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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Melachim II - II Kings - Chapter 5

Melachim II - II Kings - Chapter 5

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 5

1. Now Naaman, the general of the king of Aram, was a prominent man before his lord and respected, for through him had the Lord given victory to Aram; and the man was a great warrior, and he was a mezora.   א. וְנַעֲמָן שַׂר צְבָא מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם הָיָה אִישׁ גָּדוֹל לִפְנֵי אֲדֹנָיו וּנְשֹֻא פָנִים כִּי בוֹ נָתַן יְהֹוָה תְּשׁוּעָה לַאֲרָם וְהָאִישׁ הָיָה גִּבּוֹר חַיִל מְצֹרָע:
Now, Naaman the general: He goes on to recount the miracles that were performed through Elisha.  
the victory to Aram: He drew back his bow innocently and killed Ahab.  
2. Now the Arameans went out in bands and captured from the land of Israel a young girl, who ministered to Naaman's wife.   ב. וַאֲרָם יָצְאוּ גְדוּדִים וַיִּשְׁבּוּ מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל נַעֲרָה קְטַנָּה וַתְּהִי לִפְנֵי אֵשֶׁת נַעֲמָן:
went out in bands: When they go in groups of one hundred or two hundred by themselves, to plunder whatever they find, that is called a band.  
a young girl: Heb. naarah ketannah, a young girl from the town of Naaran.  
who ministered to: [lit. and she was before Naaman’s wife.] Jonathan [renders]: and she was serving before Naaman’s wife.  
3. And she said to her mistress, "The supplications for my master should be that he go before the prophet who is in Samaria; then he would cure him of his zaraath.   ג. וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל גְּבִרְתָּהּ אַחֲלֵי אֲדֹנִי לִפְנֵי הַנָּבִיא אֲשֶׁר בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן אָז יֶאֱסֹף אֹתוֹ מִצָּרַעְתּוֹ:
My master’s supplications: before the prophet Heb. אֲחֲלֵי, an expression similar to וַיְחַל מֹשֶה, “and Moses prayed” (Ex. 32:11). The supplications of all those who pray for him, shall be that the miracle shall come before the prophet.  
the supplications: אַחֲלֵי I.e., to say that this is the supplication that he requires.  
And he came: [i.e.,] Naaman [came]  
and told his master: the king of Aram.  
4. And he came and told his master, saying, "In the following manner has the girl from the land of Israel spoken."   ד. וַיָּבֹא וַיַּגֵּד לַאדֹנָיו לֵאמֹר כָּזֹאת וְכָזֹאת דִּבְּרָה הַנַּעֲרָה אֲשֶׁר מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל:
5. And the king of Aram said, "Come, go and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." He went and took in his possession ten talents of silver and six thousand gold pieces, and ten suits of clothes.   ה. וַיֹּאמֶר מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם לֶךְ בֹּא וְאֶשְׁלְחָה סֵפֶר אֶל מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּקַּח בְּיָדוֹ עֶשֶׂר כִּכְּרֵי כֶסֶף וְשֵׁשֶׁת אֲלָפִים זָהָב וְעֶשֶׂר חֲלִיפוֹת בְּגָדִים:
and he took in his possession: as a gift to the prophet.  
and six thousand gold pieces: [lit.] and six thousand gold.  
6. And the letter came to the king of Israel, saying, "And now, when this letter comes to you, behold I have sent Naaman my servant to you, and you shall cure him of his zaraath.   ו. וַיָּבֵא הַסֵּפֶר אֶל מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר וְעַתָּה כְּבוֹא הַסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה אֵלֶיךָ הִנֵּה שָׁלַחְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ אֶת נַעֲמָן עַבְדִּי וַאֲסַפְתּוֹ מִצָּרַעְתּוֹ:
saying: [“And now when this letter comes…5”]-The letter said to him, “And now, when this letter…”  
and you shall cure him of his zaraath: [lit. and you shall gather him in from his zaraath.] Gathering, as applied to the mezora, is the expression of his cure, for when he is cured, he is gathered in among people, whereas during his illness, everyone stays away from him.  
7. And it was when the king of Israel read the letter, that he rent his garments, and said, "Do I have power from God to put to death and to bring to life, that this one sends to me to cure a man of his zaraath? Just know now and see that he is looking for a pretext against me."   ז. וַיְהִי כִּקְרֹא מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַסֵּפֶר וַיִּקְרַע בְּגָדָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הַאֱלֹהִים אָנִי לְהָמִית וּלְהַחֲיוֹת כִּי זֶה שֹׁלֵחַ אֵלַי לֶאֱסֹף אִישׁ מִצָּרַעְתּוֹ כִּי אַךְ דְּעוּ נָא וּרְאוּ כִּי מִתְאַנֶּה הוּא לִי:
Do I have power from God: [after] Jonathan. [Lit. Am I God?] The ‘heh’ at the beginning of the word הַאֱלֹהִים, is voweled with a ‘pathah’ to indicate that it is a question.  
he is looking for a pretext: He is looking for a pretext to engage in strife with me. [Heb. מִתְאַנֶה] an expression of pretext.  
8. And it was when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had rent his garments, that he sent to the king, saying, "Why have you rent your garments? Let him come to me now, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel."   ח. וַיְהִי כִּשְׁמֹעַ | אֱלִישָׁע אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים כִּי קָרַע מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת בְּגָדָיו וַיִּשְׁלַח אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ לֵאמֹר לָמָּה קָרַעְתָּ בְּגָדֶיךָ יָבֹא נָא אֵלַי וְיֵדַע כִּי יֵשׁ נָבִיא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל:
9. And Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and he stood at the doorway of Elisha's house.   ט. וַיָּבֹא נַעֲמָן בְּסוּסָיו וּבְרִכְבּוֹ וַיַּעֲמֹד פֶּתַח הַבַּיִת לֶאֱלִישָׁע:
10. And Elisha dispatched a messenger to him, saying, "Go and immerse yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored to you, and you will become clean."   י. וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו אֱלִישָׁע מַלְאָךְ לֵאמֹר הָלוֹךְ וְרָחַצְתָּ שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים בַּיַּרְדֵּן וְיָשֹׁב בְּשָׂרְךָ לְךָ וּטְהָר:
11. Now Naaman became incensed, and he went away, and he said, "Here I thought that he would come out to see me, and he would stand and call in the name of YHVH his God, and he would raise his hand toward the spot and cure the mezora."   יא. וַיִּקְצֹף נַעֲמָן וַיֵּלַךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה אָמַרְתִּי אֵלַי | יֵצֵא יָצוֹא וְעָמַד וְקָרָא בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו וְהֵנִיף יָדוֹ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם וְאָסַף הַמְּצֹרָע:
Here I thought: [I thought that] the prophet would come out and speak with me, and see the ailment.  
and he would raise his hand toward the spot: of the] zaraath.  
12. Are not Amanah and Parpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Will I not immerse myself in them and become clean?" And he turned and went away in anger.   יב. הֲלֹא טוֹב אֲמָנָה וּפַרְפַּר נַהֲרוֹת דַּמֶּשֶׂק מִכֹּל מֵימֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֲלֹא אֶרְחַץ בָּהֶם וְטָהָרְתִּי וַיִּפֶן וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּחֵמָה:
13. And his servants approached and spoke to him and said, "Master, if the prophet spoke to you to do a difficult thing, would you not do it? And surely since he said to you, 'Immerse yourself and become clean.' "   יג. וַיִּגְּשׁוּ עֲבָדָיו וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ אָבִי דָּבָר גָּדוֹל הַנָּבִיא דִּבֶּר אֵלֶיךָ הֲלוֹא תַעֲשֶֹה וְאַף כִּי אָמַר אֵלֶיךָ רְחַץ וּטְהָר:
Master: [lit. father].  
would you not do it?: Would you not do it even if he ordered you to do something requiring exertion?  
and surely: by a fortiori conclusion, since he said to you to do an easy thing, [viz.] immerse yourself and become clean.  
a gift: [lit. a blessing], a gift of peace, of greeting, when a disciple or a slave greets his master (sallud in O.F., a greeting).  
I will not accept: for the price of idols was included in it.  
14. And he went down and immersed himself in the Jordan seven times according to the word of the man of God: and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young lad, and he became clean.   יד. וַיֵּרֶד וַיִּטְבֹּל בַּיַּרְדֵּן שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים כִּדְבַר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים וַיָּשָׁב בְּשָׂרוֹ כִּבְשַֹר נַעַר קָטֹן וַיִּטְהָר:
15. And he returned to the man of God, he and his entire camp; and he came and stood before him: and he said, "Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel. And now, accept a gift from your servant."   טו. וַיָּשָׁב אֶל אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים הוּא וְכָל מַחֲנֵהוּ וַיָּבֹא וַיַּעֲמֹד לְפָנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה נָא יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אֵין אֱלֹהִים בְּכָל הָאָרֶץ כִּי אִם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַתָּה קַח נָא בְרָכָה מֵאֵת עַבְדֶּךָ:
16. And he said, "As the Lord before Whom I have stood, lives, I will not accept." And he urged him to accept, but he refused.   טז. וַיֹּאמֶר חַי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר עָמַדְתִּי לְפָנָיו אִם אֶקָּח וַיִּפְצַר בּוֹ לָקַחַת וַיְמָאֵן:
17. And Naaman said, "Now, if only your servant be given a load of earth as carried by a team of mules, for your servant will no longer offer up a burnt-offering or a sacrifice to other deities, but to the Lord.   יז. וַיֹּאמֶר נַעֲמָן וָלֹא יֻתַּן נָא לְעַבְדְּךָ מַשָּׂא צֶמֶד פְּרָדִים אֲדָמָה כִּי לוֹא יַעֲשֶׂה עוֹד עַבְדְּךָ עֹלָה וָזֶבַח לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים כִּי אִם לַיהֹוָה:
Now, if only: וָלֹא, an expression of a request, an expression of הַלְוַאי.  
Now… be given: from this soil of the land of Israel, which is holy, a load of earth as carried by a team of mules, and I will carry it off to my city, and I will make it into an altar.  
18. For this thing may the Lord forgive your servant; when my master comes to Beth-Rimmon to prostrate himself there, and he leans on my hand, and I will prostrate myself in Beth-Rimmon; when I bow in Beth-Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this thing."   יח. לַדָּבָר הַזֶּה יִסְלַח יְהֹוָה לְעַבְדֶּךָ בְּבוֹא אֲדֹנִי בֵית רִמּוֹן לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת שָׁמָּה וְהוּא | נִשְׁעָן עַל יָדִי וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֵיתִי בֵּית רִמֹּן בְּהִשְׁתַּחֲוָיָתִי בֵּית רִמֹּן יִסְלַח יְהֹוָה לְעַבְדְּךָ בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה:
Beth-Rimmon: the name of a pagan deity.  
and I will prostrate myself: against my will when my master bows, since he leans on my hand.  
19. And he said to him, "Go in peace"; and he went some distance away from him.   יט. וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לֵךְ לְשָׁלוֹם וַיֵּלֶךְ מֵאִתּוֹ כִּבְרַת אָרֶץ:
some distance: [Heb.] kivrath eretz, the name of a land measure, like (Is. 5:10) “ten acres of vineyard.” (arpent in French), an old French measure of land, equivalent to about an acre.  
20. And Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, "Here my master has stopped Naaman, this Aramean, from giving, by not taking from his hand what he brought. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him."   כ. וַיֹּאמֶר גֵּיחֲזִי נַעַר אֱלִישָׁע אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים הִנֵּה | חָשַֹךְ אֲדֹנִי אֶת נַעֲמָן הָאֲרָמִּי הַזֶּה מִקַּחַת מִיָּדוֹ אֵת אֲשֶׁר הֵבִיא חַי יְהֹוָה כִּי אִם רַצְתִּי אַחֲרָיו וְלָקַחְתִּי מֵאִתּוֹ מְאוּמָה (נ"א חסר א'):
something: Heb. מאומה The “aleph” is missing, since this taking was responsible for his being stricken with a blemish. מוּם [in Heb.].  
21. And Gehazi chased after Naaman; and Naaman saw him running after him, and he leaned over off the chariot toward him, and said, "Is all well?"   כא. וַיִּרְדֹּף גֵּיחֲזִי אַחֲרֵי נַעֲמָן וַיִּרְאֶה נַעֲמָן רָץ אַחֲרָיו וַיִּפֹּל מֵעַל הַמֶּרְכָּבָה לִקְרָאתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר הֲשָׁלוֹם:
and he leaned over: Jonathan. [Lit. and he fell.]  
22. And he said, "All is well. My master sent me, saying, "Here, just now two youths have come to me from Mt. Ephraim, of the disciples of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two suits of clothing.   כב. וַיֹּאמֶר | שָׁלוֹם אֲדֹנִי שְׁלָחַנִי לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה עַתָּה זֶה בָּאוּ אֵלַי שְׁנֵי נְעָרִים מֵהַר אֶפְרַיִם מִבְּנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים תְּנָה נָּא לָהֶם כִּכַּר כֶּסֶף וּשְׁתֵּי חֲלִפוֹת בְּגָדִים:
23. And Naaman said, "Please take two talents. And he urged him and he tied two talents of silver in two pockets, and two suits of clothing. And he gave his two servants, and they carried them before him.   כג. וַיֹּאמֶר נַעֲמָן הוֹאֵל קַח כִּכָּרָיִם וַיִּפְרָץ בּוֹ וַיָּצַר כִּכְּרַיִם כֶּסֶף בִּשְׁנֵי חֲרִטִים וּשְׁתֵּי חֲלִפוֹת בְּגָדִים וַיִּתֵּן אֶל שְׁנֵי נְעָרָיו וַיִּשְׂאוּ לְפָנָיו:
Please: swear that he sent you.  
in two pockets: Heb. חֲרִטִים types of garments and kerchiefs, like (Is. 3:22) “and the kerchiefs and the ‘haritim.’” Menahem classified it thus (p. 94). Jonathan, however, translated this as ‘paldesin,’ sheets, (see Targum Jud. 14) and the one in the book of Isaiah as ‘mahachaia,’ a plate covering the genitals. The exegetes say that בִּשְׁנֵי חֲרִטִים, [means] ‘in two long pockets’ brids in O.F.  
his two servants: [i.e.,] Naaman’s.  
and they carried them before him: before Gehazi.  
24. And he came to a secret place, and he took [them] from their hands, and he deposited them in the house. And he dismissed the men, and they went away.   כד. וַיָּבֹא אֶל הָעֹפֶל וַיִּקַּח מִיָּדָם וַיִּפְקֹד בַּבָּיִת וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים וַיֵּלֵכוּ:
And he came to a secret place: Jonathan renders: to a hidden place.  
and he took them from their hands: from the hands of Naaman’s two servants.  
and he dismissed the men: lest Elisha see them.  
25. And he came and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, "Where are you coming from, Gehazi?" And he said, "Your servant has gone neither here nor there."   כה. וְהוּא בָא וַיַּעֲמֹד אֶל אֲדֹנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֱלִישָׁע מֵאַיִן גֵּחֲזִי וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא הָלַךְ עַבְדְּךָ אָנֶה וָאָנָה:
26. And he said to him, "Did my heart not go when a man turned around off his chariot toward you? Is it time to take the silver, and to buy clothing and olive trees and vineyards and sheep and cattle and slaves and maidservants?   כו. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֹא לִבִּי הָלַךְ כַּאֲשֶׁר הָפַךְ אִישׁ מֵעַל מֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ לִקְרָאתֶךָ הַעֵת לָקַחַת אֶת הַכֶּסֶף וְלָקַחַת בְּגָדִים וְזֵיתִים וּכְרָמִים וְצֹאן וּבָקָר וַעֲבָדִים וּשְׁפָחוֹת:
Is it time to take the silver: to become wealthy and to buy with it clothing and olive trees…  
27. Now Naaman's zaraath shall cling to you and to your children forever." And he went away from before him, stricken with zaraath, [white] as snow.   כז. וְצָרַעַת נַעֲמָן תִּדְבַּק בְּךָ וּבְזַרְעֲךָ לְעוֹלָם וַיֵּצֵא מִלְּפָנָיו מְצֹרָע כַּשָּׁלֶג:
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