If I could offer a cautionary note to Mr Flibble, the text continues:
And he [Elisha] went up from thence unto Beth-el; and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him: 'Go up, thou baldhead; go up, thou baldhead.'
I'm not sure of the age of those who were mauled by the
bears, but think they may have been immature people.
Elisha may have also been reckless with his new power.
After witnessing something amazing, he got carried away
so to speak.
Ah, so it appears you are not Christian. Your god is not the loving,
forgiving god of the New Testament but the vengeful, powerful and
destructive god of the Old.
Here we have a prophet who uses his "power" to curse a group of
"children" who harmlessly teased him about his appearance. The prophet
is vain, the children perish, the prophet receives forgiveness.
Hypocrisy at it's finest. This supposedly teaches the prophet a lesson
about his "power" and he transgresses no more. If his enlightenment
truly came from God he would never have transgressed at all.
This is typical of the O.T. stories, God acts destructively in
response to "sin" and people die. God forgives only after the fact.
This is what makes the O.T. so illogical and fallacious.
Above all, the Golden Rule applies. Always treat others as you want to
be treated. Transgress this and live in hell.