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Nay´thuhn; Heb., “gift [of God]”

1 A prophet in the court of David. Three significant events are recorded about him. First, (2Sam 7 and 1Chr 17) says that David consulted with him on his intention to build a temple to house the Ark of the Covenant (v. 2). Second, after David committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged Uriah’s death (2Sam 11), God sent Nathan to rebuke David (2Sam 12). Finally, in (1Kgs 1), Nathan, without hint of divine instruction, is the king maker, setting the stage and directing dialogue (vv. 13–14), manipulating David to crown Solomon his successor. Nathan is not acting immorally; rather, David is too feeble to act on his own and must be led onto the proper path. The Chronicler also mentions the writings of Nathan as part of his source (1Chr 29:29; 2Chr 9:29) and partly attributes to his authority the musical role of the Levites in the Temple (2Chr 29:25). 2 A son of David (2Sam 5:14; Zech 12:12; 1Chr 3:5; 1Chr 14:4), and Jesus’s ancestor in (Luke 3:31). 3 The father of one of David’s warriors (2Sam 23:26). 4 The brother of another of David’s warriors (1Chr 11:38). 5 The father (sometimes identified with the prophet) of one of Solomon’s officers (1Kgs 4:5). 6 The father of one of Solomon’s priests (1Kgs 4:5); but see (1Chr 2:34-36) where the same [?] Nathan is a descendant of an Egyptian servant). 7 Two men at the time of Ezra (Ezra 8:16; Ezra 10:39).

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.