Naaman was a great general in the army of the King of Syria, who esteemed him highly, because it was Naaman that led the Syrians when God gave them victory over the Israelites. But in spite of his bravery and his high position, he was miserable, because he suffered from a terrible disease called leprosy. Now, among the captives whom the Syrians had brought back from war was a little Israelitish maiden, who was appointed to wait upon Naaman's wife. She had heard of the wonderful things which Elisha did in the name of God; and she told her mistress that if Naaman could only see this prophet, who was in Samaria, he could be cured. And the King was told what the maid had said, and he sent a letter to the King of Israel commanding him to cure Naaman of his leprosy. But the King of Israel was afraid, and thought the King of Syria sought this way to quarrel with him. When Elisha heard of the King's fear, he sent and desired that Naaman should be brought to him. So Naaman came in his chariot, and stood at Elisha's door. But the prophet instead of coming to him, sent a message directing Naaman to wash in Jordan seven times, when his leprous flesh would be restored to health. Naaman had thought that Elisha would have received him with much ceremony and touched him, bidding the leprosy to depart; so he was angry and said, |Are not the rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them and be clean?| Therefore he went away in a rage. But his servants persuaded him to carry out the prophet's injunction, and he went and dipped seven times in Jordan, and was made whole.
[Illustration: THE LITTLE CAPTIVE MAID.]