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Gehazi did as Elisha bade him, but the Shunammite would not stop to talk with him. Merely answering, “ It is well,” she pressed on to Elisha; and when she came to him, she fell at his feet in the fulness of her heart, crying out, “ Did I desire a son of my lord ? Did I not say, do not deceive me ?” Gehazi would have thrust her away, but Elisha said, “ Let her alone, for her soul is vexed within her; and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me."
When Elisha knew what was her trouble, he sent Gehazi forward. Gird up thy loins,” he said, “and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again, and lay my staff upon the face of the child."
But the child's mother would not return with Gehazi : she seemed to feel that only the prophet himself could help her in this her extreme need, and she said, “ As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." Then Elisha rose up and went with her. Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing in him. So he went
back and met them, saying, “The child is not awaked.” When Elisha reached the house, he found the child lying on his own bed, quite dead. So he shut himself up with the dead child, and prayed unto the Lord. Then he laid himself upon the child, putting his mouth upon the child's mouth, and his eyes upon the child's eyes, and his hands upon the child's hands. And as Elisha stretched himself on the child's body, his flesh waxed warm. Elisha walked to and fro, and then again stretched himself on the child's body; and this time the boy sneezed seven times, and opened his eyes. Then Elisha bade Gehazi call the mother, and when she came, he gave her living son back to her bosom. Once again she fell at his feet, but this time it was in overflowing joy and thankfulness. Thus it was given to Elisha, as well as to Elijah, to set forth a striking type of the Resurrection of the dead.
NAAMAN, THE LEPER.
At this time there was frequent war between the kings of Israel, and Benhadad, king of Syria. And the captain of the Syrian host, called Naaman, was a very great and mighty man, high in the king's esteem ; but he was a leper, and by reason of this loathsome disease, he had no enjoyment of his many advantages. It chanced that Naaman's wife had a little Israelitish maid, who had been brought a captive by some of the parties making war upon Israel. She had probably seen some of Elisha's miracles, for she said to her mistress, “Would to God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria ! for he would recover him of his leprosy."
When Naaman heard this, he wished to seek the prophet ; so he set out, taking with him a very large sum of money, and ten changes of raiment. Moreover, because the king of Syria prized his chief captain very much, he gave him a letter to the king of Israel, saying, “ Now when this letter is come to thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy." Naaman brought Benhadad's letter to the king of Israel, who was troubled at it, and rent his clothes, saying, “Am I GOD, to kill and to make alive, that this man 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.”
But when Elisha heard of it, he sent to the king, saying, “ Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes ? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel." So Naaman came in state, with his chariot and horses, to Elisha's house.
The prophet did not come forth: he only sent a message to Naaman, saying, “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again unto thee, and thou shalt be clean.”
But Naaman was angry at being treated, as he thought, with so little respect, and at having so simple a remedy offered him. “Behold, I thought,” he said, " 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.”
But his servants soothed him, and reasoned with him, saying, "My father, 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 Naaman let himself be persuaded, and he went to the river Jordan, and washed seven times in its waters; and his flesh became clean, like the flesh of a little child. Naaman was now convinced that the God of Israel was indeed mighty to save. He went back to Elisha with all his train, and 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 the Prophet would not receive any payment for Naaman's cure. Naaman wholly gave up his heather worship, saying that he would never again offer up sacrifice to any save the One True God of Israel, and he begged Elisha to let him have two mules' burden of earth from Mount Carmel, whereon to offer his sacrifices. He also asked that he might be permitted to attend his royal master as usual to the temple of the god Rimmon, and that when he bowed there, because the king leant upon him, he might not be accused of worshipping Rimmon himself. Then he departed with the Prophet's blessing.
But Gehazi was sorry that his master had allowed the rich Syrian to depart without ac