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23 Then Elisha went up from Jericho to [a]Bethel. On the way, young boys came out of the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you [b]baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he turned around and looked at them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore to pieces forty-two of the boys.

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 2:23 Many people in Bethel participated in pagan worship and regarded the prophets of God with contempt.
  2. 2 Kings 2:23 This refers to a bald space on the back of the head, which was probably shaved by prophets as a symbol of their sacred separation from ordinary life. So it appears that the boys were not only ridiculing Elisha’s baldness, but his prophetic office as well.

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