Naaman healed of leprosy
1 Naaman was the army com mander of the king of Aram. This man was highly regarded and enjoyed the king’s favor, for Yahweh had helped him lead the army of the Arameans to victory. But this valiant man was sick with leprosy.
2 One day some Aramean soldiers raided the land of Israel and took a young girl captive who became a servant to the wife of Naaman. She said to her mistress, 3 “If my master would only present himself to the prophet in Sa maria, he would surely cure him of his leprosy.”
4 Naaman went to tell the king what the young Israelite maidservant had said. 5 The king of Aram said to him, “Go to the prophet, and I shall also send a letter to the king of Israel.”
5 So Naaman went and took with him ten gold bars, six thousand pieces of silver and ten festal garments. 6 On his arrival, he delivered the letter to the king of Israel. It said, “I present my servant Naaman to you that you may heal him of his leprosy.”
7 When the king had read the letter, he tore his clothes to show his indignation, “I am not God to give life or death. And the king of Aram sends me this man to be healed! You see he is just looking for an excuse for war.”
8 Elisha, the man of God, came to know that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, so he sent this message to him: “Why have you torn your clothes? Let the man come to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stopped before the house of Elisha. 10 Elisha then sent a messenger to tell him, “Go to the river Jordan and wash seven times, and your flesh shall be as it was before, and you shall be cleansed.”
11 Naaman was angry, so he went away. He thought: “On my arrival, he should have personally come out, and then paused and called on the name of Yahweh, his God. And he should have touched with his hand the infected part, and I would have been healed. 12 Are the rivers of Damascus, Abana and Pharpar not better than all the rivers of the land of Israel? Could I not wash there to be healed?”
13 His servants approached him and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had ordered you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? But how much easier when he said: Take a bath and you will be cleansed.”
14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan where he washed himself seven times as Elisha had ordered. His skin became soft like that of a child and he was cleansed.
15 Then Naaman returned to the man of God with all his men. He entered and said to him, “Now I know that there is no other God anywhere in the world but in Israel. I ask you to accept these gifts from your servant.”
16 But Elisha answered, “I swear by Yahweh whom I serve, I will accept no thing.” And however much Naaman insisted, Elisha would not accept his gifts.
17 So Naaman told him, “Since you refuse, let me get some sacks of soil from your land – the amount that two mules can carry. I shall use it to build an altar to Yahweh, for I shall not offer sacrifices to any other god but him. 18 But may Yahweh pardon me: when my king goes to the temple of his god Rimmon, he leans on my arm, and I bow down with him. May Yahweh pardon me for this.” 19 Elisha answered, “Go in peace.” And Naaman went.
19 Naaman was already at a certain distance, 20 when Gehazi, Elisha’s ser vant, thought: “Imagine that my lord refused to take the gifts that Aramean brought! As Yahweh lives, I will run after him and get some of them!”
21 Gehazi went after Naaman and Naaman saw Gehazi running after him, so he jumped out of his chariot to greet him. 22 Gehazi said to him, “Pardon me, lord, my master sent me to say to you: Two young men from the community of the prophets have just come to me from the mountain of Ephraim, kindly give me a talent of silver and two new garments for them.” Naaman replied, 23 “Please accept two talents of silver.”
23 He insisted that Gehazi accept them, so he put the two talents of silver with two new garments in two sacks, and handed them over to two of his ser vants who carried them before Gehazi. 24 When they reached Ophel, Gehazi took them from their hands and put them away in his house. Then he sent the two servants of Naaman away, and they left.
25 When he appeared before his mas ter, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” He an swered, “Your ser vant has not been any place.” 26 Elisha replied, “Did not my spirit run after you when a man jumped out of his chariot to meet you? Well, you have received silver and can now buy olive groves, vineyards, sheep, oxen and ser vants. 27 But you and all your decendants shall be infected with the leprosy of Naaman forever.” And Gehazi left his presence with leprosy, as white as snow.