Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 5:19

He said to him, "Go in peace." So he departed from him some distance.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Elisha;   Joram;   Miracles;   Naaman;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Covetousness;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Old Testament;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Damascus;   Naaman;   Weights and Measures;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Naaman ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Naaman;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Elisha;   Gehazi;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Eli'sha;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Naaman;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Naaman;   Way, Little;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Naaman;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And he said unto him - There is a most singular and important reading in one of De Rossi's MSS., which he numbers 191. It has in the margin ´ק לא that is, "read לא lo, not, instead of לו lo, to him." Now this reading supposes that Naaman did ask permission from the prophet to worship in Rimmon's temple; to which the prophet answers, No; go in peace: that is, maintain thy holy resolutions, be a consistent worshipper of the true God, and avoid all idolatrous practices. Another MS., No. 383, appears first to have written לו to him, but to have corrected it immediately by inserting an א aleph after the ו vau ; and thus, instead of making it לא no, it has made it לוא lu, which is no word.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

So he departed … - This clause should not be separated from the succeeding verse. The meaning is, “So he departed from him, and had gone a little way, when Gehazi bethought himself of what he would do, and followed after him.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "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

And he said unto him,.... That is, the prophet said to Naaman:

go in peace: in peace of mind; be assured that God has pardoned this and all other transgressions:

so he departed from him a little way; about a mile, as the Targum, and so other Jewish writers; of this phrase; see Gill on Genesis 35:16, some say a land's length, that is, about one hundred and twenty feet; rather it was a thousand cubits, or half a mile.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he said unto him, k Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

(k) The prophet did not approve his act, but after the common manner of speech he bids him farewell.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-5.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 5:19 And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

Ver. 19. Go in peace.] A friendly dismission, or as some will have it, a dilatory answer - q.d., Go thy way, trouble not thyself with points of this nature, the resolution whereof thou, being a babe as yet, art uncapable of. Content thyself with the benefit which thou hast already received. I hope the Lord will so direct thee that thou shalt not offend him in any such way. Valentinian would not attend upon Julian the emperor into the idol temple, and smote the priest that sprinkled him with holy water. So the Duke of Saxony and the other Protestant princes are much commended for this, that at the Imperial Diet, about religion, they went only to the church door with Charles V, Emperor, going to mass, but would not enter in with him.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". 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

Go in peace: these words may contain an answer, either, first, To his last petition, 2 Kings 5:18; and so the sense may be this, Be not too solicitous about this matter; go, and the peace or blessing of God go along with thee. So the prophet both prays to God to bless and direct him in this and all other things, and intimates that God would do so. Or, secondly, To the former, 2 Kings 5:17; Trouble not thyself about any of our earth, but go to thy own land, and I wish thee from God, and doubt not but God will give thee, peace, i.e. his favour and other blessings, which are oft contained in this word, if thou dost persist in this religion which thou hast now received. Or rather, this is only a farewell salutation, wherewith the prophet dismisseth him without any further answer to his requests, or instruction about his doubt; which he forbore by the motion of God’s Spirit, which sometimes gives and sometimes denies instructions to persons or people, as he thinks fit. See Acts 16:6,7. And the prophet by the Spirit’s direction might forbear to give him particular answers, partly because these matters were not of such importance as to concern the essence or foundation of religion; and partly because he was yet but a novice, and not able to bear all truths, which was for a time the condition of the apostles, John 16:12, nor fit to be pressed to the practice of the hardest duties, which Christ himself thought not convenient for his disciples; Matthew 9:14-17. And therefore he at present accepts of his profession of the true, and his renunciation of the false religion; and of this declaration, that what he did in the temple of Rimmon should not now be (as he had formerly intended and practised it) a religious action towards the idol, but only a civil respect to his master. And what was necessary for him to know further about the lawfulness or sinfulness of that action, the prophet might take another and a more convenient time to inform him.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". 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

19.Go in peace — The prophet neither approves nor disapproves what Naaman says. He simply bids him farewell, without expressing any judgment on the sentiments he had uttered. He doubtless had wise reasons for this course of action towards him. To have sought to correct all Naaman’s erroneous notions might have led Elisha too far aside from his proper work in Israel, and might also have imposed on the Syrian captain obligations which he had no power to meet, and which, under his peculiar circumstances, might as well remain unknown to him. Elisha, therefore, wisely leaving him to the spiritual guidance of the Almighty, bids him depart in peace.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-5.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Go in peace. What the prophet here allowed, was not an outward conformity to an idolatrous worship, but only a service which by his office he cowed to his master; who, on all public occasions, leaned on him: so that his bowing down when his master bowed himself down, was not in effect adoring the idols; nor was it so understood by the standers by, (since he publicly professed himself a worshipper of the only true and living God) but it was no more than doing a civil office to the king, his master, whose leaning upon him obliged him to bow at the same time that he bowed. (Challoner) --- Some assert that the prophet does not even authorize this civil assistance in the temple of idols, but simply tells Naaman to go in peace, and to think no more of his former religion; that he will beseech the Lord not to suffer him to be exposed to the danger. (Junius and Piscator) (Calmet) --- Some formerly pleaded this example, to excuse their occasional conformity in going to the Protestant churches, as the law required. But the case was very different. Greater perfection is required in the new law. They had not to act in the capacity of Naaman; and their attendance was considered a profession of a false religion. Their directors loudly condemned the practice. They ought rather to have imitated Eleazar, &c., who refused to eat swine's flesh, 2 Machabees vi., and vii. (Worthington) --- Though the king intended to adore the idol, Naaman referred his worship, to God alone. (Bristow, Mot. 23.; Theodoret, q. 19.; and a Greek interpreter.) --- The Hebrew term signifies, either to adore mentally, or to bend down; which latter is the sense applicable to Naaman. (Cajetan) (Amama) --- His "request must certainly refer to the time past, and not to that to come; as if he begged an indulgence in idolatry, or of countenancing his master's idol-worship, by his presence." (Button, Dict.) --- The Jews foolishly pretend (Calmet) that "the proselyte of dwelling," like Naaman, might return to the service of idols, in his own country, without its being imputed to him. (Selden, Jur. ii. 11.) (Maimonides) --- The conduct of the Syrian convert, whether past or future, undoubtedly filled him with alarm. If he considered the danger of a merely civil attendance upon the king, in an idolatrous temple, we cannot condemn him for idle scrupulosity; (Haycock) since many have found a difficulty in admitting the lawfulness of such a practice, and have even blamed both Naaman and the prophet. (Greg. de Valentia, &c., ep. Cornelius a Lapide) (Calmet) --- But if the practice was irreprehensible, as most interpreters assert, the answer of Eliseus might give this assurance to Naaman, and inform him that he need be under no farther apprehension on that account. God in peace. These words do not expressly solve the difficulty; but he mode in which they were uttered might intimate, either that the general would be no longer under that embarrassment, (as we do not read that he ever attended the king of Syria into the temple afterwards) or that God had forgiven his former offences, and particularly the scandalous idolatry which now gave him so much pain. The original, ver. 18, which is generally translated in the present of future, (Haydock) may be better rendered in the past tense, as the Chaldean has it. "In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant. My master going into the temple of Remmon to worship there, and leaning upon my hand, and I worshipped in the temple of Remmon, when I did worship in the temple of Remmon, that the Lord pardon," &c. St. Jerome and the Septuagint seem to have read more correctly, when he, &c. We may also render it in the present tense, "and I worship," or, "am wont to adore;" not that he meant to prevaricate any longer. The Syriac and Arabic read with an interrogation. "When I shall adore....(Calmet; or bow down, Haydock) wil the Lord pardon me?" But this rather increases the difficulty. (Calmet) --- We may therefore conclude either that Naaman had no decision, or that he had leave to serve his master, (Haydock) in a civil capacity even in the temple; (Menochius; Tirinus; Alex. 2. dis. 7.; Santius, &c.) or, that he obtained pardon for his past transgressions. (Bochart; Calmet, &c.) --- Earth, as the expression is rendered [in] Genesis xxxv. 16., thoug here it is literally, "at the chosen season;" electo, not verno. The sense is the same. Cibrath, untranslated by the Septuagint, may denote a certain space, or village; (Haydock) "a furrow," of 240 feet long, and half that breadth; (Calmet) "a mile;" (Chaldean; Pagnin) or a portion of time allowed by the law, about a quarter of an hour, during which a mile, or sabbath-day's journey, might be performed. (Tirinus) --- Protestants, "a little way."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "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 in peace. God"s servants are not "directors of conscience", but ministers of His Word. To have sanctioned it would have recognized idolatry. To have forbidden it would have put Naaman under a yoke to Elisha. It was for Naaman to decide whether he could do this thing, and be at "peace".

a little way. A phrase found only here and Genesis 35:16 with Genesis 48:7. = a stone"s throw.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "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 said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

And he said unto him, Go in peace - i:e., God will accept of thy repentance. The Septuagint, however, does not support the interpretation in our version (see fully in Poli Synopsis).

So he departed from him a little way, [ kibrat (Hebrew #3530) 'aarets (Hebrew #776), a piece of ground or way (see the notes at Genesis 35:16; Genesis 48:7); Septuagint, eis Debratha tees gees]. The name in this Aramaic form was probably used in the days of the Greek translators as a definite measure of length. [In the last-cited passage they accompany Chabratha (the form used there), with the explanatory clause, kata ton hippodromona, race-course, the distance a horse should be made to go for daily exercise, probably three or four miles (see Rosenmuller's 'Bible Geography,' 1:, p. 24).]

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "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

(19) A little way.—Heb., a kibrâh of ground (Genesis 35:16). It seems to mean “a length of ground,” “a certain distance,” without defining exactly how far. Had it been a parasang, as the Syriac renders, Gehazi could not have overtaken the company so easily.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
he said
Matthew 9:16,17; John 16:12; 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:13,14
Go in peace
Exodus 4:18; 1 Samuel 1:17; 25:35; Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50; 8:48
little way
Heb. a little piece of ground.
Genesis 35:16; *marg:
Reciprocal: Acts 16:36 - and go

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-5.html.