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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 5

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-27

The Healing of Naaman and the Punishment of Gehazi

1. The Lord.. Syria] Possibly the enemies from whom the Syrians had been saved were the Assyrians. Naaman, in delivering his countrymen from them, had been an unconscious instrument in the hands of Jehovah. A leper] see on Leviticus 13. Leprosy is of slow development, and as Naaman retained his military command, his malady cannot have reached a very advanced stage. It is not likely, in any case, that the Syrians observed the same strict rules regarding it as the Jews.

2. By companies] i.e. by raiding bands.

5. The king of Israel] probably Jehoram. Ten talents] A talent was a weight of 96 lb. Pieces of gold] probably shekels, and so in 2 Kings 6:25, a shekel being a weight of 224 grains.

Changes of raiment] For such a present cp. Genesis 45:22. The expression implies costly robes.

6. That thou mayest recover] i.e. by using his influence with the prophet.

10. Sent a messenger] cp. 2 Kings 4:13. Seven times] The figure probably stands for an indefinite number (cp. 1 Kings 18:43); but it is possible that it also had special religious associations (cp. Genesis 21:28; Joshua 6:4). The prophet’s direction to Naaman to wash in the Jordan did not imply any miraculous quality in the water of the river, but was intended to test the sufferer’s faith.

11. Strike] better, ’wave,’ for he would probably avoid actual contact.

12. Abana and Pharpar] These two rivers rise in Mt. Hermon and lose themselves in a marshy lake near Damascus. Though smaller, they are much clearer than the Jordan.

13. My father] a title of honour: cp. 2 Kings 2:12; 2 Kings 6:21.

15. He returned] The distance from the Jordan to Samaria was some 30 m.

A blessing] RV ’a present’: cp. Genesis 33:11; Judges 1:15. Naaman did well to seek to show his gratitude to the Lord by a gift to His prophet, but Elisha’s refusal meant that for imparting a divine blessing which he was empowered from on high to bestow, he could receive no personal gain.

17. Two mules’ burden of earth] It was believed that a national deity was intimately connected with the country he protected, so that Naaman, being desirous of worshipping the Lord (Jehovah) in Syria, wished to transport thither some of the soil of Israel as being associated with His presence and so most fitted for the construction of an altar to Him.

18. Rimmon] identical with the Assyrian storm-god Ramman.

19. Go in peace] Elisha, to avoid putting too severe a strain upon the incipient devotion of his foreign convert, did not demand consistency, though his predecessor Elijah, in the case of native Israelites, had protested against such divided allegiance (1 Kings 18:21).

22. Mount Ephraim] RV ’the hill country of Ephraim.’ Bethel and Gilgal, where there were bodies of ’sons of the prophets’ (c. 2), were situated in this district.

23. Be content] i.e. consent: cp. 2 Kings 6:3.

24. The tower] RV ’the hill’: probably an elevation near Samaria. Some take it to mean ’the citadel.’

26. Is it a time] The occasion had not been a suitable one for acquiring gain, but for rejoicing over the manifestation of the Lord’s power and graciousness, calculated as it was to awaken the wonder and gratitude of the foreigner, Naaman, which Gehazi’s covetousness migbt now repress.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/2-kings-5.html. 1909.
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