Have you ever been asked to cite your favorite bible verse? Rozann Carter has. But, in throwing out the conversation stopper that is 2 Kings 2:23-25, she has discovered that there is more to that passage than meets the eye... or descends from the woods. Rozann reminds us not to miss the forest for the she-bears.
A reading from the Second Book of Kings.
“From there, Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. ‘Go up, baldhead,’ they shouted, ‘go up, baldhead!’ The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the children to pieces. From there, he went to Mount Carmel, and thence he returned to Samaria.”
The Word of the Lord.
Wait a minute.
The Word of the Lord? Our Lord? How is this series of verses—featuring the comical insult “baldhead,” a holy prophet cursing small children for a seemingly innocuous affront to his physical appearance, a pack of rabid she-bears, and a final return to casual, whistling normalcy strolling through the surrounding lands of Mount Carmel— how is this a valid passage in the written account of salvation history? How did it get past centuries of scribes and canon-compilers? What could God possibly have been attempting to convey in this pericope, hidden within the otherwise coherent text of Second Kings? Ah, but there it is. 2 Kings 2: 23-25— a legitimate verse in sacred canon, compiled and propagated under the guidance of the Holy Spirit...