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The Prophets: Nathan

Nathan, from the Hebrew name pronounced naw-thawn, meaning to give, was a prophet of the LORD (i.e. of Jesus Christ - see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') during the reigns of King David and his son King Solomon. By all accounts, Nathan was a courageous and faithful prophet of God whose service contributed to the Messianic line of Bible History.

It was to Nathan the prophet that David announced his plan (see the Fact Finder question below) to build a Temple in Jerusalem to house the Ark of the Covenant (see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark).

"7:1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; 7:2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. 7:3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee." (2 Samuel 7:1-3 KJV)

"7:17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David." (2 Samuel 7:17 KJV)

The LORD's answer to David was given, first, to Nathan.

"7:4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, 7:5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? 7:6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle." (2 Samuel 7:4-6 KJV)

"According to all this vision, so did Nathan speak"

Although Nathan was a patriotic man, to his nation and to his king, he recognized that he was first and foremost a servant of the LORD. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, unlike so many modern-day spineless political "yes men," it was Nathan who boldly confronted the king for his grievous sin.

The Holy Scriptures

"12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul [see Israelite Monarchy - The Origin]; 12:8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 12:9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12:12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die." (2 Samuel 12:7-13 KJV)

When David became frail in old age ("1:1 Now king David was old and stricken in years" 1 Kings 1:1 KJV), his son Adonijah attempted to make himself king, despite David having named his other son Solomon as successor, according the LORD's will. It was Nathan who prevented the coup.

"1:11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?" (1 Kings 1:11 KJV)

"1:32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 1:33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: 1:34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. 1:35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.

1:36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. 1:37 As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.

1:38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. 1:39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. 1:40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them." (1 Kings 1:32-40 KJV)

Fact Finder: As quoted in the Scriptures above, Nathan was given to answer David's question about building a Temple. Whose idea actually was it to build a Temple? Why?
See God's Tent


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