Naaman, the Syrian general, was also a leper. He happened to have a Hebrew slave girl, whom he had carried off during one of the numerous conflicts between Israel and Syria, who told him that the great prophet Elisha would be able to cure him of leprosy.
So Naaman traveled down to Samaria with a small fortune in gold, silver, and cloth, and a letter of introduction from they Syrian king to the king of Israel. The king of Israel was quite upset by all this–how was he to cure this man of leprosy? But Elisha sent a message telling the king to send Naaman on to him. So Naaman went to Elisha’s house, and Elisha sent Gehazi out to tell him to bathe in the Jordan seven times.
Naaman was pissed. He expected more courtesy from this prophet and more flash and dazzle than simply being told to bathe, so he started back to Syria in a huff. However, his retinue convinced him that it didn’t hurt to try the prophet’s instructions, since he had already came so far, so they rode to the Jordan. Naaman dunked himself in it seven times, and behold, he was cured.
So he went back to Elisha and was all, Now I know that your God is the only real one, and I will only worship and offer sacrifices to it from now on! Can I have some dirt so that I can keep my promise? Oh, and could you also intercede for me that God won’t be wroth when I have to help my king into the Temple of Rimmon and bow my head? And please, take this fortune!
But Elisha refused the fortune. He however gave the dirt and promised the intercession. Now Gehazi was less spiritual than Elisha, and he followed Naaman and got 150 pounds of silver and some cloth in pretense of Elisha changing his mind. Elisha, however, was not amused with Gehazi’s antics, and cursed him and his descendants with Naaman’s leprosy–from which Gehazi suffered onward.