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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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There are several of this name in the Bible. Benjamin had a son of this name, Genesis 46:21; and a grandson, 1 Chronicles 8:4. And Naaman, the Syrian, well known from the history of his leprosy, and the cure of it by Elisha the prophet, 2 Kings 5:1, etc. The name is the same in meaning as Naam or Naamah, amd from the same root; and signifies beautiful or pretty.

The subject of Naaman's leprosy, and the wonderful cure by the prophet Elisha, in the name of the Lord, hath afforded large scope for the most improving meditation. I refer the reader to the article Leper, for farther remarks on the nature of the disease itself, and shall only add on that subject, that if such was the power of the servant of the prophet in his Master's name, instantly to cure this Syrian, what may we suppose, is the sovereign power and grace of the Lord God of the prophets, to heal all the leprosies of the souls of his people! Would to God (I would say in the words of the poor captive to her mistress) every poor sinner convinced by the Holy Ghost of his leprous state of sin, were with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty prophet of his church and people, for He would recover him of his leprosy! (See 2 Kings 5:1-27 throughout.)

There is one circumstance more, well worthy of being noticed in this history of the cure of this Syrian. It appears from this man's narrative, that he was smitten with conviction, that the God of Israel was the true God; and therefore, he resolved from henceforth, he would serve no other. But recollecting the idolatry of his master, and knowing that on his return he should, as before, be called to go with the king to this idol worship, he thought now to compromise the matter, and therefore begged the prophet to indulge him in this with his pardon. "The Lord pardon thy servant (said he) in this thing." And it should seem the two mules burden of earth, he begged permission to take home with him to Syria, were intended after each renewed instance of bowing in the house of Rimmon, to be used by way of cleansing from their sin. I do not decide upon the subject, but as we know from historians that the sprinkling of earth where no water was immediately at hand, was occasionally used in the Eastern countries, in their religious services in the stead of water, it is probable, this might be the object Naaman had in view, in craving the indulgence of carrying home two mules' burden with him. The Syrian had found the efficacy of Israel's sacred stream of Jordan, and he concluded that the earth of Canaan was as sacred also. As therefore, he could not take the river with him, he desired a portion of the earth, which he supposed would prove equally salutary to the cleansing from sin.

But whether such were the views or not, with which Naaman's mind was influenced, when he desired the earth of Israel; it may, at least, serve to teach us a lesson from this Syrian's faith, how to appreciate all our mercies in the Lord God of Israel. How doth the faith of this man, and so immediately wrought as it was in the mind of this poor idolater, reproach the supposed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, after all the miracles, and evidences, and testimonies, with which the truth, as it is in Jesus, is brought home and confirmed to the heart, can hardly keep alive, from day to day, a suitable dependence upon Him! May we not take up the words of the Lord Jesus upon this occasion, and say, as he did: "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Naaman'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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