New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:24 cursed them. Elisha did not curse “little children,” as the King James Version translates the phrase (II Kings 2:23). The Hebrew expression frequently connotes young, unmarried men of any age up to about thirty. This was evidently a gang of young hoodlums, instigated by the heathen priests of Baal to ridicule Elijah’s successor. The jeering exhortation to “go up, thou baldhead” (II Kings 2:23) was both a sarcastic reference to Elijah’s supposed ascension (which they disbelieved) and a personal insult to God’s chosen prophet. This challenge to Jehovah and the authority of His prophet could not be excused, so God made good on a warning issued long before: “And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me;...I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children” (Leviticus 26:21-22).