Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was honored by his master, and he had much respect because the Lord used him to give victory to Aram. He was a mighty and brave man, but he had a skin disease.
The Arameans had gone out to raid the Israelites and had taken a little girl as a captive. This little girl served Naaman's wife.
She said to her mistress, "I wish my master would meet the prophet who lives in Samaria. He would cure him of his disease."
Naaman went to the king and told him what the girl from Israel had said.
The king of Aram said, "Go ahead, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So Naaman left and took with him about seven hundred fifty pounds of silver, as well as one hundred fifty pounds of gold and ten changes of clothes.
He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, "I am sending my servant Naaman to you so you can heal him of his skin disease."
When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes to show how upset he was. He said, "I'm not God! I can't kill and make alive again! Why does this man send someone with a skin disease for me to heal? You can see that the king of Aram is trying to start trouble with me."
When Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent the king this message: "Why have you torn your clothes? Let Naaman come to me. Then he will know there is a prophet in Israel."
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots to Elisha's house and stood outside the door.
Elisha sent Naaman a messenger who said, "Go and wash in the Jordan River seven times. Then your skin will be healed, and you will be clean."
Naaman became angry and left. He said, "I thought Elisha would surely come out and stand before me and call on the name of the Lord his God. I thought he would wave his hand over the place and heal the disease.
The Abana and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than all the waters of Israel. Why can't I wash in them and become clean?" So Naaman went away very angry.
Naaman's servants came near and said to him, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn't you have done it? Doesn't it make more sense just to do it? After all, he only told you, 'Wash, and you will be clean.'"
So Naaman went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, just as Elisha had said. Then his skin became new again, like the skin of a child. And he was clean.
Naaman and all his group returned to Elisha. He stood before Elisha and said, "Look, I now know there is no God in all the earth except in Israel. Now please accept a gift from me."
But Elisha said, "As surely as the Lord lives whom I serve, I won't accept anything." Naaman urged him to take the gift, but he refused.
Then Naaman said, "If you won't take the gift, then please give me some soil -- as much as two of my mules can carry. From now on I'll not offer any burnt offering or sacrifice to any other gods but the Lord.
But let the Lord pardon me for this: When my master goes into the temple of Rimmonn to worship, he leans on my arm. Then I must bow in that temple. May the Lord pardon me when I do that."
Elisha said to him, "Go in peace." Naaman left Elisha and went a short way.
Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, "My master has not accepted what Naaman the Aramean brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I'll run after him and get something from him."
So Gehazi went after Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got off the chariot to meet Gehazi. He asked, "Is everything all right?"
Gehazi said, "Everything is all right. My master has sent me. He said, 'Two young men from the groups of prophets in the mountains of Ephraim just came to me. Please give them seventy-five pounds of silver and two changes of clothes.'"
Naaman said, "Please take one hundred fifty pounds," and he urged Gehazi to take it. He tied one hundred fifty pounds of silver in two bags with two changes of clothes. Then he gave them to two of his servants to carry for Gehazi.
When they came to the hill, Gehazi took these things from Naaman's servants and put them in the house. Then he let Naaman's servants go, and they left.
When he came in and stood before his master, Elisha said to him, "Where have you been, Gehazi?" "I didn't go anywhere," he answered.
But Elisha said to him, "My spirit was with you. I knew when the man turned from his chariot to meet you. This isn't a time to take money, clothes, olives, grapes, sheep, oxen, male servants, or female servants.
So Naaman's skin disease will come on you and your children forever." When Gehazi left Elisha, he had the disease and was as white as snow.