2 Kings 2:23
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!”

Berean Study Bible
From there, Elisha went up to Bethel, and as he was walking up the road, a group of boys came out of the city and jeered at him, chanting, “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.

New King James Version
Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”

New American Standard Bible
Now he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the road, some young boys came out from the city and ridiculed him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!”

NASB 1995
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!”

NASB 1977
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!”

Amplified Bible
Then Elisha went up from Jericho to Bethel. On the way, young boys came out of the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”

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 jeered at him, chanting, “Go up, baldy! Go up, baldy! ”

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!”

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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he went up from there to Bayth Eil, and he went up on the road, and small boys went out from the city and were mocking him, and they were saying: “Go up, bald head! Go up, bald head!”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And he went up thence to Baethel: and as he was going up by the way there came up also little children from the city, and mocked him, and said to him, Go up, bald-head, go up.

Contemporary English Version
Elisha left and headed toward Bethel. Along the way some boys started making fun of him by shouting, "Go away, baldy! Get out of here!"

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.

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.

Good News Translation
Elisha left Jericho to go to Bethel, and on the way some boys came out of a town and made fun of him. "Get out of here, baldy!" they shouted.

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!"

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!"

JPS Tanakh 1917
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 baldhead; go up, thou baldhead.'

Literal Standard Version
And he goes up from there 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!”

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!"

New Heart 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."

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!'

Additional Translations ...
Context
Elisha Mocked
23From there, Elisha went up to Bethel, and as he was walking up the road, a group of boys came out of the city and jeered at him, chanting, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” 24Then he turned around, looked at them, and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Suddenly two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.…

Cross References
Leviticus 13:40
Now if a man loses his hair and is bald, he is still clean.

2 Kings 2:22
And the waters there have been healthy to this day, according to the word spoken by Elisha.

2 Chronicles 36:16
But they mocked the messengers of God, despising His words and scoffing at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD against His people was stirred up beyond remedy.

Psalm 31:17
O LORD, let me not be ashamed, for I have called on You. Let the wicked be put to shame; let them lie silent in Sheol.

Psalm 31:18
May lying lips be silenced--lips that speak with arrogance against the righteous, full of pride and contempt.


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 said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt…

Hosea 4:15
Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.

Hosea 10:5,15
The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it…

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

Job 30:1,8
But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock…

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

mocked

Genesis 21:9
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

2 Chronicles 36:16
But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

Job 30:1,8,9
But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock…

Go up

2 Kings 2:11
And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Matthew 27:29-31,40-43
And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! …









(23) Went up.--From Jericho, in the plain, Elisha goes now to visit the prophetic community established at Beth-el, the chief seat of the illicit cultus.

By the way.--The way par excellence; the highroad leading directly up to the gates of the town.

Little children.--Young boys (or, lads). Na'ar is not used rhetorically here, as in 1Chronicles 29:1; 2Chronicles 13:7. The boys who mocked Elisha might be of various ages, between six or seven years and twenty. "Little children" would not be likely to hit upon a biting sarcasm, nor to sally forth in a body to insult the prophet (2Kings 2:24).

Mocked.--Habakkuk 1:10. In Syriac and Chaldee the root implies "to praise, and to praise ironically," i.e., to deride. . . .

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.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
From there,
מִשָּׁ֖ם (miš·šām)
Preposition-m | Adverb
Strong's 8033: There, then, thither

Elisha went up
וַיַּ֥עַל (way·ya·‘al)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5927: To ascend, in, actively

to
בֵּֽית־ (bêṯ-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew

Bethel,
אֵ֑ל (’êl)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 1008: Bethel -- 'house of God', a city in Ephraim, also a place in southern Judah

and as he
וְה֣וּא ׀ (wə·hū)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1931: He, self, the same, this, that, as, are

was walking up
עֹלֶ֣ה (‘ō·leh)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 5927: To ascend, in, actively

the road,
בַדֶּ֗רֶךְ (ḇad·de·reḵ)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - common singular
Strong's 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

a group of young men
וּנְעָרִ֤ים (ū·nə·‘ā·rîm)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 5288: A boy, lad, youth, retainer

came out
יָצְא֣וּ (yā·ṣə·’ū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 3318: To go, bring, out, direct and proxim

of
מִן־ (min-)
Preposition
Strong's 4480: A part of, from, out of

the city
הָעִ֔יר (hā·‘îr)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 5892: Excitement

and jeered at
וַיִּתְקַלְּסוּ־ (way·yiṯ·qal·lə·sū-)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hitpael - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 7046: To disparage, ridicule

him,
בוֹ֙ (ḇōw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

chanting,
וַיֹּ֣אמְרוּ (way·yō·mə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“Go up,
עֲלֵ֥ה (‘ă·lêh)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's 5927: To ascend, in, actively

you baldhead!
קֵרֵ֖חַ (qê·rê·aḥ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 7142: Bald

Go up,
עֲלֵ֥ה (‘ă·lêh)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's 5927: To ascend, in, actively

you baldhead!”
קֵרֵֽחַ׃ (qê·rê·aḥ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 7142: Bald


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OT History: 2 Kings 2:23 He went up from there to Bethel (2Ki iiKi ii ki 2 kg 2kg)
2 Kings 2:22
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