Old Testament

2 Kings 5
Elisha Cures Na'aman's Leprosy
51Na'aman,[] the commander of the king of Aram's army, was a great man in the opinion of his master. He was highly honored because the Lord had provided victory for Aram through him. Although he was a powerful warrior, he had leprosy.[]
2Raiding parties had once gone out from Aram and brought back a young girl. She served Na'aman's wife. 3She said to her mistress, “I wish my master stood before the prophet who is in Samaria, because he would cure him of his leprosy.”
4So Na'aman went and told his master what the servant girl from the land of Israel had said.
5Then the king of Aram said, “Go there. I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Na'aman went, and he took ten talents[] of silver and six thousand shekels[] of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6Then he took the letter to the king of Israel. The letter said, “Now, when you receive this letter, you will know that I am sending my officer Na'aman to you so that you can cure him of his leprosy.”
7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothing and said, “Am I God that I can kill and make alive? Why is he sending a man to me for me to heal him from his leprosy? See how he is looking for a pretext to fight against me.”
8But when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king: “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9So Na'aman went with his horses and chariots and stopped in front of the door of Elisha's house. 10But Elisha sent a messenger out to him to say, “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan. Then your flesh will be restored and you will be clean.”
11But Na'aman was angry and he left, saying, “Look, I said to myself, ‘He will certainly come out and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God and wave his hand over the place, and I will be cured of the leprosy!’ 12Aren't the Abana and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went away in a burning rage.
13But his servants approached and spoke to him. They said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not do it? How much more when he says to you, ‘Wash and be clean’?”
14So he went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said. Then his flesh was restored like the flesh of a small child, and he was clean. 15Then he and his whole escort went back to the man of God. He stood in front of Elisha and said, “To be sure, now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel. Now accept a gift from your servant.”
16But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives, in whose presence I stand, I will not take anything.” Even though Na'aman urged him to accept something, he refused.
17Then Na'aman said, “If you do not want anything, please give me, your servant, as much dirt as two donkeys can carry, for your servant will never again burn incense or sacrifice to other gods, but only to the Lord. 18But may the Lord forgive your servant this one thing: When my master goes into the house of Rimmon to bow down there and he supports himself on my arm, then I too have to bow down in the house of Rimmon. When I bow down in the house of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant this one thing.”
19Then Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.”
Gehazi's Sin
When Na'aman had gone some distance from him, 20Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “My master was too easy on this Aramean, Na'aman, when he did not accept anything that he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”
21So Gehazi chased after Na'aman. When Na'aman saw him running after him, he got down from his chariot to meet him. He said, “Is everything all right?”
22Then Gehazi said, “Yes, everything is all right. My master sent me to say, ‘Look, just now two young men from the hill country of Ephraim, from the sons of the prophets, have come to me. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’”
23Na'aman said, “Certainly! Take two talents!”[] He urged Gehazi and tied up the two talents of silver in two bags with the two sets of clothing. Then Na'aman gave them to his two servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24When he came to the hill, he took the gifts from them. Then he hid them in the house and sent the men back, so they left. 25Then he went in and attended his master.
Elisha said to him, “Where were you, Gehazi?”
Gehazi said, “Your servant didn't go anywhere.”
26Then Elisha said to him, “Didn't my heart go along when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take silver, or to accept clothes or olive groves or vineyards or sheep or cattle or male and female servants? 27Na'aman's leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went out from his presence, leprous like snow.


  • 5:1 The stop mark ' is inserted into some names as a pronunciation guide. The double vowel should not be read as one syllable, Nayman, but as two syllables, Nay-a-man.
  • 5:1 The Hebrew word covers a wider range of skin diseases than the disease presently known as leprosy.
  • 5:5 Ten talents is about 750 pounds.
  • 5:5 The text provides no unit of measure for the gold, but if it is shekels, the amount would be about 150 pounds.
  • 5:23 About 150 pounds.