Friday, April 04, 2014

The Rejection of Elisha The Prophet

Continuing Tanach studies where I left off a year ago when we had a baby and my sleep-work-tanach cycle was disrupted…


Melachim 2:23; Elisha has replaced Eliyahu (Elijah) as the head prophet.  He is accepted in Yericho (Jericho,) in the Kingdom of Yehuda (Judea), but when he comes to Beit El (Bethel) in the northern Kingdom of Yisrael (Israel), he is mocked for his baldness by 42 youths.  Two bears then come out of the wilderness and tear the youths to pieces.  One explanation of this strange passage is that they were mocking him for not being a prophet made of sterner stuff like his predecessor Eliyahu (who was known for his long flowing hair.)  The act-of-God nature of the youths’ deaths (the youths may have been local prophets) seems to indicate divine affirmation that Eliyahu’s method of prophecy, rebuke, had now been replaced by Elisha’s, compassion.

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