90.

13. Moran, "New Evidence," 52. 14. Malamat, Man i and the Bible (1998),125.'Ihe prophet is described in ARM XXVI 1, 199:40 and 53. Another speaker prophet received a special garment in 203:14-19. 15. Apilu, CAD A/1:170. Georges Dossin, "Textes Divers," in ARM XIII, 23 (Paris: Paul Geunthner, 1964),42, letter 23:6; Adolphe Lods, "Une Tablette Inedite de Mare, Interessante Pour L;Histoire Ancienne du Prophetism Semantique," in Studies in Old Testament Prophecy: Presented to T. H. Robinson, ed. Harold Henry Rowley (Edinburgh: Society for Old Testament Study and T. &T. Clark, 1950), 104-6, lines 24, 31, 37, and 42. 16. Abraham Malamat, "A Mari Prophecy and Nathan's Dynastic Oracle," in Prophecy: Essays Presented to Georg Fohrer, ed. J. Emerton (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1980),212. 17. Paul Y. Hoskisson, "'Ihe Scission and Ascendancy of a Goddess: Diritum at Mari," in "Go to the Land l Will Show You": Studies in Honor of Dwight W. Young, ed. Joseph E. Colson and Victor H. Matthews (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1996), 265. 18. Bryan E. Beyer, "Aspects of Religious Life at Ancient Mari as Seen through a Study ofArchives Royales de Mari, 21" (Ph.D. diss., Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, 1985), 203. 19. Isiahu of the temple of Hishametum. Batto, Studies, 119. 20. CAD A/1:170. 21. Dalley, Mari and Karana,131, X 9. Malamat (Mari and the Bible [1998], 88) finds palace access to be the rule for the apiltum and citesARMXIII 23 as evidence of a singular exception. 22. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998), 67. He finds evidence of these guilds from Aleppo to Sippar. See 1 Sam 10:5, 19,20 and 1 Kgs 20:35.

23. Lods, "Une Tablette," 103-10. 24. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998), 69. 25. Jacob Milgrom, "Excursus 56:'Ihe Unity of the Prose and Poetry in Chapters 22-24," "Excursus 57: Balaam and the Ass," and "Excursus 59: Balaam: Saint or Sinner?" in Numbers, JPS Torah Commentary (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1990), 46769, 471-73. 26. Other examples of persons on whom the spirit of ElohimlYHWH comes include Othniel the son of Kenaz (Judg 3:10); Jephthah (Judg 11:29); Samson (Judg 14-15); Saul and his messengers (1 Sam 19:20-23); everyone encompassed by the time frame in Joel 3:1 (NRSV 2:28); Zechariah the son of Jehoidah (2 Chr 24:20). 27. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998), 69 nn. 27-28. 28. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1975), 212-13. 29. Moran, "New Evidence," 38-40. 30. Muhhum, CAD M/1:176-77. 31. Stephen Langdon, "A Ritual of Atonement Addressed to Tammuz and Ishtar," Revue DAssyriologie etDArcheologie Orientale 13 (1916): 105-17; 108; 114, line 24. Georges Dossin and Andre Finer, "Correspondance Feminine,"Archives Royales de Mari X 49 (1978), 86-87, letter 49:22. Jean Robert Kupper, Correspondance de Bahdi-Lim, Prefet du Palais de Mari (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1954), letter 45:9, 70. Erle Leichty, The Omen Series Suma Izbu, vol. 9, Texts from Cuneiform Sources, ed. A. Leo Oppenheim et al. (Locust Valley, N.Y.: J. J. Augustine Publishers, 1970,) 131, tablet XI, omens 7-8. 32. Muhu, CAD M/1:115-16.

33. Muhhum, CAD M/1:90-91. 34. Beyer, "Aspects of Religious Life," 209. 35. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998), 66. 36. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1975), 210-11. See also 2 Kgs 9:11, in which a member of the prophetic guild under Elisha's leadership is referred to as such, derisively and (falsely) accused of babbling. It is also used derisively in Jer 29:26 of false prophets and in Hos 9:7 where YHWH apparently rejects prophets and drives them mad. 37. Beyer, "Aspects of Religious Life," 206. 38. Jean-Marie Durand, "Mari: Texts,"ABD, 4:531. 39. Johannes Pedersen, "'Me Role Played by Inspired Persons among the Israelites and the Arabs," in Studies in Old Testament Prophecy: Presented to T. H. Robinson, ed. Harold Henry Rowley (Edinburgh: Society for Old Testament Study and T. &T. Clark. 1950), 131. 40. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998),123. 41. Leichty, Omen Series, 131. 42. Pedersen, "Role Played by Inspired Persons," 129. 43. Moran, "New Evidence," 27. This is preferable to Malamat's alternative "went insane." See his Mari and the Bible (1998), 66. 44. Zabbu, CAD Z:7. 45. Lines 5-7. Moran, "New Evidence," 29-31. Shelebum's cultic office is not identified here, but in ARMX 80 (Moran, "New Evidence," 52-54).'Ihe qabbatu of Dagan-Malik gave her prophecy in response to his oracle according to ARMX 7.

46. Hoskisson ("Scission," 261-63) finds that Annunitum was formerly a descriptive of Ishtar but later transformed into an independent goddess at Mari. 47. Moran, "New Evidence," 31-32. On yet another occasion, a muhhutu sends hair and fringe to secure an oracle's authenticity; ARM 6, 45:9. 48. Beyer, "Aspects of Religious Life," 125,204; ARM IX, 22, line 14; IX,167, line 8; and 326, lines 6 and 10. 49. Beyer, "Aspects of Religious Life," 204. 50. Batto, Studies on Women,119.'This prophet is named Annutabni. 51. Langdon, "Ritual of Atonement," 105-17. 52. Batto, Studies on Women, 122. 53. He also finds evidence of lay prophets, women and men, who will not be considered here because lay prophets nearly always received their messages through dreams, in clear distinction from professional prophets who receive their messages from the deity (Batto, Studies on Women, 123). There is some overlap between dreamers and prophets in the Hebrew scriptures. None of the individually identified women-prophets of the Hebrew Bible are or are associated with dreamers. 54. Batto, Studies on Women, 119-20. 55. At the temple of Dagan in Terqa, there was a muhhum, qabbatum (?), and lay dream-prophet at the same time (Malamat, Mari and the Bible [1998], 68). 56. All translations based on Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, 4ff. 57. Babylonian Oracles, lines iii:19-33, in Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, 18.

58. Encouragement Oracles, lines v:12-25, in Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, 6. 59. Encouragement Oracles, lines ii:11-13, in Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, 6. The prophet's name means "granted by Allatu," a title for the Assyrian goddess of the underworld, Ereshkigal. Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, LI. 60.'Ihe broken lines are (Encouragement Oracles) iii:2-4 and follow a larger break; the attestation is lines iii:5-6. 'Ihe brackets denote a break in the text and Parpola's reconstruction; Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, 7. Her name means "I have seen her godhead" (Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, L). 61. Encouragement Oracles, lines v:1-11, in Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, 9. Her name means "Ishtar, strengthen my lord!" (Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, L). 62. Mullissu, the Queen of Heaven, is identified with Ishtar in the Assyrian prophecies. A number of the prophecies are described as being the word of Ishtar and the word of Mullissu. 63. Babylonian Oracles, lines ii:30-34, iii:12-18, in Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, 17. 64. Babylonian Oracles, lines ii:16-34, in Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, 6. 65. ABRT 1, 26:1-4,14; r. 7-9; Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, 3839. 66. Ashurbanipal Encouragement Oracle, Lines 8-20, r. 1-6, Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, 40-41. 67. Simo Parpola, Assyrian Prophecies. State Archives of Assyria, published by the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project of the University of Helsinki in cooperation with Deutsche Orient-

Gesellschaft, vol. 9 (Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1997). While the collection of Assyrian prophecies first published by Smith is regularly referred to as a Ninevite corpus, the individual prophets come from Arbela and the mountains near Arbela (Dara-ahuya), Asshur, and Calah. Only one may actually come from Nineveh herself. See LAS, XLVIII. 68. Marvin Sweeney, Zephaniah (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2003), 156. 69. Baya's oracle concludes with the formula "by the mouth of the woman Baya, the son of Arbela" (Encouragement Oracle, line ii:40); see LAS, 40. In the same text, Parpola (p. 6) reconstructs a second, very fragmentary oracle by Baya (Babylonian Oracles, lines ii:16-34), which I will not consider here. 70. Ragimtu is the Babylonian spelling; ragintu is the Assyrian. Because the references I am citing are predominantly Assyrian, I am using the Assyrian spelling. 71. AHw Band II, 942. See Leo Waterman, Translation and Transliteration, parts I and II, Royal Correspondence of theAssyrian Empire (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1930), 102-3, 3045, and 342-43. Letters 149:7; 437:21-22; and 1216:9. Waterman uses "conjuress," "female magician," and "sorceress." See also Watermans Commentary, part III, Royal Correspondence of the Assyrian Empire (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1931), 163. 72. Henshaw, Female and Male, 162. 73. Parpola, Assyrian Prophecies, XLV. 74. LAS, 270ff. 75. Waterman transliterates her name as "Belitabusri," Royal Correspondence, part III, 66.

76. Sinqisha-amur means "I (Ishtar) have seen her distress" (Parpola, Assyrian Prophecies, LII). 77. Encouragement Oracles, lines ii:9-10, in Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, 5. 78. Encouragement Oracles, lines i:30-32, ii:8, in Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, S. 79.'Ihe representation of Ishtar as "mother" and "father" is one of the reasons some devotees such as Baya altered their bodies in order to emulate the deity, who is described in feminine and masculine terms. 80. Her name means "Mullissu (the Queen of Heaven) is honored" (Parpola, Assyrian Prophecies, LI). 81. Her name means "sister of her father" (Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, IL). 82. Encouragement Oracles, lines ii:11-13, in Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, 6. The prophet's name means "granted by Allatu," a title for the Assyrian goddess of the underworld, Ereshkigal (Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, LI). 83. The broken lines are (Encouragement Oracles) iii:2-4 (Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, 7) and follow a larger break; the attestation is lines iii:5-6.'ITIe brackets denote a break in the text and Parpola's reconstruction. Her name means "I have seen her godhead" (Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, L). 84. Encouragement Oracles, lines v:1-11, in Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, 9. Her name (p. L) means "Ishtar, strengthen my lord!" 85. Her name means "Ukkitu is queen' (Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, LII).

86. Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, Ashurbanipal Encouragement Oracle, 41, lines 6'-7'. 87. Her name may mean "I have seen her power."'There is a more extensive discussion in Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies, IL. 88. Parpola,Assyrian Prophesies, Ashurbanipal Encouragement Oracle, 42, line 16. 89. Daniel Fleming, "Nabu and Munabbiatu: Two New Syrian Religious Personnel,"Journal oftheAmerican Oriental Society 113 (1993): 175-83.1he date range was supplied by Eugen J. Pentiuc, "Prophetesses in the Bible and Elsewhere: New Evidence from Emar" (paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Biblical Literature, Atlanta, 2003), 1. 90. Eugen J. Pentiuc, West Semitic Vocabulary in the Akkadian Texts from Emar (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2001), 1. 91. Fleming, "Nabu and Munabbiatu," 176. I am following Fleming's spelling here, as the CAD spelling likely predates the discoveries at Emar. 92. CAD (N/1:31-4() transliterates the verb as nabu; however, since it does not mention the Emar texts, I will follow Fleming, "Nabu and Munabbiatu," 175. 93. Fleming, "Nabu and Munabbiatu," 179-80. 94. Pentiuc, "Prophetesses in the Bible and Elsewhere." 95. See my extensive discussion in chapter 1. 96. Fleming, "Nabu and Munabbiatu," 182. 97. Moran, "New Evidence from Mari," 24-26. While not characterizing the locations of "sent" prophets, Malamat understands the language "X deity has sent me" to be formulaic and makes a comparison with the language of Moses to Pharaoh in Exod 7:16,

"YHWH, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me." See Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998), 96. 98. Moran, "New Evidence from Mari," 27-29. 99. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998), 89. 100.'Ihe following discussion is based on Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998), 59-72. 101. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1998),102-5. 102. Isaiah never identifies himself as a nb-a prophet-but as a one who "envisions visions"; see Isa 1:1. 103.'Ihe concern about distinguishing between authentic and false prophecy is, of course, shared by Mari and Israel. See Exod 4:1-5; Dent 13:2-4 (NRSV 13:1-3); 18:18-22; 1 Kgs 22:26-28; and Jer 28:9. 104. Moran, "New Evidence," 33-34. 105. Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1975), 226. 106. Zizziktu, CAD Z:322-25. See also Dalley, Mari and Karana,132, line VI2 32. 107. 'Me notion continues into the Christian scriptures, in which the fringe on the hem of the garment granted healing to those who touched it. See Matt 9:20; 14:26; Mark 6:56; Luke 8:44. Here the Greek New Testament uses kraspeda, which the LXX uses to translate tzitzit. 108. Moran, "New Evidence," 19-22; Malamat, Mari and the Bible (1975), 78-79. 109. Moran, "New Evidence," 46-48. 110. Kupper, Correspondance de Bahdi-Lim, 70-71, lines 9-17.

111. Batto, Studies on Women, 135. 112. Frymer-Kensky, Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of Their Stories (New York: Schocken, 2002), 48. -CHAPTER 3 1.'Ihe MT portrays Nehemiah's prophetic opponent as female, no'adyah hannevi'ah, No'adiah the woman-prophet, and the LXX portrays his adversary as a man, Noadia to prophete, No`adiah the (male) prophet, in Neh 6:14. Lancelot Brentons English translation of the LXX, The Septuagint with the Apocrypha (London: Samuel Bagster & Sons, 1851), follows the MT and renders No`adiah female. Miriam is named in the LXX, Exod 6:20, as the child ofJochabed and Ambram, and sister of Moses and Aaron; she is listed last.'Ihere is no reference to her in the corresponding MT genealogy. In addition, Jochabed is identified in the LXX as the niece of Ambram, the daughter of his father's brother. In the MT she is the aunt ofAmram.'Ihere is also a slight difference in the name of Miriam's father: Ambram is used in Exodus and 1 Chronicles in the LXX and Amaram in Numbers in the LXX. Amram is used consistently in the MT.'Ihe Hebrew texts at Qumran have one major distinction when compared to the MT; the MT calls the woman with whom Isaiah fathers a child a female prophet, hannevi'ah, but the Isaiah scroll from Cave 1 (1Qsaa) calls the person a male prophet,hanaviy'.'Ihe remainder of the verse is identical: "'Then she conceived and she gave birth [vattahar vatteled]." With the exception of the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Qumran corpus sheds little light on the female prophets in the Hebrew scriptures.'Ihere are a few differences in the targumic texts. In the MT, Huldah lives in the Second Quarter, bimmishneh; in Targums Onkelos and Yonathan she lives in the House of Instruction, veveyt'uphana'. 2.'Ihe same issue applies to place-names; however, I will not address that here.

3. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are the author's. 4. In the LXX, the use of the plural "they hid him" credits Ambram (Aram) with participating in the salvation of his son, unlike the MT tradition in which all of Moses' saviors are women. 5. "'Ihe River" in Egypt is the Nile. 6. While not named in this text, Num 26:59 identifies Miriam as the sister of Moses.'Ihere she is the sister of both Aaron and Moses, harmonizing with Exod 15:20, in which Miriam is identified as the sister of Aaron. 7.'Ihe MT has meshitihu, which is supposed to explain the name "Moses." 8.'Ihe corresponding verse from the MT does not mention Miriam: "Amram took Jochebed (Yocheved) his aunt for a wife and she gave birth for him to Aaron and Moses, and the years of Amram's life were one hundred thirty-seven years." Note the difference in the spelling of Ambram (LXX) and Amram (MT). 9. 'Me Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) supplies a final he on "they [the women] went out [vttz'nh] in Exod 15:20, describing the liturgy of thanksgiving that the prophet Miriam and the women who followed her perform. Contra the SP, the MT has vattetze'na, without the final he. 10. Compare the LXX: "and Mariam led them."'Ihe use of the masculine plural object here, lahem, and the masculine plural imperative, shiru, suggests the eventual participation of the men in the liturgy, or this is another case of the masculine plural referring to a feminine plural subject. 11. Targum Onkelos has "Let us offer praise and acclamation to YHWH for he is exalted above the exalted, now his glory is that the horse and rider have been cast into the sea." Targum Neofiti has "Let

us praise and glorify before YHWH, the exalted who is sovereign above the exalted and lifted up above the lifted up. YHWH cast down and buried in the Sea of Reeds, horses and their riders because they pursued after the people, the children of Israel." 12.'Ihe various Targumim and the Samaritan Pentateuch preserve a variety of traditions in this chapter; I will annotate the most significant. 13. If one follows the NJPS translation, the latter phrase is a quote proclaiming the specific charge against Moses: "He married a Nubian woman!" In Targum Neofiti, she is Zipporah: "'Ihe Nubian woman was Zipporah the wife of Moses, just as the body of a Nubian is different from all other creatures, so Zipporah the wife of Moses is beautiful in appearance and gorgeous in sight, and is different in good works more than all the women of that generation." In Onkelos, she is simply a beautiful woman. In Targum Pseudo Jonathan, she is the Queen of Nubia: "... the Nubian woman whom the Nubians had married to Moses during his flight from Pharaoh but he had separated from her, for they had married him to the Queen of Nubia as a wife, and he had kept distant from her." 14.4QNume and LXX: "the LORD." 15.4QNumb: "to them." 16. LXX: "in sleep." 17.4QLev-Numz: "even openly." 18. LXX: "glory." 19. In Targum Onkelos, Aaron's prayer continues: "Do not now reject this woman from being among us for she is our sister. Pray now for the dead flesh that is in her that she may be healed." In Neofiti, Aaron's prayer is even longer: "Do not let Miriam be unclean in defilement like the dead. And look! She is like the offspring that is

made in the womb of her mother for nine months, in water and in fire, and was not harmed, but when the time to go out into the midst of the world came, half of its flesh was eaten. So when we were enslaved in Egypt, and were struck down in the wilderness, our sister saw our bondage, and when the time has come to possess the land, why should she be hindered from us? Pray for the dead flesh that is on her that she might live. Why should we lose her merit?" It was for the merit of Miriam that Rabbi Yose ben R. Yehudah, in b. Ta anit 9a, says that Miriams Well was given to Israel in the wilderness. Aaron's prayer in PseudoJonathan is comparable to the one in Neofiti. 20. In his prayer of intercession, Moses addresses YHWH I as El! 21. 13:1 in LXX. There is a lengthy text here in Targums Neofiti and PseudoJonathan and the Samaritan Pentateuch: "Even though Miriam the prophetess became guilty so as to be leprous, there is much teaching for the wise and for those who keep the Torah: that a little commandment that a person does receives for himself much reward. Because Miriam stood on the bank of the river to know what would be the end of Moses, Israel became six hundred thousand, which is the number of eighty legions. And the clouds of the glory and the well did not move, and they did not journey from their place until the time when Miriam the prophetess was healed from leprosy.'Ihe people traveled from Hazeroth, and dwelt in the wilderness of Paran." 22. The LXX says "his wife." 23. Literally "who was born, she to Levi." 24. LXX: "all that." 25. Exodus 7:1 specifies that Aaron is only the prophet of Moses, distinguishing him from Miriam and Moses, whose prophetic identities are never restricted.

26. See the highly influential work of Frank M. Cross and David N. Freedman, "The Song of Miriam," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 14 (1955): 237-50. See also Carol Meyers, "Guilds and Gatherings: Women's Groups in Ancient Israel," in Realia Dei: Essays in Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation in Honor of Edward F. Campbell, Jr., atHis Retirement, ed. Prescott H. Williams Jr. and Theodore Hiebert (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999), 166-67, and Carol Meyers, "Miriam, Music, and Miracles," in Mariam, the Magdalene, and the Mother, ed. Deirdre Good (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), 27-48. If the scholarly consensus on the age of the poem is correct, then the composition credited to Miriam represents one of the earliest uses of the Tetragrammaton for the divine name. There is also consensus that the line in Exod 15:20 may be an abbreviation for the entire Song (verses 1-18), thus crediting Miriam with authorship of the Song of the Sea traditionally placed on Moses'lips. Verses 1 and 20 are identical, lending credence to this theory. The account identifying Miriam as a prophet in Exodus 15 is fragmentary in 4QExodc; however, the extant text corresponds to the MT. For a significant treatment of Miriam in the Qumran material, see George Brooks, "A Long-Lost Song of Miriam," BiblicalArchaeology Review 20 (1994): 62-65. 27. For example, Deborah's introduction in Judg 4:4 precedes the saga that details her oracles and deliverance of Israel. Other examples follow: Gad's speech following his introduction in 1 Sam 22:5; Nathan's introduction in 2 Sam 7:2, followed by his first oracle in verse 3; the performance of the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite in 1 Kgs 11:29; the narrative introduction of the old prophet of Bethel in 1 Kgs 13:11, followed by his deceptive oracle that is part of a larger prophetic performance in the subsequent story. In a similar fashion, the oracle of Hananiah ben Azzur in Jer 28:1 is demonstrated to be false in the larger prophetic drama performed by Jeremiah. Further examples are Jehu ben Chanani in 1 Kgs 16:7; the anonymous prophet serving Ahab in 1 Kgs 20:13; the Deuteronomistic introductions of Jonah and Isaiah in 2 Kgs 14:25 and 19:2, respectively; and Haggai and Zechariah in Ezra 6:14. See also the

superscriptions to the oracular collections of Habakkuk, Haggai, and Zechariah. A notable exception is the double saga of Elijah and Elisha, the men of God. 28. Percussive music, particularly on the hand drum, hatoph, is associated with prophecy in several contexts: the band of prophets in 1 Sam 10:5 plays the hand drum along with the lyre and harp. There is also a broader association between the hand drum, women, and the cult of the Divine Warrior in which women celebrate the victory of YHWH, either directly or through human hands. See the daughter of Jephthah in Judg 11:34 and the women of Israel in 1 Sam 18:6, in addition to Miriam and Deborah. See Carol Meyers, "'Ihe Drum-Dance-Song Ensemble: Women's Performance in Biblical Israel," in Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. Kimberly Marshall (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993), 55-58. I discuss the relationship between women, prophecy, and percussive music more fully in chapter 4, where I consider the implications of the present study in light of the recent scholarship of Meyers, "Miriam, Music, and Miracles" and "Guilds and Gatherings." 29.'Ihat the narrative in which the wandering Israelites suddenly lack water in the desert follows the account of Miriam's death was understood by rabbinic exegetes as evidence that Miriam provided water for the Israelites, through a well that dried up at her death. See b. Ta anit 9a. 30. Targum Neofiti identifies her as Zipporah and a Nubian woman. In Targum Pseudo Jonathan, she is the Queen of Nubia. Even though the extended space of time between the occurrence of this marriage, which was before the Exodus (Exod 2:21), and the issuance of the challenge constitutes a textual challenge to this identification, a number of scholars identify the unnamed Nubian wife in Numbers 12 with Zipporah: Cain Hope Felder, Troubling Biblical Waters: Race, Class and Family (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1989),12; Naomi Graetz, "Miriam: Guilty or Not Guilty?" Judaism 40 (1991): 184; Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge: Harvard

University Press, 1973), 204; Charles B. Copher, "'Ihe Black Presence in the Old Testament,"and Randall C. Bailey, "Beyond Identification," in Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation, ed. Cain Hope Felder (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991), 156, 179-80; Bellis, Helpmates, Harlots and Heroes (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), 103; and Ellen Frankel, The Five Books ofMiriam: A Woman's Commentary on the Torah (San Francisco: Harper, 1996), 209. Scholars who identify the Nubian wife as another woman include Martin Noth, Numbers (Philadelphia: Westminster Press; 1968), 94, and Bernhard W. Anderson, "Miriam's Challenge: Why Was Miriam Severely Punished for Challenging Moses' Authority While Aaron Got Off Scot-Free?" Bible Review 10 (1994): 16. Mary Douglas reads the passage ambiguously; see her In the Wilderness: The Doctrine of Defilement in the Book ofNumbers (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), 198. 31. The verb sh-l--ch (to send away), particularly with the feminine pronominal suffix, means to divorce. See Dent 21:14; 22:19, 29; 24:1, 3; Isa 50:1; Jer 3:8. Also see Mal 2:16: "For I hate divorce, says YHWH." All of these uses are in the piel, shillechah, with the exception of the Isaiah passage, which is in pual, shullechah. In addition, when a man is the subject and a woman is the object of the verb sh-l-ch, the meaning is to divorce. See Jer 3:1: "when a man divorces his woman/wife ..." In the same construction, Abraham's banishment of Hagar, vayeshallecheha, in Gen 21:14 should be read as a divorce in that he had previously received her from Sarah as a wife in Gen 16:3: "And she [Sarah] gave her [Hagar to Abram] as a wife [le'ishah]." The Levite's abandonment, vayeshallecheha, of his secondary wife (pilegesh) to her rapists in Judg 19:29 can be read as a brutal dissolution of their union. 32. Nahum Sarna, Exodus, JPS Torah Commentary (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991), 98. He is reluctant to read the issue as a divorce because Jethro calls Zipporah Moses' wife. However, since Jethro's aim in the narrative is reconciliation,

his rejection of the dissolution of the union does not mean that it was not dissolved. 33. See Exod 18:12, where Jethro celebrates the covenant meal while Moses and Aaron watch. For further reading on Moses' indebtedness to the Midianites for the worship of YHWH, see Gene Rice, "Africans and the Worship ofYHWH,"Journal of Religious Thought 50 (1993): 27-35. For contemporary significant scholarship, see Frank Moore Cross, From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1998), 66-68, and Lawrence Stager, "Forging an Identity:'Ihe Emergence of Ancient Israel," in The Oxford History of the Biblical World, ed. Michael Coogan (New York: Oxford, 1998), 142-49. 34. Miriam is struck with a disfiguring disease (I find along with the rabbis that Aaron was similarly afflicted but sanitized to maintain the cultic purity of the priesthood). Traditionally translated as Hansen's disease, leprosy (tzara`at) probably included psoriasis, leukoderma, and elephantiasis. For Aaron's affliction, see b. Shabbat 97a. Aaron's prayer was affirmatively answered by the redactor (if not by YHWII); "they" were no longer both afflicted in the final form of the biblical text. 35. Felder, Troubling Biblical Waters, 42; Phyllis Trible, "Bringing Miriam Out of the Shadows," Bible Review 5 (1989): 23; Phyllis Trible, "Subversive Justice: Tracing the Miriamic Traditions," injustice and the Holy: Essays in Honor of Walter Harelson, ed. Douglas A. Knight and Peter A. Paris (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989), 105. 36. Rodney Sadler, Can a Cushite Change His Skin? An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Othering in the Hebrew Bible (New York: T. &T. Clark, 2005). 37. In fact, in the four places that NRSV translates "white as snow," the word "white" (lavan) is in none of the texts. See "diseased as snow, metzora`atkashaleg " in Exod 4:6 and Num 12:10;

"diseased as snow" in 2 Kgs 5:27; and "clothing like snow," livusheh kitlag in Dan 7:9. NJPS omits "white" in Exod 4:6 but supplies it in every other case annotated here. 38. Judith Z. Abrams, "Metezora(at) Kasheleg: Leprosy: Challenges to Authority in the Bible,"Jewish Bible Quarterly 21 (1993): 41; Bellis, Helpmates, 103. 39. For additional treatment of the Miriamic tradition, see Rita J. Burns, Has the Lord Indeed Spoken Only through Moses?A Study of the Biblical Portrait ofMiriam (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987); Richard A. Freund, ""Ihou Shalt Not Go Thither': Moses and Aaron's Punishments and Varying Theodices in the MT LXX and Hellenistic Literature," Scandinavian Journal of Old Testament 8 (1994): 105-25; Meshullam Margaliot, "The Transgression of Miriam and Aaron,"Jewish Quarterly Review 74 (1998): 196; Bernard P. Robinson, "The Jealousy of Miriam: A Note on Numbers 12," Zeitschriftfur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 101 (1989): 428; Edward L. Zweiback, "Sexegesis: Miriam in the Desert," Tikkun 4 (1984): 96. 40. The discussion of Deborah is based primarily on the MT. 'There are two dominant Greek texts, Codices Alexandrinus and Vaticanus, which vary so much in the book of Judges that they cannot easily be reconciled. I have annotated major differences in the footnotes of my translations of each text prior to its discussion in this chapter. 41. Significant differences between the two major LXX witnesses, Alexandrinus (A) and Vaticanus (B), have led to the preservation of two Greek texts of Judges. I will distinguish them LXX-A and LXX-B, respectively, where their content is significantly different from each other and/or the MT. 42.'Ihe combination of the lack of patronymic, feminine plural ending and the lack of onomastic (naming) attestation for

"Lappidoth" supports translating esht lapidot as "fiery woman." See also Talmud Bavli, Megillah 14a, "woman of flames." 43. Ramah and Beth-El may be a hendiadys representing lay or folk worship (Ramah = high place) and official cultic worship (Beth-El = the House of God, albeit a secondary shrine). 44. In Targum Yonathan, she lives: "... in her city, Ataroth Devorah [the crowns of Deborah], supporting herself from what was hers. She had palm trees in Jericho, gardens in Ramah, olive trees giving oil in the valley, pools of water in Bethel, and a mountain of white dust in the hill country of the king." 45. The question form may represent an idiom particular to Deborah or may obscure Barak's failure to comply with an earlier unrecorded directive. Support for understanding this form as prophetic idiom could be drawn from Mic 3:11, in which a stereotypical prophetic oracle is presented in question form: "Is not YHWH with us?" 46. It is not clear where the speech of YHWH ends and the speech of Deborah begins. 47. Both LXX-A and B add: "for I do not know the day on which the Lord will providentially guide his messenger with me."'Ihe linkage of prophet and divine messenger also occurs in Isaiah, Haggai, and Malachi. 48. Targum Yonathan has many prosaic additions to this poem. 49. Targum Yonathan: "When the house of Israel rebelled against the Torah, then the nations came against them and exiled them from their cities. And when they returned to the Torah, they were victorious over their enemies." 50. LXX-A has "In the beginning there was a prince in Israel and the people chose to bless the Lord." LXX-B has "A revelation was

revealed in Israel when the people were made willing. Praise the Lord!" 51. Here, Targum Yonathan has "Deborah speaks in prophecy before YHWH. `I am praising, giving thanks and blessing in the presence of YHWH, the God of Israel."' 52. It is not clear whether Shamgar's mother was actually named Anath for the Canaanite warrior goddess or if this is symbolic of his prowess in war. 53.1he Greek texts diverge after this point. LXX-A has "Kings failed and went on byways then went on crooked paths." LXX-B has "'They went ..." without specifying kings or caravans (as does the MT). 54. "'Ihe mighty" (pherazon) here can be either "warriors," as Robert G. Boling suggests in Judges: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6A, Anchor Bible (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1981), 109, or a "mercantile elite," as J. Alberto Soggin, in Judges: A Commentary, trans. James Bowden (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1981), 86, argues. LXX-A transliterates the term. LXX-B renders it as "mighty men." Targum Yonathan has "... until I, Deborah, was commissioned to prophecy in the midst of the House of Israel." 55.'Ihere is a likely double entendre, utilizing ch-d-l, which can mean either "cease" or "grow fat." Possible readings include the view that the leading class was inactive until Deborah arose (Soggin, judges: A Commentary, 85-86), that the warriors grew fat because Deborah arose (Boling, Judges: A New Translation, 109), or that either class became indolent until Deborah arose (my reading). 56. Soggin (Judges: A Commentary, 85) regards the archaic form of q-w-m, shaqqamti (I arose), as an indication of the age of this text. Henry 0. Thompson in "Yahweh, Deity,"ABD 6:1011-12, dates it to the eleventh century B.C.E. If read plene, shaqqamti, "I arose," it

could reflect the tradition to which verse 1 alludes, that Deborah is the primary singer. Both LXX texts have "she arose, Deborah got up," employing different verbs, exaneste in A and anaste in B. 57. This translation represents the scholarly consensus but does not account for the singular verb yibechar, literally "he [most likely Israel] chose." LXX-A specifies that the new gods were bread, barley, and shelter. 58. Targum Yonathan has "Deborah speaks in prophecy ... 59. 'There is neither verb nor preposition in the MT. LXX-A has "My heart inclines to the orders given in Israel; commanders of the people, bless the Lord." LXX-B has "My heart inclines to the orders given in Israel; you all who are willing among the people, bless the Lord." 60. LXX-A: "you all who sit on donkeys and on shaded chariots"; LXX-B: "you all that sit on a female donkey at noon, you all that sit on the judgment-seat, and walk by the paths of council members on the way." 61. "Mighty ones"; see note 33. Both LXX texts omit this. 62. In both LXX texts, the people march to "the cities" rather than gates after a longer introduction. LXX-A: "Utter a sound, let each one in the midst play an instrument rejoicing, there shall they relate righteous acts: 0 Lord, increase righteous acts in Israel." LXX-B: "You all who are delivered from the noise of disturbers among the drawers of water; there shall they relate righteous acts: 0 Lord, increase righteous acts in Israel." 63. The play on words here, between Deborah (devorah) and "to speak," d-v-r, suggests that one etymology for the name of the prophet is "she who speaks."

64. LXX-B largely follows the MT. LXX-A has "Awake! Awake! Deborah awake myriads with people. Awake! Awake! Sing with a strengthening song. 0 Deborah, rise up and strengthen Barak. Take captivity captive, you son of Abinoam." 65. This follows the plain sense of the text as in verse 7; Deborah is speaking in the first person. Compare LXX-B: "Then the remnant went down to the strong, the people of the Lord went down for him among the mighty ones." LXX-A has "When will his strength be magnified, 0 Lord? Humble for me the mighty." 66. LXX-B places the Ephraimites in Amelek, as does the MT; LXX-A places them in "the deep valleys of their kinfolk." 67. In both texts Machir is closely allied with Deborah: "searching with me." 68. In addition to the scribal activity noted in the MT and LXX-B, Zebulon is credited with being the Lord's instrument of war in LXX-A. 69. LXX-A presents Deborah as a military leader without Barak. "Issachar with Deborah sent out infantry." 70. MT lacks a preposition. 71.The mad dash of verse 22 is to curse Maroz; in LXX-A they are cursed twice. 72. The literal reading of beyn is "between' ; that reading is the best fit here. This reading understands ragleha, "her legs," or better, in this case, "her thighs," to be a reference to her genitalia. See Exod 4:25, where Zipporah touches Moses's genitals with her son's bloody foreskin, vattaga' leragayv; and Isa 6:2, where the seraphim cover their genitalia in the presence of YHVH, yekhseh raglayv. In Isa 7:20 the hair of the legs, including pubic hair, is denuded for humiliation, veshaar haraglayim; lehasek/mesik hu' et-raglayv, "to cover one's feet," is to urinate in Judg 3:24 and 1 Sam 24:4 (NRSV 24:3). See more possible translations in Susan Niditch, "Eroticism and Death in

the Tale of Jael," in Women in the Hebrew Bible, ed. Alice Bach (New York: Routledge, 1999), 308. 73. In neither of the LXX accounts are women among the spoils of war; both list only dyed and embroidered garments and ornaments for the neck. 74. See the discussion of shph-t in chapter 1. 75. Nili Sacher Fox, In the Service of the King: Officialdom in Ancient Israel and Judah (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2000),164. 76. See 2 Chr 26:21: his son Jotham supervised the king's palace, judging the people. 77. ARM 14:10,18. 78. Fox, In the Service of the King, 169. 79. Sapatu, CAD S/1:450-51. 80. Fox, In the Service of the King, 172. See Exod 18:21-22; Deut 1:15-16; in the monarchy, kings appointed judges: 1 Chr 23:4; 26:29; 2 Chr 19:8. 81. Eli is depicted as being seated on a throne in 1 Sam 1:9; 4:13, 18; Samuel likely inherited his throne.'Ihrones are regularly the provenance of pharaohs (Exod 12:29), princes (1 Sam 2:8), kings (1 Kgs 1:13), and YHWH (Isa 6:1). In derision, Babylon is thrown to the dirt and lacks a throne (Isa 47:1); similarly, the foolish woman is inappropriately enthroned (Prov 9:14). Ehud is the only other judge depicted as enthroned (Judg 3:20). 82. While residing in the shrine, Samuel is Eli's foster son (1 Sam 2:11).The context of Samuel's call narrative is the rejection of Eli's

sons for their iniquity (1 Sam 3:13-14). Later, Samuel appoints his sons as judges to replace him (1 Sam 8:1). 83. See also b. Megillah 14a. However, the rabbis diminished Deborah's command of Barak: "'There were two haughty women, and their names are hateful, one being called a hornet [Deborah] and the other a weasel [Huldah]. Of the hornet it is written, And she sent and called Barak, instead of going to him. Of the weasel it is written, Say to the man, instead of say to the king"; b. Megillah 14b. 84. See also Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of7heir Stories (New York: Schocken, 2002), 300. 85. As was observed for the Song of Miriam, the Song of Deborah likely represents one of the earliest, if not the earliest, preserved hymnic composition utilizing the Tetragrammaton. See Soggin, Judges: A Commentary, 80. Judges 4-5 is absent from 4QJudga and 4OJudgb. 86. In Judg 5:13-18, 23, Ephraim, Benjamin, Machir, Zebulun, Issachar, and Naphtali respond to Deborah's mustering orders with troops; Reuben, Gilead, Dan, Asher, and Meroz do not. 87. Block, "Deborah among the Judges: The Perspective of the Hebrew Historian," in Faith, Tradition and History: Old Testament Historiography in Its Near Eastern Context, ed. Alan R. Millard, James H. Hoffmeier, and David W. Baker (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1994),246-47. 88. Frymer-Kensky, Reading, 299. 89. Block, "Deborah among the Judges," 249. 90. In contrast, ibid., 251.

91. Frymer-Kensky, Reading, 48. Frymer-Kensky is following the dual LXX reading here. 92. The oldest portions of the Hebrew Bible, the poems of Miriam (Exodus 15), Deborah (Judges 5), Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3), and Psalm 67 all reflect worship of YHWH as the Divine Warrior, on the march against the enemies of Israel. For significant scholarship on the cult of the Divine Warrior, see Patrick D. Miller, Divine Warrior in Early Israel (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973); Leonard J. Greenspoon, "'Ihe Warrior God or God the Divine Warrior," in Religion and Politics in the Modern World (New York: New York University Press, 1983),205-31, and Richard D. Nelson, Divine Warrior Theology in Deuteronomy (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2003), 241-59. 93.'Ihe wise woman of Abel Beth-maacah describes her city as a "mother in Israel" in 2 Sam 20:19.'Ihe city saves herself and preserves her status as "mother" by arranging to have the head of Sheba thrown over the city walls. 94.'Ihere are many options for translating Judg 5:7: "'Ihe mighty" can be "warriors," as Robert Boling suggests in Judges: A New Translation, or "villagers," as Lawrence Stager suggests in "Archaeology, Ecology, and Social History: Background'Ihemes to the Song of Deborah," in Congress Volume Jerusalem, ed.John A. Emerton (Leiden: Brill, 1986),224. Ch-d-l can mean either "cease" or "grow fat." 95.'Ihis reading is suggested by Susan Niditch, "Eroticism and Death," 308. 96. Block, "Deborah among the Judges," 236. 97.'Ihere is a small amount of wordplay in that the "book,"sepher, is given to the "book-man," hassopher, "the scribe."

98. The semantic range of torah is so broad that no one definition fits all of its occasions. It can mean anything from revelation that is rained down from the heavens-like the early rain, both of which are derived from y-r-h, "to throw lots"-to a specific statute, instruction, or body of jurisprudence. In this context, "instruction" is preferable to "law" in that the newly discovered corpus has no legal standing. 99. Where the book was found and under what exact circumstances is unknown. It has been supposed (Bruce M. Metzger and Roland E. Murphy, eds., The New OxfordAnnotated Bible [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994], 496) that the text was found in the collection box; however, one can imagine that because of the precious metals, gem stones, and jewelry deposited as currency (based on earlier collections to build the tabernacle; see, by way of comparison, Exod 25:1-8), the scroll would be much abused and tattered, making reading it, if not impossible, then at least extremely difficult. It is perhaps more likely that the scroll was found in a space opened up by the reconstruction, indicated by the use of timber and stone in 2 Kgs 22:6. 100.'Ihe syntax of the MT suggests that Shaphan reads the scroll after receiving it from Hilkiah. The syntax of the LXX suggests that Hilkiah reads it himself in addition to giving it to Shaphan. If one emphasizes that q-r-'is "to call," then each reading of the scroll in the narrative provides others in the vicinity access to the content of the scroll. 101.'Ihe LXX names King Josiah. 102. Literally "He returned a word to the king." 103. LXX: "melted down." 104. Abdon ben Micaiah in 2 Chr 34:20. LXX has Achobor the son of Michaias in Kings and Abdom the son of Michaias in Chronicles.

105. In both the MT and LXX, Huldah is the wife of Shallum in 2 Kgs 22:14 and 2 Chr 34:22; however, Brenton's English translation of the LXX mistakenly identifies her as the mother of Shallum in 2 Kings. Huldah's husband is Shallum ben Tokhath ben Hasrah in 2 Chr 34:22. In the LXX, he is King Sellem the son of Ihecuan son of Aras. In Chronicles, he is Sellem son of'Ihecoe, son of Aras. 106.'Ihat is, the Second Quarter or place of instruction, "place of repetition," that is, study.'Ihe LXX transliterates: masena. In Targums Onkelos and Yonathan, she lives "in the House of Instruction [veveyt'u phana]." 107. Here, aleyhem; in 2 Chr 34:23, lahem. 108. Second Chronicles 34:24 has "all of the curses which are written in the scroll," which may be a reference to the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy. 109. See note on 2 Kgs 22:8 regarding the wordplay. 110. Here, I translate torah as "instruction" rather than "law" since the newly discovered corpus has no legal standing. 111. LXX: "melted down." 112. See note on 2 Kgs 22:14. 113.'Ihe 2 Kings account does not mention these "curses"; yet they are the basis for identifying the scroll with Deuteronomy. See the covenant ratification liturgy in Deuteronomy 27 and 28. However, the LXX has "all the words." 114. Ziony Zevit classifies all female prophets as "mantic[s]," whom he equates with "pre-literary" Israelite society. He does make specific reference, that is, by name, to Huldah, No'adiah, and the female prophet with whom Isaiah conceives; he also characterizes female prophets as practitioners of magic arts specializing in the control of life and death. His basis for this assertion is Ezek 13:19.

See Ziony Zevit, The Religions ofAncientIsrael.•A Synthesis ofParallacticApproaches (New York: Continuum, 2001), 615, 440. 115. 4QChr lacks chapter 34. Huldah's residence in the Second Quarter of Jerusalem, along with her husband's position on the personal staff of the king, suggests a royal appointment. 116. Other differences between the accounts include the annotation of the supervisors of the temple repair project; 2 Chr 34:12-13 stipulates three times that Levites supervised the project: the Merari-clan Levites, Jahath and Obadiah, with "other Levites with knowledge of all instruments of music," and some additional Levites who were scribes, managers, and gatekeepers.'Ihe Kohathites, Zechariah, and Meshullam assisted these Levites. An additional difference is the description of the people on whose behalf the king seeks the word of YHWH. In 2 Chr 34:21, Josiah asks for a prophetic inquiry on behalf of all Judah and the remnant of Israel.'Ihere are also a few differences in the names of the characters in the narrative.'Ihe constitution of the royal delegation to the prophet Huldah varies slightly between the two accounts. Achbor ben Micaiah is replaced by Abdon ben Micaiah on the Chronicler's roster (v.20). In 2 Chr 34:22, Huldah's husband is Shallum ben Tokhath ben Hasrah. 117. Johanna W. H. Bos, "Who Speaks for God? Huldah in 2 Kings 22-23," Perspectives 9 (1994):8. 118. Burke O. Long, 2 Kings (Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns, 1991),259. 119. Bos, "Who Speaks," 9. 120. Elisha's retort that Jehoshapat should consult the prophets of his father (Asa) or those of his mother (Azubah) in 2 Kgs 3:13 suggests the influence of either parent on religious formation. Prov 6:20 emphasizes the value of a mother's teaching. Rebekah is the formative influence on her son, Jacob's, development.

121. See Susan Ackerman, "'Ihe Queen-mother and the Cult in Ancient Israel," in Women in the Hebrew Bible: A Reader, ed. Alice Bach (New York: Routledge, 1999), 179-94; Makhosazana Keith Nzimande, "Postcolonial Biblical Interpretation in Post-Apartheid South Africa: The [Gebira] in the Hebrew Bible in the Light of Queen Jezebel and the Queen-mother of Lemuel" (Ph.D. diss., Texas Christian University, 2005). 122. Amon is so evil that his own servants assassinate him. Amon's assassins are themselves assassinated by his former subjects, who install his son on his throne (2 Kgs 21:19-22:1). 123. Mishneh means both "second" and "to repeat."'Ihe association with learning is based on a repetitive pedagogy. Targums Onkelos and Yonathan develop the notion by stating that Huldah lives in the "House of Instruction." 124.'Ihe masculine plural could of course be translated "female and male prophetic servants." 125. Repeated in 2 Chr 34:21,26. 126. Wagner, "d-r-sh," TDOT3:294. See also Nancy Bowen, "The Daughters of Your People: Female Prophets in Ezekiel 13:1723,"Journal of Biblical Literature 118 (1999): 426. 127. Wagner, "d-r-sh," 298. 128. In 2 Kgs 1:2-3, Ahaziah seeks to inquire of Baal but is directed to inquire of YHWH through Elijah. 129. See Exod 18:15; Dent 4:29; 1 Kgs 14:5; 22:5-28; 2 Kgs 1:116; 8:8; 2 Chr 26:5. For inquiry as the specialty of prophets, see 1 Sam 9:9; 2 Kgs 1:16; 3:11; Jer 21:2; 37:7; Ezek 14:7; 20:1-31. Persons not designated as prophets who inquired of YHWH include Rebekah (Gen 25:22), David (1 Chr 21:30), and Solomon (1 Chr 28:9).

130. Also 2 Chr 34:23-24, 26. However, the rabbis excoriated Huldah for initially referring to Josiah as "the man."'They called her arrogant and determined that she was named after the weasel in b. Megillah 14b. 131. According to James Montgomery, The Books of Kings (New York: Scribner's, 1951), 525, this prophetic word is in opposition to a priestly confirmation through Urim and'Ihummim. 132. Claudia V. Camp, "1 and 2 Kings," in The Women's Bible Commentary, ed. Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), 109. See also Long, 2 Kings, 267. 133. Bos, "Who Speaks," 8, and Lowell K. Handy, "'Ihe Role of Huldah in Josiah's Cult Reform," Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 106 (1994): 40. 134. Richard D. Patterson and Hermann J. Austel claim that Jeremiah was at Anathoth because he had finished shaping "Josiah's early spiritual concern," in spite of the fact that the biblical text does not describe any interaction between Jeremiah and Josiah at any time; see I KingsJob, vol. 4, Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan,1988), 284.'Ihey also suggest that Zephaniah nurtured the young king and that by the time the scroll was found, Zephaniah's "prophetic ministry had ceased" (282, 284). 135. See Robert C. bentan, II Kings, vol. 7, Layman's Bible Commentary (Richmond: John Knox Press), 121; Patterson and Austel, "Jeremiah" in I KingsJob, 186. 136. I have translated these verses in such a way as to make explicit female prophets who are obscured by the masculine grammar: Jer 2:30 In vain I have struck down your children; they accepted no correction. Your own sword devoured your prophets, both women and men, like a ravening lion. 7:25 From the day that

your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have persistently sent all my male and femaleprophetic servants to them, day after day. 25:4 And though YHWH persistently sent you YHWH's own female and male prophetic servants, you have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear. 29:19 Because they did not heed my words, says YHWH, when I persistently sent to you my womenservants and men-servants, the prophets, but they would not listen, says YHWH. 35:15 I have sent to you all my male and female prophetic servants, sending them persistently, saying, "Turn now every one of you from your evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall live in the land that I gave to you and your ancestors." But you did not incline your ear or obey me. 44:4 Yet I persistently sent to you all my female and male prophetic servants, saying, "I beg you not to do this abominable thing that I hate!" 137. Handy, "Role of Huldah," 49. 138. Bos, "Who Speaks," 8. See also Camp, "1 and 2 Kings, " 100. 139. LXX: "a large new page [section of a scroll or book]." 140.'Ihis column of 1Qlsaa suspends the bet and several other letters. 141. Literally, "swiftly savaged, rapidly ravaged." 142. In 1Qsaa, she is called a male prophet, hnby'. 143. Notice the inclusion of the prophet's womb in the LXX, "in her womb she received," and the use of a verb not restricted to conception or pregnancy. 144.'Ihe LXX preserves the Hebrew alliteration, shelal shomron as skula Samareis.'Ihis alliteration extends to Damascus, dunamin Damaskou.

145.'Ihe introduction of the child Immanuel immediately follows the presentation of Shear-jashub. Since Immanuel is not referred to in the text as Isaiah's son, he will not be considered in this project as prospective progeny of the WomanProphet. 146. Joseph Blenkinsopp, Isaiah 1-39.-A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol.19, Anchor Bible (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 237. 147. Ibid., 238. 148. Consider Israel W. Slotki,Isaiah: Hebrew Text and English Translation with an Introduction and Commentary (London: Soncino, 1949), 38: "A husband confers his title upon his wife irrespective of her own accomplishments and attainments." Wade states that the mother of Isaiah's son shares his title in the same way that an episcopa is the wife of a bishop and a presbytera is the wife of a presbyter; George Woosung Wade, Book ofthe Prophet Isaiah (London: Metheun, 1929), 55. Not only are these relatively modern and therefore asynchronous examples incomparable, but Wade demonstrates his lack of knowledge of early Christianity, in which episcopae and presbyterae were female bishops and presbyters (contemporary practices not withstanding). See Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek, Ordained Women in the Early Church: A Documentary History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), 163-98, for numerous examples of presbyterae who are not wives of male presbyters. See also Joan Morris, The Lady Was a Bishop: The Hidden History of Women with Clerical Ordination and the Jurisdiction of Bishops (New York: Macmillan, 1975), 6, for episcopa as "female bishop." Equally asynchronous is Cheyne's comparison of the Woman-Prophet with Ayesha, the third wife of the prophet Mohammed, who is given the honorific "prophetess ... on account of her influence with her husband in matters of religion'; Cheyne, Prophecies oflsaiah: ANew Translation with Commentary andAppendices, vol. 1 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1882), 53. He further suggests that queens are titled solely in relationship to their

husbands in the Hebrew Bible, as are "priestesses" (his translation) in the Mishnah. Presumably he is making reference to khnt (feminine of kohen, priest) in Yebamoth 11.5; 16.6; Sotah 3.7; Qiddushin 3.5,12; 4.4. In any case, he is quite mistaken; as the Qiddushin texts make clear, a khnt is the daughter of a priest and not his wife.'Ihe discussion is about betrothal-a living priest would hardly arrange for the betrothal of his own wife! 149. Jepsen, "Die Nebiah in Jes 8:3," Zeitschriftfur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 72 (1960): 267-68. 150. Shegal suggests not only that the consort was an abuducted woman, but also that she previously had another spouse or sexual partner (IMLOT). See Dent 28:30; Isa 13:16; Jer 3:2; Zech 14:2 for sh-g-l indicating abduction and/or rape. See Ps 45:9; Dan 5:2, 23; Neh 2:6 for sh-g-l as a woman belonging to a royal man.'Ihe verb was apparently so offensive to the Masoretes that they regularly used tikkinim sopherim, scribal emendations, to replace it: various forms of sh-k-v, "to lay (with)," generally denoting normative sexual relations in Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, and ravrevan, "noble woman," in Dan 5:23. 151. Blenkinsopp, Isaiah 1-39, 238. 152. See Stuart A. Irvine, Isaiah, Ahaz, and the Syro-Ephraimitic Crisis (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990), 154. 153. "'Ihe son ofTabeel"is either aTubalide prince of Tyre, given the intermarriage of Jezebel of Tyre into the Israelite monarchy, or a derisive genitive "the son of a good for nothing,"or a completely worthless individual, based on the philology of the name. See ibid., 154. 154. Consider Isa 8:16: "Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples."

155. J. William Whedbee, Isaiah and Wisdom (Nashville: Abingdon, 1971), 45-46; see also Ronald E. Clements, Isaiah 1-39, New Century Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns, 1980), 95. He does not comment on her prophetic identity. 156. Clements, Isaiah 1-39, 95. 157. Targum Yonathan: "receive a prophecy against." 158. MT and LXX: literally "heart." 159. Targum Yonathan has "Hear the prophecy against the daughters of your people, who prophesy from their own minds and prophesy against them." 160. MT: adonai (lord, literally "my lords"-the plural reflects majesty), followed by YHWH pointed to be read as elohim (god). 161. MT: adonai, followed by YHWH pointed to be read as elohim. 162. Ezekiel 13 is missing from 4QEzeka and 3QEzekb. 163. Nancy Bowen suggests that the "stereotyped" language of Ezekiel's condemnation indicates that they were, in fact, not actual practitioners during the Babylonian exile; rather, the language is "a rhetorical construction." See Bowen, "Daughters of Your People," 428. 164. In contrast, Walther Zimmerli, in Ezekiell (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979), 296, describes their activities as "minor mantic acts and magic ... improperly under the catchword `prophetic."' 165. See, by way of comparison, Ezek 13:19, "You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death persons who should not die and keeping alive

persons who should not live, by your lies to my people, who listen to lies." 166. Zevit, Religions ofAncientIsrael, 561. 167. Bowen, "Daughters of Your People," 424. She also notes the removal of the knots during delivery. 168. Ibid., 421. 169. Ibid., 420. The witch (kassaptu/kassapu) was generally recognized as an illegitimate practitioner, while the exorcist (asipu) was recognized as legitimate. Both were regarded as magicians, with only illegitimate practice of magic viewed as negative. 170. Ibid., 421-22. 171. Ibid., 430. 172. Ibid., 431. 173. Targums Onkelos and Yonathan have "my holy spirit." 174. As above, Targums Onkelos and Yonathan have "my holy spirit." 175. 4QXII is fragmentary, but there are fragments that conform to Joel 2:28 in the MT. 176.'Ihe two are also paired in Isa 23:4, "I am as one who has never writhed in labor, never given birth, never raised young men or reared young women." Other tandem uses are in Jer 31:13; 51:22; Ezek 9:6; Amos 8:13; Zech 9:17; Pss 78:63; 148:12; Lam 1:18; 2:21. 177. Notice the masculine gender in the LXX: Noadia to prophete. 178.'Ihe translations of the NJPS and NRSV rescue Nehemiah from his terror of No'adiah by translating that she "wanted to make

[him] afraid" and "wished to intimidate [him]," respectively (emphasis mine). However, y-r-' means to make afraid. In the piel that fear is intensified; it can also mean that she "continuously terrified him." See its other uses in 2 Sam 14:15 and 2 Chr 32:18. 179.'Ihere are no manuscripts of Nehemiah among the DSS.'Ihere is another No'adiah in Ezra 8:33, ben Binnui, who is apparently male. No'adiah is a theophoric name with a Yahwistic suffix. It is possible that the LXX translator confused the two, since both males and females bore names with yah as the suffix, and a maculine plural verb is used in Neh 6:14. 180. For example, there are five persons named Shelomith in the Hebrew scriptures: two are female, the daughters of Dibri and Zerubbabel (Lev 24:11; 1 Chr 3:19); two are male, a Mushite chief (1 Chr 3:19) and the head of one of the patrilocal families who returned with Ezra (Ezra 8:10); and one, the child of King Rehoboam and Queen Maacah of Judah, is of indeterminate gender (2 Chr 11:20), listed as offspring in a genealogy.'Ihe use of the masculine plural suffix masks the presence of females in any group, making the gender of offspring listed in genealogies impossible to determine in some cases. Note that the offspring of Zerubbabel are introduced by the masculine singular; after the naming of two sons, Shelomith is named as their sister. 181. Robert P. Carroll, "Coopting the Prophets: Nehemiah and No'adiah," in Priests, Prophets and Scribes: Essays on the Formation and Heritage of Second Temple Judaism in Honor of Joseph Blenkinsopp, ed. Eugene Ulrich et al. (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992), 87-99. Edwin Yamauchi, commenting on Nehemiah (I KingsJob, 714), also suggests that No'adiah and the prophets found Nehemiah's plans "divisive." 182. Carol Meyers, "Hierarchy or Heterarchy? Archaeology and the Theorizing of Israelite Society," in Confronting the Past: Archaeological and Historical Essays in Honor of William G. Dever,

ed. Seymour Gitin, J. P. Dessel, and Edward Wright (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2006), 8. 183. Qere: hannibbe'im. Ketiv: hannebbi'im. 184. The use of anshey, "those," may explain why only male names are listed. 185. The Hebrew spelling is the same for the prophet called "Isaiah" in English. 186. The MT is awkward here; the LXX is equally confusing,"to lift up the horn." 187. In Exodus, echayv is used for Moshe's (Moses') people in general and the Israelite whom he tries to help. Acheyhem is used here and indicates relatives in a general sense. 188.'Ihis is the Qere form.'Ihe Ketiv is hannebbi'im.'Ihe Ketiv names the three patriarchs as prophets but leaves the sentence without a verb. 189. Each of these music directors is credited with at least one psalm: Asaph, Pss 50 and 73-83; Heman, Ps 88; Jeduthun, Pss 39, 62, 77. 190. As has been stated previously, determining gender from a list of names is nearly impossible. 'Me theophoric suffix yah is used for males and females; some males have names ending in the traditional feminine -ah (Jonah); women and men, for example, Gomer and Shelomith, share some names. - CHAPTER 4 1. Contra Carol Meyers, "Guilds and Gatherings: Women's Groups in Ancient Israel," in Realia Dei: Essays in Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation in Honor of Edward F Campbell, Jr., at His

Retirement, ed. Prescott H. Williams Jr. and Theodore Hiebert (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999), 161. 2. See Exod 15:20; Judg 11:34; 1 Sam 18:6; and Jer 31:4, where Jerusalem is depicted as a virgin who will one day play the drum and dance for joy. 3. See the unidentified drummers in Gen 31:27; Isa 5:12; 24:8; 30:31-32; Pss 81:2; 149:3; 150:4; Job 21:7; 21:12; 1 Chr 13:8. 4. Carol Meyers, "'Me Drum-Dance-Song Ensemble: Women's Performance in Biblical Israel," in Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed. Kimberly Marshall (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993), 55-58. 5.'Ihe same noun, chronos, is used for the dances of the Shilonite women (Psalm 150) and that of the Shulammite in the song in the LXX. 6. There are a number of verbs spelled the same way; this is the fourth listed in HALOT. 7. See 1 Kgs 10:12; Isa 42:10; Jer 20:13; Ezek 40:44; Ezra 2:41, 70; 7:7; Neh 7:1, 44, 72 (NRSV 7:73; note both male and female singers are specified in verse 67); 10:29 (NRSV 10:28); 10:40 (NRSV 39); 10:42-47; 11:22; 12:28; 13:5, 10; 1 Chr 15:27; 2 Chr 5:12; 9:11; 20:21; 23:13; 29:28; 35:15, 25. "The sons of Israel" in Exod 1:1 refers particularly to Jacob's male offspring, but the same expression (beney yisrael) is used in verse 5 to refer to all of his offspring, male and female. 8. Meyers, "Guilds and Gatherings," 168. 9. Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman, Micah, vol. 24E, Anchor Bible (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 576.

10. There are a number of verbs spelled the same way; this is the second listed in HALOT. 11. t-n-h is more generally associated with narrative retelling, as it is in Judg 5:11 and Hos 8:9-10. 12.'Ihe verb is used thirty times in the canon to describe the mourning activities of women and men. It appears in Genesis, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Micah, Zechariah, and Ecclesiastes. 13. Other men who are identified as making this sort of lament include David over Saul and Jonathan in 2 Sam 1:17, Ezekiel some ten times, and Amos in 5:1. 14. This term is found only in Jer 9:9,17-19; 31:15; Amos 5:16; Mic 2:4. 15. There are a number of verbs spelled the same way; this is the third listed in HALOT. 16. Meyers, "Guilds and Gatherings," 166; see also Carol Meyers, "Miriam, Music and Miracles," in Mariam, the Magdalene and the Mother, ed. Deirdre Good, 27-48 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), 34-36. 17.1-13 were identified by Rivkah Harris, Ancient Sippar: ADemographic Study of an Old-Babylonian City (1894-1595), (Netherlands: Instituut voor her Nabije Oosten), 196-97. 18.14 and 15 were identified by Samuel Meier, "Women and Communication in the Ancient Near East,"Journal of the American Oriental Society 111.3 (1991): 542. 19. 16 was identified by Stephanie Dalley and J. N. Postgate, The Tablets from Fort Shalmaneser (Oxford: Alden Press for the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 1984).

20. 17-25 were reconstructed from the list of personal names appended to the end of Maurice Birot's translation, "Textes Economiques de Mari (IV)," Review dAssyriologie etd'Archeolgie Orientale 50 (1956): 57-72. 21. Ezra 2:55/Nehemiah 7:57. 22. Susan Niditch, Oral World and Written Word- Ancient Israelite Literature (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1996), 50. 23. Philip R. Davies, Scribes and Schools (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1998), 15. 24. James Crenshaw, Education in Ancient Israel (New York: Doubleday, 1998), viii. 25. Ibid., viii. 26. Samuel Meier, "Women and Communication in the Ancient Near East," Journal of the American Oriental Society 111.3 (1991): 541. 27. Ibid., 542. 28. Harris, Ancient Sippar, 196-97. 29. Meier, "Women and Communication," 541-42. Also see note 14. 30. Birot, "Textes Economiques," 68-72. 31. Benno Landsberger, Akkadisch-Hebraische Wortgleichungen," Fetus Testamentum 16 (1967): 202-3. 32. Dalley and Postgate, Tablets, 10. 33. Meier, "Women and Communication," 541.

34. Piotr Steinkeller, "Two Sargonic Sale Documents Concerning Women," Orientalia 51 (1982): 355-68. 35. Dalley and Postgate, Tablets, 10-13. 36. Meier, "Women and Communication," 541. 37. Ibid., 543. 38. "Paleopathology,"ABD 5:69. 39. Simo Parpola, "'Me Forlorn Scholar," in Language, Literature, and History: Pholological and Historical Studies Presented to Erica Reiner, ed. Francesca Rochberg-Halton (New Haven, Conn.: American Oriental Society, 1987), 257. 40. Meier, "Women and Communication," 517-18. 41. Tikvah Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 42. 42. From Bathsheba, the queen-mother of Solomon, to Nehushta, the last queenmother in Judah (who was surrendered by her son to Nebuchadnezzar at the fall of Judah), nineteen queen-mothers are preserved in the annals of the Judean monarchy. Compare that with the two women listed as mothers of Israelite kings in the scriptures.'Ihe title gevirah is regularly used in the Judean monarchy but not in the northern Israelite monarchy. Gevirah is used in Genesis for Sarah (her name "princess" suggests a royal identity) but is most regularly employed to denote the senior royal woman in Judah-the mother, not the wife, of the reigning king.'Ihe title is also used to describe the senior wife of the Pharaoh, Queen Taphenes, in 1 Kgs 11:20.'Ihe internal biblical evidence for the administrative role of the queen-mothers is (1) the application of the term only to the Judean monarchy; (2) Solomon's initiation of the tradition with the enthronement of his mother, Bathsheba, at his right side in 1 Kgs 2:19; (3) the preservation of the names of the queen-mothers in the

Judean archives; (4) the dethroning of the queen-mother in 1 Kgs 15:11-13 and Jer 13:18; (5) the unquestioned obedience to Athaliah in 2 Kgs 11:1 when she ordered the extinction of the Davidic lineage. And the last indication of the status and function of the queen-mother is the surrender of King Jehoiachin of Judah to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, along with his mother as the second official in the monarchy. 43.'Mis is most likely an Aramaic name in a largely Hebrew genealogy; there are a few others, for example, Hatipha in the previous verse. 44. See previous note. 45. Nili Sacher Fox, In the Service of the King: Officialdom in Ancient Israel and Judah (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2000), 101. 46. For further reading on this topic, see Wilda Gafney, "She Declared to 'Them, `So Says YHWH, the God of Israel': An Examination of Female Prophets in Ancient Israel" (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 2006), 195-205. 47. "Hassopheret," in Women in Scripture.A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament, ed. Carol Meyers, Toni Craven, and Ross S. Kraemer (Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns, 2001), 91-92. 48. Carol Meyers, "Hierarchy or Heterarchy? Archaeology and the `Theorizing of Israelite Society," in Confronting the Past.Archaeological and Historical Essays in Honor of William G. Dever, ed. Seymour Gitin, J. P. Dessel, and Edward Wright (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2006), 7. 49. Meyers, "Miriam, Music and Miracles," 36-38.

- CHAPTER 5 1. See note 65 in the introduction for a brief introduction to the relevant canons of rabbinic literature. 2. See Leila Bronner, From Eve to Esther: Rabbinic Constructions of Biblical Women. (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), xiii; Bronner, "Biblical Prophetesses through Rabbinic Lenses," Judaism 40 (1991): 170; and Rachel Elior, "Changing Perspectives: Female Prophets in the Bible and Rabbinic Perspective," Contemplate: The International Journal of Jewish Thought 2 (2003): 15-21. 3. Elior, "Changing Perspectives," 16-17, 20-21; Bronner, "Biblical Prophetesses," 165,170,173-74,179-81. 4. Bronner, "Biblical Prophetesses," 170. S. Ibid., 174. 6. Bronner, From Eve to Esther, 166. 7. Bronner, "Biblical Prophetesses," 176. 8. I take up the issue of whether eshet lapidot indicates Deborah is married in note 42 of chapter 3. 9. Bronner, "Biblical Prophetesses," 183. 10. Ibid., 179. See also the rabbinic discussions in Bavli Niddah 60b and Tosaphoth Niddah 49b-50a. 11. She is relying on Targum Yonathan on 2 Kgs 22:14, in which Huldah lives "in the House of Instruction." Bremner understands that Huldah "instructed men in the study of the law." Bronner, "Biblical Prophetesses," 180. 12. Bronner, "Biblical Prophetesses," 178.

13. Bronner, "From Eve to Esther," xx. 14. Elior, "Changing Perspectives," 16-17. 15. Ibid., 20-21. 16. Ibid., 18. 17. Ibid., 19. 18. Ibid., 20. 19. Ibid., 21. 20. The translators of the Soncino Talmud use "sexual excitement" to translate rwh in the Berakhoth passage. For an introduction to the rabbis whose teachings predominate in rabbinic literature, see Appendix III in Herbert Danby, The Mishnah (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), 799-800. For an introduction to rabbinic literature, see Jacob Neusner, Introduction to Rabbinic Literature (New York: Doubleday) 1994. 21. Tal Ilan, Jewish Women in Greco-Roman Palestine (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1996), 124-25,221. 22. Ibid., 125-27. 23. Ibid., 127-28. 24. Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland, initially brought an earlier, abridged list of midrashic texts to my attention. My research on that list expanded the list of texts from the Midrash (Midrashim) and added texts from the Mishnah and Talmud.'Ihe subsequent searches for nby', nby'h, nbyy, and nby'wt in the Mishnah, Babylonian Talmud, and Midrash Rabbah were performed using the Soncino Classics Collection of the Judaic Classics Library

2.0 for Macintosh, produced by the Institute for Computers in Jewish Life and Davka Corporation, 2001.'Ihe software includes the full text of the Soncino edition of the Babylonian Talmud (Bavli), the Midrash Rabbah and Zohar in Hebrew and English, and Rashi's commentary on the Torah and Bavli, along with the Tosafoth to Bavli in Hebrew. Unless otherwise annotated, all references to this literature are from this software. 25. Neusner, Introduction to Rabbinic Literature, 9. Many parts of the Mishnah, particularly the material in Mo'ed, date back to the Second Temple period. 26. Herbert Danby (Mishnah, 167) follows the traditional commentary on the Mishnah by Rabbi Ovadyah Bertinoro of the fifteenth century. However, the Hebrew text does not include "from the time of" but simply identifies the nevi'im ri'shonim, former prophets, as David and Solomon. 27. See 1 Chronicles 24. However, in Taanit26a, David and Samuel are credited with developing the system of rotation. David is counted as one of the fortyeight prophets (see Rosh HaShanah 4a). Samuel is occasionally counted with David and Solomon (see Yoma 53a-b and especially Sotah 48b). 28. See Exod 2:4; Num 12:15. 29. For examples of false prophets in this reading, see Dent 18:19; for examples of authentic prophets in these circumstances, see Jonah 1:3; 1 Kgs 20:35-36; 13:26. 30. Here Danby (Mishnah, 446 n. 5) quotes Tiferet Yisrael: "A body of 120 elders, including many prophets, who came up from exile with Ezra; they saw that prophecy had come to an end and that restraint was lacking; therefore they made many new rules and restrictions for the better observance of the Law."

31. The Zugoth are the paired leaders, attested from Jose ben Joezer and Jose ben Jochanan, 160 B.C.E., to Hillel and Shammai of the first century c.E.; Danby, Mishnah, 12. See also Avoth 1:4. 32.'Ihe Talmud presents Pe`ah without a Gemara, as is every tractate in the division Zera`im, with the exception of Berakoth. 33. Literally "king," but I doubt that such a command from one of the few ruling queens would have been disobeyed had it been given. 34. See Philip Blackman's commentary in his translation of the Mishnah: Mishnayoth, vol. 6, Taharoth, trans. Philip Blackman (Brooklyn: Judaica Press, 2000), 766-69. 35.'Ihe Megilloth are the five festival scrolls: Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther. 36. In his commentary on the Torah, Rashi refers to the Bavli Megillah 14a discussion, which includes the line, "by means of the Holy Spirit." 37. See Song of Songs (ShirHaShirim) Rabbah 1:25, 70; II1:9; Yerushalmi Sotah 8 also preserves this story. 38. 'Ihe word "drop," ntph, represents prophecy: the sweet word of God that drips like honey from the honeycomb, from the mouth of the prophet. 39.'Ihey are Jeremiah, Hilkiah, Seraiah, Mahasyah, Hanameel, Shallum, Baruch, Neriah, Ezekiel, and Buzzi. 40. Jacob Neusner, Introduction to Rabbinic Literature, 13. 41. I have detailed my search parameters for Bavli in note 24. For Yerushalmi, I examined the corresponding discussions in Jacob Neusner, The Two Talmuds Compared (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996). I also used Moshe Kosovsky, Otsar leshon Talmud

Yerushalmi: konkordantsyah le-Talmud Yerushalmi (Jerusalem: haAkademyah ha-le'umit ha-Yisreslit le-mada'im: Bet ha-midrash larabanim baAmerikah, 1979-2002).'Ihanks to Megan Doherty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College for assistance with this reference.1he two Talmuds, Yerushalmi and Bavli, represent the perspectives of two different communities and approach the mishnayoth (passages from the Mishnah), on which they comment differently. Each draws upon different examples to make its point.'lhe broader discussions in which female prophets are mentioned in Bavli are either absent or approached completely differently in Yerushalmi. 42.The Hebrew text is from the Kosovsky concordance above.'Ihe English text is from Neusner, Two Talmuds Compared, 222. Neusner does not use the traditional daf or folio numbers for Yerushalmi or Bavli. 43.'Ihis refers to individually named prophets.'Ihe same argument later allows that there were two hundred prophets in Elkanah's (and Hannah's?) generation and that the total number of prophets who prophesied to Israel, when totaled, was a two-to-one ratio for every soul that left Egypt. 44. All subsequent Talmud references are to Bavli.'Ihe Megillah volume of the Schottenstein edition of the Talmud (Bavli) edited by Gedaliah Zlotowitz and Hershel Goldworm (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1991) reproduces these lists on 14a2, n.23. 45. I could not find any rabbinic discussions on either No'adiah or the woman with whom Isaiah fathers a child, both of whom are identified as female prophets in the scriptures, Neh 6:14 and Isa 8:3, respectively. 46. 'Ihe rabbis explain in Megillah 14a that Miriam's first prophecy was "My mother will bear a son who will be the savior of Israel." Amran kisses Miriam on the head when Moses is born but strikes her on the head when Moses is put into the river. So Miriam watches

to see what would become of her brother and of her word.'Ihis is largely repeated in the Gemara on Sotah 12b. Shabbat 88a also identifies Miriam as the firstborn of the three. 47. However, Deborah is traditionally identified as the "wife of Lappidoth." See the Tanakh in any translation (1917 "old"JPS, 1985 NJPS, etc.) and the NRSV translation of Judg 4:4. 48. See note 1 in chapter 1 for a discussion of "torah" and "toroth." 49. PesR 26.3 (Rivka Ulmer, ed., Pesiqta Rabbati [Atlanta: Scholars, 1997], 642) has that Jeremiah was one of three prophets who prophesied in his generation. Jeremiah prophesied in the city squares, Zephaniah in the temple and in synagogues, and Huldah among the women. 50.'Ihis and subsequent transliterations from rabbinic literature are unpointed, that is, without vowels, as there are no vowels in the text of the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds, Midrashim, or Zohar. (The text of the Mishnah has vowels.) 51. Sarah's prophetic identity explains why YHWII required Abraham to obey her with reference to Hagar in Gen 21:12: "Everything that Sarah says to you obey her."'Ihe rabbis comment on this text in Genesis Rabbah XLVII:1; LII:5; and LXXI:7; Exodus Rabbah 1:1. 52. Phdo, On Dreams 1:254, trans. C.D. Yonge (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1993), 387. 53.1he Talmud has "YHWH" for "my God." 54. See Judg 5:12, "Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, utter a song!" 55. Num 31:14 and 2 Kgs 3:14-15.

56. The well is identified as a rock that followed the Israelites; this reading is based on Numbers 20:1-5. 57. Also found in Pesachim 54a. 58. Shabbat 35a. 59. The three prophets are understood to have been the three branches on a single vine in the dream prophecy of the imprisoned Joseph. 60. See Exod 1:21, in which God promises dynasties to the faithful midwives. 61.'Ihe list of names is from genealogies the rabbis understand to be Calebite. See 1 Chr 2:18; 4:5-7.The rabbis did not restrict themselves to names with obvious female forms. In a similar manner, the list of names under consideration for suggested prophetic identity in the present work will not be restricted to those with unambiguous female grammatical gender. 62. See Exod 2:9. She instructs that Moses be taken away (to be nursed by a Hebrew woman). 63. "Shekinah" from the verb sh-k-n (to dwell) is the Rabbinic Hebrew term for God's glory. It does not appear in the biblical text.'Ihe glory of God in biblical Hebrew is the kevod. 64. A similar conclusion is drawn from Aaron's death narrative. 65. Sanhedrin 11a, in which the Holy Spirit leaves Israel at the death of these three prophets, signifying the end of all prophetic inspiration, reiterates this. 66. See also Eruvin 104a-b; Ta'anit 28a; and Megillah 17b for the recognition of postexilic prophets.

67. Going further, Amemar states that the sages are superior to prophets in that a prophet has a heart of sagacity. He bases this on Ps 90:12: "Teach us to number our days so that we may cause wisdom to come into our hearts." In this verse, the hiphil of b-w-'(to come) is spelled navi'and looks like navi, "prophet." Many rabbinic identifications are made on the appearance of words, even when they have a different meaning. 68. Bronner notes that the adjectival forms are regularly applied to women and that in the singular instance in which a feminine nominal form is used, it means "wise in the skills of midwifery"; see Bronner, "From Eve to Esther," 177. For the unpointed (without vowels) Rabbinic Hebrew, see note 53 in this chapter. 69. See Chagigah 13b. 70. See Nedarim 38a. 71. See Num 16:15 and similar statements by Samuel in 1 Sam 12:3. 72. See Megillah 2b-3a. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zechariah, and Daniel all use the term as a synonym for prophecy. 73. See Megillah 10b for an example of this; note that the rabbis cite Tamar's ancestry of David in relation to her modesty in covering her face when making herself available to Judah. 74. Bronner, "From Eve to Esther," 165. 75. Ibid., 172-73. 76. See Antionette Clark Wire, The Corinthian Women Prophets: A Reconstruction through Paul's Rhetoric (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1995). 77. Ibid., 15.

78. Ibid., 19. 79. Ibid., 291 n. 2. 80. See the discussion of Israelite and ANE prophecy in chapter 2. 81. For detailed treatment of female Montanist prophets, see Patricia Cox Miller, Women in Early Christianity: Translations from Greek Texts (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2005). 82. Ute E. Eisen, Women Officeholders in Early Christianity: Epigraphical and Literary Studies, trans. Linda M. Mahoney (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2000), 63. 83. Ibid., 64. - CHAPTER 6 1. Their narratives are canonized in such a way that they are present in each of the three sections of the tripartite canon. 2. Based on Irmtraud Fischer, Gotteskiinderinnen: zu einer geschlechterfairen Deutung des Phdnomens der Prophetic and der Prophetinnen in der Hebrdischen Bibel (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2002), 107. 3. Everett Fox, The Five Books ofMoses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; A New Translation with Introductions, Commentary, and Notes (New York: Schocken, 1995). 4. See Judg 4:8 in both LXX versions, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus, in which Barak refers to Deborah as "the Angel of the LORD." We have seen that prophets assumed the functions of the divine messengers. Certainly Haggai and Malachi become virtually synonymous with heavenly emissaries.

5. See also 1 Samuel. 6. Fischer, Gotteskiinderinnen, 107. 7. Compare the translations of Pharaoh's army (chayilPar'oh) throughout Exodus with those of eshet chayil in Prov 31:10 and Ruth 3:11, where chayilis, by turns, "army" and "valor/worth." See the use of t-w-v in Genesis 1 and 6, where t-w-v is, by turns, "good" and "fair/beautiful." 8. In 1 Samuel, the women are hanashim hatzovot ("the women, the women stationed" in this context; more broadly, "the women, the women who wage war"). They are completely absent from the LXX and DSS rendering of this narrative. 9. Although in Matt 26:69ff.; Mark 14:66ff.; and Luke 22:56, the woman is merely one of the servant girls. 10. See 2 Sam 22:33, "The God who has girded me with strength has opened wide my path." See also Ezek 30:24, "I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand; but I will break the arms of Pharaoh." 11. Eugen j. Pentiuc, "Prophetesses in the Bible and Elsewhere: New Evidence from Emar" (unpublished manuscript, 2003). 12. See Ezekiel 19; 27:2ff.; 28:12ff.; 32:2ff.; and Mic 1:8. 13. I am adding italics for emphasis and for clarity; the entire italicized phrase is translating nevi'im (with prefixes and suffixes as appropriate). In one case, Amos 2:11-12, I have expanded the translation of nezirim, Nazirites, to reflect their inclusive nature. 14.'Ihe text demonstrates the extent of Saul's desperation to hear a word from the silent YHWH. He has tried every legitimate means of divination and will soon turn to the recently outlawed, but effective, inquiry of the dead. Given that he has tried to communicate with the

silent Deity through more than one prophet, evidenced by the plural hannevi'im, it is more than reasonable to suppose that he sought out as many prophets as he could find. Specifying female and male prophets here demonstrates how effective and how disconcerting the divine silence was. 15. There is no reason to presume that the 100 prophets of YHWH I (or even the 400 prophets of Baal executed by Elijah, or the 450 prophets of Asherah not executed by Elijah) were all, or even mostly, male.'Ihis group could have been made up of 50 male and 50 female prophets, sequestered by gender in the caves. 16.'Ihe story in which YHWH sends a lying spirit to mislead Ahab is on one level about how out of touch Ahab is. No prophet, female or male, will send him an authentic word from YHWH unless YHWH sanctions the message. Since it is not clear that Ahab consulted the prophets en masse, I am reminded of Queen Shibtu's inquiry of segregated male (apilu) and female (apiltu) prophets. See chapter 2 for a discussion of ANE prophets. 17. As previously discussed, "seers" are conflated with "prophets" in the Hebrew scriptures. 18. "Every prophesying person" at the end of the verse equals "every female and male prophet and every female and male seer" at the beginning of the verse. In this text and in Israel's religious history to this point, "every prophesyingperson" includes Miriam and Deborah, at the very least, and potentially an inestimable number of other female prophets. The conflation of the role of the seer with that of the prophet could also indicate that there were female seers obscured by the masculine plural grammar; however, no individual female seers have been identified in the text. Simo Parpola notes that in the ANE, prophets and seers are equated through the parallel usage of the terms ragimu (prophet) and shabru (seer). Simo Parpola, Assyrian Prophesies (Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1997), XLVI; see also the discussion in n. 232 on CIV.

19. Numbers 6 stipulates that women and men could be Nazirites. Both Hannah, who is recognized as a prophet in the Talmud (Megillah 14b), and the mother of Samson observed Nazirite practices while pregnant at the command ofYHWH. YHWH communicated with Hannah through the priest Eli but communicated directly with Samson's mother in the guise of a divine emissary. 20. As in 2 Kgs 17:13, references to "the former prophets" call to mind that Israel's religious history, to this point, includes several individual female prophets: Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and the mother of Isaiah's child, among those explicitly cited. 21. This halakhic question assumes orthodoxy and orthopraxy on the part of priests and prophets, both groups associated with the temple. This calls to mind Huldah's reform and the role of priests and prophets in the subsequent reinstitution of Deuteronomistic practices. 22. Certainly a number of male prophets came to harm: an unknown number of prophets were executed by Jezebel, Jeremiah was imprisoned, Micaiah ben Imlah was beaten.'Ihere are no narratives explicitly describing female prophets being put to death or physically assaulted, but there is no textual reason to presume they were spared when their male colleagues were not. 23.'Ihe time frame invoked by Nehemiah includes the prophetic activities of Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, the mother of Isaiah's child, No'adiah, and potentially many others whose names have not been preserved. While he prayed against No'adiah in the matter of Tobiah and Sanballat, he never denounced her as a false prophet; we simply have no information about her work with the prophetic guild prior to (or after) Neh 6:14. Nehemiah's time frame also includes the all-female guild of prophets in Ezekiel, whom he may or may not have considered legitimate prophets.'Ihere is no way of knowing how widely Ezekiel's words were known or how influential they might have been prior to canonization.

24. The context of this verse is the aftermath of the death of the priest Jehoiada, who was buried among the kings of Judah during the reign of Joash in 2 Chr 24:15. After his death, the royal officials led Joash to worship the asherim (the sacred trees representing, perhaps embodying, the goddess Asherah) and carved images (ha atzabim) in verse 18. YHWH sent prophets to the king, but there is no description of these prophets YHWH sent to Joash and the officials of Judah.'Ihere is no reason to presume that these prophets are all male. 25. By the time Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem, Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and the mother of Isaiah's child have all offered prophetic service.

aggadab. Narrative material in rabbinic interpretive and exegetical material.



Akkadian. Eastern Semitic language of Babylonia and Assyria. Alexandrinus (LXX-A). Fifth-century C.E. Greek manuscript containing Old and New Testaments. "The Greek scriptures in this manuscript follow the longer LXX canon in the First Testament (OT) and have an expanded New Testament. Amorites. Canaanite people living in the land of Canaan prior to the emergence of Israel. Ancestral Period. Period reflected in biblical literature characterized by stories of the Matriarchs (Eve through Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah-the collective mothers of Israel) and the Patriarchs (Adam through the heads of the twelve tribes). Aramaic. Northwest Semitic language spoken in West Asia including Syria, Israel, and Mesopotamia. beney nevi'im. Most common term for a prophetic community, literally "disciples of the prophets" or "children/sons of the prophets."

Book of the Twelve. Traditional Hebrew biblical and Jewish designation for Hosea through Malachi, originally recorded on a single scroll; also known as the Minor Prophets. Chronicler. Editor or editorial school responsible for Chronicles (a single book in Hebrew). Dagan. Mesopotamian god of the earth, including agriculture. Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). A collection of nearly one thousand scrolls and tens of thousands of fragments of scrolls written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, including biblical and nonbiblical texts discovered between 1947 and 1961 in eleven caves at the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, as well as in Judean desert caves. Deutero- (Second) Isaiah. Isaiah chapters 40-66 (or 40-54 where Third Isaiah is suggested to account for chapters 55-60). Deuteronomistic History. Material from Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (Samuel and Kings are each single works in Hebrew); these books form a single literary collection. diaspora. Voluntary or involuntary migration of a people from their ancestral homeland to new lands. Didache. Early Christian work written in Greek, also called "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," dating roughly from the mid-first to early second centuries C.E. didactic. Pertaining to teaching or instruction. Eblaite. Semitic language of Ebla, closely related to Ugaritic, Phoenician, and Hebrew, but written in Sumerian cuneiform characters; also pertaining to Ebla or its people.

Emar. Mesopotamian city on the Euphrates (nineteenth through twentyfourth centuries B.C.E.). Ethiopic. A family of ancient (Ge'ez) and modern (Amharic, Tigre, Tigrinya) Semitic languages spoken in Ethiopia. feminista. Latin American feminist theology. First Isaiah. Isaiah chapters 1-39. First Zechariah. Zechariah chapters 1-8. Former Prophets. Traditional designation for Joshua through Kings in the Hebrew Bible (in Hebrew canonical order). Gemara. Rabbinic commentary on the Mishnah in the Babylonian (Bavli) and Jerusalem (Yerushalmi) Talmuds. Great Isaiah Scroll. Another name for the complete Isaiah scroll found in Cave 1 at Qumran, 1QIsaa. halakhah. Legal rabbinic commentary in the Mishnah and Talmuds. hendiadys. A pair of terms connoting an idea that includes both terms and a larger concept; for example, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents all knowledge. hermeneutic. Interpretation of any text, particularly the Bible. bevel nevi'im. Company (literally "herd") of prophets. hiphil. Causative conjugation of biblical Hebrew. historical-critical. Biblical scholarship utilizing scientific and historical disciplines, such as archaeology, anthropology, language studies, etc.

hitpael. Reflexive conjugation of biblical Hebrew; describes actions done to oneself, for example, bathing. Jubilee. The seventh year, in which debts were remitted. Kethuvim (Writings). Third section of the Hebrew Bible. Ketiv. Literally, "what is written," an indication of a scribal correction to the Hebrew text where what is read (Qere) is different from what is written. Latter Prophets. Traditional designation for Isaiah through Malachi in the Hebrew Bible (in Hebrew canonical order). liberationist. Theological perspectives emerging separately from African American and Latin American communities emphasizing God's concern and preference for oppressed peoples. Mari. Ancient Mesopotamian city on the Euphrates, near the modern border between Syria and Iraq, where more than twenty thousand cuneiform tablets were found. Masoretes. Tiberian scholars who preserved the written form of the Hebrew Bible, including standardizing vowel-pointing and musical annotation. Masoretic Text (MT). Standardized manuscript of the Hebrew Bible including letters (consonants only), vowel signs (or points), and cantillation (musical annotation) produced and preserved by the Tiberian Masoretes. Merism. Description including polar opposites, for example, left and right. Midrash (Midrashim, plural). Rabbinic exegetical commentary on the Hebrew scriptures.

Mishnah. The second iteration of Jewish sacred literature (from the word shanayim, two), discussing the biblical text with legal rulings, stories, and exegeses. Montanist. Prophetic movement in early Christianity characterized by prophecy, especially women's prophecy and asceticism, subsequently condemned as a heretical movement. mujerista. Latin American feminist theology emphasizing cultural and liberation theologies. Nevi'im (Prophets). Second division of the Hebrew Bible; extends from Joshua through Malachi in Hebrew canonical order. Nineveh. Final capital of the Assyrian empire. niphal. Passive conjugation of biblical Hebrew. onomasticon. List of names. oracular prophecy. Word-based (spoken or written) prophetic discourse. Oral Torah. Oral teaching passed from teacher to student forming the basis for the Mishnah and other midrashic texts. patronymic. Family name derived from the father's (or a male ancestor's) name. piel. Intensive active conjugation of biblical Hebrew. post-exilic. Period encompassing and following the return and resettlement of Yehud (remnant of the Judean monarchy). pual. Intensive passive conjugation of biblical Hebrew.

qal. Simple active conjugation of biblical Hebrew. Qere. Literally, "what is read," an indication of a scribal correction to the Hebrew text where what is read is different from what is written (Ketiv). Qumran. Ancient community on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea where many of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. redactor. Editor (or editorial community) responsible for final shape of a text, particularly the Bible in any canonical formulation. restoration. With regard to biblical Israel, the return to and reoccupation of Yehud (remnant of the Judean monarchy). Samaritan Pentateuch (SP). The version of the Torah used by Samaritan Jews written in Samaritan script as opposed to the dominant Assyrian script of biblical Hebrew. Sea of Reeds. Literal name of northern sea traditionally translated as the "Red Sea." Second Zechariah. Zechariah chapters 8-14. Septuagint (LXX). Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures including a translation of the Hebrew corpus, different versions of Hebrew books (longer and shorter), and books unique to the Greek canon. sign names. personal names given as prophetic discourse. sign-action (symbolic prophecy). Actions, motions, or performances used to communicate prophetic discourse. Sinaticus (Aleph). Fourth-century Greek manuscript including portions of the Old Testament and a complete New Testament. The Greek scriptures in this manuscript follow the longer LXX

canon in the First Testament (OT) and have an expanded New Testament. substantive. A participle (or other verb-form) functioning as a noun. Syriac. Dialect of Aramaic. Talmud. Rabbinic commentary of the Mishnah in two iterations: the Talmud of the Land of Israel (also called the Jerusalem Talmud, Yerushalmi) and the Babylonian Talmud (Bavli). Targum (Targumim, plural). Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible including theological commentary. Among the dominant manuscripts are Targum Neofiti, Targum Onkelos, Targum PseudoJonathan, and Targum Yonathan (Jonathan). Third Isaiah. Isaiah chapters 55-66. Torah. (When capitalized) the first division of the Hebrew scriptures, Genesis through Deuteronomy. Tosephtah (Tosaphot, plural). Rabbinic commentary supplementing the Mishnah. tradent. Persons who shaped and passed on the traditions behind the Bible. tradition-critical. Analyzing how biblical traditions, for example, Exodus, are used in other portions of the scriptures. Ugaritic. Ancient Semitic language with many similarities to biblical Hebrew spoken at Ugarit. Urim and Thummim. Divination devices employed by priests in biblical Israel.

Vaticanus (LXX-B). Fourth-century C.E. Greek manuscript of the Old and New Testaments, older than Sinaticus.The Greek scriptures in this manuscript follow the longer LXX canon in the First Testament (OT) and have an expanded New Testament. vocative. Indication of direct address, for example, "0 God." womanist. Black women's theology responding to and incorporating elements of feminist and black liberationist theologies. Written Torah. Books of the Hebrew Bible. Zohar. Primary mystical text of rabbinic Judaism. - THE Two TALMUDS NB: The Talmuds are commentaries on the Mishnah and share division and tractate (book) names. Mishnah citations include only the tratate names, for example, Berakoth. Babylonian Talmud citations are preceded by "b.," indicating Bavli, for example, b. Bikkurim, or are followed by a folio number (the traditional page numbers have been preserved), for example, Shabbat 52a. (The singular reference to the Jerusalem Talmud in this work uses the citation Berakhoth 9:3.) There is some variety among ancient manuscripts; not all manuscripts of the Mishnah have all of the traditional tractates, and the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds have slightly different tractates. Tractates of the Babylonian Talmud referenced in the present work:

Midrash Rabbah referenced in the present work:

- DATE AND RABBINIC TEXTS TABLES (All dates are approximate and vary in biblical scholarship) Chalcolithic Period (a.k.a. Stone Age), 5000-3500 B.C.E. Early Bronze I-IV Age, 3400-2000 B.C.E. includes Sumerian Period, 2900-2400 B.C.E. includes Akkadian Period, 2400-2100 B.C.E. Middle Bronze Age, 2000-1500 B.C.E. includes Reign of Hammurabi, 1792-1750 B.C.E. Late Bronze Age, 1500-1200 B.C.E. Iron I Period, 1200-900 B.C.E. Iron II Period, 900-600 B.C.E. overlaps with Israelite monarchy, 1000-586 B.C.E.

includes Neo-Assyrian Period, 833-612 B.C.E. Persian Period, 600-50 B.C.E. includes Babylonian and Egyptian Exile of Judah/Yehud, 597-445 B.C.E. New Testament Period, 50 B.C.E.-150 C.E. (adapted from Danby, Appendix III, 799-800) includes Pre-Tannaitic Rabbinic Judaism, 200 B.C.E.-10 C.E. includes First Generation Tannaitic Rabbinic Judaism, 10-80 C.E. includes Second Generation Tannaitic Rabbinic Judaism, 80-120 C.E. includes Third Generation Tannaitic Rabbinic Judaism, 120-140 C.E. overlaps with Fourth Generation Tannaitic Rabbinic Judaism, 140-165 C.E. Fifth Generation Tannaitic Rabbinic Judaism, 165-200 C.E.