Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 5:11

But Naaman was furious and went away and said, "Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Elisha;   Excuses;   Joram;   Jordan;   Leprosy;   Miracles;   Naaman;   Pride;   Rashness;   Readings, Select;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Humility-Pride;   Impatience;   Patience-Impatience;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Pride;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anger;   Leprosy;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Healing;   Syria;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Call, Calling;   Hand, Right Hand;   Heal, Health;   Magic;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Hezekiah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Gestures;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Damascus;   Elisha;   Naaman;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Christ, Christology;   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 - Eli'sha;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Naaman;   Recover;   Strike;   Wrath (Anger);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Naaman was wroth - And why? Because the prophet treated him without ceremony; and because he appointed him an expenseless and simple mode of cure.

Behold, I thought - God's ways are not as our ways; he appoints that mode of cure which he knows to be best. Naaman expected to be treated with great ceremony; and instead of humbling himself before the Lord's prophet, he expected the prophet of the Lord to humble himself before him! Behold I thought; - and what did he think? Hear his words, for they are all very emphatic: -

  1. "I thought, He will surely come Out to Me. He will never make his servant the medium of communication between Me and himself.
  • And stand - present himself before me, and stand as a servant to hear the orders of his God.
  • And call on the name of Jehovah his God; so that both his God and himself shall appear to do me service and honor.
  • 4. And strike his hand over the place; for can it be supposed that any healing virtue can be conveyed without contact? Had he done these things, then the leper might have been recovered."

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    Bibliographical Information
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-5.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    He will surely come out to me - In the East a code of unwritten laws prescribes exactly how visits are to be paid, and how visitors are to be received, according to the worldly rank of the parties (compare 2 Kings 5:21). No doubt, according to such a code, Elisha should have gone out to meet Naaman at the door of his house.

    And call on the name of the Lord his God - literally, “of Yahweh his God.” Naaman is aware that Yahweh is the God of Elisha. Compare the occurrence of the name of Yahweh on the “Moabite Stone” (2 Kings 3:4 note).

    Strike - Better, as in the margin, “pass the fingers up and down the place” at a short distance. It seems implied that the leprosy was partial.

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-5.html. 1870.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    But Naaman was wroth with him,.... On more accounts than one:

    and went away; not to Jordan, but from the prophet's house, with an intention to return to his own country:

    behold, I thought, he will surely come out to me this he said within himself, making no doubt of it but that he would show him so much respect and civility as to come out of his house to him, and converse with him, or invite him into it and not doing this was one thing made him wroth: and stand; he supposed that he would not only come out, but stand before him, as inferiors before their superiors in reverence, but instead of that he remained sitting within doors:

    and call on the name of the Lord his God: he expected, that as he was a prophet of the Lord, that he would have prayed to him for the cure of him:

    and strike his hand over the place; wave his hand to and fro, as the word signifies, over the place of the leprosy, as the Targum, over the place affected with it; or towards the place where he worshipped the Lord, as Ben Gersom, toward the temple at Jerusalem; or towards Jordan, the place where he bid him go and wash, as Abarbinel; but the first sense seems best: "and recover the leper"; meaning himself, heal him by the use of such means and rites.

    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 5:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-5.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    But Naaman was f wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

    (f) Man's reason murmurs when it considers only the signs and outward things, and has no regard for the word of God, which is contained there.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-5.html. 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    strike his hand over the place — that is, wave it over the diseased parts of his body. It was anciently, and still continues to be, a very prevalent superstition in the East that the hand of a king, or person of great reputed sanctity, touching, or waved over a sore, will heal it.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-5.html. 1871-8.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    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 the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

    Was wroth — Supposing himself despised by the prophet.

    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 5:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-5.html. 1765.

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

    ‘O, HOW UNLIKE THE COMPLEX WORKS OF MAN, HEAVEN’S SIMPLE, EASY, UNENCUMBERED PLAN!’

    ‘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 the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.’

    2 Kings 5:11

    Naaman represents human nature, anxious to be blessed by God’s revelation of Himself, yet unwilling to take the blessing except on its own terms: for Naaman saw in Elisha the exponent and prophet of a religion which was, he dimly felt, higher and Diviner than any he had encountered before. He was acquainted with the name of Israel’s God, and he expected that Elisha would cure him by invoking that name. In his language we see:—

    I. A sense of humiliation and wrong.—He feels himself slighted. He had been accustomed to receive deference and consideration. Elisha treats him as if he were in a position of marked inferiority. Elisha acted as the minister of Him Who resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. The Gospel must first convince a man that he has sinned and come short of the glory of God.

    II. We see in Naaman’s language the demand which human nature often makes for the sensational element in religion.—He expected an interview with the prophet that should be full of dramatic and striking incident. Instead of this, he is put off with a curt message—told to bathe in the Jordan, a proceeding which was open to all the world besides. The proposal was too commonplace; it was simply intolerable.

    III. Naaman represents prejudiced attachment to early associations, coupled, as it often is, with a jealous impatience of anything like exclusive claims put forward on behalf of the truths or ordinances of a religion which we are for the first time attentively considering.—He wished, if he must bathe, to bathe in the rivers of his native Syria instead of in the turbid and muddy brook he had passed on the road to Samaria.

    IV. Naaman’s fundamental mistake consisted in his attempt to decide at all how the prophet should work the miracle of his cure.—Do not let us dream of the folly of improving upon God’s work in detail. The true scope of our activity is to make the most of His bounty and His love, that by His healing and strengthening grace we too may be cured of our leprosy.

    —Canon Liddon.

    Illustrations

    (1) ‘There are two ways of salvation: God’s way and man’s way. Man’s way is unavailing, yet much frequented, because it flatters the pride of man. Man’s way of salvation deals with what it takes to be great things: great works which man himself is to do, great organisations, great gifts, which flatter human vanity and will-worship, but have this trifling defect, that they are of no avail. God’s plan knows nothing of earthly grandeurs, burdensome minutiæ, external observances. God’s messages are very short and very few and simple. He says only, “Wash, and be clean”; “Believe and obey”; “Believe and live.”’

    (2) ‘Proud men do not like God’s way of helping and saving them. Naaman felt insulted when told to go and wash in the Jordan. He wanted to be healed in a dignified way. Many persons reject salvation by Christ for the same reason. It does not make enough of human wisdom and ability. They want to do something themselves, and they like pomp and show, rather than the quiet way in which the Gospel directs them to be saved.’

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    Bibliographical Information
    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/2-kings-5.html. 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    2 Kings 5:11 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 the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

    Ver. 11. Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me.] Here we have a lively picture of pure, or rather impure, nature, a true pattern of her disposition; how she is altogether led by sense and reason, sticks to her own principles, misconstrues God’s intentions, overweens her own, &c.

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    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
    Bibliographical Information
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-5.html. 1865-1868.

    Sermon Bible Commentary

    2 Kings 5:11

    Naaman represents human nature, anxious to be blessed by God's revelation of Himself, yet unwilling to take the blessing except on its own terms; for Naaman saw in Elisha the exponent and prophet of a religion which was, he dimly felt, higher and Diviner than any he had encountered before. He was acquainted with the name of Israel's God, and he expected that Elisha would cure him by invoking that name. In his language we see:—

    I. A sense of humiliation and wrong. He feels himself slighted. He had been accustomed to receive deference and consideration. Elisha treats him as if he were in a position of marked inferiority. Elisha acted as the minister of Him who resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. The Gospel must first convince a man that he has sinned and come short of the glory of God.

    II. We see in Naaman's language the demand which human nature often makes for the sensational element in religion. He expected an interview with the prophet that should be full of dramatic and striking incident. Instead of this, he is put off with a curt message—told to bathe in the Jordan, a proceeding which was open to all the world besides. The proposal was too commonplace; it was simply intolerable.

    III. Naaman represents prejudiced attachment to early associations, coupled, as it often is, with a jealous impatience of anything like exclusive claims put forward on behalf of the truths or ordinances of a religion which we are for the first time attentively considering. He wished, if he must bathe, to bathe in the rivers of his native Syria instead of in the turbid and muddy brook he had passed on the road to Samaria.

    IV. Naaman's fundamental mistake consisted in his attempt to decide at all how the prophet should work the miracle of his cure. Do not let us dream of the folly of improving upon God's work in detail. The true scope of our activity is to make the most of His bounty and His love, that by His healing and strengthening grace we too may be cured of our leprosy.

    H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 756.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/2-kings-5.html.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    Naaman was wroth; supposing himself despised and mocked by the prophet. Herein he gives an example of the perverseness of mankind, who are apt to prefer their own fancies before God’s appointments.

    Over the place; over or upon the affected part where the leprosy is, without which it seemed to him ridiculous to expect a cure.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". 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

    11.Naaman was wroth — He was every inch a soldier, and not wont to be treated with indifference like this. The manner of his reception at the prophet’s house seemed to him utterly contemptuous.

    I thought — He had pictured in his own mind a reception worthy of a king. He was exalted in his own eyes, and had marked out in his own fancy a mode of cure to suit himself. So with many who presume to seek the grace of God in the Gospel. They form in their own minds plans and measures by which they would fain receive God’s blessings of salvation, but the Lord has them in derision.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-5.html. 1874-1909.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    2 Kings 5:11. Naaman was wroth — Supposing himself to be despised and insulted by the prophet. And said, Behold I thought, &c. — Herein he gives us an example of the perverseness of mankind, who are prone to prefer their own fancies to God’s appointments. Big with the expectations of a cure, he had been imagining how this cure would be wrought: and the scheme he had devised was this: He will surely come out to me — That is the least he can do to me, a peer of Syria; to me, who am come to him in all this state, with my horses, chariot, and retinue; to me, who have so often been victorious over the armies of Israel. And stand and call on the name of his God — On my behalf. And strike his hand over the place — Wave it over the afflicted part, where the leprosy is: without which it seemed ridiculous to him to expect a cure.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-5.html. 1857.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    I thought. Compare 2 Kings 5:15, "Now I know". Human thought and Divine certitude.

    strike = wave, move, or pass.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-5.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    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 the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

    Strike his hand over the place - i:e., wave it over the diseased parts of his body. It was anciently, and still continues to be, a very prevalent superstition in the East, that the hand of a king, or person of great reputed sanctity, touching, or waved over a sore, will heal it.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-5.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (11) But (and) Naaman was wroth.—Because, as his words show, he thought he was mocked by the prophet.

    I thought.—I said to myself.

    Strike his hand.—Rather, wave his hand towards the place. (Comp. Isaiah 10:15; Isaiah 11:15.) He would not touch the unclean place.

    Recover the leper.—Or, take away the leprous (part). So Thenius; but everywhere else měçôrâ‘ means “leprous man,” “leper” (Leviticus 14:2).

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    Bibliographical Information
    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-5.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    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 the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
    Naaman
    Proverbs 13:10; Matthew 8:8; 15:27; Luke 14:11
    went away
    Proverbs 1:32; Matthew 19:22; John 6:66-69; 13:20; Hebrews 12:25
    Behold
    Proverbs 3:7; Isaiah 55:8,9; John 4:48; 1 Corinthians 1:21-25; 2:14-16; 3:18-20
    I thought, etc
    Heb. I said, etc. or, I said with myself, He will surely come out, etc. strike. Heb. move up and down.
    Reciprocal: Genesis 19:18 - GeneralGenesis 20:7 - pray;  Genesis 31:36 - was wroth;  2 Kings 4:5 - she went;  2 Kings 4:16 - do not lie;  2 Kings 4:33 - prayed;  Matthew 1:24 - did;  Matthew 8:3 - put;  Matthew 9:18 - come;  Mark 5:23 - lay thy hands;  Luke 23:8 - and he;  James 5:14 - pray

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    Bibliographical Information
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-5.html.