It is unlikely that these youths were younger than 12 years old. This Scripture tells how hostility toward God and an unwillingness to obey Him can result in being besieged by plagues and wild animals. The message was a corrective message to address current attitudes and behavior that if heeded would ward off worse sins and greater judgment. The gang was shocked and silenced when mauled not necessarily killed by the bears, and their parents and community were warned to repent of their sins reflected in their children and obey God before worse judgments befell them!
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Elisha and the Bears (2 Kings 2:23-24)
California quakes prompt Southern Baptist response. African American Fellowship launches new website, logo, social media. Bible Study for July Mentoring — How to equip and encourage others. Daily Bible Readings for July I do not see the difference between the approach you reject and the approach you advocate, except for substituting prophet for anointed — and what is a prophet if not someone who is anointed? But the point of the story or fable holds either way. Judith Sears is correct.
Any time we human beings view the Bible as ordinary literature we can not know with any certainty what any passage is teaching. By the way, if we do consider it on the same level as any other work of fiction, or fables, etc. Its just another saying….
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But, in reality in the story everyone has missed the fact that those cursed and then killed by the bears were not children but probably Teens. Do your homework! Someone who taught High School anything should have that one down pat! I am fascinated by some of the replies to your post. They are exactly the sort of thing that, in my earlier days, made me roll my eyes and think there was no way to take Christians seriously.
Elisha and the she-bears (a Retelling of 2 Kings ) - Agnostic Bible
I have long since learned that there are many different types of Christians and many different positions on Scripture, and I now know that it is certain approaches to Scripture that really need to be jettisoned, not Scripture or Christianity. Your explanation of this weird little story is excellent.
Bears devouring 42 children? People at the time did not read or write history the way we do, and they were perfectly satisfied with stories that simply conveyed a message, as well as with stories they believed actually happened. And they also had a sense of humor — that is a funny story. Well into recent history, people felt free to invent speeches for famous generals, etc.
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The ancient world did not write or read news reports. Understanding this is not at all the same thing as refusing to believe miracles ever happened or reinterpreting everything in light of some current ideology. And yes, it is a very funny story, which is why I have my boys read it. They love it. The Creation Evidence museum group has shown how much of what is in Book of Gen. We often discount raw evil thanks to presence of our our Lord!
In the above incident with the Prophet , at a time and in a culture where respect for elderly and esp. We know this because we know that God does not will the death of any of his creatures. Everything about this story had to do with the fact that Elisha had gone bald for bearing the iniquity of his people. Baldness was a curse in biblical times, according to Max Sussman-former professor emeritus of bacteriology at the medical school at Newcastle in England. The prophets of the Old Testament would bear the sins of the people upon themselves, interceding on their behalves.
Elisha became bald when he bore the sin of Israel upon his head.
Explaining weird stuff in the Bible: The She-Bear incident
We see this same phenomenon when God used the king of Babylon to attack Tyre. He was taking upon himself the curses they had accumulated on account of their Baal worship. But the prophets could only intercede for so long, because the people of Israel refused to repent and turn their hearts away from idolatry. The first sign of leprosy came with bald patches or spots on the skin where the hair would fall out and die. In the Old Testament, leprosy was a type of mortality that came through sin; once infected with it, it spread from person to person and threatened to wipe out everyone in a village.
The Israelites had been infected with spiritual leprosy, and so Elisha had prayed for his nation that they would be healed from their idolatry, spiritual leprosy, and sin, but they rejected his intercession. Notice that there were 42 youth. Earlier, Elijah had interceded on behalf of Israel and it did not rain for 42 months, i. Elijah had prayed to restore rain the water of the word to Israel, but they were still living in idolatry, so Elisha was removing their sin by taking it upon himself, just as Jesus would later do He who knew no sin became sin for us.
But by attacking Elisha, they were cursing themselves in whatsoever manner you judge, you shall be judged and that curse of ridiculing him for being bald because no priest or prophet was supposed to ever be bald Leviticus , came back upon them. Their sin returned to them from their curses and two she-bears came out of the woods and brutally attacked and probably killed the 42 youth. This was a story about warfare and intercession. They suffered the fate for all those those who practice rebellion and witchcraft. The beasts will turn on them in the end and they will be devoured by the curse of sin.
I found the above explanation no explanation at all but commentary full of personal equivocation. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Whosoever Desires. One of my favorites is the famous she-bear incident of 2 Kings From there Elisha went up to Bethel. Rate this:.
Share this: Facebook. Like this: Like Loading January 27, at pm. Jim McCullough says:. Deirdre Mundy says:. January 29, at am. Nathan O'Halloran, SJ says:. January 29, at pm. Judith Sears says:. January 31, at pm.