Gehazi, Geichazi, or Giezi (Douay-Rheims) (Hebrew: גֵּיחֲזִי; Tiberian: Gêḥăzî; Standard: Geẖazi; "valley of vision") is a figure found in the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible. As a servant of Elisha he was in a position of power but he was corrupt, and misused his authority and cheated Naaman the Syrian, a leper. As a punishment, Elisha cursed him, transferring Naaman's leprosy to him and his descendants for ever. In Rabbinic Literature, Gehazi is identified as one of four commoners who forfeited his share in the afterlife because of his wickedness. He is the subject of a poem by Rudyard Kipling.
The biblical account
Gehazi was Elisha's servant. He appears in connection with the history of the Shunammite and of Naaman the Syrian. On this latter occasion, Gehazi, overcome with avarice, obtained in the prophet's name two talents of silver and two changes of garments from Naaman. Consequently, he was guilty of duplicity and dishonesty of conduct, causing Elisha to denounce his crime with righteous sternness, and pass on him the terrible doom that "the leprosy of Naaman would cleave to him and his descendants for ever". After Elisha cursed Gehazi, Gehazi became leprous "as white as snow" (2 Kings 5.27).
Appearance in literature
In Rabbinic Literature, Gehazi is identified as one of four commoners who forfeited his share in Olam haba, the afterlife, because of his wickedness, especially in the presence of an upstanding example such as Elisha, and his consistent refusal to repent.
Two meanings for the name "Gehazi" have been suggested: "valley of vision" or "valley of avarice."
- 2 Kings 4:14; 2 Kings 4:31
- 2 Kings 5:20-27
- Fausset, Andrew R. "Entry for 'Gehazi'". "Fausset Bible Dictionary". <http://www.studylight.org/dic/fbd/view.cgi?number=T1365>. 1949.
- 2 Kings 8:1-6
- Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 90a, 107b
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, article on Rufus Isaacs
- Anchor Bible Dictionary Vol. 2, pg. 926