27 Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
2 Kings 5:27  NASB

4 Now the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, “Please relate to me all the great things that Elisha has done.”
5 As he was relating to the king how he had restored to life the one who was dead, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and for her field. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.”

2 Kings 8:4-5  NASB

SAB Contradiction 241

Bible Contradiction?
Elisha’s servant Gehazi got leprosy by not obeying Elisha’s will to not accept precious presents from Naaman. And then, later on, Gehazi is talking with the king about all the great miracles of Elisha. It seems that he had remained in perfect health.

The Problem
After becoming a leper we read about Gehazi in a talk with the king speaking about all the great miracles performed by the prophet Elisha.This is rather strange for several reasons:
– It was not usual that lepers were in contact with healthy people; they lived in isolation. 
– The interview seemed to be in the palace; there the woman and her son came for a royal judgement concerning their property. And it must be excluded that a leper could ever enter into the royal courts.
– In their interview, Gehazi as well as the king seem to be admirers of Elisha, but when we look at the previous history they had become his antagonists. Gehazi was punished by Elishah with leprosy and the king had tried to kill Elisha by beheading him (2 Kings 6:32).

Traditional solution
Most theologians argue that there is no difficulty as Naaman could also communicate with the prophet Elisha when he came for healing. And so they maintain that later on the king and Gehazi could also have a discussion while Gehazi suffered leprosy. However, in doing so they ignore the other difficulties as presented above. This point of view seems to be represented in the NASB with the translation “Now” starting the narrative (2 Kings 8:1), suggesting ongoing history. The KJV has in the same way “Then …”.

Reasonable solution
However, the Hebrew Bible has modestly “And …”, a conjunction without any indication of time. That makes it possible to treat this story as an additional description about a much earlier event. This is only acceptable in exegesis if there is a clear hint – generally a reader indication – that the order of events has been interrupted. And yes, the hint is: “and it has indeed/even come on the land for seven years.” (2 Kings 8:1).

Unfortunately all English translations (as far as I could check) incorrectly translate the perfect for a future tense: “and it will even come on the land for seven years.” (This so called perfect propheticum, i.e. future for a perfect form, is only allowed when the normal use of the perfect doesn’t give sound meaning, which is not the case here. The Septuagint is correct, the Vulgate is incorrect.)

The holy writer refers to a famine in the past and indeed there was one right after the restoration to life of the dead boy by Elisha (2 Kings 4:38). About seven years later she came to the king for her rights. The healing of Naaman and the leprosy of Gehazi had not occurred yet.  

Why the addition?
The place of this addition (the story of Gehazi’s interview with the king finishing with the arrival of the woman and the boy they were talking about) is understandable. In the previous chapter we read about the good relationship between Elisha and the king coming to an end. The holy writer wants to remind that there was once a good relationship between the king and Elisha. Certainly he made use of a report made by prophetical scribes who worked at the royal court and he didn’t know exactly where he could insert the story in the great prophetical story of Elijah and Elisha, the first eight chapters of the book 2 Kings. So he put it after the ending of the good relationship between the king and Elisha.

Bible Contradiction?
Even the traditional explanation doesn’t result in a Bible Contradiction, while the solution presented here, according to all grammatical and literary rules, gives perfect harmony in all respects.

No Bible Contradiction