2 Kings 5

The story of Naaman
God works through a girl and a band of soldiers
.1 ¶ Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.
 2  And the Syrians had gone out by companies, 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 unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! 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.

   1 - Naaman ... Syria Apparently a time of peace. Not long before this Ahab had been slain in battle against Benhadad 1ki2234.
   1 - Little maid Often we describe young Bible characters as children. Apparently this really was a girl. Samuel was also quite young when he began serving in the temple. The witness of these children is a tribute to their faithful parents.
  2 - Companies Bands going into foreign territory to rob.
  4 - One went in Naaman went to the king. These men and do doubt others learned from the sincere testimony of a slave girl that the God of Israel was both powerful and loving.
5  And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.
 6  And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.
 7  And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.
.8  And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.

  5 - King of Israel Probably Joram.
  7 - What a faithless response! This was an opportunity to witness. The king probably had no confidence in Elisha. In this chapter, he was the second of four witnesses. The others were the slave girl v3, Elijah, and Elijah's messenger, v10.
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 9 ¶ So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
.10  And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
 11  But Naaman was wroth, 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 strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
 12  Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, 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.
 13  And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, 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 unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
  10 - Wash  God was to receive the glory, not the prophet. Compare TV preachers today. It is not wrong that they are seen but God should be the One people think of when listening to them. The command to wash in the Jordan river was a test of faith as it would be for blind man Jesus sent to the Pool of Siloam. jn0907
  11 - I thought But God's thoughts were different is5508. Many today follow religious teachers or convince themselves that they need not study God's word and fellowship with his people. They reason that God will save them since they are good enough. Such is not His plan.
  12 - Rivers of Damascus See map, NE corner.
  13 - Servants ... spake And Naaman listened.
.15 ¶ And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.
 16  But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.
 17  And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.
 18  In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.
 19  And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
  17 - Earth Each nation had its own deities and now that he honored the God of Israel, he would take home some soil from Israel so he could worship on it. This was in conflict with the idea that there was only one true God.
  18 - House of Rimmon Naaman knew he would be expected to support the king in his worship of the pagan deity. He was hoping that the prophet would pronounce an advance pardon for this.
  18 - Pardon This was like an indulgence as recognized by the fallen church. His king would expect him to participate in the worship of Rimmon. 2ki0702,17. This conflict of interest, Naaman had apparently not yet resolved.
  19 - Go in peace This was a neutral courteous parting wish and did not indicate any promise from the prophet. In fact, we are pardoned only by the Messiah, Jesus who stands before the Father.
 20 ¶ But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat 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?
 22  And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.
.23  And Naaman said, Be content, take 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.
  20 - My master hath spared That is, not taken advantage of Naaman. Satan worked to distort the picture of a loving God.
  21 - As the Lord liveth This oath was profanity from the lips of one who was about to dishonor God. Naaman was obviously surprised.
  23 - Be content A polite way of saying "please accept."
 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, and they departed.
 25  But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither [nowhere].
 26  And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
.27  The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
  What a sad story! First the king, and now Gehazi placed themselves in the path to block the revelation of the glory of God. The Lord saw Gehazi and revealed it to Elisha he0413.
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