Who was Naaman in the Bible?

Naaman was a Syrian general who was cured of leprosy when he dived seven times in the Jordan River. In his time, leprosy had no cure but he believed the word of the prophet Elisha and was healed.

Naaman was a respected commander of the army of the king of Syria. But Naaman was left with leprosy, an incurable skin disease that spread and ended up killing the sick ( 2 Kings 5: 1 ). As leprosy was very infectious, lepers were removed from the community, so as not to cause epidemics. Naaman would lose everything.

Naaman’s wife had an Israelite slave, who told her about the prophet Elisha. She said that Elisha could cure Naaman’s leprosy ( 2 Kings 5: 2-3 ). Then the king of Syria sent Naaman to the king of Israel, to the prophet Elisha to heal him. The prophet Elisha heard and sent for Naaman.

See here the story of the prophet Elisha.

Naaman went with all his entourage to the house of Elisha, but the prophet did not come to greet him. He just sent a messenger to Naaman with the order to wash seven times in the Jordan River to be healed. Naaman was indignant , because Elisha did not come to heal him personally and because the Jordan River did not have water as good as the rivers in Syria ( 2 Kings 5: 11-12 ). He left angrily but his servants convinced him to do what Elisha had told him to do.

Naaman went to the Jordan River and dived seven times and was completely healed ( 2 Kings 5: 13-14 ). So Naaman returned to Elisha and declared that he now believed only in the God of Israel. He tried to give Elisha a gift to thank but Elisha refused. So Naaman asked to take some bags of land from Israel so that he could offer sacrifices to God on it. Naaman renounced all other gods, although he still had to keep protocol with the king of Syria ( 2 Kings 5: 17-18 ).

Elisha blessed Naaman and he returned home healed.

What can we learn from Naaman?

Naaman was an enemy of God’s people but God healed him. Israel and Syria were always at war, but Naaman did not let his enmity with the Israelites prevent him from seeking God’s blessing. We often do not achieve God’s healing and blessing because we are angry with God or the church. But when we humble ourselves and ask for help, God forgives and accepts us ( James 4: 8-10 ).

Naaman obeyed. Bathing seven times in the Jordan River was a strange order, but it came from God. When we obey God, He blesses us. Washing yourself seven times is not a healing or blessing ritual; it was a specific order for just one man. We don’t know why Naaman needed to do this but it was important to change his life.

Naaman didn’t just come back healed; he came back a believer. It is good to receive healing and blessing, but that is not the most important thing. There is no point in gaining blessing if you do not repent and accept Jesus as your savior ( Mark 8:36 ). Eternal life is far more important than other miracles.

by Abdullah Sam
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