Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
("given by God".)
1. The prophet who gave David God's assurance of the perpetuity of his seed and throne (Notwithstanding Temporary Chastening For Iniquity) . God by Nathan commended David's desire to build the temple, but reserved the accomplishment for his son Solomon, the type of Him who should build the true temple (2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17). Nathan speaking first of himself had said, "do all that is in thine heart" (compare 1 Kings 8:18). God sometimes grants His children's requests in a form real, but not as they had proposed. His glory proves in the end to be their truest good, though their wishes for the time be crossed. Nathan convicted David of his sin in the case of Uriah by the beautiful parable of the poor man's lamb ( 2 Samuel 12:1-15; 2 Samuel 12:25; Psalm 51).
Nathan conveyed Jehovah's command to David, to name Solomon" Jedidiah," not as a mere appellation, but an assurance that Jehovah loved him. Nathan was younger than David, as he wrote with Ahijah the Shilonite and Iddo the seer" the acts of Solomon first and last" ( 2 Chronicles 9:29). To Nathan David refers as having forbidden his building the temple on account of his having had "great wars" ( 2 Chronicles 22:1-10; 2 Chronicles 28:2). Nathan secured the succession of Solomon by advising Bathsheba to remind David of his promise ( 1 Chronicles 22:9, etc.), and to inform him of Adonijah's plot, and by himself venturing into the king's presence to follow up Bathsheba's statement. Nathan by David's direction with Zadok the priest brought Solomon to Gihon on the king's own mule, and anointed him king ( 1 Kings 1:10-38).
"Azariah son of Nathan was over the officers, and Zabud son of Nathan was the king's friend" under Solomon ( 1 Kings 4:5; 1 Chronicles 27:33; 2 Samuel 15:37). A similarity between the apologue style of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 9:14-16 and Nathan's in 2 Samuel 12:1-4 may be due to Nathan's influence. Nathan along with Gad wrote "the acts of David first and last" ( 1 Chronicles 29:29). Nathan is designated by the later and higher title "the prophet," but" Gad and Samuel the seer" (compare 1 Samuel 9:9). His histories were doubtless among the materials from which the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles were compiled. His grave is shown at Halhul near Hebron.
2. Son of David and Bathsheba ( 1 Chronicles 3:5; 1 Chronicles 14:4; 2 Samuel 5:14). Luke traces Christ's genealogy to David through Nathan ( 2 Samuel 3:31); as Matthew gives the succession to the throne, so Luke the parentage of Joseph, Jeconiah's line having failed as he died childless. (See Genealogy .) "The family of the house of David and the family of the house of Nathan" represent the highest and lowest of the royal order; as "the family of the house of Levi and the family of Shimei" represent the highest and lowest of the priestly order ( Zechariah 12:12-13).
3. Father of Igal, one of David's heroes, of Zobah, 2 Samuel 23:36, but in 1 Chronicles 11:38 "Joel, brother of Nathan" Kennicott prefers "brother."
4. A head man who returned with Ezra on his second expedition, and whom Ezra despatched from his encampment at the river Ahava to the Jews at Casiphia, to get Levites and Nethinim for the temple ( Ezra 8:16). Perhaps the same as the son of Bani who gave up his foreign wife ( Ezra 10:39).
5. Son of Attai of Judah ( 1 Chronicles 2:36).
Holman Bible Dictionary 
2 Samuel 7:1 1 Chronicles 17:1
David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband, Uriah, slain in battle. The Lord was displeased and sent Nathan to rebuke the king. The prophet told a story in which a rich man took the only little ewe lamb that belonged to a poor man and prepared a meal for one of his guests. David said the rich man should die. Nathan responded, “Thou art the man.” David repented, but his first child born to Bathsheba died ( 2 Samuel 11-12 ).
Adonijah tried unsuccessfully to become king in the closing days of David's life. Nathan, along with Zadok, the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Shimei, Rei, and David's mighty men, opposed Adonijah. Bathsheba and Nathan spoke to David about an earlier decision to appoint Solomon as the next king. David declared Solomon to be king ( 1 Kings 1:5-53 ).
Later references indicate that Nathan wrote the chronicles for David ( 1 Chronicles 29:29 ) and a history of Solomon ( 2 Chronicles 9:29 ). Nathan advised David in arranging the musical instruments played by the Levites ( 2 Chronicles 29:25 ). See Books; David; Prophets. See David; Solomon; Bathsheba .
2. Son of David, born in Jerusalem ( 2 Samuel 5:14; 1 Chronicles 14:4 ). His mother was Bathsheba (Bath-shua) ( 1 Chronicles 3:5 ). He is in the genealogy of Jesus Christ ( Luke 3:31 ). 3 . Nathan of Zobah, father of Igal, one of David's mighty men ( 2 Samuel 23:36 ). He may be the same as Nathan the brother of Joel ( 1 Chronicles 11:38 ), within another list of David's mighty men. 4. The two Nathans mentioned as fathers of Azariah and Zabud may be same man and identified as the prophet Nathan ( 1 Kings 4:5 ) during Solomon's reign. If Zubad ( 1 Chronicles 2:36 ) is the same as Zabud, his father Nathan may be the prophet; thus, the prophet's father was Attai, a descendant of Jerahmeel ( 1 Chronicles 2:25 ).
5. A returning exile whom Ezra sent on a mission to secure ministers for God's house ( Ezra 8:15-17 ). He may be the same exile who had married a foreign wife and put her away ( Ezra 10:39 ).
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
1. Son of David and Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 5:14; 1 Chronicles 3:5; 1 Chronicles 14:4; Luke 3:31 .
2. The prophet, who held an influential position during the reigns of David and Solomon. He is first mentioned when David had in his heart to build a house to Jehovah. Nathan at first encouraged the proposition, but afterwards had a special message from God to direct David otherwise. It was Nathan who had to condemn David's conduct with respect to Bathsheba and her husband; he delicately brought the sin home to his conscience by means of a suited parable. He also took a prominent part in securing the throne for Solomon, 2 Samuel 7:2-17; 2 Samuel 12:1-25; 1 Kings 1:8-45; 1 Chronicles 17:1-15; 2 Chronicles 29:25; Psalm 51 : title. He wrote a 'book' containing the Acts of David the king and of Solomon, which does not form a part of scripture. 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29 .
3. Man of Zobah, father of Igal. 2 Samuel 23:36 .
4. Father of Azariah and Zabud. 1 Kings 4:5 .
5. Son of Attai, and father of Zabad. 1 Chronicles 2:36 .
6. Brother of Joel, one of David's mighty men. 1 Chronicles 11:38 .
7. One who returned from exile. Ezra 8:16 .
8. One who had married a strange wife. Ezra 10:39 .
9. A chief man in Israel, whose family will mourn apart. Zechariah 12:12 . Perhaps a reference to the family of No. 2.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
NATHAN. 1 . Third son of David by Bath-sheba ( 2 Samuel 5:14 , but note 2 Samuel 12:24 ). In Zechariah 12:12 the Nathan who is recognized as head of a house is probably David’s son. In Luke 3:31 the genealogy of Jesus is traced through Nathan to David. 2 . The prophet, a confidential adviser of David. The king desired to build the Temple, and Nathan at first agreed, but later received a revelation forbidding the enterprise ( 2 Samuel 7:1-29 ). The next appearance of Nathan is in connexion with the parable of the ewe lamb, by which David was self-convicted of his sin with Bath-sheba ( 2 Samuel 12:1-15 ). Later, in token that an atonement has been made, he adds to Solomon’s name the significant title Jedidiah (‘beloved of Jah’). The third service was rendered alike to David and to Solomon. Adonijab had planned a coup by which to grasp the sceptre, now falling from the hands of his aged father. It was Nathan’s watchfulness that discovered the plot, and his ingenuity that saved the kingdom for Solomon ( 1 Kings 1:1-53 ). It was fitting that a Life of David should come from this friendly hand ( 1 Chronicles 29:29 ). His service to Solomon was recognized by the king, who appointed his sons, Azariab and Zabud, to important offices ( 1 Kings 4:5 ). 3 . Father of Igal, one of David’s heroes ( 2 Samuel 23:36 ). The text of 1 Chronicles 11:38 reads, ‘Joel brother of Nathan.’ 4 . One of the cbief men who returned with Ezra ( Ezra 8:15 , 1Es 8:44 ). 5 . One of the Bani family, who had taken strange wives ( Ezra 10:39 ); called in 1Es 9:34 Nathanias . 6 . A Judahite ( 1 Chronicles 2:36 ).
J. H. Stevenson.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
Several men named Nathan are mentioned in the Bible, one of them being a son of David in the line of descent that produced the Messiah ( 2 Samuel 5:14; Zechariah 12:12; Luke 3:31). But the best known Nathan is the prophet who belonged to David’s court. It was he who revealed that the permanent temple David desired to build was not necessary, and that God was more concerned with building a permanent dynasty for David ( 2 Samuel 7:1-17). God allowed the temple to be built, though by David’s son, not by David himself ( 2 Samuel 7:12-13; 1 Chronicles 28:3; 1 Chronicles 28:6).
Nathan was again God’s spokesman when he announced God’s judgment on David because of his sin with Bathsheba ( 2 Samuel 12:1-15). Nathan seems also to have been the person through whom God revealed that Solomon would be David’s successor as king ( 2 Samuel 12:24-25; 1 Chronicles 28:5-6; 1 Kings 1:17). Significantly, Nathan came to the defence of Solomon when Adonijah challenged him ( 1 Kings 1:11-14; 1 Kings 1:22-24; 1 Kings 1:32-34). Like many prophets, Nathan was a court historian ( 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29; 2 Chronicles 29:25).
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
1. A Hebrew prophet, Zechariah 12:12; a friend and counselor of David. He approved the king's purpose of building a temple to the lord, but by divine direction transferred this accomplishment to Solomon, 2 Samuel 7:1-17 . By a fine parable, pointedly applied, he convicted David of his guilt in respect to Uriah and Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 12:1-31 Psalm 51:1-19; and his bold fidelity here seems to have been appreciated by David, see 2 Samuel 12:25; and was effectually aided by him in his peaceful succession to the throne, 1 Kings 1.1-53 . He wrote some memorials, long since lost, of both David and Solomon, 1 Chronicles 29:29 2 Chronicles 9:29 . How long he lived under the reign of Solomon is unknown; but two of his sons were high officers at court, 1 Kings 4:5 .
2. A son of David, by Bathsheba, 1 Chronicles 3:5 14:4; an ancestor of Christ, Luke 3:21 . See Genealogy .
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Na'than. (A Giver).
1. An eminent Hebrew , in the reigns of David and Solomon. (B.C. 1015). He first appears in the consultation with David, about the building of the Temple. 2 Samuel 7:2-3; 2 Samuel 7:17. He next comes forward as the reprover of David for the sin with Bathsheba; and his famous apologue on the rich man and the ewe lamb, which is the only direct example of his prophetic power, shows it to have been of a very high order. 2 Samuel 12:1-12.
2. A son of David; one of the four who were borne to him, by Bathsheba. 1 Chronicles 3:5. Compare 1 Chronicles 14:4 and 2 Samuel 5:14.
3. Son, or brother, of one of the members of David's guard. 2 Samuel 23:36; 1 Chronicles 11:38.
4. One of the head men, who returned from Babylon with Ezra, on his second expedition. Ezra 8:16 1 Esdras 8:44. It is not impossible that he may be the same with the "son of Bani." Ezra 10:39.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Nathan ( Nâ'Than ), Given. 1. A distinguished prophet of Judæa, in the reigns of David and Solomon. 2 Samuel 7:2. Nathan was to tell David that he could not build the temple, and to point out David's sin against Uriah, which he conveyed under the striking allegory of the rich man and the ewe-lamb. Nathan was one of David's biographers, 1 Chronicles 29:29, and also Solomon's. 2 Chronicles 9:29. 2. One of the sons of David by Bathsheba. 1 Chronicles 3:5. 3. Father of one of David's warriors. 2 Samuel 23:36. 4. One of the chief men who returned to Jerusalem with Ezra. Ezra 8:16. 5. A descend* ant of Caleb. 1 Chronicles 2:36.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
a prophet of the Lord, who appeared in Israel in the time of King David, and had a great share in the confidence of this prince. His country is unknown, as also the time in which he began to prophesy. The first time we find him mentioned, is when David designed to build the temple, 2 Samuel 7:3 , &c. We find him mentioned again in the affair of David and Bathsheba, when he faithfully reproved the king for his wicked conduct, 2 Samuel 12:1-14 . And when Adonijah began to take upon him the state, and to assume the dignity of a sovereign, and to form a party in opposition to his brother Solomon, Nathan repaired to Bathsheba, and sent her immediately to the king with instructions what to say and while she was yet discoursing with the king, Nathan came in, reminded David of his promise, that Solomon should be his successor, and procured Solomon to be immediately anointed king of Israel.
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
There were many of this name in the Bible. The first we meet with is the faithful prophet in the days of David, 2 Samuel 12:1-31. The name signifies who gives. (See also 2 Samuel 12:14) Another Nathan is recorded, 2 Samuel 23:36; another, 1 Kings 4:5; another, Ezra 8:16.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.
Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Nathan'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/n/nathan.html. 1897.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
NATHAN. —A son of king David, named in our Lord’s genealogy, Luke 3:31.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Heb. Nathan', נָתָן , Given, i.e., by God; Sept. Ναθάν , but in the later books Νάθαν , and so Jo, sephus, Ant. 7:3, 3; but Ναθάνα of the prophet, Ant. 7:4, 4, etc.), the name of five or six men.
1. The eleventh in descent from Judah, being the son of Attai and father of Zabad ( 1 Chronicles 2:36). B.C. post 1612.
2. An eminent Hebrew prophet in the reigns of David and Solomon. If the expression "first and last," in 2 Chronicles 9:29, is to be token literally, he must have lived late into the life of Solomon, in which case he must have been considerably younger than David. At any rate he seems to have been the younger of the two prophets who accompanied him, and may be considered as the latest direct representative of the schools of Samuel. A Jewish tradition mentioned by Jerome (Qu. Heb. on 1 Samuel 17:12) identifies him with the eighth son of Jesse ( 2 Samuel 5:14); but of this there is no probability. He first appears in the consultation with David about the building of the Temple. B.C. cir. 1043. He begins by advising it, and then, after a vision, withdraws his advice, on the ground that the time had not yet come ( 2 Samuel 7:2-3; 2 Samuel 7:17). See Ewald, Isr. Gesch. 2:592. He next comes forward as the reprover of David for the sin with Bathsheba; and his famous apologue on the rich man and the ewe lamb, which is the only direct example of his prophetic power, shows it to have been of a very high order ( 2 Samuel 12:1-12). B.C. 1035. There is an indistinct trace of his appearing also at the time of the plague which fell on Jerusalem in accordance with the warning of Gad. "An angel," says Eupolemus (Euseb. Prcep. Ev. 9:30), "pointed him to the place where the Temple was to be, but forbade him to build it, as being stained with blood, and having fought many wars. His name was Dianathan."
This was probably occasioned by some confusion of the Greek version, Διὰ Νάθαν , with the parallel passage of 1 Chronicles 22:8, where the blood-stained life of David is given as a reason against the building, but where Nathan is not named. B.C. cir. 1017. On the birth of Solomon he was either specially charged with giving him his name, Jedidah, or else with his education, according as the words of 2 Samuel 12:25, "He sent [or "sent him"] by [or "into"] the hand of Nathan," are understood. B.C. cir. 1034. At any rate, in the last years of David, it is Nathan who, by taking the side of Solomon, turned the scale in his favor. He advised Bathsheba; he himself ventured to enter the royal presence with a remonstrance against the king's apathy and at David's request he assisted in the inauguration of Solomon ( 1 Kings 1:8; 1 Kings 1:10-11; 1 Kings 1:22-24; 1 Kings 1:32; 1 Kings 1:34; 1 Kings 1:38; 1 Kings 1:45). B.C. cir. 1015. His son Zabud occupied the post of " king's friend," perhaps succeeding Nathan ( 2 Samuel 15:37; 1 Chronicles 27:33); and Azariah, another of his sons, occupied a high place in the king's court ( 1 Kings 4:5). He assisted David by his counsels when he reorganized the public worship ( 2 Chronicles 29:25). B.C. 1014. This is the last time that we hear directly of his intervention in the history. His influence may be traced in the perpetuation of his manner of prophecy in the writings ascribed to Solomon (comp. Ecclesiastes 9:14-16 with 2 Samuel 12:1-4). He left two works behind him — a life of David ( 1 Chronicles 29:29), and a life of Solomon ( 2 Chronicles 9:29). The last of these may have been incomplete, as we cannot be sure that he outlived Solomon. The consideration in which he was held at the time is indicated by the solemn announcement of his approach — "Behold Nathan the prophet" ( 1 Kings 1:23). The peculiar affix of "the prophet," as distinguished from "the seer," given to Samuel and Gad ( 1 Chronicles 29:29), shows his identification with the later view of the prophetic office indicated in 1 Samuel 9:9. His grave is shown at Halhul near Hebron (see Robinson, Bib. Res. 1:216, note).
3. A native of Zobah, in Syria; the father of Igul, one of David's mighty men ( 2 Samuel 23:36; 1 Chronicles 11:38). B.C. cir. 1040.
4. A son of David ( 2 Samuel 5:14; 1 Chronicles 14:4), from whom the evangelist Luke has reckoned the genealogy of Mary the mother of Jesus ( Luke 3:31). B.C. cir. 1032. (See Genealogy). In 1 Chronicles 3:5 Nathan is said to have been "the son of David by Bathshua," i.e., Bathsheba, but the rendering has been questioned. To him must probably be referred the words of Zecheriah 12:12 (see Henderson, Min. Proph. ad loc.), though some have interpreted it as the house of the prophet Nathan standing for the family of the prophets. (See David).
5. One of the head men who returned from Babylon with Ezra on his second expedition, and whom he despatched from his encampment at the River Ahava to the colony of Jews at Casiphia, to obtain thence some Levites and Nethinimn for the Temple service ( Ezra 8:16). B.C. 459. "That Nathan and those mentioned with him were laymen appears evident from the concluding words of the preceding verse, and therefore it is not impossible that he may be the same with the son of Bani, who was obliged to relinquish his foreign wife ( Ezra 10:39); though on the other hand these marriages seem rather to have been contracted by those who had been longer in Jerusalem than he, who had so lately arrived from Babylon, could be." B.C. 458.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Nathan (given), a prophet of the time of David. When that monarch conceived the idea of building a temple to Jehovah, the design and motives seemed to Nathan so good that he ventured to approve of it without the Divine authority, but the night following he received the Divine command, which prevented the king from executing this great work (, sq.; 1 Chronicles 17). Nathan does not again appear in the sacred history till he comes forward in the name of the Lord to reprove David, and to denounce dire punishment for his frightful crime in the matter of Uriah and Bathsheba. This he does by exciting the king's indignation, and leading him to condemn himself, by reciting to him the very striking parable of the traveler and the lamb. Then, changing the voice of a suppliant for that of a judge and a commissioned prophet, he exclaims, 'Thou art the man!' and proceeds to announce the evils which were to embitter the remainder of his reign (, sq.; comp. Psalms 51). The lamentations of the repentant king drew forth some mitigation of punishment; but the troubled history of the remainder of his reign shows how completely God's righteous doom was fulfilled. The child conceived in adultery died; but when Bathsheba's second son was born, the prophet gave him the name of Jedidiah (beloved of Jehovah), although he is better known by that of Solomon . He recognized in this young prince the successor of David; and it was in a great measure through his interposition that the design of Adonijah to seize the crown was unsuccessful (, sq.). Nathan probably died soon after the accession of Solomon, for his name does not again historically occur. It is generally supposed that Solomon was brought up under his care. His sons occupied high places in this king's court . He assisted David by his counsels when he reorganized the public worship and he composed annals of the times in which he lived ; but these have not been preserved to us. In Zechariah the name of Nathan occurs as representing the great family of the prophets.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
A Jewish prophet who had the courage to charge King David to his face with a heinous crime he had committed and convict him of his guilt, to his humiliation in the dust.
- ↑ Nathan from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from Holman Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- ↑ Nathan from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- ↑ Nathan from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathan from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- ↑ Nathan from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- ↑ Nathan from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
- ↑ Nathan from The Nuttall Encyclopedia