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Elisha Cursed Teasing Youths

Why did the Prophet Elisha curse the "youths" for making fun of his baldness in 2 Kings 2:23-24?

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 ---Cynthia on 10/26/07
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When ever a Prophet pronounced judgement on a city or person it is so thoes people will repent and mend their ways. if the threat is empty then no one would listen to a prophet. the story should of ended "so the young men aploigized and were sent on there way". since they didnt the story spread and the byword was dont mess with God prophets.
---Kraus on 10/27/07

Bears have to eat too and those boys were available as food.
---John1944 on 10/27/07

I heard a teacher on the radio expounding on this recently, I believe it was J. Vernon Magee, he said that basically these "youths" were saying to Elisha, " we are finally rid of Elijah, now you get out of here, too." In other words, they were rejecting his appoint from God.
---tommy3007 on 10/27/07

Great question. I've wondered the same thing for very personal reasons. I don't understand why he would want all those kids to be killed by bears. I guess because they laughed and made fun of him and God made the comment not to "touch His annointed and do His prophets no harm"? I'd like to know this also.
---Angela on 10/27/07

I side with Bill's take on the matter. Another relevant Scripture:
Deuteronomy 21:18: "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son,
which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother,
and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him
out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place,"
---Nana on 10/27/07

Deuteronomy 21:20: "And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This
our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice, he is a
glutton, and a drunkard. 21: And all the men of his city shall stone him
with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you,
and all Israel shall hear, and fear."
---Nana on 10/27/07

Instead of fretting over passages of the Bible I don't understand, and wondering why they happened one way instead of another, I concentrate on the passages I can actually apply to myself and I understand better.
---Jack on 10/26/07

He had a temper. Back in those days it was called scab or scurf, which disqualified men that were bald from the Priesthood. Lev 21:20-21.
---Rebecca_D on 10/26/07

This very morning I was ask this very question.----I believe the answer has to do with the divine foreknowledge of God.--- you hear of a horrendous airplane accident 200 plus killed instantly, but one or two survive miraculously.--- I believe the youth that Elisha cursed were destined for Hell, and therefore were already dead. Had this not been the case not all would have died. Because of God's foreknowledge and Elisha's knowledge of that foreknowledge this took place.
---Mima on 10/26/07

"'And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.'" (Exodus 21:17)

So, to curse a parent is a death penalty offense in the Jewish Torah (Law of Moses). And these youths were cursing a prophet of God, certainly greater than a parent. These were youths capable of ganging together and viciously stigmatizing an old man...a deeply hateful thing to do, and hate equals murder (1 John 3:15) which is a death penalty crime, also (Leviticus 24:17).
---Bill_bila5659 on 10/26/07

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