I guess bears were the Canaan "bogeymen".
God mauls little children with bears. (2 Kings 2:23,24)
that link is great. But if you think about the complexity to wrap your brain around that one scriptural reference, does that suggest any way that the bible is of use to convey God's info to mankind. You would require everlasting existence of some sort just to get "te message" meant to direct us to salvation by God.
Yes, that link provides a lot of food for thought. Especially the points that the Hebrew words translated little children could also mean young men and that, given the context, this seems to have been the case.
Three main things that I initially overlooked stand out:
1. They were taunting or mocking Elisha - not childishly teasing him.
2. There were more than 42 of them - suggesting a mob?
3. The two bears were female. Had their cubs been molested? By the same group of rowdies?
There's no way two bears could catch and kill forty two children running in all different directions.
They could have if they were hopped up on Righteous Indignation Steroids! These were evidently (tm) "miracle bears".
If they wanted to they could have wiped out 186,000 of the little smart asses.
Wish I could get a couple "miracle bears" to patrol the teenage punks in my neighborhood.
as a bear I am disappointed that we cooperated with god in this disgusting act.
my mother used this as a threat against me my whole life when I was misbehaving. "The she bears are going to get you"
I think the passage about the bears is generally considered to be among the
miracles of Elisha of 2 Kings, like the woman's oil that fills all the contain-
ers and the axe head that floats to the surface.
Regarding cruelty and God, it fits into the idea of God's prerogative, people
are lesser beings and all die, not just those 42 kids but otherwise of any ages
and including cruel ways, God not being all-beneficent in the sense of not hav-
ing everyone live forever in heavenly circumstances, etc., which is cruel from
the human point of view.
It goes back to the Devil/Job debate. To have a credible God concept, it has
to be reconciled with the real world with all its cruelties and in which every-
one dies, some in cruel ways, the same cruelties whether you believe in God or
The Devil emphasizes the negative things and makes a case to not believe in
God (the same argument without God would be why be glad for this life--life
sucks). His stance would be that if God didn't have the 42 kids didn't die that
day, He would have had them all die later and not need to die then, either. But
Job sees all the same negative things yet is glad for getting the chance to live
and what good he found in his life, in his case thanking God for it as what he
believes is the ultimate provider.
Then two she-bears came out from the woods and went tearing to pieces forty-two children of their number
How did two she-bears manage to kill 42 children? Did all the children just stand around and wait for the bears to get to them?
just shows you wat a nice loving god we have, 'slow to anger and all'
PROPHET BEN SAYETH:
We do not need to have been there - that is why THE LORD provided his INFALLIBLE WORD! Nevertheless, THE LORD has provided PROPHET BEN to clarify thus:
1. There were children of various ages, that is up to the eligible age for marrying, 13 for boys and 12 for girls.
2. The bears were a lesbian couple, and had no cubs.
3. Of course the children could not run away in different directions! THE LORD had them staked to the ground.
4. THE EVERLASTING ONE was indeed slow to anger. 4 1/2 seconds.
The standard apologetic response is that where it says: "small boys" it's not talking about actual children, but young adults, like teenagers, or even "young soldiers in training". (As if that makes it so much better.) http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qmeanelisha.html
And evidently God is completely incapable of making sure his book got translated properly, and preventing himself from looking like an evil child mauler.
But this is completely incorrect... the hebrew words used here are: "Qatan" for "small" and "Na'ar" for "boys".
Qatan meens small, young and insignificant.
Na'ar meens Youth, Boy, Lad or Servant.
So when it says: "Small Boys" it actually means: "Small boys"
willfull deceptionmisunderstanding arises when they ignore the qualifier 'Qatan', and only look at the word 'Na'ar'. Na'ar can sometimes be used either way.