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  The Great Bible Story #72
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A leper is healed

Jacob Ninan
Naaman, the captain of the army of Aram, was suffering from a severe sickness called leprosy. He had a slave girl from Israel in his house who told her mistress that the master could get healed if he went to the prophet of God in Samaria. Naaman shared this with the king. This king immediately sent him to Israel with a letter to the king of Israel asking him to get Naaman cured of his leprosy! Naaman went there with lots of silver, gold and clothes to give as reward.

When the king of Israel read the letter he was distressed because he thought that the king of Aram was trying to find an occasion to fight with him! He exclaimed he was no God to be able to cure leprosy!

When Elisha heard that the king was upset he told the king not to worry but to send the man to him. He would show him that there was a true and living God in Israel.

Naaman came with all his soldiers and animals and stood outside Elisha's house, expecting him to come out and do some magic that would take away his sickness. But instead, Elisha just sent word to him asking him to go to the River Jordan and dip himself seven times in it. But Naaman was furious because he did not get the dignified response that he expected. He started going away saying there were better rivers in Aram!

But his servants convinced him to try what the prophet had said, saying that this was a simple thing that the prophet asked him to do. So Naaman went to Jordan, and after he came out from the seventh dip he found that his skin was as good as new!

He came back happily, acknowledging that there was no God in all the earth except in Israel. He tried to give all the gifts he had brought to Elisha, but Elisha was not willing to take anything. But as Naaman was going away, Gehazi thought that Elisha had made a mistake in letting Naaman go free. So he ran after Naaman and said that Elisha had sent him to collect some silver and clothes for some visitors who had just turned up. Naaman was happy to give, and Gehazi went sneaking into the house and hid the gifts. But Elisha knew what Gehazi had done. He scolded him for going after wealth instead of serving God and said that the leprosy of Naaman would now cling to Gehazi and his family forever. So Gehazi left in disgrace from that house as a leper.


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