Did Women Go to College in the Bible?

Given the high school and college graduations that happen this time of year I remembered how I was once asked the question, “did women really go to college in the Bible?” What spurred the question on was this quote out of the King James Bible.

“Now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college; and they communed with her.” – 2 Kings 22:14 KJV

The person who asked me the question was a woman who was a student of the Bible, and knew that ancient societies were typically male dominated. When she found this in the Old Testament she was quite excited.

This verse is about 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”. But did Huldah really go to college? Well, not really. The word translated as “college” in the King James version of this Bible quote is a reference  to the second quarter, or second district, of Jerusalem.

This does not mean that the role of women in the Bible is diminished, not at all. Firstly, Huldah was a woman used by God, a prophetess. Secondly, in this passage she was visited by Hilkiah the high priest by order of the king. Clearly Huldah was a woman of influence who was well respected.

Let’s also remember that we are all equal in the sight of God as the Apostle Paul states in the book of Galatians:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”. – Galatians 3:28 KJV

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