There is a Prophet in Israel – 2

Chapter 5 of 2 Kings is peculiar, in that the writer links both stories of the blessing of Naaman and the curse of Gehazi. Yet this feature is consistent with the Deuteronomic purpose of Kings. One is blessed for obedience, while the other is cursed for disobedience.

This time, however, there is a role reversal. Yahweh blesses the foreigner (Naaman) for his obedience, but curses the Israelite (Gehazi) for his disobedience.

What does that mean? The blessing of the foreigner fulfills Yahweh’s desire to proclaim His name to all the peoples of the earth (cf. 1 Ki. 8:41-43). The stories of Naaman and Gehazi may be seen then as a microcosm of the bigger picture of Israel. The bigger picture is that Israel has turned away from Yahweh. The result of this apostasy is exile.

The implication is that the first exilic Israelite readers should know that there was indeed a prophet in Israel. Through His prophet, Yahweh’s presence and power was really in Israel. In the second part of the two stories, only three characters are involved—Naaman, Elisha, and Gehazi. . . . more

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