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34 And he wepen u Bisa mouth, and his eyes up he
o c. 2. 25. Is. 35. 2.
Gen. 18. 17. & ver. 16. c. 9. 1.
ver. 4. Matt. 6. 6.
22 And she called unto her husband, and said, 28 Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord ? Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and did I not say, "Do not deceive me? one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, 29 Then he said to Gehazi, Gird 'up thy loins, and come again.
and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: 23 And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to if thou meei any man, salute whim not; and if any him to-day? it is neither new moon" nor sabbath. salute thee, answer him not again: 'and lay my And she said, It shall be *well.
staff "upon the face of the child. 24 Then she saddled an ass, and said to her ser 30 And the mother of the child said, As the vant, Drive, and go forward ; tslack not thy riding Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave for me, except I bid thee.
thee. And he arose, and followed her. 25 So she went, and came unto the man of God 31 And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the staff upon the face of the child; but there was the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to neither voice nor hearing :' wherefore he went Gebazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shu- again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child nammite:
is not awaked. 26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her; and say 32 And when Elisha was come into the house, unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. husband? is it well with the child? And she 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon answered, It is Pwell.
them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. 27 And when she came to the man of God to
and lay upon the child, and the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi put his mouth upon caine near to thrust her away. And the man of his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and he God said, Let her alone ; for her soul is svexed stretched himself upon the child, and the flesh of the within her: and the Lord hath hid rit from me, child waxed warm. and hath not told me.
35 Then he returned, and walked in the house * Num. 29. 11. I rearrain not for me to ride.
r Ex. 7. 19. Acts 19. 12. Obitter, 9. Sam 1.10. Lev. 10. 3. Job 1.21, 22. B. 39. 9. 1 by his feet, Matt. 28. 9. , Matt. 20.31.
yl Kings 17. she received him in a figure, Heb. 11. 19. She had heard of son, as Hannah, nor beg, as Rachel, Give me children, or else the raising of the widow's son of Sarepta, and that the spirit of I die." Note, When any creature comfort is taken from us, it Elijah rested on Elisha; and such confidence had she of God's is well, if we can say, through grace, that we did not set our goodness, that she was very ready to believe that he who so hearts inordinately upon it; for if we did, we have reason to soon took away what he had given, would restore what he had fear, it was given in anger, and taken away in wrath. (2.) Connow taken away ; by this faith, women received their dead raised cerning her entire dependence upon the prophet's word; Did I to life, Heb. 11. 35. In this faith, she makes no preparation not say, Do not deceive me? Yes she did say so, (r. 16,) and for the burial of her dead child, but for its resurrection; for she this reflection upon it may be considered either, (1.) As quarlays him on the prophet's bed, (v. 21,) expecting that he would relling with the prophet for deceiving her; she was ready to stand her friend; O woman, great is thy faith! He that wrought think herself mocked with the mercy, when it was so soon reit, would not frustrate it.
moved, and that it had been better she had never had this child, II. The sorrowful mother's application to the prophet, on than to be deprived of him, when she began to have comfort in this sad occasion; for it happened very opportunely that he was him. Note, The loss of a mercy should not make us undernow at the college upon mount Carmel, not far off.
value the gift of it; or, (2.) As pleading with the prophet for 1. She begged leave of her husband to go to the prophet, yet the raising of the child to life again; I said, do not deceive me, not acquainting him with her errand, lest he should not have and I know thou wilt not. Note, However the providence of faith enough to let her go, v. 22. He objected, It is neither new God may disappoint us, we may be sure the promise of God moon nor sabbath, (v. 23;) which intimates that on those feasts never did, nor ever will, deceive us : hope in that will not make of the Lord, she used to go to the assembly in which he presided, us ashamed. with other good people, to hear the word, and to join with him III. The raising of the child to life again; we may suppose in prayers and praises; she did not think it enough to have his that the woman gave Elisha a more express account of the help sometimes in her own family; but, though a great woman, child's death, and he gave her a more express promise of his attended on public worship, for which this was none of the times resurrection, than is here related, where we are briefly told, appointed; “Wherefore," said the husband," why wilt thou go 1. That Elisha sent Gehazi to go, in all haste, to the dead to-day? What is the matter ?” “No harm," said she ; "it shall child, gave him his staff, and bade bim lay that on the face of be well
, so you will say yourself, hereafter." See how this hus- the child, v. 29. I know not what to make of this; Elisha knew band and wife vied with each other, in showing mutual regard; that Elijah raised the dead child with a very close application, she was so dutiful to him, that she would not go till she had stretching himself upon the child, and praying again and again; acquainted him with her journey, and he so kind to her, that he and could be think to raise this child by so slight a ceremony as would not oppose it, though she did not think fit to acquaint him this, especially when nothing hindered him from coming himwith her business.
self? Shall such a power as this, be delegated, and to no better 2. She made all the haste she could to the prophet, (v. 24,) a man than Gehazi? Bishop Hall suggests that it was done out and he, seeing her at a distance, sent his servant to inquire of human conceit, and not by divine instinct, and therefore it whether any thing was amiss, v, 25, 26. The questions were failed of the effect'; God will not have such great favours made particular, Is it well with thee? Is it well with thy husband? Is too cheap, nor shall they be too easily come by, lest they be it well with the child ? Note, It well becomes the men of God, undervalued. with tenderness and concern, to inquire about the welfare of 2. The woman resolves not to go back without the prophet their friends, and their families; the answer was general, It is himself; (v. 30,) I will not leave thee. She had no great expecwell. Gehazi was not the man that she came to complain to, tation from the staff, she will have the hand, and she was in the and therefore she puts him off with this; she said little, and little right of it; perhaps, it was intended hereby to teach us not to said is soon amended, (Ps. 39. 1, 2 ;) but what she did say, was put that confidence in creatures that are servants, which the very patient; "It is well with me, with my husband, with the power of the Creator, their Master and ours, will alone bear child"-all well, and yet the child dead in the house. Note, the weight of. Gehazi returns re infecta-without success, withWhen God calls away our dearest relations by death, it becomes out the indings of any sign of life in the child; (v. 31,) The child us quietly to say, "It is well both with us and them," it is well, is not awaked; intimating, to the comfort of the mother, that its for all is well that God doos; all is well with them that are gone, death was but a sleep, and that he expected it would shortly be if they are gone to heaven, and all well with us that stay behind, awaked. In the raising of dead souls to spiritual life, ministers if by the affliction we are furthered in our way thither. can do no more by their own power than Gehazi here could;
3. When she came to the prophet, she humbly reasoned with they lay the word, like the prophet's staff, before their faces, him concerning her present affliction ; she threw herself at his but there is neither voice nor hearing, till Christ, by his Spirit, feet, as one troubled and in grief, which she never showed till comes himself; the letter alone kills, it is the Spirit that gives life; she came to him who, she believed, could help her, v. 27. When it is not prophesying upon dry bones, that will put life into them, her passion would do her service, she knew how to discover it, breath must come from heaven, and breathe upon those slain. as well as how to conceal it, when it would do her disservice. 3. The prophet, by carnest prayer, obtains from God the Gehazi knew his master would not be pleased to see her lie at restoring of this dead child to life again; he found the child his feet, and therefore would have raised her up; but Elisha dead upon his own bed, (v. 32,) and shut the door upon them waited to hear from her, since he might not know immediately twain, v. 33. Even the dead child is spoken of as a person, from God, what was the cause of her trouble. God discovered one of the twain, for it was still in being, and not lost; he shut things to his prophets, as he saw fit, not always as they desired; out all company, that he might not seem to glory in the power God God did not show this to the prophet, because he might know had given him, or to use it for ostentation, and to be seen of men. it from the good woman herself. What she said, was very Observe, (1.) How closely the prophet applied himself to this pathetic; she appeals to the prophet, (1.) Concerning her in- great operation; perhaps being sensible that he had tempted difference to this mercy which was now taken from her; "Did God too much, in thinking to effect it by the staff in Gehazi's I desire a son of my lord? No, thou knowest I did not; 'it was hand, for which he thought himself rebuked hy the disappointthine own proposal, not mine ; I did not fret for the want of a 'ment, he now finds it a harder task than he then thoughi, and
pile that they may eat. And there was no tharm N Sy Naaman, captain of the host of the abime
e Loke 10. 39. Acts 22. 3.
*to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself 42 And there came a man from Baal-shalisha, upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and and brought the man of God bread of the firstthe child opened his eyes.
fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn 36 And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this in the husk' thereof. And he said, Give unto the Shunammite. So he called her. And when she people, that they may eat. was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. 43 And his servitor said, What, should I set
37 Then she went'in, and fell at his feet, and this before an hundred men? He said, again, Give buwed herself to the ground, and took "up her son, the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the and went out.
Lord, "They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. 38 And Elisha came again to "Gilgal, and there 44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, was a dearth in the land, dand the sons of the pro- and left thereof, according to the word of ihe LORD. phets were esitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seeth pottage
CHAPTER V. for the sons of the prophets. 39 And one went out into the field to gather Two more of Elisha's miracles are recorded in this chapter. I. The cleansing of
Naaman, a Syrian, a stranger, from his leproxy; and there, 1. The baduess of herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof his case, v. 1. 2. The providence that brought him to Elisha, the intelligence
given him by a captive maid, v. 2-4. A letter from the king of Syria to the king wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them of Israel to introduce him, v. 5-7. And the invitation Elisha sent him, v. 8. into the pot of potiage: for they knew them not. 3. The method prescribed for his cure : bis submission, after objecting to that
method, and his cure thereby, v. 9-14. 4. 'The grateful acknowledgments he 40 So they poured out for the men to eat: and it made to Elisha, bereupon, v. 15–19. II. The smiling of Gelari, his own sercame to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that
vant, with that leprosy. 1. Gehari's sins, which were, belying his master to
Nanman, (v. 20-24,) and lying to his master when he examined him, v. 25. they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is 2. His punishment for this sin; Naaman'e leprosy wor entailet on his family,
v. 26, 27. And if Naaman's cure was typical of the calling of the Gentiles, as death in the pot: and they could not eat thereof.
our Saviour see me to make it, (Luke 4.27.) Gchazi's stroke may be looked upon 41 But he said, 'Then bring meal. And he cast as typical of the blinding and rejecting of the Jews, who envied God's grace to
the Gentiles, as Geha zi cuvied Elisha's favour to Naamau. it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the peoin the pot.
Syriawith and ihoonce hither, and once thither.
b c. 2. 1. c c.8. 1. dc. 2. 3. il Cor. 9. 11. Gal. 6. 6. I or, in hia scrip, or, garment. k Luke 9, 17. John 6. s Is. 5. 4. Matt. 15. 13. Heb. 12. 15. & Ex. 15. 25.
1 Matt. 14. 20. 15. 37. a Luke 4. 27. • before. I lifted up, or, c.2, 21. John 9.6. † coil thing. Al Sam. 9. 4, 7.
accepted in countenance, or, gracious, therefore addresses himself to it with great solemnity: (1.) He ance and mortification, not desirous of dainties, but content prayed unto the Lord, (v. 33,) probably, as Elijah had done, with plain food: if they have neither savoury meats, nor sweet Let this child's soul come into him again. Christ raised the meals, nay, if a mess of pottage be all the dinner, let them redead to life, as one having authority, Damsel, arise ; Young member that this great prophet entertained himself and his mun, I say unto thee, Arise ; Lazarus, come forth: for he was guests no better. powerful and faithful as a Son, the Lord of life; but Elijah and 2. One of the servitors, that was sent to gather herbs, (which Elisha did it by petition as servants. [2.) He lay upon the it should seem, must serve instead of flesh for the pottage,) by child, (v. 34,) as if he would communicate to him some of his mistake, brought in that which was noxious, or, at least, very vital heat or spirits; thus he expressed the earnestness of his nauseous, and shred it into the pottage, wild gourds they are desire, and gave a sign of that divine power which he depended called, v. 39. Some think it was coloquintida, a herb strongly upon for the accomplishment of this great work. He first put cathartic, and, if not qualified, dangerous. The sons of the his mouth to the child's mouth, as if, in God's name, he would prophets, it seems, were better skilled in divinity than in nabreathe into him the breath of life, then his eyes to the child's tural philosophy, and read their bibles more than their herbals. eyes, to open them again to the light of life, then his hands to the If any of the fruits of the earth be hurtful, we must look upon child's hands, to put strength into them. He then returned and it as an effect of the curse, (Thorns and thistles shall it bring walked in the house, as one full of care and concern, and wholly forth unto thee,) for the original blessing made all good. intent upon what he was about; then he went up stairs again, 3. The guests complained to Elisha of the unwholesomeness and, the second time, stretched himself upon the child, v. 35. of their food. Nature has given man the sense of tasting, not Those that would be instrumental in conveying spiritual life to only that wholesome food may be pleasant, but that that which dead souls, must thus affect themselves with their case, and is unwholesome, may be discover before it comes to the accommodate themselves to it, and labour fervently in prayer stomach; the mouth tries meat by tasting it, Job 12. 11. This for them.
pottage was soon found by the taste of it to be dangerous, so (2.) How gradually the operation was performed ; at the first that they cried out, There is death in the pot, v. 40. The table application, the flesh of the child wared warm, (v. 34,) which often becomes a snare, and that which should be for our welgave the prophet encouragement to continue instant in prayer; fare, proves a trap, which is a good reason why we should not after a while, the child sneezed seven times, which was an indi feed ourselves without fear; when we are receiving the supports cation, not only of life, but liveliness. Some have reported and comforts of life, we must keep up an expectation of death, it as an ancient tradition, That when God breathed into Adam and a fear of sin. the breath of life, the first evidence of his being alive, was, 4. Elisha immediately cured the bad taste, and prevented the sneezing, which gave rise to the usage of paying respect to bad consequences, of this unwholesome pollage; as before, he those that sneeze, Some observe, here, that sneezing clears had healed the bitter waters with salt, so now, the bitter broth the head, and there lay the child's distemper.
with meal, v. 41. It is probable that there was meal in it before, (3.) How joyfully the child was returned alive to his mother, but that was put in by a common hand, only to thicken the pot(v. 36, 37,) and all parties concerned were not a little comforted, tage; this was the same thing, but cast in by Elisha's hand, Acts 20. 12. See the power of God, who kills and makes alive and with intent to heal the pottage; by which it appears that again: see the power of prayer; as it has the key of the clouds, the change was not owing to the meal, (that was the sign only, so it has the key of death : see the power of faith : that fixed not the means,) but to the divine power. Now all was well, law of nature, (that death is a way whence there is no return not only no death, but no harm, in ihe pot; we must acknowing,) shall rather be dispensed with, than this believing Shu- ledge God's goodness in making our food wholesome and nounammite shall be disappointed.
rishing; I am the Lord that healeth thee. V.38–44. We have here Elisha, in this place, in his element, II. He made a little food to go a great way. among the sons of the prophets, teaching them, and, as a father, 1. Elisha had a present brought him of 20 barley loaves and providing for them; and happy it was for them, that they had some ears of corn, (v. 42,) a present which, in those ages, would one over them, who naturally cared for their state, under whom not be despicable at any time, but now in a special manner valuthey were well fed and well iaught. There was a dearth in the able, when there was a dearth in the land. It is said to be of land, for the wickedness of them that dwelt therein, the same the first-fruits, which was God's due out of their increase; and that we read of, ch. 8.1. It continued seven years, just as long when the priests and Levites were all at Jerusalem, out of their ayain as that in Elijah's time; a famine of bread there was, but reach, the religious people among them, with good reason, not of hearing the word of God, for Elisha had the sons of the looked upon the prophets as God's receivers, and brought their prophets sitting before him, to hear his wisdom, who were first-fruits to them, which helped to maintain their schools. taugh', that they might teach others. Two instances we have 2. Having freely received, he freely gave, ordering it all to here of the care he took about their meat. Christ twice fed be set before the sons of the prophets, reserving none for bimthose whom he preached to; Elisha was in the more care about self, none for hereafter, Let the morrow take thought for the it now, because of the dearth, that the sons of the prophets things of itself, give it all to the people that they may eat. It might not be ashamed in this evil time, but even, in the days of well becomes the men of God to be generous and openhanded, famine, might be satisfied, Ps. 37. 19.
and the fathers of the prophets to be liberal to the sons of the I. He made hurtful food to become safe and wholesome. prophets. 1. On the lecture-day, the sons of the prophets being all to
3. Though the loaves were little, it is likely, no more than attend, he ordered his servant to provide food for their bodies, what one man would ordinarily eat at a meal, yet with 20 of while he was breaking to them the bread of life for their souls; them he satisfied 100 men, v. 43, 44. His servant thought that whether there was any flesh-meal for them, does not appear;
to set so little meat before so many men, was but to tantalize he orders only that pottage should be seethed for them of herbs, them, and shame his master for making so great an invitation v. 38. The sons of the prophets should be examples of tempera to such short commons; but he, in God's name, pronounced it a
nourable, because by him the Lord had given *de 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, liverance unto Syria : he was also a mighty man in saying, Now, when this letter is come unto thee, valour; but he was a leper.
behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant 2 And the Syrians had gone out by companies, to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. and had brought away captive out of the land of 7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel Israel a little maid; and she 'waited on Naaman's had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and wife.
said, Am I «God, to kill and to make alive, that 3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria ! leprosy? Wherefore consider, I pray you, and see for he would recover shim of his leprosy.
how he seeketh a quarrel against me. 4 And one went in and told his lord, saying, 8 And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had Inus and thus said the maid that is of the land of heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, Israel.
that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast 5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he he shall know 6that there is a prophet in Israel. departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, 9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Eliraiment.
sha, or, victory. t roas before. I before, gather in. 6 1 Sana. 9. 8, c. 8. 8, 9.
si Kinga 20. 7. Luke 11.54.
in his hand.
els. 37. 14.
d Gen. 30. 2. e Deut. 32. 39. 1 Sam. 2. 6.
full meal for them, and so it proved; they did eat, and left diseased, would hearken thus readily to the tidings brought them thereof, not because their stomachs failed them, but because the of the great Physician! bread increased in the ealing; God has promised his church, See what Naaman did, upon this little bint. 1. He would (Ps. 132. 15,) that he will abundantly bless her provision, and not send for the prophet to come to him, but such honour would satisfy her poor with bread; for whom he feeds, he fills, and he pay to one that had so much of a divine power with him as what he blesses, comes lo much, as what he blows upon, comes to be able to cure diseases, that he would go to him himself, to little, Hag. 1.9. Christ's feeding his hearers was a miracle though he himself was sickly, unfit for society, the journey long, far beyond this, but both teach us that those who wait upon God and the country an enemy's; princes, he thinks, must stoop to in the way of duty, may hope to be both protected and supplied prophets, when they need them. 2. He would not go in disby a particular care of Divine Providence.
guise, though his errand proclaimed his loathsome disease, but NOTES TO CHAPTER V.
went in state, and with a great retinue, to do the more honour
to the prophet. 3. He would not go empty handed, but took V.1–8. Our Saviour's miracles were intended for the lost with him gold, silver, and raiment, io present to his physician; sheep of the house of Israel, yet one, like a crumb, fell from the those that have wealth, and want health, show which they reckon table to a woman of Canaan; so, this one miracle Elisha the more valuable blessing; what will they not give for ease, wrought for Naaman, a Syrian; for God does good to all, and and strength, and soundness of body? 4. He would not go withwill have all men to be saved. Here is,
out a letter to the king of Israel from the king his master, who I. The great aftliction Naaman was under, in the midst of all did himself earnestly desire his recovery; he knows not where his honours, v. I. He was a great man, in a great place; not in Samaria to find this wonder-working prophet, but takes it for only rich and raised, but particularly happy for two things, granted the king knows where to find him; and, to engage the 1. That he had been very serviceable to his country, God made prophet to do his utmost for Naaman, he will go to him, suphim so; by him the Lord had often given deliverance to Syria, ported with the interest of two kings. If the king of Syria must success in their wars even with Israel.
The preservation and entreat his help, he hopes the king of Israel, being his liege lord, prosperity even of those that do not know God and serve him, may command it ; the gifts of the subject must all be, (he thinks,) must be ascribed to him, for he is the Saviour of all men, but for the service and honour of the prince, and therefore he des especially of them that believe. Let Israel know that when the sires the king that he would recover the leper, v. 6, taking it for Syrians prevailed, it was from the Lord. 2. That he was very granted that there was a greater intimacy between the king acceptable to his prince, was his favourite, and prime minister and the prophet than really there was. of state; so great was he, so high, so honourable, and a mighty IV. The alarm this gave to the king of Israel, v. 7. He man of valour ; but he was a leper, was under that loathsome apprehended there was in this letter, 1. A great affront upon disease, which made him a burden to himself
. Nole, (1.) No God, and therefore he rent his clothes, according to the custom man's greatness, or honour, or interest, or valour, or victory, of the Jews, when they heard or read that which they thought can set him out of the reach of the sorest calamities of human blasphemous; and what less could it be, than to attribute to him life; there is inany a sickly crazy body under rich and gay a divine power? “ Am I a God, to kill whom I will, and make clothing. (2.) Every man has some but or other in his cha- alive whom I will? No, I pretend not to such an authority;" racter, something that blemishes and diminishes him, some allay Nebuchadnezzar did, as we find, Dan. 5. 19, “ Am I a God, to to his grandeur, some damp to his joy; he may be very happy, kill with a word, and make alive with a word? No, I pretend very good, yet, in something or other, not so good as he should not to such a power;" thus this great man, this bad man, is be, nor so happy as he would be. Naaman was as great as the made to own that he is but a man. Why did he not, with this world could make him, and yet, (as Bishop Hall expresses it) consideration, correct himself for his idolatry, and reason thus ? the basest slave in Syria would not change skins with him. "Shall I worship those as gods, that can neither kill nor make
II. The notice that was given him of Elisha's power, by a alive; can do neither good nor evil.?” 2. A bad design upon little maid that waited on his lady, v. 2, 3. This maid was, by himself; he appeals to those about him for this, " See how he birth, an Israelite, providentially carried captive into Syria, and seeketh a quarrel against me; he requires me to recover the there preferred into Naaman's family, where she publishes leper, and 'if I do not, though I cannot, he will make that a preElisha's fame, to the honour of Israel, and Israel's God. The tence to wage war with me;" which he suspects the rather, unhappy dispersing of the people of God has sometimes proved because Naaman was his general. Had he rightly understood the happy occasion of the diffusion of the knowledge of God, the meaning of the letter, that when the king wrote to him to Acts 8. 4. This little maid, 1. As became a true-born Israel- recover the leper, he meant, that he would take care he might ite, consulted the honour of her country; could give an account, be recovered, he had not been in this fright. Note, We often though but a girl, of the famous prophet they had among them. create a great deal of uneasiness to ourselves, by misinterChildren should betimes acquaint themselves with the wondrous preting the words and actions of others that are well intended; works of God, that, wherever they go, they may have them to it is charity to ourselves, to think no evil. If he had bethoughi talk of. See Ps. 8. 2. 2. As became a good servant, she de- himself of 'Elisha and his power, he would easily have undersired the health and welfare of her master, though she was a stood the letter, and have known what he had to do, but he is captive, a servant by force; much more should servants of choice put into this confusion, by making himself a stranger to the seek their masters' good: the Jews in Babylon were to seek prophet; the captive maid had him more in her thoughts than the peace of the land of their captivity, Jer. 29. 7. Elisha had the king had. not cleansed any lepers in Israel, (Luke 4. 27;) yet this little V. The proffer which Elisha made of his service; he was maid, from the other miracles he had wrought, infers that he willing to do any thing to make his prince easy, though he was could cure her master, and from his common beneficence infers neglected, and his former good services forgotten, by him: that he would do it, though he was a Syrian. Servants may be hearing on what occasion the king had rent his clothes, he sent blessings to the families where they are, by telling what they to him, to let him know that if his patient would come to him, know of the glory of God, and the honour of his prophets. he should not lose his labour ; (v. 8,) He shall know that there is
III. The application which the king of Syria, hereupon, a prophet in Israel; (and it were sad with Israel if there were made to the king of Israel on Naaman's behalf. Naaman took not;) that there is a prophet in Israel, who can do that which notice of the intelligence, though given by a simple maid, and the king of Israel dares not attempt, which the prophets of did not despise it for the sake of her meanness, when it tended Syria cannot pretend to; it was not for his own honour, but for to his bodily health ; he did not say, “The girl talks like a the honour of God, that he coveted to make them all know that fool; how can any prophet of Israel do that for me, which all there was a prophel in Israel, though obscure and overlooked. the physicians of Syria have attempted in vain ?". Though he V. 9–14. We have here the cure of Naaman's leprosy. neither loved nor honoured the Jewish nation, yet if one of that I. The short and plain direction which the prophet gave him, nation can but cure him of his leprosy, he will thankfully ac- with assurance of success. Naaman designed to do honour knowledge the obligation. O that they who are spiritually to Elisha, when he came in his chariot, and with all his retinuo,
A John 9. 7.
i Josh. 6. 4-16.
k John 4. 48.
r Gen. 33. 11.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, I him, and said, My 'father, if the prophet had bid Go and wash hin Jordan seven times, and thy flesh thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. done it ? how much rather then, when he saith to
11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, thee, Wash, and be clean? and said, Behold, I thought, He kwill surely come 14 Then "went he down, and dipped himself out to me, and stand and call on the name of the seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of Lord his God, and tstrike his hand over the place, the man of God: and his flesh came again like 'unto and recover the leper.
the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Da 15 And he returned to the man of God, he and mascus, better than all the waters of Israel ? may I all his company, and came and stood before him: not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned, and and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no went away in a rage.
God in all the earth but in Israel: now therefore, I 13 And his servants came near, and spake unto pray thee, take a blessing rof thy servant. * said, or, said with myself.
m 1 Cor. 1.21, 27. n Ez. 47. 1-9. Zech. 13. 1. 14.8. Job 33. 25. p Luke 4. I move up and down. or, Among. I Gen. 41. 43. c. 2. 12.
27. Pan. 2. 47. 3. 29. 6. 26, 27. to Elisha's door, v. 9. They that showed little respect to pro- the dictates and prescriptions of divine wisdom, and to prefer phets at other times, when they needed them, were very com their own fancies before them; they that are for establishing plaisant to them; he attended at Elisha's door as a beggar for their own righteousness, will not submit to the righteousness of an alms. They that would be cleansed from their spiritual God, Rom. 10. 3. leprosy, must wait at Wisdom's gate, and watch at the posts of Naaman talked himself into such a heat, (as passionate men her doors. Naaman expected to have his compliment returned, usually do,) that he turned away from the prophet's door in a but Elisha gave him his answer without any formality; would rage, ready to swear he would never have any thing more to not go to the door to him, lest he should seem too much pleased say io Elisha ; and who then would be the loser? Note, They with the honour done bim, but sent a messenger to him, saying, that observe lying vanities, forsake their own mercies, Jon. 2. 8. Go wash in Jordan seven times, and promising him that if he Proud nien are the worst enemies to themselves, and forego did his disease should be cured. The promise was express, their own redemption.. Thou shall be clean; the method prescribed was plain, Go wash III. The modest advice which his servants gave him, to in Jordan. This was not intended as any means of the cure; observe the prophet's prescriptions, with an implicit reproof of though cold bathing is recommended by many as a very whole- his resentments, v. 13. Though, at other times, they kept their some thing, yet some think that in the case of a leprosy, it was distance, and now saw him in a passion, yet, knowing him to rather hurtful; but was intended as a sign of the cure, and a be a man that would hear reason, at any time, and from any trial of his obedience: they that will be helped of God, must do body, (a good character of great men, and a very rare one,) as they are bidden. But why did Elisha send a messenger to they drew near, and made bold to argue the matter a little with him with these directions ? 1. Because he was retired, at this him. They had conceived a great opinion of the prophet, time, for devotion, was intent upon his prayers for the cure, and (having, perhaps, heard more of him from the common people, would not be diverted; or, 2. Because he knew Naaman to be whom they had conversed with, than Naaman had heard from a proud man, and he would let him know, ihat before the great the king and courtiers, whom he had conversed with,) and God, all men stand upon the same level.
therefore begged of him to consider; If the prophet had bid thee II. Naaman's disgust at the method prescribed, because it do some great thing, had ordered thee into a tedious course of was not what he expected. Two things disgusted him; 1. That physic, or to submit to some painful operation, blistering, or Elisha, as he thought, put a slight upon his person, in sending cupping, or salivating, wouldest thou not have done it? No him orders by a servant, and not coming to him himself, v. 11. doubt, thou wouldest. And wilt thou not submit to so easy a Being big with the expectations of a cure, he had been fancying method as this, Wash, and be clean? how this cure would be wrought, and the scheme he had laid, Observe, 1. His own servants gave him this reproof and coun. was this; “ He will surely come out to me, that is the least he sel, which was no more disparagement to him, than that he had can do to me, a peer of Syria, to me that am come to him in all intelligence of one that could cure him, from his wife's maid, this state, to me that have so often been victorious over Israel; v.2. Note, It is a great mercy to have those about us, thai he will stand, and call on the name of his God, and name me in will be free with us, and faithfully tell us of our faults and follies, his prayer, and then he will wave his hand over the place, and though they be our inferiors. Masters must be willing to hear so effect the cure ;” and because the thing is not done just thus, reason from their servants, Job 31. 13, 14. As we should be he falls into a passion, forgetting, (1.) That he was a leper, and deaf to the counsel of the ungodly, though given by greatest the law of Moses, which Elisha would religiously observe, shut and most venerable names, so we should have our ear open to those out from society; a leper, and therefore he ought not 10 good advice, though brought us by those who are much below insist upon the punctilios of honour. Note, Many have hearts us : no matter who speaks it, if it be well said. unhumbled under humbling providences ; see Num. 12. 14. 2. The reproof was very modest and respectful; they call (2.) That he was a petitioner, suing for a favour which he could him, Futher; for servants must honour and obey their masters not demand; and beggars must not be choosers, patients must with a kind of filial affection. In giving reproof and counsel, not prescribe to their physician. See in Naaman the folly of we must make it appear that it comes from love and true pride; a cure will not content him, unless he be cured with honour, and that we intend, not reproach, but reformation. ceremony, with a great deal of pomp and parade; he scorns to 3. It was very rational and considerate. If the rude and be healed, unless he be humoured. 2. That Elisha, as he unthinking servants had stirred up their master's angry resentthought, pui a slight upon his country; he took it hard that he ment, and offered to avenge his quarrel upon the prophet, who must be sent to wash in Jordan, a river of Israel, when he (he thought) affronted him, how mischievous had the consethought Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all quences been! Fire from heaven, probably, upon them all! But the waters of Israel. How magnificently does he speak of these they, to our great surprise, took the prophet's part: Elisha, two rivers that watered Damascus, which soon after fell into though, it is likely, he perceived that what he had said had put one called by geographers Chrysoroas-the golden stream. How Naaman out of humour, did not care to pacify him: it was at scornfully does he speak of all the waters of Israel, though God his peril, if he persisted in his wrath: but his servants are had called the land of Israel the glory of all lands, and particu- made use of by Providence to reduce bim to temper. They larly for its brooks of water, Deut. 8. 1. So common is it for reason with him, (1.) From his earnest desire of a cure ; God and man to differ in their judgments. How slightly does Wouldest not thou do any thing? Note, When diseased sinners he speak of the prophet's directions ! May I not wash in them are come to this, that they are content to do any thing, to submit and be clean? He might wash in them, and be clean from dirt, to any thing, to part with any thing, for a cure, then, and not but not wash in them, and be clean from leprosy. He was till then, we begin to indulge some hopes of them. Then they angry that the prophet bade him wash and be clean ; he thought will take Christ on his own terms, when they are made willing that the prophet must do all, and is not pleased that he is bidden to have Christ upon any terms. (2.) From the easiness of the to do any thing; or he thinks this too cheap, too plain, too method prescribed; it is but, Wash, and be clean.
It is but common, a thing for so great a man to be cured by; or he did trying; the experiment is cheap and easy, it can do no hurt, not believe it would at all effect the cure, or if it would, what but may do good. Note, The methods prescribed for the healmedicinal virtue was there in Jordan more than in the rivers of ing of the leprosy of sin, are so plain, that we are ulterly inex. Damascus? But he did not consider, (1.) That Jordan be- cusable if we do not observe them. It is but, “ Believe, and longed to Israels God, from whom he was to expect the cure, be saved,” “Repent, and be pardoned,” “Wash, and be and not from the gods of Damascus; it watered the Lord's land, clean." the holy land, and, in a miraculous cure, relation to God was IV. The cure effected, in the use of the means prescribed, much more considerable than the depth of the channel, or the v. 14. Naaman, upon second thoughts, yielded to make the beauty of the stream. (2.) That Jordan had more than once, experiment, yet, it should seem, with no great faith or resobefore this, obeyed the commands of Omnipotence: it had of lution ; for whereas the prophet bade him wash in Jordan seven old, yielded a passage to Israel, and, of late, to Elijah and times, he did but dip himself so many times, as lightly as he Elisha, and therefore was fitter for such a passage than those could. However, God is pleased so far to honour himself and rivers which had only observed the common law of their crea- his word, as to make that effectual. His flesh came again like tion, and had never been thus distinguished; but above all, the flesh of a child, to his great surprise and joy: This, men Jordan was the river appointed, and if he expected a cure from get by yielding to the will of God, by attending to his institutions. the divine power, he ought to acquiesce in the divine will, with His being cleansed by washing, put an honour on the law for out asking why or wherefore. Note, It is common for those cleansing lopers: God will magnify his word above all his name. that are wise in their own conceits, to look with contempt on V. 15--19. Of the ten lepers that our Saviour cleansed, the
16 But he said, As the Lord liveth, before when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged down from the chariot to meet him, and said, 'Is him to take it; but he refused.
all well? 17 And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I 22 And he said, All is well. My master hath pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' bur- sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come den of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a but "unto the Lord.
talent of silver, and two changes of garments. 18 In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, 23 And Naaman said, Be acontent, take two that when my master goeth into the house of Rim- talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents mon to worship there, and he leaneth "on my hand, of silver in two, bags, with two changes of garand I bow myself in the house of Rimmon; when I ments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and bow down #myself in the house of Rimmon, the they bare them before him. LORD pardon "thy servant in this thing.
24 And when he came to the tower, he took 19 And he said unto him, Go vin peace. So them from their hand, and bestowed bthem in the he departed from him a little *way.
house: and he let the men go, and they departed. 20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man 25 But he went in, and stood before his master. of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naa- And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, man this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went Sno whiwhich he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will ther. run after him, and take -somewhat of him.
26 And he said unto him, Went dnot mine heart 21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And with thee, when the man turned again from his
& c. 3. 14. Gen. 14. 23, Matt. 10 8. Acts 20. 33–35. 1 Thea. 1. 9. c. 7. 2. to Ex. 20. 5. I ? Chr. 30. 18, 19. y Mark 5. 34. Luke 7.50. piece of ground, as Geo. 35. 16.
z Hab. 2. 9. I Tim. 6.9, 10. Is there peace ? a c. 6. 3. or, secret place. 6 Josh. 7. 21. Is. 29. 15. c Ex. 33. 31. not hither or thither. d Prov. 12. 19, 22.
only one that returned to give thanks, was a Samaritan, Luke the sins we have committed, yet if we ask for a dispensation to 17. 16. This Syrian did so, who here bespeaks himself, go on in any sin for the future, we mock God, and deceive ous
1. Convinced of the power of the God of Israel, not only that selves. (3.) Those that know not how to quit a place at court, he is God, but that he is God alone, and that indeed there is no when they cannot keep it without sinning against God, and God in all the earth but in Israe, . 15. A noble confession, wronging their consciences, do not rightly value the divine fabut such as bespeaks the misery of the Gentile world; for the vour. (4.) Those that truly hate evil, will make conscience nations that had many gods, really had no God, but were without of abstaining from all appearances of evil. Though Naaman's God in the world. He had formerly thought the gods of Syria dissembling of his religion cannot be approved, yet because his gods indeed, but now experience had rectified his mistake, and promise to offer no sacrifice to any god but the God of Israel he knew Israel's God was God alone, the sovereign Lord of all, only, was a great point gained with a Syrian, and because, by Had he seen other lepers cleansed, perhaps it had not convinced asking pardon in this matter, he showed such a degree of conhim, but the mercy of the cure affected him more than the viction and ingenuousness as gave hopes of improvement, the miracle of it. Those are best able to speak of the power of prophet took fair leave of him, and bid him Go in peace, v. 19. divine grace, who have themselves experienced it.
Young converts must be tenderly dealt with. FI. Grateful to Elisha the prophet: “ Therefore, for his sake; V. 20—27. Naaman, a Syrian, a courtier, a soldier, had whose servant thou art, I have a present for thee, silver, and many servants, and we read how wise and good they were, v. 13. gold, and raiment, whatever thou wilt please to accept.' He Elisha, a holy prophet, a man of God, has but one servant, and valued the cure, not by the easiness of it to the prophet, but the he proves a base liar. They that heard of Elisha at a distance, acceptableness of it to himself, and would gladly pay for it honoured him, and got good by what they heard; but he that accordingly. But Elisha generously refused the fee, though stood continually before him, to hear his wisdom, had no good urged to accept it; and, to prevent further importunity, backed impressions made upon him either by his docuine or miracles. his refusal with an oath, As the Lord liveth, I will receive none, One would expect that Elisha's servant should be a saint, (even (v. 16;) not because he did not need it, for he was poor enough, Ahab's servant, Obadiah, was,) but even Christ himself had a and knew what to do with it, and how to bestow it among the Judas among his followers. The means of grace cannot give sons of the prophets; nor because he thought it unlawful, for grace. The best men, the best ministers, have often had those he received presents from others; but he would not be beholden about them, that have been their grief and shame. The nearer to this Syrian, nor should he say, I have made Elisha rich, Gen. the church, the further from God. Many come from the east 14. 23. It would be much for the honour of God, to show this and west to sit down with Abraham, when the children of the new convert that the servants of the God of Israel were taught kingdom shall be cast out. Here is, to look upon the wealth of this world with a holy contempt, I. Gehazi's sin. It was a complicated sin. which would confirm him in his belief, that there is no God but 1. The love of money, that root of all evil, was at the bottom in Israel. See 1 Cor. 9. 18. 2 Cor. 11. 9.
of it. His master contemned Naaman's treasures, but he coIII. Proselyted to the worship of the God of Israel. He will veted them, v. 20. His heart (says Bishop Hall) was packed not only offer a sacrifice to the Lord, in thanks for his present up in Naaman's chests, and he must run after him to fetch it. cure, but he resolves he will never offer sacrifice to any other Multitudes, by coveting worldly wealth, have erred from the gods, v. 17. It was a happy cure of his leprosy, which cured faith, and pierced themselves with many sorrows. him of his idolatry, a more dangerous disease. But here are 2. He blamed his master for refusing Naaman's present, two instances of his weakness and infirmity in his conversion. condemned him as foolish, in not taking gold when he might
1. In one instance, he overdid it, that he would not only have it, envied and grudged at his kindness and generosity to worship the God of Israel, but he would have clods of earth out this stranger, though it was for the good of his soul. In short, of the prophet's garden, or, at least, of the prophet's ordering, he thinks himself wiser than his master. to make an altar of, v. 17. He that a while ago had spoken 3. When Naaman, like a person of accomplished manners, very slightly of the waters of Israel, (v. 12, now is in another alighted from his chariot to meet him, (v. 21,) he told him a extreme, and overvalues the earth of Israel, supposing (since deliberate lie, that his master sent him to him, and so he reGod appointed altars of earth, Ex. 20. 24,) an altar of that earth ceived that courtesy to himself, which Naaman intended to his would be most acceptable to him; not considering that all the master, earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. Or perhaps the 4. He abused his master, and basely misrepresented him to transport of his affection and veneration for the prophet, not | Naaman, as one that had soon repented of his generosity, that only upon the account of his power, but of his virtue and gene- was fickle, and did not know his own mind, that would say and rosity,
made him, as we say, love the very ground he went upon, unsay, swear and unswear, that would not do an honourable and desire to have some of it home with him. The modern thing, but he must presently undo it again. His story of the compliment equivalent to this, would be, “Pray, sir, let me two sons of the prophets was as silly as it was false; if he have your picture."
would have begged a token for two young scholars, surely less 2. In another instance, he underdid it, that he reserved to than a talent of silver might serve them. himself a liberty to bow in the house of Rimmon, in complai 5. There was danger of his alienating Naaman from that sance to the king his master, and according to the duty of his holy religion which he had espoused, and lessening his good place at court; (v. 18,) in this thing he must be excused. He opinion of it. He would be ready to say, as Paul's enemies owns he ought not to do it, but that he cannot otherwise keep suggested concerning him, (2 Cor. 12. 16, 17,) that though Elihis place; protests his bowing is not, nor ever shall be, as it sha himself did not burden him, yet, being crafty, he caught had been, in honour to the idol, but only in honour to the king; him with guile, sending those that made a gain of him. We and therefore he hopes God will forgive him. Perhaps, all hope that he understood afterward that Elisha's hand was not things considered, this might admit of some apology, though it in it, and that Gehazi was forced to restore what he had umwas not altogether justifiable. But as to us, I am sure, (1.) If, justly got, else it might have driven him to his idols again. in covenanting with God, we make a reservation for any known 6. His seeking to conceal what he had unjustly got, added sin, which we will continue to indulge ourselves in, that reser- much to his sin. (1.) He hid it, as Achan did his gain, by vation is a defeagance of his covenant. We must cast away sacrilege, in the tower, a secret place, a strong place, till he all our transgressions, and not except any house of Rimmon. had an opportunity of laying it out, v. 24. Now he thought (2.) Though we are encouraged to pray for the remission of himself sure of it, and applauded his own management of a