False Women Prophets In The Bible


Nehemiah 6:14 (CEB)

14 My God, remember these deeds of Tobiah and Sanballat! Also remember Noadiah the prophetess and the rest of the prophets who have been trying to frighten me.

Nehemiah was praying about leaders from the surrounding people groups who had discovered Nehemiah’s rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. These Canaanite rulers had been harassing Nehemiah to come out and meet with them in one of their remote villages. Finally, after Nehemiah’s repeated refusals (based on his suspicions they intended to harm him), they revealed their real purpose in an open letter to Nehemiah:

“It is reported among the nations and confirmed by Geshem that you and the Jews intend to rebel. This is why you are rebuilding the wall. According to these reports, you intend to become their king. 7 You have also appointed prophets to make this announcement about you in Jerusalem: There is a king in Judah! Now, the king will hear of these reports, so come; let’s talk together.” (Nehemiah 6:6-7 CEB)

Nehemiah sent word back that their reports were false. But the pressure increased, and now Jewish prophets were hired by two of the local kings, Tobiah and Sanballat, to undermine Nehemiah’s efforts. The hired prophets were to convince Nehemiah the people were discouraged, the work wouldn’t be finished, and Nehemiah himself should hide in the temple because he would be killed.

Evidently, the woman prophet Noadiah was among those who were hired--prophets who already had a reputable claim to foretelling the future, and were now transgressing God’s Law, as well as betraying their own people, by speaking false words of discouragement and fear.

Against such pressure Nehemiah had to stand firm, courageous in faith, and empowered by God.

All passages taken from the New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.