Elisha Heals A Leper
Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Syria was a great man among
his master's followers, and honourable.
Through him, the Lord had granted freedom to Syria.
He was a man of great courage; but he was a leper.
The Syrians had gone out by companies and had brought back as a captive out of the land of Israel a little girl.
She was a maidservant to Naaman's wife.
She said to her mistress: "I would to God my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria, for he would cure him of his leprosy."
When the king of Syria heard what the girl had spoken, he said: "Go now,go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel."
Naaman departed with the letter, and took with him ten talents of silver,
and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten complete changes of clothing.
He delivered to the king of Israel the letter, which said: "When you receive this letter, you will see that I have sent to you with it Naaman, my servant,
that you may cure him of his leprosy."
When the king of Israel had read the letter, he tore his clothes and said: "Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends a man to me to be cured of his leprosy? Take heed, for he seeks to pick a quarrel with me."
Now when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel was troubled,
he sent word to the king, saying:"Why did you tear your clothes? Let the man come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."
So Naaman came with his horses and his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying: "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be healed again, and you will be well."
But Naaman was angry and turned away saying: "I had thought, 'He will surely come out to me and stand there and call on the name of the Lord his God and strike his hand on the place and cure the leprosy.' Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus,
better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them and be cured?"
His servants spoke to him, and said: "My father, if the prophet Elisha had ordered you to do some dfficult thing, would you not have done it? How much better to obey when he says to you,'Wash and be made well."'
Then Naaman went and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, just as the man of God had said, and his flesh was once again like the flesh of a little child, and he was well.
He went back to the man of God, he and all his company, and came and stood before him, and he said: "Now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel. And so I beg of you to accept a token of your servant's gratitude."
But Elisha said: "As the Lord lives, I will accept'nothing. Go in peace."
And Naaman went on his way.
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