Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 5:10

Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Elisha;   Excuses;   Joram;   Jordan;   Leprosy;   Miracles;   Naaman;   Readings, Select;   Seven;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Elisha;   Home;   Jordan;   Miracles;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Preparation;   Prophet's;   Readiness-Unreadiness;   Religion;   Seven;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jordan, the River;   Leprosy;   Miracles Wrought through Servants of God;   Rivers;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Miracle;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Healing;   Seven;   Syria;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Heal, Health;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bath (1);   Number;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ablutions;   Elisha;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Damascus;   Elisha;   Jordan;   Medicine;   Naaman;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Joram;   Numbers (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Miracles;   Naaman ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Abana;   Naaman;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Elisha;   Gehazi;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Bath, Bathing;   Eli'sha;   Medicine;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bath;   Naaman;   Number;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Sent a messenger - Did not come out to speak with him: he had got his orders from God, and he transmitted them to Naaman by his servant.

Wash in Jordan seven times - The waters of Jordan had no tendency to remove this disorder but God chose to make them the means by which he would convey his healing power. He who is the author of life, health, and salvation, has a right to dispense, convey, and maintain them, by whatsoever means he pleases.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Elisha was not deterred from personally meeting Naaman because he was a leper. He sent a messenger because Naaman had over-estimated his own importance 2 Kings 5:11), and needed rebuke.

And wash in Jordan - Compare the marginal references. A command is given which tests the faith of the recipient, and the miracle is not performed until such faith is openly evidenced.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-5.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

RECEIVING ELISHA'S COMMAND; NAAMAN LEFT IN A RAGE

"And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Jehovah his God, and wave his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage."

"Go and wash in the Jordan seven times" (2 Kings 5:10). "The word for `wash' here is `dip'; and it is identified with `baptism' in the N.T."[7] (See the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the O.T.) Thus, what was commanded was that Naaman should be IMMERSED seven times in Jordan. Jesus gave a similar command to the man born blind, "Go wash in the pool of Siloam" (John 9:7); and it should be remembered that all mankind are commanded to "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

Significantly, the reaction of countless sons of Adam to that Divine injunction is very similar to that of Naaman's initial reaction here, with exactly the same result. He remained a leper; they remain in their sins.

This leads us to inquire as to why Naaman was angry. There were several reasons: (1) The implication that he needed a bath was offensive. (2) The waters of Jordan were usually muddy as compared with the crystal streams of Damascus. (3) His pride had been wounded. He was a great man and expected to be honored and respected by the prophet, but Elisha's merely SENDING him a message appeared to him as an insult.

However, his salvation from leprosy, designed to serve as a type of the whole Gentile world receiving salvation, required that he obey God's Word as conveyed to him by a messenger. All people are to be saved "through their word" (John 17:20), that is, the word of the apostles, the messengers and preachers of the truth, through whom they shall hear the words of eternal life.

"Behold, I thought, He will come out to me ... and call on the name of Jehovah his God" (2 Kings 5:11). It is significant that Naaman knew the name of the God of Israel, a name also mentioned on the Moabite Stone. In fact, one of the important revelations of this episode is that the Gentiles indeed "knew God," as Paul declared that, "Knowing God, they glorified him not as God" (Romans 1:21).

"Are not Abanah and Pharpar better than all the waters of Israel" (2 Kings 5:12). There is a sense, of course, in which it was true that the Jordan did not compare favorably with the crystal rivers of Damascus. "Abanah is identified with the Barada, and the Pharpar was either a tributary to Abanah called Fidjeh, or another independent river, the Awaaj, running several miles south of Damascus. The Romans called the Abanah the Chrysorrhoas."[8]

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-kings-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Elisha sent a messenger unto him,.... Or returned an answer by Naaman's messenger; he did not go out to him, choosing to be retired, as he commonly did; and being perhaps employed in prayer for the cure; and it may be also to show his contempt of or little regard he had to worldly grandeur and honour, as well as to mortify the pride of Naaman:

saying, go and wash in Jordan seven times; so, according to the law of the cleansing the leper, he was to be sprinkled seven times, and on the seventh day his flesh was to be bathed or dipped all over in water, which is meant by washing here, Leviticus 14:7.

and thy flesh shall come again to thee; which was eaten and consumed by the disease on him:

and thou shalt be clean; freed from this pollution, or filthy disease, with which he was defiled; for a leper was reckoned unclean, Leviticus 13:3.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-5.html. 1999.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

And says not the prophet, in this instance, like the gospel? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, is the sweet language it proclaims. Go, wash in the blood of the Lamb, not seven times indeed, for he that is once washed, needs no more sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 10:18., And, as Jesus himself graciously said, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. John 13:10.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-kings-5.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

Elisha sent — Which he did, partly, to exercise Naaman's faith and obedience: partly, for the honour of his religion, that it might appear he sought not his own glory and profit, but only God's honour, and the good of men.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 5:10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

Ver. 10. Go and wash in Jordan seven times.] This was the prophet’s oracle, which he construeth for a contempt, and thereupon blustereth. [2 Kings 5:11-12] The simplicity of Christ is still much mistaken by the mad world, ever besides itself in point of salvation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-5.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Elisha sent a messenger; partly, to try and exercise Naaman’s faith and obedience; partly, for the honour of his religion and ministry, that it might appear he sought not his own glory and profit in his miraculous performances, but only God’s honour, and the good of men; and partly, for the discovery of the almighty power of God, that could by such slight means cure so desperate a disease.

Thy flesh shall come again; which was in great part consumed by the leprosy. See Numbers 12:12.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-5.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.Sent a messenger — He would not respect Naaman’s pride enough to do him the honour of going out to him in person. It was his purpose to humble the proud spirit of the Syrian soldier.

Wash in Jordan seven times — This command was another measure designed to humble Naaman even more than the neglect of the prophet to come out of his house to see him. So the very simplicity of the Gospel is a stumbling block to the proud.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-5.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Messenger. Eliseus supports the dignity of God's envoy, and shews the general that his cure was to be attributed, not to the presence of the prophet, but to the will and goodness of God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Go and wash. Compare John 9:7, and other commands: "Go, call" (John 4:16); "Go, sell" (Matthew 19:21).

wash = bathe (ceremonially). See note on Leviticus 14:9.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-5.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) Elisha sent a messenger.—Avoiding personal contact with a leper. (Comp. 2 Kings 5:15, where Naaman, when restored, goes in and stands before the prophet.) Perhaps reverence held back those who consulted a great prophet from entering his presence (comp. 2 Kings 4:12); and therefore, Naaman stopped with his followers outside the house. Keil suggests that Elisha did not come out to Naaman, because he wished to humble his pride, and to show that his worldly magnificence did not impress the prophet. But, as Thenius says, there is no trace of pride about Naaman.

Go.—Infinitive, equivalent to the imperative. (Comp. 2 Kings 3:16; and perhaps 2 Kings 4:43.)

Wash in (the) Jordan.—This command would make it clear that Naaman was not cured by any external means applied by the prophet. “The Syrians knew as well as the Israelites that the Jordan could not heal leprosy” (Bähr). Naaman was to understand that he was healed by the God of Israel, at His prophet’s prayer. (Comp. 2 Kings 5:15.)

Thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.—Literally, and let thy flesh come back to thee, and be thou clean. Leprosy is characterised by raw flesh and running sores, which end in entire wasting away of the tissues.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
sent a messenger
Matthew 15:23-26
wash
2:21; 3:16; 4:41; John 9:7; 1 Corinthians 6:11
seven times
Leviticus 14:7,16,51; 16:14,19; Numbers 19:4,19; Joshua 6:4,13-16
thy flesh
14; Exodus 4:6,7
Reciprocal: Genesis 35:2 - clean;  Leviticus 13:58 - be washed;  2 Kings 4:16 - do not lie;  2 Kings 5:13 - Wash;  2 Kings 13:17 - Open;  1 Chronicles 21:19 - went up;  Luke 5:5 - nevertheless;  Luke 5:13 - I will;  John 2:7 - Fill;  John 5:4 - was made;  John 13:5 - to wash

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-5.html.