2 Reis 5

1 Naaman was a great soldier. He was commander of the Syrian army and highly respected and esteemed by the king of Syria Aram. Jehovah gave victory to the Syrian forces through Naaman. He suffered from a dreaded skin disease.

2 The Syrians carried off a little Israelite girl during one of their raids against Israel. The girl became a servant of Naaman's wife.

3 She said to her mistress: »I wish my master could go to the prophet who lives in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.«

4 Naaman heard of this and told the king what the girl said.

5 The king said: »Go to the king of Israel and take this letter to him.« Naaman departed. He took thirty thousand pieces of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of fine clothes.

6 The letter stated: »This letter will introduce my officer Naaman. I want you to cure him of his leprosy.«

7 The king of Israel read the letter and tore his clothes and said: »How can the king of Syria expect me to cure this man? Does he think that I am God, with the power of life and death? It is plain that he is trying to start a quarrel with me!«

8 When the prophet Elisha heard what happened, he sent word to the king: »Why are you so upset? Send Naaman to me. I will show him that there is a prophet in Israel!«

9 Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the entrance to Elisha's house.

10 Elisha sent a servant to tell him to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River. He would then be completely cured of his disease.

11 Naaman left in a rage, saying: »I thought he would at least come out to me, pray to Jehovah his God, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and cure me!

12 »Are not the Abanah and Pharpar rivers in Damascus better than any river in Israel? I could have washed in them and been cured!«

13 His servants went up to him and said: »If the prophet had told you to do something difficult, you would have done it. Now why can you not just wash yourself, as he said, and be cured?«

14 So Naaman went to the Jordan River and dipped himself in it seven times, as Elisha had instructed. He was completely cured. His flesh became firm and healthy like that of a child.

15 Naaman returned to Elisha with all his men and said: »Now I realize there is no god but the God of Israel. Please accept a gift from me.«

16 Elisha the prophet answered: »By the living God Jehovah whom I serve, I swear that I will not accept a gift.« Naaman insisted that he accept it, but he would not.

17 So Naaman said: »If you will not accept my gift, then let me have two mule-loads of earth to take home with me. From now on I will not offer sacrifices or burnt offerings to any god except Jehovah.

18 »I hope Jehovah will forgive me when I accompany my king to the temple of Rimmon, the god of Syria, and worship him. Surely Jehovah will forgive me!«

19 Elisha said: »Go in peace.« And Naaman left. He had gone only a short distance,

20 when Elisha's servant Gehazi said to himself: »My master has let Naaman get away without paying a thing! He should have accepted what that Syrian offered him. By the living God Jehovah I will run after him and get something from him.«

21 He ran after Naaman. When Naaman saw a man running after him, he got down from his chariot to meet him, and asked: »What is wrong?«

22 »Nothing is wrong,« answered Gehazi. »But my master sent me to tell you that just now two members of the group of prophets in the hill country of Ephraim arrived. He would like you to give them three thousand pieces of silver and two changes of fine clothes.«

23 »Please take six thousand pieces of silver,« Naaman replied. He tied the silver in two bags and gave them and two changes of fine clothes to two of his servants, and sent them on ahead of Gehazi.

24 They reached the hill where Elisha lived. Gehazi took the two bags and carried them into the house. Then he sent Naaman's servants back.

25 He went into the house. Elisha asked him: »Where have you been?« »Oh, nowhere,« he answered.

26 Elisha said: »Was I there in spirit when the man got out of his chariot to meet you? This is no time to accept money and clothes, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and cattle, or servants!

27 »Naaman's leprosy will come upon you. You and your descendants will have it from generation to generation!« When Gehazi left, he had the disease. His skin was as white as snow.