The Meaning of 2 Kings 5:12 Explained

2 Kings 5:12

KJV: Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

YLT: Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? do I not wash in them and I have been clean?' and he turneth and goeth on in fury.

Darby: Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them and be clean? And he turned and went away in a rage.

ASV: Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

What does 2 Kings 5:12 Mean?

Study Notes

Abana
Or, Amana.

Context Summary

2 Kings 5:1-14 - The Cure For Leprosy
From Assyrian monuments we learn that at this period Syria regained her independence from under the yoke of Assyria, and probably it was during this struggle that Naaman gained his great victories. Note the suggestiveness of the phrase, "The Lord had given," which teaches that the hand of God was guiding heathen as well as Hebrew history. The realm of God's providence is as long as time, and as broad as the earth.
The destruction of this poor child's home and her captivity must, at the time, have seemed to be an unexplainable disaster from which there could be no relief; and yet it enabled her to bring about a great deliverance, which has shone on the page of Scripture, giving inspiration to tens of thousands. She rose above her sorrows, and by faith wrought victory out of defeat. By preferring his own way to God's, Naaman came dangerously near returning home unhealed. We must adopt God's method of salvation, however humbling to our pride. "I thought," will wreck us; "To thee, O Lamb of God, I come," will save us. Note the combination of warrior's strength with the flesh of a little child-strength married to purity and simplicity. [source]

Chapter Summary: 2 Kings 5

1  Naaman, by the report of a captive maid, is sent to Samaria to be cured of leprosy
8  Elisha, sending him to Jordan cures him
15  He refusing Naaman's gifts grants him some of the earth
20  Gehazi, abusing his master's name unto Naaman, is smitten with leprosy

What do the individual words in 2 Kings 5:12 mean?

[Are] not better Abanah the Abanah and the Pharpar the rivers of Damascus than all the waters of Israel Could not I wash in them and be clean so he turned and went away in a rage
הֲלֹ֡א טוֹב֩ [אבנה] (אֲמָנָ֨ה) וּפַרְפַּ֜ר נַהֲר֣וֹת דַּמֶּ֗שֶׂק מִכֹּל֙ מֵימֵ֣י ؟ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הֲלֹֽא־ אֶרְחַ֥ץ בָּהֶ֖ם ؟ וְטָהָ֑רְתִּי וַיִּ֖פֶן וַיֵּ֥לֶךְ בְּחֵמָֽה

הֲלֹ֡א  [Are]  not 
Parse: Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
טוֹב֩  better 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: טָבַב 
Sense: good, pleasant, agreeable.
[אבנה]  Abanah 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
(אֲמָנָ֨ה)  the  Abanah 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: אֲבָנָה  
Sense: river Abana, Syrian river flowing through Damascus.
וּפַרְפַּ֜ר  and  the  Pharpar 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: פַּרְפַּר  
Sense: a stream in the district of Damascus identified with the modern ‘Awaj’; rises on the southeast slopes of Mount Hermon and flows into the southernmost lake of Damascus.
נַהֲר֣וֹת  the  rivers 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: נָהָר  
Sense: stream, river.
דַּמֶּ֗שֶׂק  of  Damascus 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: דּוּמֶּשֶׂק 
Sense: an ancient trading city, capital of Syria, located in the plain east of Hermon, 30 (205 km) miles northeast of Jerusalem.
מִכֹּל֙  than  all 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: כֹּל  
Sense: all, the whole.
מֵימֵ֣י  the  waters 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: מַיִם  
Sense: water, waters.
؟ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
הֲלֹֽא־  Could  not 
Parse: Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
אֶרְחַ֥ץ  I  wash 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, first person common singular
Root: רָחַץ  
Sense: to wash, wash off, wash away, bathe.
בָּהֶ֖ם  in  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
؟ וְטָהָ֑רְתִּי  and  be  clean 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, first person common singular
Root: טָהֵר  
Sense: to be clean, be pure.
וַיִּ֖פֶן  so  he  turned 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: פֹּונֶה 
Sense: to turn.
וַיֵּ֥לֶךְ  and  went  away 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
בְּחֵמָֽה  in  a  rage 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, feminine singular
Root: חֵמָא 
Sense: heat, rage, hot displeasure, indignation, anger, wrath, poison, bottles.