In 2 Kings 5:26 (ESV):

...“Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants?"

Gehazi asked for (and received) silver and clothing from Naaman, after lying about the arrival of two men of the sons of the prophets. The "money and garments" is clear, but why did Elisha mention the other 3 pairs of things?

3 Answers 3


Those were the things which Elisha refused. Gehazi's acceptance was unacceptable in the frame of Elisha's refusal. So Elisha catalogs the types of gifts that he refused in order to emphasize his role as a mere channel of the divinity as opposed to miracle-worker.

  • In v5, we read that Naaman only took with him money (gold and silver) and clothes, so I don't see how Elisha could have refused the other gifts if Naaman didn't even bring them (and how could he bring an olive orchard with him?)
    – cdjc
    Mar 2, 2013 at 19:10
  • 1
    Elisha starts with what was actually on offer (to him or Gehazi) and then goes on, and on, and on. He's angry.
    – user947
    Mar 3, 2013 at 5:30

I think Elisha was rebuking not only the actions of Gehazi, but also the attitude of his heart. Gehazi accepted two talents of silver and two changes of clothes. Although opinion varies as to how much a talent weighed (maybe 25-35kg), it was certainly a lot of money.

Perhaps, as he walked back, he was thinking about what he could do with such a large sum: he could buy olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and have servants rather than being a servant. A life of luxury based on the security of wealth, rather than a life of obedience.


It appears that Naaman was acknowledging the God of Heaven, Israel’s God as the one true God.

It would have been insulting to God for the prophet to receive anything from Naaman when God is the proprietor and the progenitor of wealth especially on His turf and in His land.

If God was able to cleanse a man of an incurable skin condition why would God need that person’s gold, or slaves or cattle?

Notice Naaman asks for dirt to take back home with him.

This was God’s land. And this is what God said about His land

“You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭8:18‬ ‭

And if you read the verses earlier the categories that Elisha mentioned to Gehazi are listed out as belonging to the promised land.

“"Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭8:11-14‬ ‭

Elisha hearing from God refused out of obedience to God anything Naaman offered because after all he was entitled to payment as a prophet. I speculate that God seeing a true turning of Naaman to Himself did not want Naaman to say that he contributed toward his conversion, especially not with material and perishable things

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