2 Kings 5

God makes Naaman well again

1 Naaman was the leader of the king of Aram's army. Naaman's master thought that Naaman was a really great man. That was because the Lord had used Naaman. He had used him so that the king of Aram won wars. Naaman was a great soldier. But he had an illness called leprosy. 2 But men from Aram had gone to Israel. They had caught a young girl. She became the servant of Naaman's wife. 3 The girl said to her master's wife, ‘I would like my master Naaman to see the prophet who is in Samaria. The prophet would take away his illness.’ 4 Naaman went to his master the king of Aram. He told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 The king of Aram replied, ‘Go to Israel! Go there! I will send a letter to the king of Israel.’ So Naaman went to Israel. He took with him 10 talents of silver, 6,000 shekels of gold, and 10 suits of clothes. 6 Also, he took the letter for the king of Israel. It said, ‘I am sending my servant Naaman to you, with this letter. I want you to take away his leprosy.’ 7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes. He said, ‘I am not God. I cannot kill people and make them alive again. This man cannot send someone to me, so that I can take away his leprosy. He is trying to have a quarrel with me.’

8 Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes. Then, he sent to him this message. ‘You did not have to tear your clothes. Cause the man from Aram to come to me. Then he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.’ 9 So Naaman went to Elisha with his horses and with his chariots. They stopped at the door of Elisha's house. 10 Elisha sent a man with a message to Naaman. ‘Go to the river Jordan. Wash yourself 7 times in the river. Then your skin will be clean. You will not have leprosy.’ 11 But Naaman was angry. He went away and he said, ‘I thought that he would come out of his house to me. Then he would stand there. He would pray to the name of the Lord his God. And then he would move his hand over the leprosy. I thought that he would make me well again like that. 12 Abana and Pharpar are rivers in Damascus. They are better than any of the rivers in Israel. Surely, I could wash in them and become clean!’ And he turned and he went away. He was very, very angry. 13 But Naaman's servants went to him. One of them said, ‘My father, the prophet might have asked you to do some great thing. You surely would have done it! Now all that he says to you is, “Wash! Then you will be clean.” ’ 14 So Naaman went down to the river Jordan. He washed himself in it 7 times. That was what the man of God had asked him to do. And Naaman's skin became well again. It became as clean as a young child's skin.

15 Then Naaman and all his servants went back to the man of God. Naaman stood in front of the man of God and said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in the whole world except the one in Israel. Now accept a gift from your servant Naaman.’ 16 But Elisha answered him, ‘As surely as the Lord is alive, I will not accept a gift. I am the Lord's servant.’ Naaman asked him many times to accept a gift but Elisha refused. 17 So Naaman said, ‘So, you will not accept a gift. But give to me, your servant, as much earth as two donkeys can carry. Then your servant will never again worship any God but the Lord. 18 But I want the Lord to forgive your servant for one thing. My master, the king of Aram, often goes into the house of the god Rimmon. He bends down in front of Rimmon and he holds my arm. So I also have to bend down in front of Rimmon. I ask that the Lord will forgive me when I do that.’ 19 And Elisha said to Naaman, ‘Go and do not let it be a trouble to you.’ Then Naaman went a little way from Elisha's house.

20 Gehazi was the servant of Elisha, the man of God. Gehazi said to himself, ‘My master made it too easy for Naaman, the man from Aram. He did not accept the gifts that he brought. As surely as the Lord is alive, I will run after him. I will get something from Naaman.’ 21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. Naaman saw that Gehazi was running after him. So he got down from his chariot to meet him. Naaman asked Gehazi, ‘Is everything well?’ 22 ‘Everything is well,’ he answered. ‘My master sent me to say this to you. Two young men have come to me. They are from a group of prophets in the hills of Ephraim. Please give to them a talent of silver and two sets of clothes.’ 23 And Naaman said, ‘Yes, I will. But take two talents.’ He caused Gehazi to accept them. He tied the two talents of silver into two bags, with two sets of clothes. He gave them to two of his servants and they carried them in front of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to a hill near Elisha's house, he took the things from the servants. He put them in the house. He sent the servants away and they left him. 25 Gehazi went into the house and he stood in front of his master. And Elisha said to Gehazi, ‘Where have you been?’ Gehazi answered, ‘Your servant has not been anywhere.’ 26 But Elisha said to him, ‘My spirit was with you. It was there when the man came down from his chariot to meet you. This is not the time to take money, clothes, olive trees, vineyards, groups of animals or male and female servants. 27 Naaman's leprosy will always be with you and your children.’ Then Gehazi went away from Elisha. He had leprosy. His skin was as white as snow.