Funny stories in the Bible

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posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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Yes. I would like to know what it means.
me too

can we figure it out?
here are some clues:


first, it comes after 2 Kings 1. there, 153 men are sent by a wicked king to tell Elijah "come down!" -- 2/3 are killed by fire and the last third are spared when they say to the man of God, we are your servants, have mercy. 3 groups of 50, with their captains.

second, it comes after the rest of 2 Kings 2. it happens at Bethel.

Bethel is the center of Israel's idolatry. of Baal & Molech & Ashereh worship. of a counterfeit altar with counterfeit festivals. of lying prophets. Dan is the tribe through which idolatry entered Israel.

Elijah is going to be taken up, and he tells Elisha he must go through Bethel. a group of prophets from Bethel tell Elisha 'your master is going to be taken up' and Elisha tells them yes, he knows, shut up. the same thing happens again at Jericho.

they come to the Jordan - 'out of Dan' or 'down from Dan' - and the rebuked prophets from Jericho watch from a distance. they cross it. Elijah is taken up; Elisha receives a double portion of his spirit and crosses back over the parted jor-Dan saying 'where is the Lord God of Elijah?' while those prophets watch.

those prophets want to send 50 young men to look for the body of Elijah. Elisha says no. they keep bugging him, and he relents, and ((duh)) they don't find Elijah. Elisha says he told them not to look.

-- they have not done a good thing --

now these people say, we're in a nice place here but it's uninhabitable. its water is death. the land doesn't grow anything. fix it, Elisha.
are they asking a good thing? he fixes it by putting salt from a clean bowl into the water.





we've got to understand all this before we understand what happens next. it is connected.


a group of young men from Bethel come and taunt Elisha. how many? 50 maybe?
they say 'go up!' -- go up where? to the false altar of Bethel?
they say 'bald-head!' -- what does that mean?


50 men come telling Elijah to come down to see a wicked king.
X number of young men tell Elisha to go up -- to do what?


this is the double portion of Elijah's spirit at work, and two bears come out of the woods and maul 42 of them -- not all of them; 42 of them. why 42? why are some spared? how many spared?



can we figure it out or should we just mock God over it?
 
Mar 21, 2019
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I'm not saying I've got it all figured out. But that other guy, I don't think he even wants to.
I accidentally liked his post at first, but then realised he called the prophet a sorcerer, and mentioned something blasphemous against the Lord. Otherwise, it is an interesting story, though.
 
K

Karraster

Guest
That story of Elisha cursing the youths then the bears mauled them was always mysterious to me, not funny at all. When I read it in my younger days I read that it was "children" and they were "teasing" Elisha about being bald and he cursed them and caused God to send bears to "kill" them. Now after many years of study, I still don't have all or even a tiny percentage of the answers, however I have discovered some misconceptions I held.

For one they were not exactly "children". They may have been young, but they were old enough to know full well that they were mocking a prophet of the Most High. Secondly, they were saying "go up" in addition to "bald head" which indicates they wanted Elisha to disappear into the clouds just as Elijah had done. Thirdly, the bears "mauled" them it doesn't say kill precisely.

How threatening was the situation? If I was surrounded by at least 42 young men who wanted me to disappear, I'd feel threatened to say the least. But this was a messenger of God, and these men wanted him gone. A clear message was sent, a warning, do not interfere with God's messenger.
 

1ofthem

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2016
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That story of Elisha cursing the youths then the bears mauled them was always mysterious to me, not funny at all. When I read it in my younger days I read that it was "children" and they were "teasing" Elisha about being bald and he cursed them and caused God to send bears to "kill" them. Now after many years of study, I still don't have all or even a tiny percentage of the answers, however I have discovered some misconceptions I held.

For one they were not exactly "children". They may have been young, but they were old enough to know full well that they were mocking a prophet of the Most High. Secondly, they were saying "go up" in addition to "bald head" which indicates they wanted Elisha to disappear into the clouds just as Elijah had done. Thirdly, the bears "mauled" them it doesn't say kill precisely.

How threatening was the situation? If I was surrounded by at least 42 young men who wanted me to disappear, I'd feel threatened to say the least. But this was a messenger of God, and these men wanted him gone. A clear message was sent, a warning, do not interfere with God's messenger.
I agree this is definitely not a funny story.

I really like your write up on that scripture. I like the points you made.

When reading that story it has always brought to my mind these verses in 1 Chronicles 16 and it is also in Psalms 105
1 Chronicles 16
21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,

22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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For one they were not exactly "children". They may have been young, but they were old enough to know full well that they were mocking a prophet of the Most High.
the same word kjv translates 'children' is used 240 times in the Bible, describing people anywhere from 3 months old to 40 yrs old. it's often translated as 'servant'

in 2 Samuel 4:12, David commands his 'young men' to kill some wicked men - these aren't children, but same word. in 2 Samuel 14:21 Absalom is called a 'young man' -- same word -- and he already has 3 children of his own and is leading a rebellion against the king.

there are more than 42 of these 'young men' - i think, 50 - and they come out in a pack from Bethel to accost Elisha. it's not a nice friendly situation, and i don't think it's right to assume they are like 10 years old. 50 ten year olds outside the city in a mob? searching for the prophet?
whose children are these? who are these young men, and what is there intention?
 
Mar 21, 2019
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I agree this is definitely not a funny story.

I really like your write up on that scripture. I like the points you made.

When reading that story it has always brought to my mind these verses in 1 Chronicles 16 and it is also in Psalms 105
1 Chronicles 16
21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,

22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
I posted the definition of funny below for you, to try to enable you to understand why it is indeed funny. See definition 2.

fun·ny
adjective: funny; comparative adjective: funnier; superlative adjective: funniest
  1. causing laughter or amusement; humorous.
  2. difficult to explain or understand; strange or odd.
 
K

Karraster

Guest
I agree this is definitely not a funny story.

I really like your write up on that scripture. I like the points you made.

When reading that story it has always brought to my mind these verses in 1 Chronicles 16 and it is also in Psalms 105
1 Chronicles 16
21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,

22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Thanks for commenting and bringing those scriptures. Even David would not harm King Saul when he was out for blood. What a dire circumstance, yet, David did not touch God's anointed. That always stood out to me, the restraint David demonstrated even in the face of death.
 
K

Karraster

Guest
I posted the definition of funny below for you, to try to enable you to understand why it is indeed funny. See definition 2.

fun·ny
adjective: funny; comparative adjective: funnier; superlative adjective: funniest
  1. causing laughter or amusement; humorous.
  2. difficult to explain or understand; strange or odd.
Context is king! do we not say this? The OP definitely said, "..what made you laugh.."
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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Context is king! do we not say this? The OP definitely said, "..what made you laugh.."
I also said if it was funny as in odd or puzzling. But yea helps if you clairfy what kind of funny you mean.
The 42 children being mauled by bears isnt funny haha but its funny in a puzzling way like whoa what just happened here?
 
K

Karraster

Guest
I also said if it was funny as in odd or puzzling. But yea helps if you clairfy what kind of funny you mean.
The 42 children being mauled by bears isnt funny haha but its funny in a puzzling way like whoa what just happened here?
Yep, and I was about to comment on another "funny" as in odd kind of instance in scriptures. I haven't had time to look it up for the chapter/verse, but a question I've pondered a long time, what was the meaning surrounding that prophet of God that was told to eat no food/drink but leave after delivering his message. Then another guy said to him that God told him to detain him and have him eat with him, he did, and then died. That's the condensed version, but perhaps someone has insight, I would love to hear.

To clarify, not ha ha funny, just a mystery to me.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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Yep, and I was about to comment on another "funny" as in odd kind of instance in scriptures. I haven't had time to look it up for the chapter/verse, but a question I've pondered a long time, what was the meaning surrounding that prophet of God that was told to eat no food/drink but leave after delivering his message. Then another guy said to him that God told him to detain him and have him eat with him, he did, and then died. That's the condensed version, but perhaps someone has insight, I would love to hear.

To clarify, not ha ha funny, just a mystery to me.
1 Kings 13 -- it's a prophet not named just called 'man of God' -- from Samaria, a gentile -- he prophesies against the altar at Bethel, that it will be split apart and ashes poured over it. which Josiah does long after, in 2 Kings 23. Josiah digs up the bones of all the priests of the Bethel altar and grinds them up and defiles the altar with them, but he makes sure not to dig up the bones of this man of God.
 
K

Karraster

Guest
1 Kings 13 -- it's a prophet not named just called 'man of God' -- from Samaria, a gentile -- he prophesies against the altar at Bethel, that it will be split apart and ashes poured over it. which Josiah does long after, in 2 Kings 23. Josiah digs up the bones of all the priests of the Bethel altar and grinds them up and defiles the altar with them, but he makes sure not to dig up the bones of this man of God.
He said to him, "I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'" But he lied to him.


Thanks for the reply. I just don't understand it. What's going on here?
 
K

Karraster

Guest
He said to him, "I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'" But he lied to him.


Thanks for the reply. I just don't understand it. What's going on here?
My takeaway is, it's a warning to Israel. The consequences of disobedience resulted in the death of a true prophet. Wondering if there's something more.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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He said to him, "I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'" But he lied to him.


Thanks for the reply. I just don't understand it. What's going on here?


well, this man is lying to him. envious maybe? is he consciously trying to kill him?

here's my question - doesn't the man of God know he's lying? he knows for sure that God has told him not to eat or drink, and he knows that he's in a place full of false prophets - he just prophesied against their altar; why would he believe someone who tells him the opposite?
so if he does know, why does he go with this lying prophet? he know it will mean his death. if he knows this man is lying, and he knows it will mean his death, then what is he doing?
is he laying down his life for him?
the lying prophet sees the truth, through what the man of God does by sitting and eating with him. he speaks the truth, telling the man of God that because he ate with him, he won't be buried with his ancestors ((instead Josiah honors his grave later when he fulfills the man of God's prophecy against the Bethel altar))

and here's a most amazing thing --

Then he went out and found the body lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey.
what's this sign, of the lion, standing in the road, having torn the man of God, standing guard over his body?

did you know that in Psalm 22, the verse that we usually translate '
they pierced my hands and my feet' doesn't literally say that?
it literally says, "
like a lion my hands and my feet"

i shared a photo i took that reminded me of all this, some time ago:
https://christianchat.com/media/pc020049_01-jpg.1803/


i really think, these 'funny' passages, we don't understand until we see Christ in them. and when we do, we find absolutely amazing things. these are treasures, for us to uncover -- not contradictions and not evidence of an evil god. people who don't see Christ in the scripture say things like that; they don't understand what they are reading.
so that's what we have to do with this passage. we have to look for how it tells us about Jesus; He is the key that unlocks these things. :unsure:
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they mourned over him and said, “Alas, my brother!”
After burying him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
(1 Kings 13:30-31)

Josiah later, when destroying and defiling the Bethel altar, sees this tombstone and doesn't disturb the grave.
so this prophet who lied, and brought about the death ((sacrifice?)) of the man of God, is '
saved' by him, in a way: his own bones are not disturbed either, being in the tomb with him. he repents. he is buried with him. he is spared, because of him.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
31,199
10,332
113
Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they mourned over him and said, “Alas, my brother!”
After burying him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
(1 Kings 13:30-31)

Josiah later, when destroying and defiling the Bethel altar, sees this tombstone and doesn't disturb the grave.
so this prophet who lied, and brought about the death ((sacrifice?)) of the man of God, is '
saved' by him, in a way: his own bones are not disturbed either, being in the tomb with him. he repents. he is buried with him. he is spared, because of him.
you could put it this way:

Josiah, acting as the '
destroying' messenger of God, sees the sign of the man of God's blood and passes over him.


;)
 

Lanolin

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Dec 15, 2018
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I dont really understand the kings episode with the baldhead and the bears, though my kjv bible does say 'little children'. That to me obviously doesnt mean adults, or even teenagers.

In the first chapter verse 8 it does mention elijah is hairy.