Monday, October 25, 2010
Who Cares About She-Bears?
I've been wanting to do a post like this for a while now, and after hearing about this twice today and finding a funny video, I had to make a post. In the MTC, missionary training center for non-mormon readers, some of my 'classmates' asked one of the teachers about the meaning of the she-bears story to which he replied, "every week new missionaries ask about the she-bears. I want to make a shirt that says 'Who care 'bout she-bears?' Seriously guys, you should be spending your time studying the lessons, etc...."
Well, I care 'bout the she-bears, and I have some theories as to the reasons for the story, here it is:
2 Kings Chapter 2
2:23 And he [Elisha]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.
2:24 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.
Funny story right?
So my first idea was, "Well, gee, don't make fun of the Lord's anointed or he'll fu**ing rip your head off!" Seems reasonable enough. Elisha was a prophet, the kids were obviously not very good kids, probably came from broken homes without a father present, and they made fun of him. He's the prophet, the mouthpiece of the Lord, er LORD, so don't make fun of him. This is one of those extreme examples to warn us petty normal human folks.
But then I got to thinking and I thought, "Well, maybe Elisha is just a pussy." I mean, before him we had Elijah running around, and he was a total bad-@$$. He was the hero facing off against the evil sorceress and sex-fiend Jezebel and conniving Ahab. These two are some of the most evil and successful badguys in the Bible, Jezebel nearly wiped out the whole religion. And even when Elijah had 500 of her prophets killed she went on the rampage. Sad part is Elijah never finished them off, but that's a story for another time. The point, Elijah stopped the rain for a long time, Elisha made an axe float, Elijah killed 500 prophets of Baal, Elisha killed 42 kids cause they called him bald-head. Obviously Elisha had self-esteem issues.
But then I got to thinking, "Maybe, just maybe, the Lord is bald and was offended?" Now, it's a stretch, but the word that jumps out the most in the scripture is LORD, probably cause the typist put it in all caps. So I thought, well the scriptures are always supposed to be related to Jesus, and in Mormondom the 'LORD' of the OT is Jesus, so it's about him. So maybe Jesus is balding and was offended and wanted to make an example out of those kids. You know, like how the police have to make an example out of someone. Doesn't always work very well, didn't with Paris Hilton.
But then I got to thinking, "Maybe it doesn't actually mean what it says it means." So let's take it bit by bit. It says they were 'children' and that sounds like poor little kids getting eaten. Certainly two big angry mother bears could take down 42 kids, especially if the kids were cripples and couldn't get away, or just stupid and didn't understand the meaning of run away in all directions so only a few get caught. However, I'm in my twenties but I'm the child of someone. My parents are the children of their parents. So maybe these 42 'children' were actually some old people who couldn't run away anymore and were just making fun of Elisha cause they grew up together. Cause all prophets are old guys, that's a scientific fact.
And what does 'tare' mean? Definitions all focus around weighing things, like a car with no passengers in it. So maybe the she-bears were just weighing the 42 kids, like some kind of thought game or something. Oh, wait, tare could be tear which means to rip apart. Hmm ... let's skip that.
My favorite picture of the bunch, the kids looks so sad. Very unfortunate. However, since they were teasing a prophet they deserve the daily Darwin award.
Second, this picture was right at the top. I didn't realize 'she-bears' in Google image search would bring up so many 'she bears all' pictures.