Chapter 69



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(2 Ki 5:1-14)  Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria [i.e., won a war]: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies [several different marauding armies], and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid [a type and shadow of Christians in less prestigious occupational positions, and also a type of Jew carrying the gospel to the Gentiles]; 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 [Heb: restore him from] his leprosy. [What circumstance is God spiritually referring to in this text?]  And one went in, and told his lord [the king of Syria], saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said [to Naaman], Go to [Israel], go, and I will send a letter [with you] unto the king of Israel. And he [Naaman] departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment [great wealth in anticipation of payment for his healing]. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying [in the letter], Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to 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 [Heb: tore] his clothes [a cultural convention indicating great sorrow, displeasure, or stress], and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man [the king of Syria] doth send unto me to recover 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 [the prophet] 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 [Naaman] come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel [and therefore the true God]. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot [symbols of status and worldly power], and stood [in his chariot] at the door of the house of Elisha [clearly exhibiting his great pride by not descending to Elisha]. And Elisha [now typifying God, acted on God’s behalf] sent a messenger [typifying an angel, or us in evangelic mode] unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean [an apparently foolish and meaningless task]. But Naaman was wroth [Heb: very angry], and went away, and said, Behold, I thought [and now Naaman manifests and vocalizes his great pride:], 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 [of greatly insulted pride; great pride equals great rage]. And his servants came near [cautiously, to respectfully support and counsel him], and spake unto him, and said, My father [a appellation contextually used of respect and endearment], 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 [i.e., imputed for righteousness, saved, born again].

 (2 Ki 5:15,16)  And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him [Elisha]: 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 [Elisha] said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he [Naaman] urged him to take it; but he refused. 

1.       (Rom 11:29) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [“are irrevocable” NKJV, NIV].

2.       Commentary: The gifts of God are free and not to be bought, nor to be thought for sale as did Simon the sorcerer whose heart was “not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:21); the gifts of God are eternal and priceless. Eternal salvation (is there any other kind?) is a gift and a “calling.” Naaman has been imputed [Heb: regarded, esteemed, reckoned] by God for righteousness.

3.       Commentary: This same action of being converted and then returning to the source, the well-spring of conversion in great thanksgiving and joy is repeated in the New Testament when the ten lepers, who all manifested obedience to Jesus Christ, were cleansed from their leprosy “as they went” (Luke 17:14) (a type of sanctification) to the priests as commanded. All ten lepers were justified, born again, imputed for righteousness, but nine were “unprofitable servants” because they only did “that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). In contrast to the nine “unprofitable servants,” only one single cleansed leper returned “to give glory to God” (Luke 17:18), and that one was the “profitable servant.” Naaman is the biblical archetype profile of a “profitable servant.” 

4.       Commentary: Please note that after receiving respectful rational correction from his caring servants (2 Ki 5:13,14), that Naaman began to think differently, reconsidered (i.e., repented), and obeyed Elisha the man of God, and then received his cleansing. Thereafter, Naaman understood that to obey God is life, for he had just been healed from certain death, i.e., healed from leprosy which symbolizes sin.

a.       repent = Gk: to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (mor. feel compunction) /// to exercise the mind (observe), i.e. (fig.) to comprehend, heed:--consider, perceive, think, understand.

5.       Commentary: “and stood before him” = Types and shadows: presumably Naaman, in his new-found humility, this second time at the house of Elisha, dismounted (lowered himself, humbled himself) from his chariot (a symbol of earthly power, pride), and entered into the man of God’s presence and house (a type of heaven). Additionally, please note the text informs us that “he and all his company” came and stood before Elisha, i.e., that his company too symbolically entered heaven following after their leader (shepherd) Naaman. Further, from the phrase “he and all his company… came” and the context, we are led to ascertain that the conversion of Naaman’s entire company was effected by their observation and vicarious experience of the miracle of Naaman’s conversion, with whom they strongly identified, at the river Jordan (a type of the Holy Spirit), i.e., they all became born again in type.


(2 Ki 5:17)  And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee [vocalizing new-found deference and respect to the man of God], be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth [bags or containers of the earth of Israel of sufficient weight and enough quantity to necessitate being borne upon the backs of two mules]? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.

1.       Commentary: Interestingly, a mule is a barren sterile beast of burden that cannot bear fruit.

2.       Commentary: The first anomaly. Preparing to return home to his own country and to the idolatrous national religion of Rimmon worship, Naaman first confirmed his conversion by stating “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (2 Ki 5:15). However, in virtually the next breath, Naaman displayed the powerful remnants of his superstitious idolatry and erroneously concluded that a holy association existed between the LORD God and the common earth of Israel, i.e., the things of this world. Consequently, Naaman asked for a gift of the earth of Israel from which he might either build an altar, or spread beneath himself in prayer as if it were “holy ground,” (or to eat??).   Effectively, Naaman, the new born again Christian in type, asks for dirt to worship. Why? Because he now represents a babe in Christ who does not know any better, for he has yet to be “discipled.” Figuratively speaking, he eats dirt as a baby does (actually up until about three or four years old).

3.       (1 Cor 3:1,2)  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

a.       carnal = Gk: pertaining to flesh, i.e. (by extens.) bodily, temporal, or (by impl.) animal, unregenerate:--carnal, fleshly.

b.       babes = Gk: not speaking [maturely, i.e., not speaking intelligibly, which happenstance is derived from not understanding], i.e. an infant (minor); fig. a simple-minded person, an immature Christian:--babe, child (ish).

c.       (Heb 5:13,14)  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age [mature Christians], even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil [the woman’s problem in Gen 3:1-6].

(2 Ki 5:18,19) In this thing the LORD pardon [Heb: forgive] thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of [the Syrian god] Rimmon to worship there, and he [the king of Syria] leaneth on my hand [i.e., he pulls me down with him], and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon [thereby seeming to worship an idol]: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon [this phrase repeated twice for emphasis], the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing [this phrase also repeated twice for emphasis]. And he [Elisha] said unto him, Go in peace [Heb: shalom; safe; ( fig.) happy; health, favor, prosper].  So he departed from him a little way.

1.       Commentary: The second anomaly… Why is this an anomaly in Naaman’s conversion, or is it?


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