Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 5:5

Then the king of Aram said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." He departed and took with him ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold and ten changes of clothes.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Dress;   Elisha;   Joram;   Letters;   Miracles;   Motive;   Naaman;   Prophets;   Readings, Select;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Giving;   Home;   Letters;   Liberality-Parsimony;   Munificence;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Kings;   Prophets;   Silver;   Travellers;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Syria;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Apparel;   Coin;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Dress;   Elisha;   Pieces of Gold;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Elisha;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Letter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Bethel;   Changes of Raiment;   Damascus;   Money;   Naaman;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Naaman ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Abana;   Naaman;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elisha;   Gehazi;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Eli'sha;   Piece of Gold;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Epistle;   Go;   Gold;   Naaman;   Piece of Gold;   Shekel;   Writing;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Costume;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The king of Syria said - He judged it the best mode of proceeding to send immediately to the king, under whose control he supposed the prophet must be, that he would order the prophet to cure his general.

Ten talents of silver - This, at £353 11s. 10 1/2d. the talent, would amount to £3,535 18s. 9d.

Six thousand pieces of gold - If shekels are here meant, as the Arabic has it, then the six thousand shekels, at £1 16s. 5d. will amount to £10,925; and the whole, to £14,460 18s. 9d. sterling: besides the value of the ten caftans, or changes of raiment. This was a princely present, and shows us at once how high Naaman stood in the esteem of his master.

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

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Six thousand pieces of gold - Rather, “six thousand shekels of gold.” Coined money did not exist as yet, and was not introduced into Judea until the time of Cyrus. Gold was carried in bars, from which portions were cut when need arose, and the value was ascertained by weighing. If the gold shekel of the Jews corresponded, as some think, to the doric of the Persians, the value of the 6,000 shekels would be about 6,837 British pounds If the weight was the same as that of the silver shekel (see Exodus 38:24 note), the value would exceed 12,000 British pounds.

The ancient practice of including clothes among gifts of honor in the East Genesis 41:42; Esther 6:8; Daniel 5:7 continues to the present day.

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

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE KING OF ISRAEL WAS UPSET BY THE SYRIAN'S REQUEST

"And the king of Syria said, Go now, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, And now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? but consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me."

"He took with him ten talents of silver, ..." (2 Kings 5:5). It does not appear that this was intended as a present for the king of Israel, because he is addressed here by the king of Syria as a vassal.

"He seeketh a quarrel against me" (2 Kings 5:7). The time of this miracle seems to have been rather late in the career of Elisha, because Gehazi's leprosy would have terminated that servant's association with the prophet. We cannot agree with the suggestion of Montgomery that, "The afflicted Gehazi was still a member of society in a later story (2 Kings 8:4ff)."[5] We have already determined that the stories of this section of 2Kings are not recorded in any chronological sequence.

On this account, we cannot plead any ignorance on the part of Joram regarding the great miracles wrought by Elisha. Joram's failure to think of Elisha in this situation was not due to his ignorance but to his unbelief and his unwillingness to accept the authenticity of Elisha's prophetic ministry.

Joram's mistaken notion that Benhadad (the probable king of Syria) who sent Naaman to Samaria sought a quarrel with him, was not altogether unreasonable. "It will be remembered that Benhadad, seeking the subjugation of Ahab, had made unreasonable demands of Joram's father (1 Kings 20:3-6)."[6]

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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 5:5". "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 the king of Syria said, go to, go,.... On what Naaman related to him from what the maid had said, he urged him by all means to go directly to Samaria:

and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel; recommending him to use his interest in his behalf; this was Jehoram the son of Ahab:

and he departed; set out on his journey immediately, as soon as he could conveniently:

and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold; partly for the expenses of his journey, and partly to make presents to the king of Israel's servants, and especially to the prophet; a talent of silver, according to BrerewoodF4De Ponder. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 4. , was three hundred and seventy five pounds of our money; but, according to Bishop Cumberland'sF5Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 4. p. 120. exact calculation, it was three hundred and fifty and three pounds eleven shillings and ten and an half pence the pieces of gold are, by the Targum, called golden pence, and a golden penny, according to the first of the above writersF6Ut supra, (De Ponder. & Pret. Vet. Num.) c. 3. , was of the value of our money fifteen shillings; so that these amounted to 4500 pounds sterling:

and ten changes of raiment; both for his own use, and presents.

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

Geneva Study Bible

And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and d took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand [pieces] of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

(d) To give this as a present to the prophets.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:5". "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

ten talents of silver — about $20,000 in silver, $60,000 in gold.

ten changes of raiment — splendid dresses, for festive occasions - the honor being thought to consist not only in the beauty and fineness of the material, but on having a variety to put on one after another, in the same night.

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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 5:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-5.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

Go to, … — It was very natural for a king to suppose, that the king of Israel could do more than any of his subjects.

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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 5:5". "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 5:5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand [pieces] of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

Ver. 5. And took with him ten talents of silver, &c.] Very great sums he took - ten or eleven thousand pounds sterling, - partly for expenses in so long a journey, but principally for presents to the king and courtiers; but especially to the prophet, for he thought that, as among the heathen,

Aνευθε χαλκου φοιβος ου μαντευεται.”

Gifts make room for a man, and bringeth him before great ones. [Proverbs 18:16] Their priests also were δωροφαγοι, and "with shame loved, Give ye." [Hosea 4:18] Now he knew not but Elisha might be of the same strain.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Kings 5:5. He—took with him ten talents of silver, &c.— See on 1 Kings 14:3 concerning the presents of eatables; besides which, in other cases the presents that anciently were, and of late have been, wont to be made to personages eminent for study and piety, consisted of large sums of money or vestments. Thus we find here, that the present which a Syrian nobleman would have made to an Israelitish prophet, with whom he did not expect to stay any time, or indeed to enter his house, (see 2 Kings 5:11.) consisted of ten talents of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. It is needless to mention the pecuniary gratifications which have been given to men of learning in the east in later times; but as to vestments, D'Herbelot tells us, that Bokhteri, an illustrious poet of Cufah in the ninth century, had so many presents made him in the course of his life, that at his death he was found possessed of a hundred complete suits of clothes, two hundred shirts, and five hundred turbans. An indisputable proof of the frequency with which presents of this kind are made in the Levant to men of study; and at the same time a fine illustration of Job's description of the treasures of the east in his days, as consisting of raiment as well as silver. Job 27:16-17. Observations, p. 238.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:5". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-kings-5.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The king of Israel; Jehoram the son of Ahab, 2 Kings 3:1.

I will send a letter unto the king of Israel, desiring him to obtain this favour from the prophet.

Ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold; partly for the charges of his journey; and partly for presents to the prophet, or others, as he saw fit.

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

5.I will send a letter — A letter of introduction; also stating Naaman’s affliction, and requesting the king’s services in his behalf. See 2 Kings 5:6.

Ten talents of silver — About seventeen thousand dollars.

Six thousand pieces of gold — Probably gold shekels are meant, and if so, their value would have been about thirty-four thousand dollars.

Ten changes of raiment — Costly robes, to be worn on great occasions, and of which the Orientals are very fond. These presents were all exceedingly valuable, and show the power and riches of Naaman, and his willingness to go to any pains and expense in order to be healed.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:5". "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 5:5. The king said, I will send a letter to the king of Israel — It was very natural for a king to suppose that the king of Israel could do more than any of his subjects. He took with him ten talents of silver, &c. — That he might honourably reward the prophet, in case he should be cured by him. But it was a vast sum that he took for this purpose; for if they were Hebrew talents, the silver only amounted to four thousand five hundred pounds sterling.

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

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Raiment; the tunic and the cloak, (Calmet) of a finer sort. (Tirinus)

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

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

king of Israel. Probably Jehoram.

talents. See App-51.

changes of raiment. See Genesis 45:22.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5:5". "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 the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

Ten talents of silver - 3,421 pounds sterling.

Six thousand pieces of gold - a large sum, of uncertain value.

Ten changes of raiment - splendid dresses for festive occasions; the honour being thought to consist not only in the beauty and fineness of the material, but in having a variety to put on one after another in the same night.

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

(5) Go to, go.—Depart thou (thither), enter (the land of Israel).

A letter.—Written, probably, in that old Aramean script of which we have examples on Assyrian seals of the eighth century B.C., and which closely resembled the old Phœnician and Hebrew characters, as well as that of the Moabite stone (2 Kings 1:1, Note).

With him.—In his hand. (Comp. the expression “to fill the hand for Jehovah”—i.e., with presents; 1 Chronicles 29:5.)

Changes of raiment.—Or, holiday suits. Reuss, habits de fête. (See the same word, halîphôth, in Genesis 45:22.) Curiously enough, similar expressions (nahlaptum, hitlupatum) were used in the like sense by the Assyrians (Schrader).

Ten talents of silver.—About £3,750 in our money. The money talent was equivalent to sixty minas, the mina to fifty shekels. The shekel came to about 2 Samuel 6 d. of our money.

Six thousand pieces of gold.—Heb., six thousand (in) gold: i.e., six thousand gold shekels=two talents of gold, about £13,500. The gold shekel was worth about 45s. of our currency. The total sum appears much too large, and the numbers are probably corrupt, as is so often the case.

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.
Go to, go
Genesis 11:3,7; Ecclesiastes 2:1; Isaiah 5:5; James 4:13; 5:1
and took
8:8,9; Numbers 22:7,17,18; 24:11-13; 1 Samuel 9:8; 1 Kings 13:7; 22:3; Acts 8:18-20
with him
Heb. in his hand. ten talents of silver. This, at 353£. 11s. 10®d. the talent, would amount to 3,535£. 18s. 9d.
six thousand
If shekels are meant, as the Arabic reads, then this, at 1£. 16s. 5d. each, will amount to 10,925£.; and the whole to 14,464£. 18s. 9d.: besides the value of the ten changes of raiment.
ten changes
Genesis 45:22; Judges 14:12; James 5:2,3
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 9:7 - what shall;  1 Kings 10:2 - a very great train;  1 Kings 14:3 - And take;  2 Kings 5:22 - a talent;  Jeremiah 18:11 - go to;  Mark 1:40 - a leper

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