Study Guide

2 Kings Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Prophetic Dermatology

  • A man named Naaman is the valiant commander of the King of Aram's army. God helps him in his victories and he's a good dude. One catch: he has leprosy.
  • A young Israelite woman who serves his wife tells Naaman that he should go find the prophet who lives in Samaria (Elisha) who can help him with his leprosy.
  • The King of Aram gives him permission to go find Elisha, sending along a letter to the King of Israel telling him what Naaman is doing in traveling through his country.
  • So Naaman leaves, bearing gifts for Elisha.
  • The King of Israel gets upset, thinking the King of Aram expects him to be responsible for curing Naaman. But Elisha tells the King of Israel to calm down—he'll help Naaman.

The Ol' Seven Dip Cure

  • Elisha doesn't meet Naaman personally, but he sends messengers to tell him to dip himself in the Jordan seven times and he'll be healed.
  • At first, Naaman is annoyed. He says he wanted Elisha to come personally and wave his hands over him while calling on God, thus curing the leprosy. He also says that he doesn't understand why he needs to go in the Jordan when the water of other rivers is the same.
  • He walks away in a rage, but his servants follow, telling him he should take Elisha's advice. They talk sense, saying that what Elisha asked was a very easy thing.
  • So Naaman dips himself in the Jordan seven times and is healed completely.
  • He goes to Elisha and says that he now realizes that there is no god but God. He tries to offer Elisha a gift, but the prophet refuses.
  • Naaman says he'll worship no other gods from now on, but asks Elisha if it's okay if he still bows down in the temple of Rimmon when the King of Aram bows. Elisha says that God will forgive him for this.

Con Man

  • However Gehazi (Elisha's servant) runs after Naaman and lies, telling him that Elisha said he wants two sets of clothes and a talent of silver for two prophets who just arrived.
  • Naaman gives him all that and an extra talent of silver.
  • But when Gehazi returns, Elisha says that he traveled with him in spirit and saw what he did.
  • Elisha says that Naaman's leprosy will now cling to Gehazi and his descendants from now on.
  • Sure enough, when Gehazi steps outside, his skin is now leprous (yipes).

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