My question concerns something from the Old Testament. In 2 Kings 2:23-24, Hebrew youths mocked the prophet Elisha and after he cursed them, they died horribly. Doesn’t this seem a harsh penalty? Is there more to this incident than we have in the Bible today? Why would a prophet feel a need to put a curse on young people who appeared to be doing nothing more than making fun of him?
Elisha’s cursing of the children who mocked him by having bears eat them up is indeed a hard circumstance to rationalize. Now, specific to your question, there in undeniably more to this incident than we have in the Bible of today. However, the Bible is the only existing record of the incident, so we will never know more of the facts than are revealed in the 2 Kings account.
So we are left to our own rationalization if we want to make ourselves feel what we must assume to be the case–that the prophet’s actions were justified.
Personally, I accept the conclusion that the prophet’s actions were indeed justified. However, just what the justification was for that action, I have no idea. Nor have I much interest in trying to invent reasons by which such an action could be justified. I just accept it because I know that the Bible is indeed the word of God..