The Children's Bible
A Slave Girl Who Helped Her Master
aaman, the commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a man who was beloved by his master and was held in high honor, for through him Jehovah had given victory to Aram. He was an able man, but he was a leper.
Now the Arameans had gone out to rob and had brought away captive from the land of Israel a little maid who became the servant of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "O that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy." So Naaman went in and told the king what the maid from the land of Israel had said. The king of Aram said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the ruler of Israel."
So Naaman set out and took with him a thousand pounds of silver and six thousand gold pieces and ten suits of fine clothes. He also brought to the ruler of Israel the letter, which read: "This letter is to tell you that I have sent Naaman, my servant, to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy." When the ruler of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I a god, who can kill and make alive, that this king sends a man to me to cure him of his leprosy? But you can clearly see that he is seeking a quarrel with me!"
When Elisha the man of God heard that the ruler of Israel was tearing his clothes, he sent this message to him: "Why are you tearing your clothes? Let him come now to me and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel!" So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him to say, "Go and wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will again be well and clean."
But Naaman went away in a rage, saying, "I expected that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of Jehovah his God and wave his hand over the place, and so cure the leper. Are not Amana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, "If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? Why not, then, when he says to you, 'Wash and be clean!'" So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan as the man of God commanded; and his flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was cured of his leprosy.
Then Naaman, with all his followers, returned to the man of God. When he arrived, he stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no god in all the earth, but in Israel; therefore accept a present from your servant." But Elisha said, "As surely as Jehovah lives, before whom I stand, I will take nothing." And although he urged him to take it, he would not. Then Naaman said, "If not, at least give your servant a load of earth, what two mules can draw, for your servant will from this time on offer burnt-offering and sacrifice to no other god but Jehovah." And Elisha said to him, "Go, and may good fortune attend you."
But when he had gone from him a short distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought to himself, "My master has let this Naaman the Aramean go without accepting what he brought! As surely as Jehovah lives, I will run after him and take something from him." So Gehazi ran after Naaman; and when Naaman saw some one running after him, he stepped down from the chariot to meet him and said, "Is all well?" Gehazi replied, "All is well. My master has sent me to say, 'Just now two young men of the followers of the prophets have come to me from the highland of Ephraim. Give them a hundred pounds of silver and two suits of fine clothes.'" Naaman said, "Agree to take twice as much silver." So he urged him and bound up two hundred pounds of silver in two bags, with two suits of fine clothes, and laid them on two of his servants, and they carried them before Gehazi. But when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and hid them in the house and let the men go.
Then he went in to Elisha; but when he stood before his master, Elisha said to him, "Where do you come from, Gehazi?" He answered, "Your servant has not been anywhere." But Elisha said to him, "Was I not in spirit with you when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Now you have received money and you may get clothes, olive yards, vineyards, sheep, oxen, and slaves; but the leprosy of Naaman shall stick to you and to your children forever." Then Gehazi went from Elisha's presence a leper as white as snow.