4 Kingdoms 5
Naaman Cured of Leprosy
1 Now Naaman, commander of the army of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord gave victory to Syria. The man was mighty in strength and valor, but a leper.†
2 And the Syrians, lightly armed, had gone out on raids and brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife.
3 Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet of God in Samaria! For he would expel his leprosy from him.”
4 And she went in and told her master, saying, “This is what the girl from the land of Israel said.”
5 Then the king of Syria said to Naaman, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand gold shekels, and ten changes of clothing.
6 Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, “Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I am sending Naaman my servant to you, so that you may heal him of his leprosy.”
7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, able to kill and make alive, to heal this man of his leprosy that this man sends to me? You perceive and see that this man is using this as a pretext for a quarrel with me.”
8 When Elisha the man of God heard the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent notice to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let Naaman come to me, and he shall know there is a prophet in Israel.”
9 Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot and stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and bathe in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.”†
11 But Naaman became furious and went away, saying, “Indeed, I told myself that Elisha would come out to greet me; that he would stand and call on the name of his God; and that he would put his hand upon the place and heal the leprosy.
12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Can I not bathe in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.
13 Then his servants approached and said to him, “If the prophet were to tell you to do something great, would you not complete it? But here the prophet said to you, ‘Bathe and be clean.’ ”
14 So Naaman went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to Elisha’s instruction, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was cleansed.†
15 Then he, with all his aides, returned to Elisha and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I have come to know that in all the earth there is no God except the God of Israel. Now accept the gift of your servant.”†
16 But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” Again he urged him to take it, but he refused.
17 So Naaman said, “If not, then, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of red earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord alone.
18 And let the Lord be merciful with your servant: when my master goes there, to the house of Rimmon, to worship, he will rely on my hand, and I will worship in the house of Rimmon. In the worship in the house of Rimmon, may the Lord be merciful to your servant in this matter.”
19 Then Elisha said to Naaman, “Go in peace.” He departed from him but a short distance.
20 Then Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, said, “Behold, my master spared this Syrian Naaman, yet from his hand he received nothing of what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something of his.”
21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he turned from the chariot to meet him.
22 And Gehazi said, “Peace. My master sent me saying, ‘Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets came to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.’ ”
23 Then Naaman said, “Take two talents of silver.” So Gehazi took two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and handed them to two of his servants. They left and carried them on ahead of him.
24 As they entered into the darkness, he took them from their hands and stored them in the house. He then dismissed the men.
25 Now he went in and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, “From where have you come, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant did not go anywhere.”
26 Then Elisha said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? And now you received the silver and the garments, and it shall happen that you shall receive from him gardens and olive groves and vineyards and sheep and oxen and men-servants and handmaidens.
27 And the leprosy of Naaman shall also cling to you and your seed forever.” Thus he went out from his presence leprous, like snow.†
1 A psalm by David; for the fourth day of the week. †The Lord is the God of vengeance; The God of vengeance declares Himself boldly.
2 Be exalted, O You who judge the earth; Render the arrogant their reward.
3 How long will sinners, O Lord, How long will sinners boast,
4 How long will they utter and speak wrongdoing, How long will all who work lawlessness speak?
5 They humbled Your people, O Lord, And they maltreated Your inheritance;
6 They killed the widow and the resident alien, And they murdered the orphans,
7 And said, “The Lord will not see; Nor will the God of Jacob understand.”
8 Now understand, all you without discernment among the people, And all you fools, at length be discerning.
9 He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? Or He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
10 He who chastises the nations, shall He not reprove them, He who teaches man knowledge?
11 The Lord knows the thoughts of men are vain.
12 Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, And whom You teach from Your law,
13 So You may give him rest from evil days, Until a pit is dug for the sinner.
14 For the Lord will not reject His people, And He will not forsake His inheritance
15 Until righteousness returns to judgment, And all the upright in heart possess it. (Pause)
Proverbs of Solomon 20
6 Man is important, and a man who shows mercy is noble, But it is difficult to find a faithful man.
7 He who lives blamelessly in righteousness, He will leave blessed children behind him.
8 When a righteous king sits upon the throne, No evil thing can oppose his presence.
9 Who will boast about having a pure heart? Or who will declare boldly being clean from sins?†
10 The lamp of him who reviles his father or mother shall be put out, And the pupils of his eyes shall see darkness.
The Unjust Steward
1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.†
2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’
3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.
4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’
5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.
10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.†
11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Press for the Kingdom
14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.
15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.†
16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.†
18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.†
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,
21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.†
23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’†
25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,†
28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”†