1. Female prophet; women serving as God's spokesperson. Five women are exhyplicitly identified as prophetesses: Miriam (Exodus 15:20); Deborah (Judges 4:4); Huldah (2 Kings 22:14); Noadiah, a “false” prophetess (Nehemiah 6:14); and Anna (Luke 2:36). Jezebel claimed to be a prophetess (Revelation 2:20). The ministries of prophetesses varied greatly. Miriam called upon
Israel to celebrate God's deliverance. Deborah combined the offices of prophetess and judge, even accompanying Barak into battle. Huldah spoke God's words of judgment (2 Kings 22:16-17) and forgiveness (2 Kings 22:18-20) to King Josiah. Anna shared the good news of Jesus' birth with the Temple crowds. The false prophetess Noadiah sought to frighten Nehemiah. Jezebel attempted to involve the church of Thyatira in idolatry.
The prophet Joel anticipated a time when all God's people, “male servants and female servants,” would be filled with God's Spirit and prophesy (Joel 2:28-29). This prophetic hope was fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2:17-18) and in the ongoing life of the early church (Acts 21:9). Paul encouraged all believers to desire to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1), that is, to offer speech which builds up the church (1 Corinthians 14:5).
1 Corinthians 11:5 presumes women were involved in prophesying and prayer in public worship. 2. The wife of a prophet (Isaiah 8:3). See Prophet.