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Inspired Women

The English word prophetess is used to translate the Hebrew word of the Old Testament (pronounced) neb-ee-yah which means an inspired woman, and the Greek word of the New Testament (pronounced) prof-ay-tis which also means an inspired woman (inspired being an abbreviation of in-spirit-ed). There are a number of women of Bible History who are specifically referred to as a "prophetess," and as with the men, some were true servants of God, others were evil.


Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, was a prophetess:

Holy Bible

"For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and The Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances."

"And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to The Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea."

"So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur" (Exodus 15:19-22 KJV)

Deborah was a prophetess in the time of The Judges:

"And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment." (Judges 4:4-5 KJV)

Huldah is the only other woman of the Old Testament era (see The Older Testament) who is specifically referred to as a prophetess. Huldah lived in the time of the Kings of Israel and Judah, and resided in Judah, in Jerusalem, in a suburb of the city known as "the college" (KJV), or "the Second Quarter" (RSV):

"So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college; and they communed with her."

"And she said unto them, Thus saith The Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, Thus saith The Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: Because they have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore My wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched" (2 Kings 22:14-17 KJV)

At the time of the birth of the Christ, Anna was a prophetess who was at the Temple (see also "My Father's House") when the Messiah was brought there as an infant:

"and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law ... And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto The Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." (Luke 2:27,36-38 KJV)

Along with Godly prophetesses, there also were evil prophetesses, such as Noadiah who was among those who opposed Nehemiah at the time of the return from Babylon, and Jezebel (not the same Jezebel as in the Old Testament) who corrupted the church in Thyatira (see The Seven Churches) in the time of the New Testament:

"And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me. My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear." (Nehemiah 6:12-14 KJV)

"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not." (Revelation 2:18-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was the purpose of God's true prophets?
See Prophets

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