HILKIAH (Heb. חִלְקִיָּהוּ ,חִלְקִיָּה; "the Lord is my portion"; e.g., Num. 18:20; Ps. 73:26), son of Shallum or Meshullam (i Chron. 5:28–41, 9:10–11; Neh. 11:11), high priest at the time of King *Josiah of Judah and a principal promoter of Josiah's reform. When arranging for the repair of the Temple, in the 18th year of Josiah, Hilkiah found the Scroll of the Law (see *Deuteronomy), which he gave to Shaphan the scribe, who read it to the king. Much impressed by what he heard, Josiah sent a delegation, headed by Hilkiah, to the prophetess *Huldah in order to inquire of the Lord's will about the words of the Law (ii Kings 22:3–20).
On Josiah's orders he removed all the appurtenances of pagan worship that had been introduced into the Temple by King *Manasseh (ii Kings 23:8). According to the defective genealogy in Ezra 7:1, which can be restored with the help of i Chronicles 5:28–41, this Hilkiah was an ancestor of Ezra. Hilkiah is also the name of several other biblical characters: (1) the father of Eliakim, palace official of *Hezekiah (ii Kings 18:18, 26, 37; Isa. 22:20; 36:3, 22); (2) a levite, son of Amzi and descendant of Merari (i Chron. 6:30 ); (3) another levite, son of Hosah (i Chron. 26:11); (4) the father of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1); (5) the father of Gemariah (Jer. 29:3), probably identical with the high priest at the time of Josiah; (6) one of the priests who returned with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:7, 21); (7) one of those who stood beside Ezra during the reading of the Law (Neh. 8:11).
A. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri of the 5th Century b.c. (1923), 157; S. Yeivin, in: Tarbiz, 12 (1940/41), 258; D. Diringer, Le inscrizioni antico-ebraiche palestine (1934), 204–10; idem, in: peq (1941), 102; S. Moscati, Epigrafia ebraica antica (1951), 62; M. Noth, Geschichte Israels, 1 (1950), 164; em, 3 (1965), 161–2. add. bibliography: R. Uitti, in: abd, 3:200–1.