Old Testament Story List

Naaman

Naaman, the captain of the armies of the king of Syria, was a great man, but he was afflicted with a terrible illness. He was a leper.

The Syrians had made war on the Hewbrews and, at different time, had taken some of them captive. Among these was a little girl from Samaria who waited on Naaman's wife.

One day, she said to her mistress, "If only Naaman would go to the prophet in Samaria, he would be cured of his leprosy!"

The woman repeated the story to her husband; so he wrote a letter to the king of Israel and sent it with great gifts of money, jewels, and fine clothes. For, when the little girl had spoken of a prophet, Naaman never doubted that she meant the king.

When the king of Israel read the letter he was greatly disturbed. He knew that he could not cure leprosy and was afraid that Naaman was just looking for an excuse to attack the Hebrews.

Elisha, hearing how worried the king was; sent a message to him saying, "Why do you worry? Let this Naaman 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 did not come out himself, but sent a messenger to say, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be healed and your leprosy gone."

Naaman was very angry and went away in a rage. "I surely thought the prophet himself would come out, that he would call on the name of the Lord his God, and that I should be well. There are rivers in Syria. Are they not so good as the rivers in Israel? May I not wash in them and be well?"

But his servants gathered about him and advised him to do as he had been told: "My lord, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, would you not have done it? How simple it is to do as he says, since we are so near the Jordan."

So they went down and Naaman dipped himself seven times in the Jordan. Just as Elisha had said, he was healed. Joyfully he returned to Elisha's house.

Standing before Elisha, Naaman said, "Now I know there is no God in all the earth but the God of Israel." He pressed gifts on Elisha, but Elisha would take nothing.


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