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Meditation 277
Damned by God Too - This time it's the children

A discussion on this Meditation has been opened in Debate and Discourse. Please feel free to add your thoughts to the discussion via the contact page.

I happened to be reading about the various things that used to be considered a cure for baldness, and on the list was bear grease. Perhaps there are those who still believe in this cure, but I suspect that if given the opportunity, the bears would express their strong disagreement.

Apparently, the reason that bear grease was considered a baldness cure was in the bible, specifically an interpretation of 2 Kings 2, verses 23 - 24.

I had to check this out. Following is the passage in question from the KJV:

23. And he[1] went up from thence[2] 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.

24. 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.

I really don't understand how this came to be interpreted as a recommendation for bear grease to cure baldness; rather it seems to suggest that keeping a couple of bears in the nearby woods might save you from being taunted for the problem. Killing them for their fat would seem to be counterproductive.

But, of all the Old Testament passages in which Jehovah wreaks his vengeance on various elements of humankind, is this not one of the more horrific; the slaughter of 42 children for mocking a man about his lack of hair? I'm not about to suggest it is all right for children to tease the follically challenged (after all, I am approaching that condition.) But being mauled to death by bears seems an over-the-top punishment.[3]

And they call him a loving and compassionate God. This sheds new light on "Suffer the little children..."




  1. The prophet Elisha.
  2. Jericho
  3. For the opposing view, see Matthew Henry's commentary. As an exercise, count up the number of unsupported and non-biblical "inventions" required to make his case.