2 Kings 5:20
But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD lives, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Saidi.e., thought.

This Syrian.—He justifies his purpose on the principle of “spoiling the Egyptians.”

But, as the Lord liveth, I will run.—Rather, by the life of Jehovah, but I will run. (Comp. Note on 2Kings 4:30.)

2 Kings 5:20. Gehazi, the servant of Elisha — One would have expected that Elisha’s servant should have been a saint; but we find him far otherwise. The best men, the best ministers, have often had those about them that were their grief and shame. My master hath spared this Syrian — A stranger, and one of that nation who are the implacable enemies of God’s people. As the Lord liveth — He swears, that he might have some pretence for the action to which he had bound himself by his oath; not considering, that to swear to do any wicked action, is so far from excusing it, that it makes it much worse.5:20-27 Naaman, a Syrian, a courtier, a soldier, had many servants, and we read how wise and good they were. Elisha, a holy prophet, a man of God, has but one servant, and he proves a base liar. The love of money, that root of all evil, was at the bottom of Gehazi's sin. He thought to impose upon the prophet, but soon found that the Spirit of prophecy could not be deceived, and that it was in vain to lie to the Holy Ghost. It is folly to presume upon sin, in hopes of secrecy. When thou goest aside into any by-path, does not thy own conscience go with thee? Does not the eye of God go with thee? He that covers his sin, shall not prosper; particularly, a lying tongue is but for a moment. All the foolish hopes and contrivances of carnal worldlings are open before God. It is not a time to increase our wealth, when we can only do it in such ways as are dishonourable to God and religion, or injurious to others. Gehazi was punished. If he will have Naaman's money, he shall have his disease with it. What was Gehazi profited, though he gained two talents, when thereby he lost his health, his honour, his peace, his service, and, if repentance prevented not, his soul for ever? Let us beware of hypocrisy and covetousness, and dread the curse of spiritual leprosy remaining on our souls.This Syrian - The words are emphatic. Gehazi persuades himself that it is right to spoil a Syrian - that is, a Gentile, and an enemy of Israel.

As the Lord liveth - These words are here a profane oath. Gehazi, anxious to make himself believe that he is acting in a proper, and, even, in a religions spirit, does not scruple to introduce one of the most solemn of religious phrases.

2Ki 5:20-27. Gehazi, by a Lie, Obtains a Present, but Is Smitten with Leprosy.

20-25. I will run after him, and take somewhat of him—The respectful courtesy to Elisha, shown in the person of his servant, and the open-handed liberality of his gifts, attest the fulness of Naaman's gratitude; while the lie—the artful management is dismissing the bearers of the treasure, and the deceitful appearance before his master, as if he had not left the house—give a most unfavorable impression of Gehazi's character.

Naaman this Syrian; a stranger, and one of that nation who are the implacable enemies of God’s people; whom therefore my master should not have had so much regard to as to the Lord’s prophets, who before deserved and more needed the money which he offered than Naaman himself did.

As the Lord liveth; he swears, that he might have some pretence for the action to which he had bound himself by his oath, not considering that to swear to do any wicked action is so far from excusing it, that it makes it much worse. But Gehazi the servant of Elisha the man of God said,.... Within himself, observing what had passed:

behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: he speaks contemptibly of Naaman, as an alien from the commonwealth of Israel, and reproaches his master for letting him go free, without paying for his cure; when he thought he should have taken what he brought and offered, and given it to needy Israelites, and especially to the sons of the prophets, that wanted it; and perhaps it mostly disturbed him, that he had no share of it himself:

but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him; the word for "somewhat", wanting a letter usually in it, is what is sometimes used for a blot; and Jarchi observes, that Gehazi taking something from Naaman, was a blot unto him, and indeed such an one that he could not wipe off.

But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20–27. Gehazi’s lies and their punishment (Not in Chronicles)

20. hath spared Naaman this Syrian] R.V. this Naaman the Syrian. The pronoun qualifies the whole expression. Gehazi had been in attendance on Elisha, and heard the whole conversation. There seems to have been no need for an interpreter. The dialects of the whole country were no doubt much akin, and the people could readily understand each other.

as the Lord liveth] How little the words meant for Gehazi we can see, when they come to his lips amid his thoughts of the deceit he is meditating. They had a different force when Elisha used them, in verse 16.Verse 20. - But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said (see 2 Kings 4:12-36 for the position held towards Elisha by Gehazi), Behold, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian. Gehazi either honestly thinks, or at least persuades himself, that a Syrian ought to be, not spared, but spoiled, as being a foreigner and an enemy. In not receiving at his hands that which he brought (see ver. 5). Gehazi may not have known how much it was, but he had seen the laden animals, and rightly concluded that the value was great. But, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. "As the Lord liveth" seems a strange phrase in the mouth of one who is bent on lying and on stealing. But experience teaches us that religious formulae do drop from the lips of persons engaged in equally indefensible proceedings. This is partly because formulae by frequent use become mere forms, to which the utterer attaches no meaning; partly because men blind themselves to the wrongfulness of their actions, and find some excuse or other for any course of conduct by which they hope to profit. Naaman then went down (from Samaria to the Jordan) and dipped in Jordan seven times, and his flesh became sound (ישׁב as in 2 Kings 5:10) like the flesh of a little boy. Seven times, to show that the healing was a work of God, for seven is the stamp of the works of God.
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