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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
2 Kings 5




2 Kings 4:1 to 2 Kings 6:23. Stories about Elisha as a Wonder-Worker.—The miracles of Elisha fill a considerable part of the early chapters of 2 K. They are mostly beneficent in character, and this prophet was evidently more in touch with the people than his stern predecessor. There is no reason to confine these tales to the reign of Jehoram, because the death of that king is recorded later in the book. The king of Israel is not mentioned by name, and was evidently on good terms with the prophet, which could hardly be expected of Jehoram. Probably some of the occurrences, especially in the Syrian wars, belong to the age of Jehu's dynasty. The biography of Elisha in 2 K. consists of 2 Kings 2:1-25, 2 Kings 4:1 to 2 Kings 6:23, 2 Kings 8:1-15, 2 Kings 13:14-21. In 2 Kings 6:24 to 2 Kings 7:20 and 2 Kings 9:1 to 2 Kings 10:31 Elisha is the leading prophet, but the source seems to be mainly some chronicle of the northern kingdom.

Verses 1-27

2 Kings 5:1-27. Naaman Healed of his Leprosy.—This story, familiar to all, presupposes a time of peace between Israel and Syria. As in 1 Kings 20, the king of Syria addresses the king of Israel (unnamed here) as his vassal (2 Kings 5:6 ff.). Elisha was living in Samaria, apparently in his own house. Naaman, on being healed, returned to Elisha, who refused to take any present, using Elijah's formula (1 Kings 17:1*). Naaman thereupon declared himself a worshipper of Yahweh (it is remarkable that 2 Kings 5:1 ascribes his victories to Yahweh), asking pardon if in his official capacity he bows himself before Rimmon (Ramman, the thunder-god of the Assyrians). Readers of Tom Brown's Schooldays will remember the not unnatural discussion amongst the boys as to why Elisha bade Naaman "go in peace," as though he approved his action. The phrase merely means "farewell." Gehazi pursued Naaman and returned to the hill (2 Kings 5:24); the word is Ophel, elsewhere in the Bible only applied to Jerusalem (p. 297), but also found on the Moabite Stone (1. 22; Driver, Samuel2, p. lxxxvii. renders "the Mound"). Elisha's rebuke (2 Kings 5:26 b) becomes in the LXX and Vulg. "and now thou hast received money . . . and the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave to thee." As though the infection of the disease clave to the present which Gehazi had received.

12. p. 33. 2 Kings 5:17. cf. 1 Samuel 26:19 f.


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

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