Naaman, commander of the army for the king of Aram, was a great man in his master's sighta and highly regarded because through him, the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man was a brave warrior, but he had a skin disease.
Aram had gone on raids and brought back from the land of Israel a young girl who served Naaman's wife.
She said to her mistress, "If only my master would go tob the prophet who is in Samaria, he would cure him of his skin disease."
So Naaman went and told his master what the girl from the land of Israel had said.
Therefore, 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 poundsc of silver, 150 poundsd of gold, and 10 changes of clothes.
He 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.
When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and asked, "Am I God, killing and giving life that this man expects me to cure a man of his skin disease? Think it over and you will see that he is only picking a fight withe me."f8
When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel tore 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."
So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house.
Then Elisha sent him a messenger, who said, "Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean."
But Naaman got angry and left, saying, "I was telling myself: He will surely come out, stand and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and will wave his hand over the spot and cure the skin disease.
Aren't Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and left in a rage.
But his servants approached and said to him, "My father, 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 tells you, 'Wash and be clean'?"
So 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.
Then 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. Therefore, please accept a gift from your servant."
But Elisha said, "As the Lord lives, I stand before Him. I will not accept it." Naaman urged him to accept it, but he refused.
Naaman responded, "If not, please let two mule-loads of dirt be given to your servant, for your servant will no longer offer a burnt offering or a sacrifice to any other god but Yahweh.
However, in a particular matter may the Lord pardon your servant: When my master, [the king of Aram], goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship and I, as his right-hand man,g bow in the temple of Rimmon-when I bowh in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant in this matter."
So he said to him, "Go in peace." After Naaman had traveled a short distance from Elisha,
Gehazi, 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, I will run after him and get something from him.
So 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?"
Gehazi said, "It's all right. 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 75 poundsi of silver and two changes of clothes.' "
But Naaman insisted, "Please, accept 150 pounds."j He urged Gehazi and then packed 150 poundsk of silver in two bags with two changes of clothes. Naaman gave them to two of his young men who carried them ahead of Gehazi.
When Gehazi came to the hill,l he took the gifts from them and stored them in the house. Then he dismissed the men, and they left.
Gehazi came and stood by his master. "Where did you go, Gehazi?" Elisha asked him. "Your servant didn't go anywhere," he replied.
But Elisha questioned him, "Wasn't my spirit therem when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to accept money and clothes, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves?
Therefore, Naaman's skin disease will cling to you and your descendants forever." So Gehazi went out from his presence diseased-[white] as snow.