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Dictionaries :: Naaman

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Easton's Bible Dictionary

Naaman:

pleasantness, a Syrian, the commander of the armies of Benhadad II. in the time of Joram, king of Israel. He was afflicted with leprosy; and when the little Hebrew slave-girl that waited on his wife told her of a prophet in Samaria who could cure her master, he obtained a letter from Benhadad and proceeded with it to Joram. The king of Israel suspected in this some evil design against him, and rent his clothes. Elisha the prophet hearing of this, sent for Naaman, and the strange interview which took place is recorded in 2 Kings 5. The narrative contains all that is known of the Syrian commander. He was cured of his leprosy by dipping himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of Elisha. His cure is alluded to by our Lord (Luk 4:27).

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Naaman:

na'-a-man (na‘aman, "pleasantness"; Septuagint; Codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus Naiman; so Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek in the New Testament; Textus Receptus of the New Testament, Neeman) :

(1) A successful Syrian general, high in the confidence and esteem of the king of Syria, and honored by his fellow-countrymen as their deliverer (2Ki 5:1-27). Afflicted with leprosy, he heard from a Hebrew slave-maid in his household of the wonder-working powers of an Israelite prophet. Sent by his master with a letter couched in somewhat peremptory terms to the king of Israel, he came to Samaria for healing. The king of Israel was filled with suspicion and alarm by the demands of the letter, and rent his clothes; but Elisha the prophet intervened, and sent word to Naaman that he must bathe himself seven times in the Jordan. He at first haughtily resented the humiliation and declined the cure; but on the remonstrance of his attendants he yielded and obtained cleansing. At once he returned to Samaria, testified his gratitude by the offer of large gifts to the prophet, confessed his faith in Elisha's God, and sought leave to take home with him enough of the soil of Canaan for the erection of an altar to Yahweh.

The narrative is throughout consistent and natural, admirably and accurately depicting the condition of the two kingdoms at the time. The character of Naaman is at once attractive and manly. His impulsive patriotic preference for the streams of his own land does not lessen the reader's esteem for him, and the favorable impression is deepened by his hearty gratitude and kindness.

The Israelite king is most probably Jehoram, son of Ahab, and the Syrian monarch Ben-hadad II. Josephus (Ant., VIII, xv, 5) identifies Naaman with the man who drew his bow at a venture, and gave Ahab his death wound (1Ki 22:34). There is one reference to Naaman in the New Testament. In Lu 4:27, Jesus, rebuking Jewish exclusiveness, mentions "Naaman the Syrian."

(2) A son of Benjamin (Ge 46:21,6). Fuller and more precise is the description of Nu 26:38,40, where he is said to be a son of Bela and grandson of Benjamin (see also 1Ch 8:3 f).



Written by John A. Lees

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Naaman:

(pleasantness).

(1.) "Naaman the Syrian." (Luke 4:27). Naaman was commander‐in‐chief of the army of Syria, and was nearest to the person of the king, Ben‐hadad II., whom he accompanied officially and supported when he went to worship in the temple of Rimmon (2 Kings 5:18) at Damascus, the capital. (B.C. 885) A Jewish tradition at least as old as the time of Josephus, and which may very well be a genuine one identifies him with the archer whose arrow, whether at random or not, struck Ahab with his mortal wound, and thus "gave deliverance to Syria." The expression in 2 Kings 5:1 is remarkable-"because that by him Jehovah had given deliverance to Syria." The most natural explanation perhaps is that Naaman in delivering his country, had killed one who was the enemy of Jehovah not less than he was of Syria. Whatever the particular exploit referred to was, it had given Naaman a great position at the court of Ben‐hadad. Naaman was afflicted with a leprosy of the white kind which had hitherto defied cure. A little Israelitish captive maiden tells him of the fame and skill of Elisha, and he is cured by him by following his simple directions to bathe in the Jordan seven times. See 2 Kings 5:14. His first business after his cure is to thank his benefactor and gratefully acknowledge the power of the God of Israel, and promise "henceforth to offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord." How long Naaman lived to continue a worshipper of Jehovah while assisting officially at the worship of Rimmon we are not told; ("but his memory is perpetuated by a leper hospital which occupies the traditional site of his house in Damascus, on the banks of the Abana."-Schaff.)

(2.) One of the family of Benjamin who came down to Egypt with Jacob as read in Genesis 46:21. He was the son of Bela, and head of the family of the Naamites (Numbers 26:40; 1 Chronicles 8:3, 4). (B.C. 1706)

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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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