Naaman’s Disease Healed
1Naaman,#Lk 4:27 commander of the army for the king of Aram, was a man important to his master and highly regarded#Ex 11:3 because through him, the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man was a valiant warrior, but he had a skin disease.#2Kg 7:3,8
2Aram had gone on raids#2Kg 6:23; 13:20 and brought back from the land of Israel a young girl who served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria, he would cure him of his skin disease.”
4So Naaman went and told his master what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5Therefore, the king of Aram said, “Go, and I will send a letter with you to the king of Israel.”
So he went and took with him 750 pounds#5:5 Lit 10 talents of silver, 150 pounds#5:5 Lit 6,000 shekels of gold, and ten sets of clothing.#Jdg 14:12; 2Kg 5:22 6He brought the letter to the king of Israel, and it read:
When this letter comes to you, note that I have sent you my servant Naaman for you to cure him of his skin disease.
7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes#Gn 37:29; 2Kg 11:14 and asked, “Am I God,#Gn 30:2 killing and giving life that this man expects me to cure a man of his skin disease? Recognize#5:7 Lit Know and see that he is only picking a fight with me.”#1Kg 20:7
8When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Have him come to me, and he will know there is a prophet in Israel.”#1Kg 22:7 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
10Then Elisha sent him a messenger,#Nm 5:1-4 who said, “Go wash#Jn 9:7 seven times#Lv 14:7 in the Jordan and your skin will be restored and you will be clean.”
11But Naaman got angry and left, saying, “I was telling myself: He will surely come out, stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand#Ex 7:19 over the place and cure the skin disease. 12Aren’t Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?#Is 8:6 Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and left in a rage.#Pr 14:17; 19:11
13But his servants approached and said to him, “My father,#2Kg 2:12; 6:21; 13:14 if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more should you do it when he only tells you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” 14So Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, according to the command of the man of God. Then his skin was restored and became like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean.#Lk 4:27
15Then Naaman and his whole company went back to the man of God, stood before him, and declared, “I know there’s no God in the whole world except in Israel.#Jos 2:11; 1Sm 17:46-47 Therefore, please accept a gift#Gn 33:11 from your servant.”
16But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives,#1Kg 17:1; 2Kg 3:14 in whose presence I stand, I will not accept it.”#Gn 14:22-23 Naaman urged him to accept it, but he refused.
17Naaman responded, “If not, please let your servant be given as much soil as a pair of mules can carry,#Ex 20:24 for your servant will no longer offer a burnt offering or a sacrifice to any other god but the Lord.#Dt 6:4 18However, in a particular matter may the Lord pardon your servant: When my master, the king of Aram, goes into the temple of Rimmon to bow in worship while he is leaning on my arm,#5:18 Lit worship, and he leans on my hand#2Kg 7:2 and I have to bow in the temple of Rimmon — when I bow#5:18 LXX, Vg read when he bows himself in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.”
19So he said to him, “Go in peace.”#1Sm 1:17
Gehazi’s Greed Punished
After Naaman had traveled a short distance from Elisha, 20Gehazi,#2Kg 4:12,31 the attendant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “My master has let this Aramean Naaman off lightly by not accepting from him what he brought. As the Lord lives,#Ex 20:7 I will run after him and get something from him.”
21So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and asked, “Is everything all right?”
22Gehazi said, “It’s all right.#2Kg 4:26 My master has sent me to say, ‘I have just now discovered that two young men from the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them seventy-five pounds#5:22 Lit a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’”#2Kg 5:5
23But Naaman insisted, “Please, accept one hundred fifty pounds.”#5:23 Lit two talents He urged Gehazi and then packed one hundred fifty pounds of silver in two bags with two sets of clothing. Naaman gave them to two of his attendants who carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24When Gehazi came to the hill,#5:24 Or citadel#2Kg 1:9 he took the gifts from them and deposited them in the house. Then he dismissed the men, and they left.
25Gehazi came and stood by his master. “Where did you go, Gehazi?” Elisha asked him.
He replied, “Your servant didn’t go anywhere.”
26“And my heart didn’t go#5:26 Or “Did not my heart go#2Kg 2:9,15 when the man got down from his chariot to meet you,” Elisha said. “Is this a time to accept silver and clothing, olive orchards and vineyards, flocks and herds, and male and female slaves? 27Therefore, Naaman’s skin disease will cling to you and your descendants forever.” So Gehazi went out from his presence diseased, resembling snow.#5:27 A reference to whiteness or flakiness of the skin#Ex 4:6; Nm 12:10