2 Kings 4-5
This is just another batch of magic tricks, and another example of how legends rip off of one another. Elisha now copies the previous miracles of Elijah – stretching limited food and raising the dead – and adds a new one – neutralizing poison in a stew pot with a bit of flour. And of course this just provides more fodder for Jesus to copy a few centuries later. There really is nothing new under the sun. Why haven’t I heard more about this – I don’t think I’ve ever heard Jesus being accused of plagiarism, yet it’s so obvious.
So how unbelievable is this next story? Israel goes to war with Aram (basically Syria). Naaram, the leader of the Aramaic army, has leprosy, and one of the servants tells him that Elisha can cure it. So the King of Aram gives Naaram the OK to seek a cure from Elisha, and sends gifts along for the King of Israel. So how exactly are these guys defining ‘war’?
Nevertheless, Elisha cures the leprosy (another magic trick for Jesus to copy – I wonder if Elisha did it for everyone, or just this guy?) and Naaman agrees that this proves Elisha’s god is the real one, and that he will never worship those ‘other gods’ again. With one exception – he must ‘fake it’ in the presence of his own king (v 18). This must be the first case of a non-believer being afraid to ‘come out’ for fear of losing his job.
The chapter doesn’t end well. Elisha demonstrates that just as he can heal leprosy, he can also cause it. As a punishment to his servant for petty theft, he condemns him and all his descendants to be lepers. Nice…..