Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 5:15

When he returned to the man of God with all his company, and came and stood before him, he said, "Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; so please take a present from your servant now."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Decision;   Elisha;   Joram;   Miracles;   Naaman;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Earthly;   Home;   Incorruptibility of Leaders;   Leaders;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Reformers, Incorruptible;   Religion;   Religious;   Reward;   Reward-Punishment;   Stories for Children;   The Topic Concordance - God;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Prophets;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gifts;   Prophets;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gifts;   Rezeph;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Earth, Land;   Elisha;   Evangelism;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Damascus;   Elisha;   Naaman;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Naaman ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Naaman;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Blessing;   Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Elisha;   Gehazi;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Eli'sha;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Gifts;   Naaman;   Prophets;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Naaman;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Monotheism;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He returned to the man of God - He saw that the hand of the Lord was upon him; he felt gratitude for his cleansing; and came back to acknowledge, in the most public way, his obligation to God and his servant.

Stood before him - He was now truly humbled, and left all his state behind him. It is often the case that those who have least to value themselves on are proud and haughty; whereas the most excellent of the earth are the most humble, knowing that they have nothing but what they have received. Naaman, the leper, was more proud and dictatorial than he was when cleansed of his leprosy.

There is no God in all the earth - Those termed gods are no gods; the God of Israel is sole God in all the earth. See my sermon on this subject.

Take a blessing - Accept a present. Take an expiatory gift. - Arabic. He desired to offer something for his cleansing. He thought it right thus to acknowledge the hand from which he had received his healing, and thus honor the Lord by giving something to his servant.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He returned - Naaman was grateful (compare Luke 17:15). From the Jordan to Samaria was a distance of not less than 32 miles. Naaman further went to Damascus, far out of his way, lengthening his necessary journey by at least three days. His special object in returning seems to have been to relieve his feelings of obligation by inducing the prophet to accept a “blessing,” i. e. a gift.

There is no God … - Compare the marginal references; but in none of them are the expressions quite so strong as here. Naaman seems absolutely to renounce all belief in any other God but Yahweh.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-5.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

NAAMAN RETURNED TO THANK AND HONOR ELISHA; THE MAN OF GOD

"And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him; and he said, Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a present of thy servant. But he said, As Jehovah liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it, but he refused. And Naaman said, If not, yet, I pray thee, let there be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth; for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto Jehovah. In this thing Jehovah pardon thy servant: when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, Jehovah pardon thy servant in this thing. And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way."

"And he returned to the man of God" (2 Kings 5:15). It was no easy thing that Naaman did here. His dipping seven times in Jordan had been accomplished on his way back to Syria, at least some twenty miles from Samaria, and some scholars say thirty miles. Making the whole round trip with the animal-drawn conveyances of that era was a matter of several days additional travel. It is therefore a mark of Naaman's character and of his high appreciation for the miracle God had been performed on his behalf that he would undertake this additional travel to return to Samaria.

"Let there be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth" (2 Kings 5:17). In this request of Naaman, there is evident the ancient conception of God's being identified with a certain land. Much as he honored God, he did not at that time understand that God is God of ALL lands. Jonah learned that he could not get away from God's presence merely by going to a different country, but the common superstition of that period of history is evident in this request.

Montgomery tells us that when the Jews built a synagogue in Persia, "It was composed entirely of earth and stone brought from Jerusalem." and that, "The empress Helena imported holy soil to Rome."[9]

"When I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, Jehovah pardon thy servant" (2 Kings 5:18). Rimmon, of course was a pagan deity worshipped in Damascus; and Martin wrote that, "Rimmon is only the Syrian title for Baal."[10] Keil wrote that, "Rimmon is probably a short form for Hadad-rimmon, because Hadad was the supreme deity of the Damascene Syrians, the sun god."[11]

Scholars of all generations have had trouble with this passage. Did Elisha actually give his consent to what Naaman suggested here? Did he not say, "Go in peace"? Stigers interpreted this as meaning that, "Naaman received assurance that God understood his heart." However, such a conclusion appears to be very questionable.

"Elisha answered, `Go in peace,' without thereby either approving or disapproving the religious intentions just expressed by Naaman."[12] "The clause, `go in peace,' merely means farewell."[13] "Elisha's words here, `Go in peace,' should be taken simply as Elisha's parting wish that the peace of God would accompany Naaman on his way back to Damascus."[14]

"So he departed from him a little way" (2 Kings 5:19). The terminology used here seems to be for the purpose of indicating that "some distance" (as in the margin) from the house of Elisha, Naaman paused long enough to load up that two mutes' burden of earth which he had requested. That would also have facilitated the performance of Gehazi's wicked deception.

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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 5:15". "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 he returned to the man of God, he and all his company,.... To give him thanks for the advice he had given him, and by him to give thanks to God for the cure he had received; for he was sensible it was from the Lord, his words show:

and came and stood before him; for being admitted into the prophet's house, instead of the prophet standing before him, as he before expected, he now stood before the prophet in veneration of him, and sensible of his obligation to him:

behold, now I know there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; though he did not before, but his cure fully convinced him of it:

I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant; not a wish of health and happiness, which the prophet would not have refused, but a present; the Targum calls it an offering.

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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 5:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-5.html. 1999.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

BLESSED ASSURANCE

‘Behold, now I know.’

2 Kings 5:15

Yes, Naaman saw things differently now. Religion had ceased to be a mere matter of opinion, it had become a matter of personal experience and conviction. In place of ‘Behold, I thought’ (v. 11), words which we are all ready enough to use on religious questions, he could say, ‘Behold, now I know.’ He was a changed man altogether.

No man’s religion is the reality it should be until he can say with Naaman, ‘Behold, now I know.’ This is the meaning of the Psalmist’s prayer, ‘Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.’ He wanted God so to speak the truth into his heart, that his heart might witness to it with full assurance. Then the prophet’s testimony can be ours. ‘Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me.’ For comfort is no comfort unless you feel it.

Learn then to follow Naaman step by step till you reach the same assurance.

I. Let there be an honest facing of your true condition.—You are a leper in spite of all your good points. Our ‘redeeming features,’ as we call them, are powerless to redeem us. We are sinners, lost, helpless, and unclean.

II. Let there be a direct personal application to the Lord Jesus Christ.—Naaman gained nothing by going to the King of Israel. The Lord Jesus does not cleanse at the command of any one.

III. Abandon all desire to do ‘some great thing.’—Naaman would gladly have done ‘some great thing,’ but if so, he would have returned to Damascus as proud in heart as when he came. By receiving a free cleansing his heart became broken and contrite, and he was able to offer to God the one sacrifice that God accepts.

IV. Let there be the persevering obedience of faith.—Naaman dipped himself seven times.

—Rev. F. S. Webster.

Illustration

‘There are different kinds of knowledge. There is the knowledge that rests upon observation. Then there is a knowledge that admits of mathematical demonstration. But there is a knowledge equally certain and definite, which rests upon intuition, and comes wholly from within. In all personal religion this kind of knowledge is an important element. We know when we have done wrong, we know when our motives are insincere, when our hearts are rebellious and proud, when our heart is not right with God. Yes, call it what you may, this language of the heart, the verdict of a man’s own inner consciousness cannot be ignored. It cannot be shaken by argument. It is the supreme court of judgment.’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/2-kings-5.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 5:15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that [there is] no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.

Ver. 15. And he returned to the man of God.] Like the tenth leper. [Luke 17:15] Many men are, that they may receive benefits, importunate; till they have received them, unquiet; when they have received them, unthankful. Naaman was none such.

Behold, now I know.] Hereby it appeareth that Naaman was cured on both sides, and became a pledge of the Gentiles’ conversion. [Luke 4:27]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". 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

He returned to the man of God, to give him thanks, and a recompence for his great kindness.

I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; by this wonderful work I am fully convinced the God of Israel is the only true God, and that other gods are but impotent idols.

A blessing; a thankful acknowledgment. See Genesis 33:11.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". 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

15.He returned — Deeply humbled, and filled with adoring gratitude to the mighty God who had wrought his cure.

No God’ but in Israel — Not even in Syria, but in Israel alone, is there any God worth worshipping! A little before he had boasted of the rivers of Damascus, but he cannot henceforth reverence her gods.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". "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 5:15. He returned to the man of God — To give him thanks and a recompense for the great benefit which he had received. I know there is no God in all the earth but in Israel — By this wonderful work I am fully convinced that the God of Israel is the only true God, and that other gods are impotent idols. A noble confession! but such as speaks the misery of the Gentile world; for the nations that had many gods, really had no God, but were without God in the world. He had formerly thought the gods of Syria gods indeed, but now experience had rectified his mistake, and he knew Israel’s God was God alone, the sovereign Lord of all. Had he merely seen other lepers cleansed, perhaps it would not have convinced him; but the mercy of the cure affected him more than the miracle of it. Those are best able to speak of the power of divine grace, who have themselves experienced it. I pray thee take a blessing of thy servant — A thankful acknowledgment, or token of gratitude. The Hebrews called every gift a blessing.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-5.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

A blessing. A present, (Challoner) accompanied with wishes of happiness, on both sides. We have seen that the prophets generally received such presents. But Eliseus acts with more reserve in regard of this stranger, as St. Paul did towards the new converts; though he received some sustenance from those, who would be less in danger of suspecting that he was actuated by selfish views in preaching the gospel, 2 Corinthians x. 7., and xii. 14., and Matthew x. 8. (Calmet) --- They abstained from every appearance of evil, (Haydock) though they might lawfully have accepted such presents. Eliseus wished to convince Naaman that God's grace was not to be purchased, and to leave a lesson of moderation to future teachers. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

returned. About thirty miles.

now I know. Compare "Behold, I thought", 2 Kings 5:11.

take = accept.

blessing = a present. Compare Genesis 33:11. Judges 1:15.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". "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

And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.

He returned to the man of God. After the miraculous cure, Naaman returned to Elisha, to whom he acknowledged his full belief in the sole supremacy of the God of Israel, and offered him a liberal reward.

Take a blessing of thy servant [ b

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". "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

(15) Company.—Heb., camp, host. Naaman’s following consisted of “horses and chariots” (2 Kings 5:9).

Came.—Went in: into Elisha’s house. Gratitude overcame awe and dread.

Behold, now.—Behold, I pray thee. The “now” belongs to “behold,” not to “I know.”

I know that . . . in Israel.—Naaman, like most of his contemporaries, Jewish as well as Syriau, believed in locally restricted deities. The powerlessness of the Syrian gods and the potency of Jehovah having been brought home to his mind by his marvellous recovery, he concludes that there is no god anywhere save in the land of Israel. In other words, his local conception of deity still clings to him. What a mark of historic truth appears in this representation!

Now therefore.—And now.

Take a blessing of.—Accept a present from (Genesis 33:11).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.
he returned
Luke 17:15-18
now I know
8; Joshua 2:9-11; 9:9,24; 1 Samuel 17:46,47; 1 Kings 18:36; Isaiah 43:10,11; Isaiah 44:6,8; 45:6; Jeremiah 10:10,11; 16:19-21; Daniel 2:47; 3:29; 4:34; Daniel 6:26,27; Romans 10:10
a blessing
Genesis 33:11; 1 Samuel 25:27; 2 Corinthians 9:5
Reciprocal: Exodus 18:11 - Now I;  Joshua 4:24 - all the people;  1 Samuel 30:26 - present;  1 Kings 13:7 - I will give;  1 Kings 14:3 - And take;  2 Kings 1:3 - it;  2 Kings 3:12 - Israel;  2 Kings 19:15 - thou art the God;  2 Chronicles 6:32 - is come;  Isaiah 36:16 - Make an agreement with me by a present;  Isaiah 37:16 - thou art;  Matthew 10:8 - freely ye;  Acts 8:18 - he offered;  Acts 8:20 - thou;  2 Corinthians 8:4 - that;  3 John 1:7 - taking

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-5.html.