« PreviousContinue »
ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMMITE.
neither voice nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, “ The child is not awaked.” And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord. And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and he stretched himself upon the child ; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him : and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, “ Take up thy son.” Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.
The Story of Naaman the Syrian.
(From the 5th Chapter of 2 Kings.)
NAAMAN, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable. He was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
And the Syrians had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid ; and she waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress, “ Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria ; for he would recover him of his leprosy.”. And one went in and told his lord the words of the little maid. So the king of Syria said, “I will send Naaman with a letter unto the king of Israel.” And he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment, and brought the letter unto the king of Israel. Now these words were in the letter, “Behold, I have sent Naaman my servant unto thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.”
And it came to pass when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, “ Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to re
NAAMAN THE SYRIAN.
cover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.” And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Wherefore hast thou rent thy 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 with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.” But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, “Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel ? may I not wash in them, and be clean ?” So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it ? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?"" Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God : and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel : now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.” But he said, “ As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none." And he urged him to take it; but he refused. And Naaman said, “Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord. In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon; when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing." And he said unto him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a little way.
But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “ Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.” So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, “Is all well ?” And he said, “ All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, “Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets : give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.?" And Naaman said, “Be content, take two talents.” And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his ser
NAAMAN THE SYRIAN.
vants; and they bare them before him. And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house : and he let the men go, and they departed. But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, “Whence comest thou, Gehazi?” And he said, “Thy servant went no whither.” And he said unto him, “ Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and olive-yards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and men-servants, and maidservants ? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever.” And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.