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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Elisha's servant. His messenger to the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4); suggested the obtaining of a son from the Lord for her, as a meet reward for her kindness to the prophet. Trusted by Elisha with his staff to lay on the face of the lifeless youth. But reanimation was not effected until Elisha himself came: typifying that Moses the messenger, with his rod and the law, could not quicken dead souls, that is reserved for Jesus with His gospel. Gehazi proved himself lying and greedy of filthy lucre, and with his great spiritual privileges a sad contrast to Naaman's servants, who had none (2 Kings 5).

They by wise counsel induced their master to subdue pride, and humbly to wash in the Jordan, according to the prophet's word. Gehazi presumptuously stifled conscience with the plea that a "Syrian" pagan ought not to have been" spared," as his master had "spared this Naaman," and even dared to invoke Jehovah's name, as though his obtaining money by false pretenses from him would be a meritorious act: "as the Lord liveth, I will take somewhat of him." In his master's name, under pretense of charity (!), as if wanting presents for "two sons of the prophets from mount Ephraim," he obtained from Naaman two talents of silver and two changes of raiment. Coveting, lying, taking, and hiding, followed in the order of sin's normal and awful development; as in Adam's and Achan's cases (Genesis 3; Joshua 7).

Then God's detection: Elisha said, "Whence comest thou?" The liar was at no loss for a reply: "Thy servant went no where." Elisha sternly answered, "Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again, (compare Psalm 139)? Is it a time to receive money," etc.? Compare as to our times 1 Peter 4:3. Naaman from being a leper became newborn as "a little child" by believing obedience; Gehazi from being clean, by unbelieving disobedience, became a leper: if he must have Naaman's lucre, he must have Naaman's leprosy: "the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave unto thee for ever."

Still in 2 Kings 8:4 Gehazi appears as "servant of the man of God," narrating to king Joram the great acts of Elisha and the restoration to life of the Shunammite's son, when lo! she herself appeared. Doubtless affliction brought Gehazi to sincere repentance, and repentance brought removal of the leprosy, which otherwise would have been "for ever." Compare Hezekiah's divinely foretold death averted by penitent prayer (2 Kings 20:1-5). This seems a more likely solution than supposing that this incident occurred before Gehazi's leprosy and has been transposed.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Gehazi'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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