2 Kings 5-6 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Naaman’s Disease Healed
5 Naaman, commander of the army for the king of Aram, was a man important to his master and highly regarded because through him, the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man was a valiant warrior, but he had a skin disease.
2 Aram had gone on raids and brought back from the land of Israel a young girl who served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria, he would cure him of his skin disease.”
4 So Naaman went and told his master what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5 Therefore, the king of Aram said, “Go, and I will send a letter with you to the king of Israel.”
When this letter comes to you, note that I have sent you my servant Naaman for you to cure him of his skin disease.
7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and asked, “Am I God, killing and giving life that this man expects me to cure a man of his skin disease? Recognize[c] that he is only picking a fight with me.”
8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Have him come to me, and he will know there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
10 Then Elisha sent him a messenger, who said, “Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your skin will be restored and you will be clean.”
11 But Naaman got angry and left, saying, “I was telling myself: He will surely come out, stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the skin disease. 12 Aren’t Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and left in a rage.
13 But his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more should you do it when he only tells you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” 14 So Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, according to the command of the man of God. Then his skin was restored and became like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean.
15 Then Naaman and his whole company went back to the man of God, stood before him, and declared, “I know there’s no God in the whole world except in Israel. Therefore, please accept a gift from your servant.”
16 But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, in whose presence I stand, I will not accept it.” Naaman urged him to accept it, but he refused.
17 Naaman responded, “If not, please let your servant be given as much soil as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will no longer offer a burnt offering or a sacrifice to any other god but the Lord. 18 However, in a particular matter may the Lord pardon your servant: When my master, the king of Aram, goes into the temple of Rimmon to bow in worship while he is leaning on my arm,[d] and I have to bow in the temple of Rimmon—when I bow[e] in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.”
19 So he said to him, “Go in peace.”
Gehazi’s Greed Punished
After Naaman had traveled a short distance from Elisha, 20 Gehazi, the attendant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “My master has let this Aramean Naaman off lightly by not accepting from him what he brought. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”
21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and asked, “Is everything all right?”
22 Gehazi said, “It’s all right. My master has sent me to say, ‘I have just now discovered that two young men from the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them seventy-five pounds[f] of silver and two sets of clothing.’”
23 But Naaman insisted, “Please, accept one hundred fifty pounds.”[g] He urged Gehazi and then packed one hundred fifty pounds of silver in two bags with two sets of clothing. Naaman gave them to two of his attendants who carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill,[h] he took the gifts from them and deposited them in the house. Then he dismissed the men, and they left.
25 Gehazi came and stood by his master. “Where did you go, Gehazi?” Elisha asked him.
He replied, “Your servant didn’t go anywhere.”
26 “And my heart didn’t go[i] when the man got down from his chariot to meet you,” Elisha said. “Is this a time to accept silver and clothing, olive orchards and vineyards, flocks and herds, and male and female slaves? 27 Therefore, Naaman’s skin disease will cling to you and your descendants forever.” So Gehazi went out from his presence diseased, resembling snow.[j]
The Floating Ax Head
6 The sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Please notice that the place where we live under your supervision[k] is too small for us. 2 Please let us go to the Jordan where we can each get a log and can build ourselves a place to live there.”
“Go,” he said.
3 Then one said, “Please come with your servants.”
“I’ll come,” he answered.
4 So he went with them, and when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Oh, my master, it was borrowed!”
6 Then the man of God asked, “Where did it fall?”
When he showed him the place, the man of God cut a piece of wood, threw it there, and made the iron float. 7 Then he said, “Pick it up.” So he reached out and took it.
The Aramean War
8 When the king of Aram was waging war against Israel, he conferred with his servants, “My camp will be at such and such a place.”
9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Be careful passing by this place, for the Arameans are going down there.” 10 Consequently, the king of Israel sent word to the place the man of God had told him about. The man of God repeatedly[l] warned the king, so the king would be on his guard.
11 The king of Aram was enraged because of this matter, and he called his servants and demanded of them, “Tell me, which one of us is for the king of Israel?”
12 One of his servants said, “No one, my lord the king. Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in your bedroom.”
13 So the king said, “Go and see where he is, so I can send men to capture him.”
When he was told, “Elisha is in Dothan,” 14 he sent horses, chariots, and a massive army there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God got up early and went out, he discovered an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. So he asked Elisha, “Oh, my master, what are we to do?”
16 Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them.”
17 Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.” So the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 When the Arameans came against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Please strike this nation with blindness.”[m] So he struck them with blindness, according to Elisha’s word. 19 Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will take you to the man you’re looking for.” And he led them to Samaria. 20 When they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “Lord, open these men’s eyes and let them see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw that they were in the middle of Samaria.
21 When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “Should I kill them, should I kill them, my father?”
22 Elisha replied, “Don’t kill them. Do you kill those you have captured with your sword or your bow? Set food and water in front of them so they can eat and drink and go to their master.”
23 So he prepared a big feast for them. When they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. The Aramean raiders did not come into Israel’s land again.
The Siege of Samaria
24 Some time later, King Ben-hadad of Aram brought all his military units together and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. 25 So there was a severe famine in Samaria, and they continued the siege against it until a donkey’s head sold for thirty-four ounces[n] of silver, and a cup[o] of dove’s dung[p] sold for two ounces[q] of silver.
26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, “My lord the king, help!”
27 He answered, “If the Lord doesn’t help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor or the winepress?” 28 Then the king asked her, “What’s the matter?”
She said, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son, and we will eat him today. Then we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 So we boiled my son and ate him, and I said to her the next day, ‘Give up your son, and we will eat him,’ but she has hidden her son.”
30 When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his clothes. Then, as he was passing by on the wall, the people saw that there was sackcloth under his clothes next to his skin. 31 He announced, “May God punish me and do so severely if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.”
32 Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger got to him, Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see how this murderer has sent someone to remove my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door to keep him out. Isn’t the sound of his master’s feet behind him?”
33 While Elisha was still speaking with them, the messenger[r] came down to him. Then he said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”