Elisha heals Captain Naaman. Elisha’s servant deceives Naaman.
VERSE 1. Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria; he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
he was a leper. The fact that the captain of the army of Syria could be a leper speaks well of the advanced state of Syrian society.
A more primitive culture, such as the culture of the U.S., would have found some way to throw Naaman out of office and ostracize him from society.
VERSE 2. The Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of Eretz-Israel a little girl, and she waited on Naaman’s wife.
a little girl. This Jewish girl, taken captive from Israel, has the exact solution Naaman needs.
VERSE 3. She said to her mistress, “I wish that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would heal him of his leprosy.”
VERSE 4. Someone went in and told his lord, saying, “The girl who is from Eretz-Israel said this.”
VERSE 5. The king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” He departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of clothing.
ten talents. One talent is about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds.
VERSE 6. He brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, “Now when this letter has come to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.”
VERSE 7. When the king of Israel had read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me to heal a man of his leprosy? But please consider and see how he seeks a quarrel against me.”
see how he seeks a quarrel against me. The king of Israel is unable to recognize a sincere request.
People who lust for power are often corrupt. And they are often accustomed to corruption.
They are often not able to recognizing sincerity when they encounter it.
VERSE 8. It was so, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
VERSE 9. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
horses … chariots. This foreshadows something that will happen in the next chapter:
2 Kings 6:17. Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, please open his eyes, that he may see.” the LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.
VERSE 10. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come again to you, and you shall be clean.”
Go and wash in the Jordan seven times. Naaman is very disappointed by this simplistic instruction.
Yet it provides an insight into the nature of salvation.
The goal is not achieved by our own effort. Nor is it achieved by a minister. Rather, the real work is achieved solely by the LORD God.
VERSE 11. But Naaman was angry, and went away and said, “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leper.’
call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place. Most healers are dramatic. They put on a good show. They have lots of showmanship skills.
VERSE 12. Aren’t Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.
VERSE 13. His servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had asked you do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? How much rather then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’ ”
VERSE 14. Then went he down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
his flesh was restored. The prophet Elijah performed seven known miracles. And his disciple Elisha performed 15. Read more »
VERSE 15. He returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him; and he said, “See now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel. Now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel. Captain Naaman has become a monotheist.
VERSE 16. But he said, “As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” He urged him to take it; but he refused.
I will receive none. People cannot be redeemed with money. The ransom for a life is costly. No payment is ever enough. Read more »
VERSE 17. Naaman said, “If not, then, please let two mules’ load of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will from now on offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.
let two mules’ load of earth be given to your servant. Captain Naaman takes soil back home.
VERSE 18. In this thing may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon. When I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, may the LORD pardon your servant in this thing.”
VERSE 19. He said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a little way.
VERSE 20. But Gehazi the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Behold, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him, and take something from him.”
VERSE 21. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. When Naaman saw one running after him, he came down from the chariot to meet him, and said, “Is all well?”
VERSE 22. He said, “All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Behold, even now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’ ”
My master has sent me. This is not true. Elisha’s servant Gehazi is lying.
A talent. One talent is about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds.
VERSE 23. Naaman said, “Be pleased to take two talents.” He urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants; and they carried them before him.
VERSE 24. When he came to the hill, he took them from their hand, and stored them in the house. Then he let the men go, and they departed.
VERSE 25. But he went in, and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, “Where did you come from, Gehazi?” He said, “Your servant went nowhere.”
VERSE 26. He said to him, “Didn’t my heart go with you when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and olive groves and vineyards, and sheep and cattle, and male servants and female servants?
VERSE 27. Therefore the leprosy of Naaman will cling to you and to your offspring forever.” He went out from his presence a leper, as white as snow.
offspring. That is, “seed.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.