2 Kings 2:23–25:
23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 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 boys.
Hi, everyone. Elisha from the Old Testament here. I’ve been paying close attention to all your contemporary generation’s buzz about social justice and “Cancel Culture,” and I’d like to clear the air about a certain incident in my past that nowadays with your advanced morality maybe reflects a little poorly on my character.
Specifically, I’m talking about the incident with the two bears.
I may be infamous in top-ten lists of “weirdest stories from the Bible,” but you moderns need to remember that we’re all products of the time periods we were brought up in, and the era I lived in was quite different from 2023. I hope you don’t judge my character too harshly based upon one bad day I had 2,800 years ago. Of course, I’m not trying to make an excuse for my behavior, I’m only trying to explain the context of that fateful day.
It was the 9th Century BCE, and we were right in the swing of what we’d later call the “Abomination Age.” It was kind of like the Jazz Age of the 1920s, only, instead of jazz music and expatriate literature, our pop-culture artistic innovation was screaming out curses to God to unleash natural disasters upon our enemies.
We even had our own version of flappers too. It was a crazy progressive era for women’s liberation that saw for the first time broads going to the tabernacle within 7 days of their periods, and insisting that after birthing a daughter they only needed to be locked up in their houses for 33 days as if they had just birthed a son, instead of the customary 66 for daughters. It may seem tame by your contemporary standards, but the idea that women were just as clean after birthing daughters as they were after birthing sons was as radical for us as it was radical for women to start getting bank loans in the 1960s.