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More miracles of care (5:1-6:7)
Syria was Israel’s most powerful neighbour during Elisha’s lifetime, and was a constant source of trouble around Israel’s borders. When the Syrian army commander Naaman approached the king of Israel with a request to be treated for leprosy, the king of Israel interpreted this as a trick by Syria aimed at creating war (5:1-7). Elisha, however, saw it as an opportunity to reveal God’s power to the military commander whom God was preserving to lead Syria against Israel (8-14). Naaman’s knowledge of the one true God was still imperfect, but at least he had a more sincere faith than many of the Israelites (15-19; cf. Luke 4:27).
Elisha had refused payment for the healing, as he was God’s servant, not a wonder-worker looking for money (see v. 15-16). But most of the prophets lived in poverty, and Gehazi could not resist the temptation to seek some financial benefit from the miracle. Fittingly, he was punished by receiving Naaman’s leprosy (20-27).
In one school of the prophets, their accommodation needed rebuilding, but during the work a borrowed axe head was lost. For people who could not afford an axe in the first place, this was no small loss. Again God met his people’s need, showing they could always depend on him (6:1-7).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Kings 5". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany