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Catholic Dictionary




A Syrian army commander who was afflicted with leprosy. An Israelite servant in his household spoke warmly of the cures effected by a prophet in Samaria. Hopefully Naaman traveled to Israel and sought the help of Elisha, the prophet. But when Elisha instructed him to bathe seven times in the Jordan River, Naaman was angry. The Jordan was so muddy he considered it undignified and repulsive. Nevertheless, his companions prevailed on him to obey Elisha, and after his seventh visit to the Jordan, he emerged with skin as clean "as the flesh of a little child" (II Kings 5:1-14). He returned gratefully to Elisha and said, "There is no God on all earth except in Israel" (II Kings 5:14-15). He wanted to give the prophet a gift, but Elisha would not take it (II Kings 5:16).