2 Kings 5:1-15a
Narrative Lectionary 109
1 Naaman,I commanderII of the armyIII of the kingIV of Aram,V
wasVI a greatVII manVIII and in high favor withIX his masterX, XI
because by him the LordXII had givenXIII victoryXIV to Aram.
The man,XV though a mightyXVI warrior,XVII suffered from a skin disease.XVIII
2 Now the ArameansXIX on one of their raidsXX had taken a youngXXI girlXXII
captiveXXIII from the landXXIV of Israel,XXV and she servedXXVI Naaman’s wife.XXVII
3 She said to her mistress,XXVIII “If onlyXXIX my lordXXX
were withXXXI the prophetXXXII who is in Samaria!XXXIII He would cureXXXIV him of his skin disease.”XXXV
4 So Naaman went inXXXVI and toldXXXVII his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said.XXXVIII
5 And the king of Aram said, “Go,XXXIX then,XL and I will sendXLI along a letterXLII to the king of Israel.”
He went, takingXLIII withXLIV him tenXLV talentsXLVI of silver,XLVII
sixXLVIII thousandXLIX shekels of gold,L and ten setsLI of garments.LII
6 He broughtLIII the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reachesLIV you, knowLV that I have sent to you my servantLVI Naaman, that you may cure him of his skin disease.”
7 WhenLVII the king of Israel readLVIII the letter, he toreLIX his clothesLX and said, “Am I God,LXI to give deathLXII or life,LXIII that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his skin disease?
JustLXIV lookLXV andLXVI seeLXVII how he is trying to pick a quarrelLXVIII with me.”
8 ButLXIX when ElishaLXX the man of God heardLXXI that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a messageLXXII to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him comeLXXIII, LXXIV to me, that he may learnLXXV that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9 So Naaman came with his horsesLXXVI and chariotsLXXVII and haltedLXXVIII at the entranceLXXIX of Elisha’s house.LXXX
10 Elisha sent a messengerLXXXI to him, saying, “Go, washLXXXII in the JordanLXXXIII sevenLXXXIV times,LXXXV
and your fleshLXXXVI shall be restored,LXXXVII and you shall be clean.”LXXXVIII
11 But Naaman became angryLXXXIX and went away,XC saying, “XCII thought that for me he would surely come outXCII and stand and callXCIII on the nameXCIV
of the LordXCV his God and would waveXCVI his handXCVII over the spotXCVIII and cure the skin disease!
12 Are not AbanaXCIX and Pharpar,C the riversCI of Damascus,CII
betterCIII than allCIV the watersCV of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” He turnedCVI and went away in a rage.CVII
13 But his servants approachedCVIII and said to him, “Father,CIX if the prophet had commandedCX you to do somethingCXI difficult,CXII would you not have doneCXIII it? How much more,CXIV when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
14 So he went downCXV and immersedCXVI himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the wordCXVII of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy,CXVIII and he was clean.
15 Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company;CXIX he came and stoodCXX beforeCXXI him and said, “NowCXXII I knowCXXIII
that there is no God in all the earthCXXIV except in Israel; pleaseCXXV acceptCXXVI a presentCXXVII from your servant.”
Image credit: “The Madaba Map (detail of the Jordan River), part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George depicting the Holy Land in the 6th century AD, Madaba, Jordan.” Photo by Carole Raddato, 2017.