2 Kings 5:19
And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
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(19) A little way.—Heb., a kibrāh of ground (Genesis 35:16). It seems to mean “a length of ground,” “a certain distance,” without defining exactly how far. Had it been a parasang, as the Syriac renders, Gehazi could not have overtaken the company so easily.

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.So he departed ... - This clause should not be separated from the succeeding verse. The meaning is, "So he departed from him, and had gone a little way, when Gehazi bethought himself of what he would do, and followed after him." 18. goeth into the house of Rimmon—a Syrian deity; probably the sun, or the planetary system, of which a pomegranate (Hebrew, Rimmon) was the symbol.

leaneth on my hand—that is, meaning the service which Naaman rendered as the attendant of his sovereign. Elisha's prophetic commission not extending to any but the conversion of Israel from idolatry, he makes no remark, either approving or disapproving, on the declared course of Naaman, but simply gives the parting benediction (2Ki 5:19).

Go in peace: these words may contain an answer, either, first, To his last petition, 2 Kings 5:18; and so the sense may be this, Be not too solicitous about this matter; go, and the peace or blessing of God go along with thee. So the prophet both prays to God to bless and direct him in this and all other things, and intimates that God would do so. Or, secondly, To the former, 2 Kings 5:17; Trouble not thyself about any of our earth, but go to thy own land, and I wish thee from God, and doubt not but God will give thee, peace, i.e. his favour and other blessings, which are oft contained in this word, if thou dost persist in this religion which thou hast now received. Or rather, this is only a farewell salutation, wherewith the prophet dismisseth him without any further answer to his requests, or instruction about his doubt; which he forbore by the motion of God’s Spirit, which sometimes gives and sometimes denies instructions to persons or people, as he thinks fit. See Acts 16:6,7. And the prophet by the Spirit’s direction might forbear to give him particular answers, partly because these matters were not of such importance as to concern the essence or foundation of religion; and partly because he was yet but a novice, and not able to bear all truths, which was for a time the condition of the apostles, John 16:12, nor fit to be pressed to the practice of the hardest duties, which Christ himself thought not convenient for his disciples; Matthew 9:14-17. And therefore he at present accepts of his profession of the true, and his renunciation of the false religion; and of this declaration, that what he did in the temple of Rimmon should not now be (as he had formerly intended and practised it) a religious action towards the idol, but only a civil respect to his master. And what was necessary for him to know further about the lawfulness or sinfulness of that action, the prophet might take another and a more convenient time to inform him.

And he said unto him,.... That is, the prophet said to Naaman:

go in peace: in peace of mind; be assured that God has pardoned this and all other transgressions:

so he departed from him a little way; about a mile, as the Targum, and so other Jewish writers; of this phrase; see Gill on Genesis 35:16, some say a land's length, that is, about one hundred and twenty feet; rather it was a thousand cubits, or half a mile.

And he said unto him, {k} Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

(k) The prophet did not approve his act, but after the common manner of speech he bids him farewell.

19. Go in peace] We are not to consider this answer as implying that service of God and service of Rimmon might be combined without any incongruity. The prophet appears rather to be willing to leave the good seed already sown to bear fruit in due season. Being sown of God it must fructify, and peace would be the result of its further development.

a little way] The expression literally signifying ‘a length of country’ is very indefinite. It is found only here and in Genesis 35:16; Genesis 48:7. We may estimate its length roughly by considering how far Gehazi could have gone if he had to overtake a mounted cavalcade. It could not be very far.

Verse 19. - And he said unto him; Go in peace. Elisha declared neither that God would nor that he would net forgive Naaman his departure from the path of strict right. He was not called upon to give an answer, since Naaman had not put a question, but had only expressed a wish. His Go in peace is to be taken simply as "wishing the departing Syrian the peace of God upon the road." So Keil, rightly. So he departed from him a little way. Naaman left the presence of Elisha, quitted Samaria, and had gone a short way on his homeward journey when Gehazi overtook him. Ver. 19 is closely connected with ver. 20. 2 Kings 5:19Elisha answered, "Go in peace," wishing the departing Syrian the peace of God upon the road, without thereby either approving or disapproving the religious conviction which he had expressed. For as Naaman had not asked permission to go with his king into the temple of Rimmon, but had simply said, might Jehovah forgive him or be indulgent with him in this matter, Elisha could do nothing more, without a special command from God, than commend the heathen, who had been brought to belief in the God of Israel as the true God by the miraculous cure of his leprosy, to the further guidance of the Lord and of His grace.

(Note: Most of the earlier theologians found in Elisha's words a direct approval of the religious conviction expressed by Naaman and his attitude towards idolatry; and since they could not admit that a prophet would have permitted a heathen alone to participate in idolatrous ceremonies, endeavoured to get rid of the consequence resulting from it, viz., licitam ergo esse Christianis συμφώνησιν πιστοῦ μετὰ ἀπιστοῦ, seu symbolizationem et communicationem cum ceremonia idololatrica, either by appealing to the use of השׁתּחות and to the distinction between incurvatio regis voluntaria et religiosa (real worship) and incurvatio servilis et coacta Naemani, quae erat politica et civilis (mere prostration from civil connivance), or by the ungrammatical explanation that Naaman merely spoke of what he had already done, not of what he would do in future (vid., Pfeiffer, Dub. vex. p. 445ff., and J. Meyer, ad Seder Olam, p. 904ff., Budd., and others). - Both are unsatisfactory. The dreaded consequence falls of itself if we only distinguish between the times of the old covenant and those of the new. Under the old covenant the time had not yet come in which the heathen, who came to the knowledge of the true deity of the God of Israel, could be required to break off from all their heathen ways, unless they would formally enter into fellowship with the covenant nation.)

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