Tagged by Lingamish on the bad boys and the bears. No one beats James McGrath on this one.
I remember being scared of bears when I was a boy. And I may well be again if I meet one in the wild. Though a few years ago we snapped lovely pictures of a family of albino black bears on a trip near Prince Rupert. Those are the spirit bears of the North West here in BC.
David asks -
- You’ve been asked to teach or preach on this passage.
- What would you say?
Here he is - coming from Jericho ...
וְהוּא עֹלֶה בַדֶּרֶךְ
וּנְעָרִים קְטַנִּים יָצְאוּ מִן־הָעִיר
וַיִּתְקַלְּסוּ־בֹו וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹו
And he ascended from there to Beth-el
and here he was ascending along the way
and young lads emerge from the city
and mock him and say to him
It begins with a word which in the hiphil is used of offering. So it is part of the overall envelope of Job (1:5, 42:8). It is a common verb - used 23 times in the psalms encompassing God's ascension, and the question - who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord. But used four times in this verse together with a rare verb meaning, I suppose, mock. And who are these street kids? Are they wishing him a blessing? Bottoms up, as it were.
It is a very odd story. Next verse
וַיְקַלְלֵם בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה
וַתֵּצֶאנָה שְׁתַּיִם דֻּבִּים מִן־הַיַּעַר
וַתְּבַקַּעְנָה מֵהֶם אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁנֵי יְלָדִים
and cursed them in the name of יְהוָה
and two bears emerged from the thicket
and rent 42 of the lads among them
And then off he went to Carmel and Samaria - and no one sued him for abuse of privilege. It is difficult to take this as a nice story.
Going along a little further with this morphological search engine, I find two more places in TNK where ascend and baldy עלה and קרח are used together (try it - it's a challenge): Numbers 16:27, Maybe the kids were accusing him or being like Korah? And Isaiah 15:2 - yes there is baldness there and a going up also.