1Naaman, army commander to the king of Aram, was a man who enjoyed his master's respect andfavour, since through him Yahweh had granted victory to the Aramaeans. 2But the man suffered from a virulent skin-disease. Now, on one of their raids into Israelite territory, theAramaeans had carried off a little girl, who became a servant of Naaman's wife. 3She said to her mistress, 'If only my master would approach the prophet of Samaria! He would cure himof his skin-disease.' 4Naaman went and told his master. 'This and this', he reported, 'is what the girl from Israel has said.' 5'Go by al means,' said the king of Aram, 'I shal send a letter to the king of Israel.' So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten festal robes. 6He presented the letter to the king of Israel. It read, 'With this letter, I am sending my servant Naaman toyou for you to cure him of his skin-disease.' 7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes. 'Am I a god to give death and life,' he said,'for him to send a man to me and ask me to cure him of his skin-disease? Listen to this and take note of it andsee how he intends to pick a quarrel with me.' 8When Elisha heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent word to the king, 'Why have youtorn your clothes? Let him come to me, and he wil find there is a prophet in Israel.' 9So Naaman came with his team and chariot and drew up at the door of Elisha's house. 10And Elisha sent him a messenger to say, 'Go and bathe seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh wilbecome clean once more.' 11But Naaman was indignant and went off, saying, 'Here was I, thinking he would be sure to come out tome, and stand there, and cal on the name of Yahweh his God, and wave his hand over the spot and cure thepart that was diseased. 12Surely, Abana and Parpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than any water in Israel? Could I notbathe in them and become clean?' And he turned round and went off in a rage. 13But his servants approached him and said, 'Father, if the prophet had asked you to do somethingdifficult, would you not have done it? Al the more reason, then, when he says to you, "Bathe, and you wilbecome clean." ' 14So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. Andhis flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child. 15Returning to Elisha with his whole escort, he went in and, presenting himself, said, 'Now I know thatthere is no God anywhere on earth except in Israel. Now, please, accept a present from your servant.' 16But Elisha replied, 'As Yahweh lives, whom I serve, I wil accept nothing.' Naaman pressed him toaccept, but he refused. 17Then Naaman said, 'Since your answer is "No," al ow your servant to be given as much earth as twomules may carry, since your servant wil no longer make burnt offerings or sacrifice to any god except Yahweh. 18Only -- and may Yahweh forgive your servant for this -- when my master goes to the temple of Rimmonto worship there, he leans on my arm, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon when he does; may Yahwehforgive your servant for doing this!' 19'Go in peace,' Elisha replied. 20Naaman had gone a smal distance, when Gehazi, Elisha's servant, said to himself, 'My master has letthis Aramaean Naaman off lightly, by not accepting what he offered. As Yahweh lives, I will run after him and getsomething out of him.' 21So Gehazi set off in pursuit of Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he jumped downfrom his chariot to meet him. 'Is all well?' he asked. 22'All is well,' he said. 'My master has sent me to say, "This very moment two young men of the propheticbrotherhood have arrived from the highlands of Ephraim. Be kind enough to give them a talent of silver and twofestal robes." ' 23'Please accept two talents,' Naaman replied, and pressed him, tying up the two talents of silver in twobags with the two festal robes and consigning them to two of his servants who carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24When he reached Ophel, he took these from them and put them away in the house. He then dismissedthe men, who went away. 25He, for his part, went and presented himself to his master. Elisha said, 'Gehazi, where have you been?''Your servant has not been anywhere,' he replied. 26But Elisha said to him, 'Was not my heart present there when someone left his chariot to meet you?Now you have taken the money, you can buy gardens with it, and olive groves, sheep and oxen, male andfemale slaves. 27But Naaman's disease of the skin wil cling to you and your descendants for ever.' And Gehazi left hispresence white as snow from skin-disease.
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