Elisha, and the 2 Bears

Elisha, and the 2 Bears

Who was this prophet and wonder-worker of Lord God.  Bears, I have a view that might give us some insight into why bears with background and scriptures.

Name also spelled Elisaios, or Eliseus – Greek and Latin, in the Old Testament, Israelite prophet, the pupil of Elijah, and also his successor (c. 851 BC). Name means “Heb – God is Salvation.

There are marked differences of personality between these two prophets.  Elijah was stern, forceful and solitary, staying by himself.  Elisha could be firm, when necessary, but he was a gentler person, with people and kings, often living with groups of prophets and pursuing his mission by working beneficent wonders.

At the end of Elijah service, he was taken up in a whirlwind, he gave Elisha a double portion of his power and he was accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets.  Elisha then went on to perform twice as many miracles as Elijah.

Before he settles in Samaria, Elisha passed some time on Mount Carmel.  He was a prophet in Israel for 6 decades (892 – 832), and held the office of prophet in Israel.

Elijah fled for his life from Jezebel, who wanted Israel to worship Baal and the golden calf. 

1 Kings 19:14 He (Elijah) replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

God had more things for Elijah to do

1 Kings 19:15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.

1 Kings 19:16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.

Abel-meholah — that is, “the meadow of dancing,” in the valley of the Jordan.

1 Kings 19:17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.

The importance of Elijah’s task may be seen in that Elisha became Elijah’s designated successor, and Jehu and Hazael became kings

This is where this verse comes in.

1 Kings 19:18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

The Call of Elisha 

1 Kings 19:19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 

1 Kings 19:20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” 

1 Kings 19:21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 

Elisha became Elijah’s close attendant until Elijah was taken up in the chariot. During all these next years we hear nothing of Elisha except in connection with the closing scenes of Elijah’s life.

2 Kings 2:1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.

2 Kings 2:2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

Anytime we see the word Bethel, important.

2 Kings 2:3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”

2 Kings 2:4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.

Anytime we see the word Jericho, important.

2 Kings 2:5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.

Notice, prophets at Bethel and Jericho

2 Kings 2:6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.

Notice: I will not leave you – 3 times Elisha said, to Bethel, Jericho, Jordan

2 Kings 2:7 Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan.

2 Kings 2:8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

Just like what happen at the Red Sea

2 Kings 2:9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

Elisha asked for a double portion of the spirit

2 Kings 2:10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yoursotherwise, it will not.”

They just been in a miracle for the Jordan River

2 Kings 2:11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.

Another miracle, for Elisha to see, confirm double portion request

2 Kings 2:12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

2 Kings 2:13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.

The cloak carries of power and authority of God.

2 Kings 2:14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

Was this the first, official miracle of Elisha 

Elisha Succeeds Elijah

2 Kings 2:15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

2 Kings 2:16 “Look,” they said, “we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley.” “No,” Elisha replied, “do not send them.”

Notice, they said Elisha master, and said do not send them, they did not listen and obey.

2 Kings 2:17 But they persisted until he was too embarrassed to refuse. So he said, “Send them.” And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him.

What type of personality if someone is too embarrassed to refuse.

2 Kings 2:18 When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”

Is Elisha a someone who said, did I not tell you not to go

2 Kings 2:19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.

Remember, the curse on n the person who will rebuild Jericho, not the people or city

2 Kings 2:20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.

Elisha gave instructions for his 2nd official miracle.

2 Kings 2:21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.'”

Elisha gave the credit to God for healing the water of Jericho

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

2 Kings 2:23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some young men came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!”

2 Kings 2:24 So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

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

Let’s gets some additional background to understanding what just happened.

First,  Why was Jericho cursed.  The city itself was not cursed, but the person who was going to rebuild the city was curst. We know Jesus was in Jericho for a while. 

Joshua 6:26 Then Joshua made everyone take the following oath at that time. He said: “Cursed in the presence of the LORD is the man who restores and rebuilds this city of Jericho! He will lay its foundation at the cost of his firstborn, and at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates.”

All Israel had to take this oath.  Joshua did not want to have this city rebuild by anyone from Israel, but by a gentile.

Joshua cursed any attempts at rebuilding Jericho.  Joshua’s curse found a dramatic fulfillment many centuries later when Hiel of Bethel laid its foundation and rebuilt its gates at great personal cost. The language of the 1 Kings account consciously echoes that of this passage.

1 Kings 16:34 It was during Ahab’s reign that Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations just as his first born son Abiram was dying, and he erected its gates while his youngest son Segub was dying, thus fulfilling the message that the LORD delivered through Nun’s son Joshua.

When Israel and Judah nation divided.

1 Kings 12:28-30 So the king {Rehoboam of Israel} sought some advice and then built two golden calves and announced, “It’s too difficult for you to travel to Jerusalem. So here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”  (29)  He set one of them in Bethel and placed the other one in Dan.  (30)  Doing this was sinful, because the people traveled as far as Dan to appear before one of their idols.

Hosea 4:15 “Though you, Israel, commit adultery, do not let Judah become guilty. “Do not go to Gilgal; do not go up to Beth Aven. And do not swear, ‘As surely as the LORD lives!’

Beth Aven, which means “House of Iniquity,” is a sarcastic reference to the important religious center Bethel, Baal {where calf is – Satan}, which means “House of God

Amos 5:5 {Judah}   do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.          Picture of Bethel today

Bethel (had the calf) is where the person lived had the curse on the builder of Jericho

Remember, Elijah said he was the only one left, and they were trying to kill him also.  1 Kings 19:14.

Remember the people Bethel, hated anyone, represented, the One True God.

2 Kings 2:23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys {young men, servant, female}  came out of the town and jeered {mocked, ridicule, scorn} at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!”

2 Kings 2:24 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.

  • You never want to be cursed {at all} especially from a prophet – Lord.
  • This gang of young men brought it upon themselves from Satan religion from Bethel of Baal.
  • They say, never get between a momma bear and their cubs.  
  • Too me, they wanted to kill another Prophet of God and God protect Elisha. That is all there is to this. Unless they took and killed the cubs

Why bears, Lord Jesus said this about Himself.

Hosea 13:8 Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and rip them open; like a lion I will devour them;  a wild animal will tear them apart.

Research and read what other great miracles Elisha did.

What did we learn, do not be curse from a Prophet of God

As a side, God used other things to project Israel and individuals.  God’s Angel and Hailstones protecting Moses and at the end time are some of the things. 

Joshua 10:11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

2 Kings 19:35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!

Think of other examples where God has protected His people.  So we find that God protected Elisha from these young men who wanted to kill Elisha from where the golden calf was located.

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