2 Kings 2:24
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them.

English Standard Version
And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.

New American Standard Bible
When 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.

King James Bible
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He turned around, looked at them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and mauled 42 of the children.

International Standard Version
He looked behind him, took note of the young men, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. Suddenly two female bears emerged from the woods and mauled 42 of the young men.

NET Bible
When he turned around and saw them, he called God's judgment down on them. Two female bears came out of the woods and ripped forty-two of the boys to pieces.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Looking back, he saw them and cursed them in the LORD's name. Two bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of these youths apart.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he turned back and looked on them and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And two bears came forth out of the forest and tore apart forty-two young men of them.

King James 2000 Bible
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tore forty and two of the youths.

American King James Version
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

American Standard Version
And he looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of Jehovah. And there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two lads of them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And looking back, he saw them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord: and there came forth two bears out of the forest, and tore of them two and forty boys.

Darby Bible Translation
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of Jehovah. And there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tore forty-two children of them.

English Revised Version
And he looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tore forty and two children of them.

World English Bible
He looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of Yahweh. Two female bears came out of the woods, and mauled forty-two of those youths.

Young's Literal Translation
And he looketh behind him, and seeth them, and declareth them vile in the name of Jehovah, and two bears come out of the forest, and rend of them forty and two lads.
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 24. - And he turned back, and looked on them; rather, and he looked behind him, and saw them, as in the Revised Version. The boys, after the manner of boys, were following him, hanging upon him, not daring to draw too near, hooting him from behind, as ill-bred and ill-intentioned youths are apt to do. And cursed them in the name of the Lord. The action cannot be defended from a Christian point of view - Christians have no right to curse any one. But we can well understand that, under the old covenant, a prophet newly installed in office, and commencing his ministry, might deem it right to vindicate the honor of his office by visiting such conduct as that of these misguided youths with a malediction. Under the Law God's ministers were required to curse the disobedient (Deuteronomy 27:14-26). Elisha could not tell what would be the effect of his curse. It could have no effect at all excepting through the will and by the action of God. And there came forth two she-bears out of the wood; or, the forest; i.e. the forest, which, as all knew, lay within a short distance of Bethel, and was the haunt of wild beasts (see 1 Kings 3:24). And tare forty and two children of them. It is not said how far the lads were injured, whether fatally or not. But the punishment, whatever its severity, came from God, not from the prophet, and we may be sure was just. For "shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" A severe example may have been needed under the circumstances of the time, when a new generation was growing up in contempt of God and of religion; and the sin of the lads was not a small one, but indicated that determined bent of the will against good, and preference of evil, which is often developed early, and generally goes on from bad to worse.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he turned back, and looked on them,.... With a stern countenance, thereby reproving them, and in order to intimidate them, and make them ashamed, and cause them to leave off, but to no purpose; they repeated their mockeries with great vehemence:

and cursed them in the name of the Lord; moved thereunto, not from passion and a spirit of revenge, but by an impulse of the Spirit of God:

and there came forth two she bears out of the wood; which are fiercest, and especially when bereaved of their whelps, as these might be; the wood seems to be near to Bethel, perhaps in the wilderness of Bethel, of which see Joshua 8:15, and Reland (y) thinks it is the same with the wood of Ephraim, 2 Samuel 18:6, though the Jews, to increase the miracle, say (z) there was no wood at all, and, if there was, that there were no bears in it; but though those creatures are mostly in northern countries, yet there were of them in Judea, see 1 Samuel 17:34.

and tare forty and two children of them; it seems there were more than these; but such a number of them they tore to pieces and destroyed; which was very extraordinary, and was an awful punishment for their wickedness, which they knowingly and willingly committed, and of their parents in them, who had trained them up in such impiety, and put them upon it, and sent them out to do it.

(y) Palestin. Illustrat. p. 378. (z) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 47. 1.



2 Kings 2:24 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. 25He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.
Cross References
Nehemiah 13:25
I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God's name and said: "You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.

2 Kings 2:25
And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.
Treasury of Scripture

And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

cursed them

2 Kings 1:10-12 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man …

Genesis 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be …

Deuteronomy 28:15-26 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of …

Judges 9:20,57 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men …

Jeremiah 28:16 Therefore thus said the LORD; Behold, I will cast you from off the …

Jeremiah 29:21-23 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of …

Lamentations 3:65 Give them sorrow of heart, your curse to them.

Amos 7:17 Therefore thus said the LORD; Your wife shall be an harlot in the …

Mark 11:14,21 And Jesus answered and said to it, No man eat fruit of you hereafter …

Acts 5:5,9 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: …

Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you have …

Acts 13:9-11 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, …

2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your …

she bears

2 Samuel 17:8 For, said Hushai, you know your father and his men, that they be …

Proverbs 17:12 Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

Proverbs 28:15 As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over …

Hosea 13:8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will …

children of them

Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the …

1 Kings 13:24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and …

1 Kings 19:17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapes the sword of Hazael …

1 Kings 20:36 Then said he to him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of the …

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