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Naaman [Nā'aman]—delight, pleasant or agreeable.

  1. A son of Benjamin and founder of a tribal family (Gen. 46:21).
  2. A son of Bela, son of Benjamin (Num. 26:40; 1 Chron. 8:4).
  3. A son of Ehud, or Abihud, grandson of Benjamin (1 Chron. 8:7).
  4. A Syrian captain in the army of Ben-hadad, king of Damascus. This able commander was cured of leprosy by Elisha the prophet (2 Kings 5; Luke 4:27).

The Man Who Was Valiant But Leprous

What a blight Naaman’s leprosy must have cast on his path! Successful, valiant, noble, yet a leper. His loathesome disease must have haunted him day and night. As there was no physician in Syria who could help him, he had the dread of going to the grave with his foul ailment. But God has a way of using little things to achieve His beneficent purpose. Among the captives brought from Israel to Syria was a girl chosen to act as maid to Naaman’s wife. This slave maiden loved the Lord and was not ashamed to own Him. Thus when her mistress bemoaned the disease and despair of her husband, the girl sang the praises of Elisha. We can imagine how she would relate the miracles of the prophet, and, since her life was consistent with her testimony, the captive girl was believed.

With faith in the witness of the maid, Naaman went to Samaria, but felt rebuffed when Elisha would not see him, and instead sent his servant to the captain with the order: “Go wash in Jordan seven times.”

How angry Naaman was to be told to wash himself in the muddy Jordan! Away he went in a rage, simply because his pride had been hurt. Elisha was indifferent to Naaman’s honor and wealth, and also to the virtue of the better rivers in Damascus. But Naaman’s excellent servant wanted his master cured of his dread disease, and influenced by him, Naaman obeyed the word of Elisha and was made whole. For the minister this old-time miracle bristles with forceful application.

Devotional content drawn from All the Men of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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