Open Letter to His Place Church

08 Sep

Since His Place will not respond to my message through their facebook. I will make this open on my blog critizing one of their sermons. You can find their sermon here under “2 Kings: Divied We Fall.” I would love to know His Place reason for using crazy apologitics to explain the Elisha and the Bears.

I was looking through some of your old PDFs of Route 66. There is an error on your statements on Elisha and the Bears. You claim these were not “young boys” but young men. Yet, none of the translations “qatan na’ar” does not mean “insignificant male.” In the majority of the Old Testament it means small kids and majority of Hebrew translators say “Small Boys.”

1 Kings 11:17: That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child.

What happens you replaced “little child” with “insignificant male?” It makes the 1 Kings 11:17 illogical. Since we all know Hadad was an prince, that could not make him a insignificant male.

Also the Bible NEVER mentions why Elisha was bald. Also being bald in the ancient world means nothing. There is no evidence being bald is bad. We had bald Egyptians, Bald Babylonians, and bald Greeks.

Leviticus 13:41
And if a man’s hair falls out from his forehead, he has baldness of the forehead; he is clean.

Being bald is clean, so it is ok.

I may have to read most of your PDF to find some errors in the future.

– Adam

1 Comment

Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Religion


One response to “Open Letter to His Place Church

  1. Joshua C. Kelley

    September 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    If you are interested, this was probably Bruce’s source, from “Hard Sayings of the Bible.”

    2:23–24 A Cruel Punishment for Childhood Pranks?
    The way many read this text, a mild personal offense by some innocent little children was turned into a federal case by a crotchety old prophet as short on hair as he was on humor. Put in its sharpest form, the complaint goes: How can I believe in a God who would send bears to devour little children for innocently teasing an old man whose appearance probably was unusual even for that day?
    At first reading, it appears the prophet chanced on guileless children merrily playing on the outskirts of Bethel. Seeing this strange-looking man, they began to chant in merriment, “Go on up, you baldhead! Go on up, you baldhead!” Instead of viewing the situation for what it was, the old prophet became enraged (as some would tell the story), whirled around and, with eyes flashing anger, shouted a curse in the name of the Lord.
    But this is a false reconstruction of the event. The problem begins with the two Hebrew words for “little children,” as many older translations term the youths. If we are to untangle this puzzling incident, the age and accountability level of these children must take first priority. “Little children” is an unfortunate translation. The Hebrew expression n̄e˓ûrîm qẹtannîm is best rendered “young lads” or “young men.” From numerous examples where ages are specified in the Old Testament, we know that these were boys from twelve to thirty years old. One of these words described Isaac at his sacrifice in Genesis 22:12, when he was easily in his early twenties. It described Joseph in Genesis 37:2 when he was seventeen years old. In fact, the same word described army men in 1 Kings 20:14–15.
    If someone objects, yes, but the word qẹtannîm (which is translated “little” in some versions) makes the difference in this context, I will answer that it is best translated “young,” not “little.” Furthermore, these words have a good deal of elasticity to them. For example, Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all your children n̄e˓ûrîm]?” But Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest [qāṭān].” But David was old enough to keep sheep and fight a giant soon after (1 Sam 16:11–12).
    “Little children,” then, does not mean toddlers or even elementary-school-aged youngsters; these are young men aged between twelve and thirty!
    But was Elisha an old man short on patience and a sense of humor? This charge is also distorted, for Elisha can hardly have been more than twenty-five when this incident happened. He lived nearly sixty years after this, since it seems to have taken place shortly after Elijah’s translation into heaven. Some would place Elijah’s translation around 860 B.C. and Elisha’s death around 795 B.C. While Elijah’s ministry had lasted less than a decade, Elisha’s extended at least fifty-five years, through the reigns of Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Joash.
    Did Elisha lose his temper? What was so wrong in calling him a “baldhead,” even if he might not have been bald, being less than thirty?
    The word baldhead was a term of scorn in the Old Testament (Is 3:17, 24). Natural baldness was very rare in the ancient Near East. So scarce was baldness that it carried with it a suspicion of leprosy.
    Whether Elisha was prematurely bald or not, it is clear that the epithet was used in utter contempt, as a word of insult marking him as despicable.
    But since it is highly improbable that Elisha was prematurely bald, the insult was aimed not so much at the prophet as at the God who had sent him. The point is clear from the other phrase. “Go on up,” they clamored. “Go on up!” These were not topographical references to the uphill grade of the Bethel road. Instead, the youths were alluding to Elijah’s translation to heaven. This they did not believe or acknowledge as God’s work in their midst. To put it in modern terms, they jeered, “Blast off! Blast off! You go too. Get out of here. We are tired of both of you.” These Bethel ruffians used the same Hebrew verb used at the beginning of the second chapter of 2 Kings to describe the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The connection cannot be missed.
    Apparently, news of Elijah’s ascension to glory traveled near and far but was greeted with contemptuous disbelief by many, including this youthful mob. The attack was on God, not his prophet.
    Elisha uses no profanity in placing a curse on these young men. He merely cited the law of God, which the inhabitants of Bethel knew well. Moses had taught, “If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, … I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children” (Lev 26:21–22).
    Elisha did not abuse these young men, nor did he revile them; he was content to leave the work of judging to God. He pronounced a judgment on them and asked God to carry out the action which he had promised when his name, his cause and his word were under attack. No doubt these young men only reflected what they heard at the dinner table each evening as the population went further and further away from God.
    The savagery of wild animals was brutal enough, but it was mild compared to the legendary cruelty of the Assyrians who would appear to complete God’s judgment in 722 B.C. The disastrous fall of Samaria would have been avoided had the people repented after the bear attack and the increasingly severe divine judgments that followed it. But instead of turning back to God, Israel, as would Judah in a later day, “mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy” (2 Chron 36:16).
    Instead of demonstrating unleashed cruelty, the bear attack shows God trying repeatedly to bring his people back to himself through smaller judgments until the people’s sin is too great and judgment must come full force.

    Kaiser, W. C., Jr., Davids, P. H., Bruce, F. F., & Brauch, M. T. (1997). Hard sayings of the Bible (232–234). Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity.


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