posted on Aug, 31 2004 @ 05:09 PM
The vicious story of the killing (allegedly by YHWH the bloodthirsty clan god of post Exilic Israel) of playful young children( by wild bears, yet)
as a direct punishment for their yelling "Baldy, Baldy" to a "man of God" (ish Elohim) is an example of a type of cause-effect morality myth we
find in Jewish rabinnic literature which somehow found their way into the text of the Hebrew "bible" via the Elijah-Elishaq pericopes, which read
like the same kind of pericope miracle worker literature that made up most of the "narrative" substance of the New Testament Gospels (little
"pericope" stories with their own little beginning, middle and end, usually with a moralistic "punch" at the end).
A similar Canaanite cause-effect morality myth can be seen in the Wife of Lot story (where she turns towards Sodom and is transformed into a pillar of
salt "to this day") or the socalled "Sin of Onan", and we all know what he did...and what the writers want you to think that YHWH did to him the
next day !
One could say that the literary format for the Elisha narratives form a kind of like proto-Gospel Rabinnic literary genre of their own which the
1st-2nd century Gospel tradition used as literary models....
Interestingly perhaps, the Elisha narratives are all "northern kingdom" morality tales, and the gospel narratives also center around the northern
part of Palestine, e.g. the Galilee for most of their "setting", and in many cases "Jeeezuz" is consciously made to out-perform Elisha (e.g. in
John's gospel where each of the 7 "signs" of Iesous is meant to parallel Elisha, e.g. the raising of the Shunamite woman's son = John's story of
the raising of Lazarus: the feeding of the 100 sons of the prophets = the feeding of the 5,000; the raising of the flying axe head in the Jordan =
Iesous walks on water; the curing of the bowl of porridge = the changing of the water into wine story at the Wedding of Cana etc. ) almost as if the
Johanine message was: Something Greater Than Elisha is Here" methodology or typology.
But reading the heinous Elisha story of the Bears at Sunday School might scar children, and you'll notice not too many teachers use that one to
frighten young minds into worshipping YHWH or demanding respect to his priests and prophets, bald or not (not that there are any left any more, but I