» About 5 years ago, while my wife and I were having dinner at our friends,
» their 9 year old boy made a comment about my bald head. I light-heartedly
» pointed out the following ancient writing since his parents were raising
» the boy in the Christian faith:
» 2 Kings 2
» Elisha Is Jeered
» 23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road,
» some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you
» baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!”
» 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the
» name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two
» of the youths.
» 25 And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.
» I didn’t bring this up to begin a religious debate, or wishing their 9
» year old would be mauled by a bear, but rather to illustrate how far back
» in history our modern attitudes toward hair loss extend.
Its an interesting story. In that time, Bethel was a designated place of pagan worship for Northern Isreal. There was a historically significant golden idol worshiped there, among others. The typical attitude for the people in the city of Bethel was against any prophet of God. Since Elisha was a newer prophet at the time, I think the young men of Bethel were attacking him because of that, not because he was just a bald guy walking down the street. There are several instances in 2 Kings of Elisha exhibiting his power through miracles and punishments. (Back in the Old Testament, the punishments were pretty harsh!)
It is interesting that the jeer they chose was “baldhead”. But it is also interesting that the story shows that the bad guys are the ones who jeer and make fun of others. Instead of fighting back, Elisha asked God to help him, and thus the bears came out of the woods.