Women and Church Eldership

Significantly, when she later unrighteously sought to usurp Moses' leadership, Miriam (and not even Aaron her co-instigator) was smitten with leprosy — until the Prophet Moses prayerfully secured her restoration (Num. 12:1-5). Again, we need not spend any time dealing with "false-prophetesses" like Noadiah and "that woman 'Jezebel'" — for reasons that should be obvious (Neh. 6.14 & Rev. 2.20).


We have already seen that Mrs. Deborah Lapidoth (Judg. 4:4a), who 'judged' Israel (Judg.4:4b), was not an "Elder" (see section nine above). As a "Non-Elder" — Deborah was neither a "Ruling Elder" nor a "Teaching Elder" alias a "Preacher" (I Tim. 5:17). We are never told that Mrs. Lapidoth ruled in the sanctuary, but merely that "the children of Israel came up to her for judgment" (mishpot) alias for advice — and not to a law-court but to a "palm-tree" at "the place where she dwelt" (Judg. 4:5).

Again, we are not told that Mrs. Lapidoth ever "preached" (and still less that she ever preached in the sanctuary). We are merely told that she was a "prophesying woman." Even later, she did not preach but merely "sang" — sang a duet with "Barak the son of Abinoam" to celebrate his victory as one of the (male) "governors of Israel" whom God had commanded and whom Deborah had encouraged to "lead" the Lord's armies (Judg. 5.1,9,12).


The n ebiy'aah in Isa. 8:3 seemingly refers to Mrs. Isaiah, alias the wife of the Prophet (thus Calvin & Alexander). In II Kgs. 22:12-16f, the prophesying lady Huldah, alias Mrs. Shallum (haanebiy'aah 'esheth Shallum) — not in the sanctuary but in her own dwelling — told her visitors HiIkiah and his party to go and "tell the men [from Josiah] who sent you to me" what the Lord had told her to get conveyed to Josiah.

Huldah did not herself go and prophesy to Josiah. Still less did she go and prophesy to the whole congregation in public. She prophesied privately in her home, and then told hier listeners to go and repeat to the king what they had heard her say. Note too that Deborah, the Isa. 8.3 nebiy'aah, and Huldah — are always explicitly or implicitly named Mrs. Lapidoth, Mrs. Isaiah, and Mrs. Shallum respectively. Note further that their husbands are never referred to as "Mr. Deborah" and "Mr. Huldah" etc. Note too that Mrs. D. Lapidoth and Mrs. Isaiah and Mrs. H. Shallum never prophesied in the sanctuary, nor even in public. And note finally that none of these ladies is ever said to have been ordained and installed in the office of "Prophet" (nor even in the office of "Elder").


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Anna the prophesying woman (propheetis) gave her witness for the Lord in the outer courts of the city of Jerusalem (Luke 2:38). She did not preach from a pulpit, nor in a gathering of a synagogue or a church — as did the male Prophets Ezra and Jesus and Paul. Neh. 8:4f; Luke 4:15-20; Acts 13:14f. Too, the words "your daughters shall prophesy" in Acts 2:17 do not imply preaching sermons — but simply mean that young ladies would forthtell God's messages in word or in music or in song, whether instrumentally or orally. Cf. I Chr. 25:1-6 & I Cor. 11:3-5.*

Consequently, it follows that also Evangelist Philip's four "prophesying" virgin daughters doubtlessly exercised their prophetic gift. in the manner just described* — and possibly even only at home. Acts 21:8-9. We are never told they had been ordained as 'Prophets'— nor that they prophesied publically.

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