N e 1. Leprosy of Naaman. Providential. f 2-8. Negotiation. Naaman king of Israel. g 9. Naaman's visit to Elisha. h 10. Elisha's diection. Given i 11,12. Naaman. Resentment. i 13. Naaman. Compliance. h 14. Elisha's direction. Taken. g 15-. Naaman's return to Elisha. f -15-26. Negotiations. Naaman with Elisha and Gehazi. e 27. Leprosy of Geazi. Judicial.
2 Kings 5)
1 Now Naaman (note the 5 servants in this chapter: - (1). The King's servant [Naaman], v.1; (2). Naaman's wife's servant [maid], v.2; (3). Yahaveh's servant [Elisha], v.8; (4). Naaman's servant, v.13; (5). The Prophet's servant [Gehazi], v.20), captain of the host of the king of Syria, had come to be a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him (unconscious instrument) the Lord had given deliverance to Syria (probably from the Assyrians): he was also a mighty man in valor, [but he was] a leper (cp. Lev. 13. Not regarded ceremonial by heathen. Not far gone [v.19]. Probably only in initial stage. 1 of 9 so afflicted. See Ex.4:6. The story of Naaman may be compared with the parallel in John 9).
2 And the Syrians had gone out by marauding bands (cp. 6:23), and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
3 And she said to her mistress, Would God my lord [were] with the prophet that [is] in Samaria! (this is the girl's expression. Samaria was where she had heard of him) for he would recover him of his leprosy.
4 And [one] went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that [is] of the land of Israel.
5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel (probably Jehoram). And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver (approx. 1,000 lbs.), and six thousand [pieces] of gold, and ten changes of clothing (see Gen.45:22).
6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come to you, behold, I have [therewith] sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may recover him of his leprosy (Homonym, with another meaning, to snatch away or destroy, as in Ps. 26:9 and Jer. 16:5).
7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he tore his clothes, and said, [Am] I God (i.e. the Creator), to kill and to make alive, that this man does send to me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeks a quarrel against me.
8 And it was [so], when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had tore his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Why have you tore your clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the entrance of the house of Elisha.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and bathe in Jordan seven times (ceremonially. See Lev.14:9. #7 = spiritual perfection, completeness. Cp. John 9:7, and other commands: "Go, call" [John 4:16]; "Go, sell" [Matt. 19:21]), and your flesh shall come again to you, and you shall be clean.
11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought (cp. v.15, "Now I know". Human thought and Divine certitude), he will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Yehovah his Elohim, and wave (or move, or pass) his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
12 [Are] not Abana (some codices read "Amana") and Pharpar, rivers (an ever-flowing stream. [Not nahal, a summer stream]. Rising in Mount Hermon and losing themselves in a lake near Damascus) of Damascus (used of the district, or of the city near which they flowed and were known), better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage (1 of the 11 rulers offended with God's servants for speaking the truth. See Ex. 10:28).
13 And his servants came near (again used by God. Cp. vv.2-4), and spoke to him, and said, My father (a title of honor and affection), [if] the prophet had bid you [do some] great thing, would you not have done [it]? how much rather then, when he says to you, Wash, and be clean?
14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like to the flesh of a little boy, and he was clean (Elisha's 10 miracle [2:15]).
15 And he returned to the man of God (about 30 miles), he and all his company, and came, and stood before him:
and he said, Behold, now I know (cp. v.11) that [there is] no God (God as the Creator) in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray you, accept a present of your servant (cp. Gen. 33:11. Judg. 1:15).
16 But he said, [As] the Lord lives, before Whom I stand (a phrase referring to priesthood, for the sacrifices Naamn speaks of [v.17]), I will receive none. And he urged him to take [it]; but he refused.
17 And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray you, be given to your servant two mules' burden of soil? (Naaman may have heard of Ex. 20:24) for your servant will henceforth prepare neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord.
18 In this thing the Lord pardon your servant, [that] when my master goes into the house of Rimmon (= pomegranate. The Assyrian storm-god Ramman) to bow down himself there, and he leans on my hand (cp.7:2,17), and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon (some codices add "I pray you", but marked "to be canceled") your servant in this thing.
19 And he said to him, Go in peace (God's servants are not "directors of conscience", but ministers of his Word. To have sanctioned it would have recognized idolatry. To have forbidden it would have put Naaman under a yoke to Elisha. It was for Naaman to decide whether he could do this thing, and be at "peace"). So he departed from him a little way (a phrase found only here and Gen. 35:16; 48:7 = a stone's throw).
20 But Gehazi, the young man of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, [as] the Lord lives, I will run after him, and take a trifle of him.
21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw [him] running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, [Is] all well? (Heb. Is it peace?)
22 And he said, All [is] well. My master has sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets (There were two schools of the prophets there: Beth-el and Gilgal. Cp. 2:1,3): give them, I pray you, a talent of silver (approx. 100 lbs), and two changes of garments.
23 And Naaman said, Be content, and accept two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid [them] upon two of his servants; and they bare [them] before him.
24 And when he came to the tower, he took [them] from their hand, and bestowed [them] in the house: and he let the men go (Heb. 'enosh, men, used in a bad sense), and they departed.
25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, From which place [come you], Gehazi? And he said, Your servant went no where.
26 And he said to him, Went not my heart [with you] (= Did not my heart beat), when the man turned again from his chariot to meet you? [Is it] a time to receive money (cp. Hag.1:4), and to receive garments, and olive-yards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave to you (Elisha's 11 miracle [2:15]), and to your seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper (1 of 9 afflicted with leprosy. See Ex. 4:6) [as white] as snow (i.e. completely a leper; but not clean ceremonially. See Lev.13:13).