1. Naaman, army commander to the king of Aram, was a man who enjoyed his master's respect and favour, since through him Yahweh had granted victory to the Aramaeans.

2. But the man suffered from a virulent skin-disease. Now, on one of their raids into Israelite territory, the Aramaeans had carried off a little girl, who became a servant of Naaman's wife.

3. She said to her mistress, 'If only my master would approach the prophet of Samaria! He would cure him of his skin-disease.'

4. Naaman went and told his master. 'This and this', he reported, 'is what the girl from Israel has said.'

5. 'Go by all means,' said the king of Aram, 'I shall send a letter to the king of Israel.' So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten festal robes.

6. He presented the letter to the king of Israel. It read, 'With this letter, I am sending my servant Naaman to you for you to cure him of his skin-disease.'

7. When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes. 'Am I a god to give death and life,' he said, 'for him to send a man to me and ask me to cure him of his skin-disease? Listen to this and take note of it and see how he intends to pick a quarrel with me.'

8. When Elisha heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent word to the king, 'Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, and he will find there is a prophet in Israel.'

9. So Naaman came with his team and chariot and drew up at the door of Elisha's house.

10. And Elisha sent him a messenger to say, 'Go and bathe seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will become clean once more.'

11. But Naaman was indignant and went off, saying, 'Here was I, thinking he would be sure to come out to me, and stand there, and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and wave his hand over the spot and cure the part that was diseased.

12. Surely, Abana and Parpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than any water in Israel? Could I not bathe in them and become clean?' And he turned round and went off in a rage.

13. But his servants approached him and said, 'Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? All the more reason, then, when he says to you, "Bathe, and you will become clean." '

14. So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. And his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child.

15. Returning to Elisha with his whole escort, he went in and, presenting himself, said, 'Now I know that there is no God anywhere on earth except in Israel. Now, please, accept a present from your servant.'

16. But Elisha replied, 'As Yahweh lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing.' Naaman pressed him to accept, but he refused.

17. Then Naaman said, 'Since your answer is "No," allow your servant to be given as much earth as two mules may carry, since your servant will no longer make burnt offerings or sacrifice to any god except Yahweh.

18. Only -- and may Yahweh forgive your servant for this -- when my master goes to the temple of Rimmon to worship there, he leans on my arm, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon when he does; may Yahweh forgive your servant for doing this!'

19. 'Go in peace,' Elisha replied.

20. Naaman had gone a small distance, when Gehazi, Elisha's servant, said to himself, 'My master has let this Aramaean Naaman off lightly, by not accepting what he offered. As Yahweh lives, I will run after him and get something out of him.'

21. So Gehazi set off in pursuit of Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he jumped down from his chariot to meet him. 'Is all well?' he asked.

22. 'All is well,' he said. 'My master has sent me to say, "This very moment two young men of the prophetic brotherhood have arrived from the highlands of Ephraim. Be kind enough to give them a talent of silver and two festal robes." '

23. 'Please accept two talents,' Naaman replied, and pressed him, tying up the two talents of silver in two bags with the two festal robes and consigning them to two of his servants who carried them ahead of Gehazi.

24. When he reached Ophel, he took these from them and put them away in the house. He then dismissed the men, who went away.

25. He, for his part, went and presented himself to his master. Elisha said, 'Gehazi, where have you been?' 'Your servant has not been anywhere,' he replied.

26. But Elisha said to him, 'Was not my heart present there when someone left his chariot to meet you? Now you have taken the money, you can buy gardens with it, and olive groves, sheep and oxen, male and female slaves.

27. But Naaman's disease of the skin will cling to you and your descendants for ever.' And Gehazi left his presence white as snow from skin-disease.

Livros sugeridos

“Enquanto estivermos vivos sempre seremos tentados. A vida é uma contínua luta. Se às vezes há uma trégua é para respirarmos um pouco.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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