2 Kings 5:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"If you will not," said Naaman, "please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD.

New Living Translation
Then Naaman said, "All right, but please allow me to load two of my mules with earth from this place, and I will take it back home with me. From now on I will never again offer burnt offerings or sacrifices to any other god except the LORD.

English Standard Version
Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the LORD.

New American Standard Bible
Naaman said, "If not, please let your servant at least be given two mules' load of earth; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.

King James Bible
And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Naaman responded, "If not, please let your servant be given as much soil as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will no longer offer a burnt offering or a sacrifice to any other god but Yahweh.

International Standard Version
So Naaman asked, "No? Then please let your servant load two mules with dirt from Israel, because your servant will no longer offer any burnt offering or sacrifice to any other god but the LORD.

NET Bible
Naaman said, "If not, then please give your servant a load of dirt, enough for a pair of mules to carry, for your servant will never again offer a burnt offering or sacrifice to a god other than the LORD.

New Heart English Bible
Naaman said, "If not, then, please let two mules' burden of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will from now on offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So Naaman said, "If you won't take it, please have someone give me as much dirt as a pair of mules can carry. From now on I will sacrifice to the LORD alone. I will not offer any burnt offering or sacrifice to any other gods.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Naaman said: 'If not, yet I pray thee let there be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth; for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.

New American Standard 1977
And Naaman said, “If not, please let your servant at least be given two mules’ load of earth; for your servant will no more offer burnt offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy slave two mules' burden of earth? For from now one thy slave will offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.

King James 2000 Bible
And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray you, be given to your servant two mules' burden of earth? for your servant will never offer either burnt offering or sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.

American King James Version
And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray you, be given to your servant two mules' burden of earth? for your servant will from now on offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.

American Standard Version
And Naaman said, If not, yet, I pray thee, let there be given to thy servant two mules burden of earth; for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Naaman said: As thou wilt: but I beseech thee, grant to me thy servant, to take from hence two mules' burden of earth: for thy servant will not henceforth offer holocaust, or victim, to other gods, but to the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
And Naaman said, If not, then let there, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of [this] earth; for thy servant will no more offer burnt-offering and sacrifice to other gods, but to Jehovah.

English Revised Version
And Naaman said, If not, yet I pray thee let there be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth; for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.

World English Bible
Naaman said, "If not, then, please let there be given to your servant two mules' burden of earth; for your servant will from now on offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
And Naaman saith, 'If not -- let be given, I pray thee, to thy servant, a couple of mules' burden of earth, for thy servant doth make no more burnt-offering and sacrifice to other gods, but to Jehovah.
Study Bible
Gehazi's Greed and Leprosy
16But he said, "As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will take nothing." And he urged him to take it, but he refused. 17Naaman said, "If not, please let your servant at least be given two mules' load of earth; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD. 18"In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter."…
Cross References
Exodus 20:24
'You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.

2 Kings 5:18
"In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter."
Treasury of Scripture

And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray you, be given to your servant two mules' burden of earth? for your servant will from now on offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.

of earth

2 Kings 5:12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the …

Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations.

will henceforth

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and …

1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had to you…

1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will …

(17) Shall there not then.--Rather, If not, let there be given, I pray thee. LXX., ??? ?? ??.

Two mules' burden of earth?--Literally, a load of a yoke of mules' (in) earth. It was natural for Naaman, with his local idea of divinity, to make this request. He wished to worship the God of Israel, so far as possible, on the soil of Israel, Jehovah's own land. He would therefore build his altar to Jehovah on a foundation of this earth, or construct the altar itself therewith. (Comp. Exodus 20:24; 1Kings 18:38.)

Burnt offering nor sacrifice.--Burnt offering nor peace offering.

Offer.--Literally, make.

Verse 17. - And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? Naaman does not state what he intends to do with the earth; and the critics have consequently suggested two uses. Some suppose that he intended to make the earth into an altar upon which he might offer his sacrifices; comp. Exodus 20:24, where an altar of earth is spoken of (Bahr and others). But the more general opinion (Thenius, Von Gerlach, etc.) is that he wished to spread the earth over a piece of Syrian ground, and thereby to hallow the ground for purposes of worship. The Jews themselves are known to have acted similarly, transferring earth from Jerusalem to Babylonia, to build a temple on it; and the idea is not an unnatural one, It does not necessarily imply the "polytheistic superstition" that every god has his own laud, where alone he can be properly worshipped. It rests simply on the notion of there being such a thing as "holy ground" (Exodus 3:5) - ground more suited for the worship of God than ordinary common soil, which therefore it is worth while to transfer from place to place for a religious purpose. For thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice [as meat offerings or firstfruits] unto other gods, but unto the Lord. It is implied that Naaman had been hitherto a polytheist. Not much is known of the Syrian religion, but, so far as can be gathered, it would seem to have been a somewhat narrow polytheism. The sun was the supreme god, and was worshipped ordinarily under the name of Hadad (Ma-crob, 'Sat.,' 1:23). There was also, certainly, a great goddess, the "Dea Syra" of the Romans, whom they identified with Cybele and with their own "Bona Dea," a divinity parallel with the Ashtoreth of the Phoenicians, and the Ishtar of the Assyrians and Babylonians. Whether there were any other distinct deities may be doubted, since Bitumen is possibly only another name of Hadad (see the comment on ver. 18). Adonis is simply "Adonai," i.e. "my Lord," an epithet of the Supreme Being. And Naaman said, shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth..... Not that he desired of Elisha that he would suffer his servant Gehazi to receive a present as much as two mules could carry; but inasmuch as the prophet refused a present from him, his servant, he asks a favour of him, that he would permit him to take with him, out of the land of Israel, as much earth two mules could carry, that is, to make an altar of earth, as the next words indicate: but as he might have this any where without the prophet's leave, some Jewish writers (o) think he requested it from his own house, and from the place his feet trod on, as conceiving in a superstitious way that there was a sort of holiness in it; or however, that wheresoever he had it, if with the prophet's leave, a blessing would go with it, or that would be a sort of a consecration of it; and having an altar made of the earth of this land, would show that he was in the faith of the same God, and performed the same worship to him Israel did:

for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord: hence the Jews say, he became a proselyte of righteousness (p), embraced the true religion, and the worship of the true God, according to the laws given to Israel; and the following words, rightly understood, confirm the same.

(o) Ben Gersom & Abarbinel in loc. (p) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 11. 2.17. two mules' burden of earth—with which to make an altar (Ex 20:24) to the God of Israel. What his motive or his purpose was in this proposal—whether he thought that God could be acceptably worshipped only on his own soil; or whether he wished, when far away from the Jordan, to have the earth of Palestine to rub himself with, which the Orientals use as a substitute for water; or whether, by making such a request of Elisha, he thought the prophet's grant of it would impart some virtue; or whether, like the modern Jews and Mohammedans, he resolved to have a portion of this holy earth for his nightly pillow—it is not easy to say. It is not strange to find such notions in so newly a converted heathen.5:15-19 The mercy of the cure affected Naaman more than the miracle. Those are best able to speak of the power of Divine grace, who themselves experience it. He also shows himself grateful to Elisha the prophet. Elijah refused any recompence, not because he thought it unlawful, for he received presents from others, but to show this new convert that the servants of the God of Israel looked upon worldly wealth with a holy contempt. The whole work was from God, in such a manner, that the prophet would not give counsel when he had no directions from the Lord. It is not well violently to oppose the lesser mistakes which unite with men's first convictions; we cannot bring men forward any faster than the Lord prepares them to receive instruction. Yet as to us, if, in covenanting with God, we desire to reserve any known sin, to continue to indulge ourselves in it, that is a breach of his covenant. Those who truly hate evil, will make conscience of abstaining from all appearances of evil.
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