2 Kings 2:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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!"

New Living Translation
Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. "Go away, baldy!" they chanted. "Go away, baldy!"

English Standard Version
He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”

New American Standard Bible
Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!"

King James Bible
And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking up the path, some small boys came out of the city and harassed him, chanting, "Go up, baldy! Go up, baldy!"

International Standard Version
Later, Elisha left there to go up to Bethel, and as he was traveling along the road, some insignificant young men came from the city and started mocking him. They told him, "Get on up, baldy! Get on up, baldy!"

NET Bible
He went up from there to Bethel. As he was traveling up the road, some young boys came out of the city and made fun of him, saying, "Go on up, baldy! Go on up, baldy!"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
From there he went to Bethel. As he walked along the road, some boys came out of the city and mocked him. They said, "Go away, baldy! Go away!"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then he went up from there unto Bethel, and as he was going up by the way, the young men {or servants} of the city came forth and mocked him, saying, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

King James 2000 Bible
And he went up from there unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth youths out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, you bald head; go up, you bald head.

American King James Version
And he went up from there to Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said to him, Go up, you bald head; go up, you bald head.

American Standard Version
And he went up from thence unto Beth-el; and as he was going up by the way, there came forth young lads out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou baldhead; go up, thou baldhead.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he went up from thence to Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, little boys came out of the city and mocked him, saying: Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

Darby Bible Translation
And he went up from thence to Bethel, and as he went up by the way, there came forth little boys out of the city, and mocked him, and said to him, Go up, bald head; go up, bald head!

English Revised Version
And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he went up from thence to Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said to him, Go up, thou bald-head; go up, thou bald-head.

World English Bible
He went up from there to Bethel. As he was going up by the way, some youths came out of the city and mocked him, and said to him, "Go up, you baldy! Go up, you baldhead!"

Young's Literal Translation
And he goeth up thence to Beth-El, and he is going up in the way, and little youths have come out from the city, and scoff at him, and say to him, 'Go up, bald-head! go up, bald-head!'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:19-25 Observe the miracle of healing the waters. Prophets should make every place to which they come better for them, endeavouring to sweeten bitter spirits, and to make barren souls fruitful, by the word of God, which is like the salt cast into the water by Elisha. It was an apt emblem of the effect produced by the grace of God on the sinful heart of man. Whole families, towns, and cities, sometimes have a new appearance through the preaching of the gospel; wickedness and evil have been changed into fruitfulness in the works of righteousness, which are, through Christ, to the praise and glory of God. Here is a curse on the youths of Bethel, enough to destroy them; it was not a curse causeless, for it was Elisha's character, as God's prophet, that they abused. They bade him go up, reflecting on the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The prophet acted by Divine impulse. If the Holy Spirit had not directed Elisha's solemn curse, the providence of God would not have followed it with judgment. The Lord must be glorified as a righteous God who hates sin, and will reckon for it. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for God notices what they say. Let them not mock at any for defects in mind or body; especially it is at their peril, if they scoff at any for well doing. Let parents that would have comfort in their children, train them up well, and do their utmost betimes to drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. And what will be the anguish of those parents, at the day of judgment, who witness the everlasting condemnation of their offspring, occasioned by their own bad example, carelessness, or wicked teaching!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - And he went up from thence unto Bethel. The ascent is steep and long from the Jordan valley to the highlands of Benjamin, on which Bethel stood, probably one of not less than three thousand feet. The object of Elisha's visit may have been to inform the "sons of the prophets" at Bethel (ver. 3) of the events that had befallen Elijah. And as he was going up by the way - i.e., by the usual road or pathway, for, in the strict sense of the word, roads did not exist in Palestine - there came forth little children out of the city. "Little children" is an unfortunate translation, raising quite a wrong idea of the tender age of the persons spoken cf. On the other hand, Bishop Patrick's assertion that the words are to be "understood of adult persons, who had a hatred to the prophet," is quite untenable. Naarim ketanaim would be best translated (as by our Revisers in the margin) "young lads" - boys, that is, from twelve to fifteen. Such mischievous youths are among the chief nuisances of Oriental towns; they waylay the traveler, deride him, jeer him - are keen to remark any personal defect that he may have, and merciless in flouting it; they dog his steps, shout out their rude remarks, and sometimes proceed from abusive words to violent acts, as the throwing of sticks, or stones, or mud. On this occasion they only got as far as rude words. And mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head! go up, thou bald head! It has been maintained that the scoff of the lads contained an allusion to the ascension of Elijah (Patrick, Pool, Clarke), of which they had beard, and was a call upon Elisha to follow his master's example in quitting the world, that they might be no longer troubled with him. But it is not at all apparent that the lads even knew who Elisha was - they would probably have jeered at any aged person with whom they had fallen in; and by "Go up" they merely meant "Go on thy way; 'the force of their jeer was not in the word' aleh, but in the word kereach, "bald head." Baldness was sometimes produced by leprosy, and then made a man unclean (Leviticus 13:42-44); but the boys probably flouted the mere natural defect, in which there was no "uncleanness" (Leviticus 13:40, 41), but which they regarded as a fit subject for ridicule. Their sin was disrespect towards old age, combined, perhaps, with disrespect for the prophetical order, to which they may have known from his dress that Elisha belonged.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he went up from thence unto Bethel,.... From Jericho, which lay in a plain, to Bethel, situated on an hill, and therefore is said to go up to it; hither he went, to acquaint the sons of the prophets with the assumption of Elijah, to condole their loss of him, and to comfort and encourage them, and confirm his own authority among them as a prophet in his stead:

and as he was going up by the way; the ascent to the city:

there came forth little children out of the city; the word for "children" is used of persons of thirty or forty years of age; and though these are said to be "little", they were so well grown as to be able to go forth out of the city of themselves, without any to guide them, or to take care of them; and were of an age capable not only of taking notice of Elijah's baldness, but knew him to be a prophet, and were able to distinguish between good and evil; and, from a malignant spirit in them, mocked at him as such, and at the assumption of Elijah; which they had knowledge of, and to whom, taught by their idolatrous parents, they had an aversion: some Jewish writers (x) say, they were called "Naarim", which we render "children", because shaken from the commandments, or had shaken off the yoke of the commands; and "little", because they were of little faith:

and mocked him, and said unto him, go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head; meaning not up the hill to Bethel, where his coming was not desirable to the greater part in it, being idolaters; and perhaps these children were sent out to intimidate him with their flouts and jeers from entering there; but having heard of Elijah going up to heaven, as was said, they jeeringly bid him go up to heaven after him, and then they should have a good riddance of them both; thus at the same time mocking at him for his baldness, and making a jest of the wondrous work of God, the assumption of Elijah; which, with behaving so irreverently to an hoary head, a prophet of the Lord, was very heinous and wicked, and therefore what befell them need not be wondered at.

(x) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 46. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23, 24. there came forth little children out of the city—that is, the idolatrous, or infidel young men of the place, who affecting to disbelieve the report of his master's translation, sarcastically urged him to follow in the glorious career.

bald head—an epithet of contempt in the East, applied to a person even with a bushy head of hair. The appalling judgment that befell them was God's interference to uphold his newly invested prophet.

2 Kings 2:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
Elisha Mocked
23Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!" 24When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.…
Cross References
Leviticus 13:40
"A man who has lost his hair and is bald is clean.

2 Kings 2:22
And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.

2 Chronicles 36:16
But they mocked God's messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.

Psalm 31:17
Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead.

Psalm 31:18
Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
Treasury of Scripture

And he went up from there to Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said to him, Go up, you bald head; go up, you bald head.

Beth-el

1 Kings 12:28-32 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and …

Hosea 4:15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and …

Hosea 10:5,15 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: …

Amos 3:14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel on …

Amos 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; …

Amos 5:5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: …

Amos 7:13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, …

little children The words () not only signify {little children} but {young men}; for {katon} signifies not only {little}, but {young,} in opposition to {old;} and () signifies not only a {child}, but a {young man} grown to years of maturity: thus Isaac is called () when {twenty-eight} years old, Joseph when {thirty-nine}, and Rehoboam when {forty.} These idolatrous {young men}, having heard of the ascension of Elijah, without believing it, blasphemously bade Elisha to follow him. The venerable prophet, from a Divine impulse, pronounced a {curse} `in the name of the Lord,' which was immediately followed by the most terrible judgment; thus evincing the Source from which it flowed.

Job 19:18 Yes, young children despised me; I arose, and they spoke against me.

Job 30:1,8 But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers …

Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and …

Proverbs 22:6,15 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he …

Ecclesiastes 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your …

Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, …

Isaiah 3:5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every …

Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the …

mocked

Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born to …

2 Chronicles 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and …

Job 30:1,8,9 But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers …

Psalm 35:15 But in my adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: …

Isaiah 57:3,4 But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer …

Galatians 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that …

Hebrews 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, moreover …

Go up

2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, …

Matthew 27:29-31,40-43 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it on his head, …

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OT History: 2 Kings 2:23 He went up from there to Bethel (2Ki iiKi ii ki 2 kg 2kg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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