The name Nathan in the Bible
The name Nathan is assigned five or six times in the Bible. Most noted is Nathan the prophet who ministered during the days of king David (2 Samuel 12:1). He is the prophet whom God sends to David to inform him that his and Bathsheba's child will die because David had Bathsheba's husband Uriah murdered. Bathsheba's next child is named Solomon, and one of three following sons is named Nathan, possibly after the prophet. Luke traces the genealogy of Jesus through this Nathan (spelled Ναταν; Luke 3:31), Matthew goes through Solomon (Matthew 1:6).
Other Nathans are:
- A Judahite with an Egyptian father (1 Chronicles 2:36).
- The father of one of David's thirty mighty-men (2 Samuel 23:36).
- A leader among the returnees (Ezra 8:16), who may or may not be the same as:
- The Nathan who divorces his foreign wife during the purge of Ezra (Ez 10:39).
Etymology of the name Nathan
The name Nathan comes from the verb נתן (natan), to give:
The name Nathan doesn't seem to denote something that is given (as NOBSE Study Bible Name List suggests with the meaning of Gift), but rather an active form of the verb: He Will Give. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Given.