2 Kings 5

Naaman Is Healed

1 Now 1Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected *, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior, but he was a leper.
2 Now the Arameans had gone out 2in bands and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
3 She said to her mistress, "I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy."
4 Naaman went in and told his master, saying, "Thus and thus spoke the girl who is from the land of Israel."
5 Then the king of Aram said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." He departed and 3took with him ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold and ten 4changes of clothes.
6 He brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, "And now as this letter comes to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy."
7 When the king of Israel read the letter, 5he tore his clothes and said, "6Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man is sending word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? But 7consider now, and see how he is seeking a quarrel against me."
8 It happened when Elisha 8the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent word to the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."
9 So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha.
10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "9Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean."
11 But Naaman was furious 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 wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.'
12 "Are not Abanah 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 10went away in a rage.
13 11Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, "12My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much * more * then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean '?"
14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and 13his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and 14he was clean.

Gehazi's Greed

15 When he returned to the man of God with all his company, and came and stood before him, he said, "Behold now, 15I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; so please 16take a present from your servant now."
16 But he said, "17As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, 18I will take nothing." And he urged him to take it, but he refused.
17 Naaman said, "If not, please let your servant at least be given two mules' load of 19earth; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.
18 "In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and 20he leans on my hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter."
19 He said to him, "21Go in peace." So he departed from him some distance *.
20 But 22Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, "Behold, my master has spared this Naaman the Aramean, by not receiving from his hands what he brought. 23As the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him."
21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw one running after him, he came down from the chariot to meet him and said, "Is all well?"
22 He said, "24All is well. My master has sent me, saying, 'Behold, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from 25the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and 26two changes of clothes.' "
23 Naaman said, "27Be pleased to take two talents." And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags with two changes of clothes and gave them to two of his servants; and they carried them before him.
24 When he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and 28deposited them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed.
25 But he went in and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, "Where have you been, Gehazi?" And he said, "29Your servant went nowhere *."
26 Then he said to him, "Did not my heart go with you, when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? 30Is it a time to receive money and to receive clothes and olive groves and vineyards and sheep and oxen and male and female servants *?
27 "Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever." So he went out from his presence 31a leper as white as snow.

2 Kings 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

Naaman's leprosy. (1-8) The cure of it. (9-14) Elisha refuses Naaman's gifts. (15-19) Gehazi's covetousness and falsehood. (20-27)

Verses 1-8 Though the Syrians were idolaters, and oppressed God's people, yet the deliverance of which Naaman had been the means, is here ascribed to the Lord. Such is the correct language of Scripture, while those who write common history, plainly show that God is not in all their thoughts. No man's greatness, or honour, can place him our of the reach of the sorest calamities of human life: there is many a sickly, crazy body under rich and gay clothing. Every man has some but or other, something that blemishes and diminishes him, some allay to his grandeur, some damp to his joy. This little maid, though only a girl, could give an account of the famous prophet the Israelites had among them. Children should be early told of the wondrous works of God, that, wherever they go, they may talk of them. As became a good servant, she desired the health and welfare of her master, though she was a captive, a servant by force; much more should servants by choice, seek their masters' good. Servants may be blessings to the families where they are, by telling what they know of the glory of God, and the honour of his prophets. Naaman did not despise what she told, because of her meanness. It would be well if men were as sensible of the burden of sin as they are of bodily disease. And when they seek the blessings which the Lord sends in answer to the prayers of his faithful people, they will find nothing can be had, except they come as beggars for a free gift, not as lords to demand or purchase.

Verses 9-14 Elisha knew Naaman to be a proud man, and he would let him know, that before the great God all men stand upon the same level. All God's commands make trial of men's spirits, especially those which direct a sinner how to apply for the blessings of salvation. See in Naaman the folly of pride; a cure will not content him, unless he be cured with pomp and parade. He scorns to be healed, unless he be humoured. The way by which a sinner is received and made holy, through the blood, and by the Spirit of Christ, through faith alone in his name, does not sufficiently humour or employ self, to please the sinner's heart. Human wisdom thinks it can supply wiser and better methods of cleansing. Observe, masters should be willing to hear reason. As we should be deaf to the counsel of the ungodly, though given by great and respected names, so we are to have our ears open to good advice, though brought by those below us. Wouldst thou not do any thing? When diseased sinners are content to do any thing, to submit to any thing, to part with any thing, for a cure, then, and not till then, is there any hope of them. The methods for the healing of the leprosy of sin, are so plain, that we are without excuse if we do not observe them. It is but, Believe, and be saved; Repent, and be pardoned; Wash, and be clean. The believer applies for salvation, not neglecting, altering, or adding to the Saviour's directions; he is thus made clean from guilt, while others, who neglect them, live and die in the leprosy of sin.

Verses 15-19 The mercy of the cure affected Naaman more than the miracle. Those are best able to speak of the power of Divine grace, who themselves experience it. He also shows himself grateful to Elisha the prophet. Elijah refused any recompence, not because he thought it unlawful, for he received presents from others, but to show this new convert that the servants of the God of Israel looked upon worldly wealth with a holy contempt. The whole work was from God, in such a manner, that the prophet would not give counsel when he had no directions from the Lord. It is not well violently to oppose the lesser mistakes which unite with men's first convictions; we cannot bring men forward any faster than the Lord prepares them to receive instruction. Yet as to us, if, in covenanting with God, we desire to reserve any known sin, to continue to indulge ourselves in it, that is a breach of his covenant. Those who truly hate evil, will make conscience of abstaining from all appearances of evil.

Verses 20-27 Naaman, a Syrian, a courtier, a soldier, had many servants, and we read how wise and good they were. Elisha, a holy prophet, a man of God, has but one servant, and he proves a base liar. The love of money, that root of all evil, was at the bottom of Gehazi's sin. He thought to impose upon the prophet, but soon found that the Spirit of prophecy could not be deceived, and that it was in vain to lie to the Holy Ghost. It is folly to presume upon sin, in hopes of secrecy. When thou goest aside into any by-path, does not thy own conscience go with thee? Does not the eye of God go with thee? He that covers his sin, shall not prosper; particularly, a lying tongue is but for a moment. All the foolish hopes and contrivances of carnal worldlings are open before God. It is not a time to increase our wealth, when we can only do it in such ways as are dishonourable to God and religion, or injurious to others. Gehazi was punished. If he will have Naaman's money, he shall have his disease with it. What was Gehazi profited, though he gained two talents, when thereby he lost his health, his honour, his peace, his service, and, if repentance prevented not, his soul for ever? Let us beware of hypocrisy and covetousness, and dread the curse of spiritual leprosy remaining on our souls.

Cross References 31

  • 1. Luke 4:27
  • 2. 2 Kings 6:23; 2 Kings 13:20
  • 3. 1 Samuel 9:7; 2 Kings 4:42
  • 4. Judges 14:12; 2 Kings 5:22, 23
  • 5. Genesis 37:29
  • 6. Genesis 30:2; 1 Samuel 2:6
  • 7. 1 Kings 20:7; Luke 11:54
  • 8. 1 Kings 12:22
  • 9. John 9:7
  • 10. Proverbs 14:17; Proverbs 16:32; Proverbs 19:11
  • 11. 1 Samuel 28:23
  • 12. 2 Kings 2:12; 2 Kings 6:21; 2 Kings 8:9
  • 13. 2 Kings 5:10; Job 33:25
  • 14. Luke 4:27; Luke 5:13
  • 15. Joshua 2:11; 1 Samuel 17:46, 47; 2 Kings 5:8
  • 16. 1 Samuel 25:27
  • 17. 2 Kings 3:14
  • 18. Genesis 14:22, 23; 2 Kings 5:20, 26
  • 19. Exodus 20:24
  • 20. 2 Kings 7:2, 17
  • 21. Exodus 4:18; 1 Samuel 1:17; Mark 5:34
  • 22. 2 Kin 4:12, 31, 36
  • 23. Exodus 20:7; 2 Kings 6:31
  • 24. 2 Kings 4:26
  • 25. Joshua 24:33
  • 26. 2 Kings 5:5
  • 27. 2 Kings 6:3
  • 28. Josh 7:1, 11, 12, 21; 1 Kings 21:16
  • 29. 2 Kings 5:22
  • 30. 2 Kings 5:16
  • 31. Exodus 4:6; Numbers 12:10

Footnotes 14

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 5

This chapter gives an account of the leprosy of Naaman the Syrian, and of the cure of it by Elisha; how he came to hear of him, and the recommendation he had from the king of Syria to the king of Israel, 2Ki 5:1-8, who, coming to Elisha's house, was ordered to dip himself seven times in Jordan, which made him depart in wrath; but one of his servants persuaded him to do it, and he did, and was cured, 2Ki 5:9-14, upon which he returned to Elisha, and offered him a present, which he refused, 2Ki 5:15-19 but Gehazi, his servant, ran after him with a lie in his mouth, and obtained it, and returned to his master with another, for which he was smitten with the leprosy of Naaman, 2Ki 5:20-27.

2 Kings 5 Commentaries