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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)
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.
"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.
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)
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?