Oh, really. What can be more tedious than an apologist who won’t do his/her homework?
Gleason Archer’s spin on the Teddy Bears’ Picnic is that it was a pack of hoodlums (conveniently choosing the least likely but most helpful translation) and that “God saw fit to put forty-two of them to death in this spectacular fashion … in order to strike terror into other youth gangs that were infesting the city and to make them realize that neither Yahweh Himself nor any of his anointed prophets were to be threatened or treated with contempt.”
The only problem with Archer’s apologetic is that, like so many, it’s sheer fabrication. There’s nothing in the text that even hints of youth gangs infesting the city. Not to mention that the adventure happens on the road, not in town.
For what it’s worth, my own interpretation is this. Read 2 Kings from the beginning to the point of the Picnic. Note that the context is the passing of Elijah’s mantle to Elisha. And that, earlier (2 Kings 1:9-12), Elijah had dispatched 100 soldiers (two sets of 50, actually) with nothing but a word to the Lord, thus proving him to be a man of God. In other words, the Picnic is how the text ‘proves’ that Elisha is a man of God.
Two men are hiking in the mountains. One suddenly stops, removes his hiking boots, and starts putting on sneakers. The other asks why he is doing that.
The first man answers, “I thought I heard a bear.”
The second argues, “Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t outrun a bear, not even with sneakers.”
The first responds, “I just need to outrun YOU!”