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Origin of the name JONATHAN.
Etymology of the name JONATHAN.
Meaning of the baby name JONATHAN.


JONATHAN.  Biblical. [Hebrew Yonathan, an abbreviation of Yehonathan = "gift of Jehovah;" "(whom) Jehovah has given"].

    (1) The son of Gershom, and grandson of Moses (?).  He was a Levite, but was not above officating as the priest of an idol in the house of a certain Micah, in the time of the "Judges."  When the Danites were on their way to seek new settlements in the north of Palestine, they robbed Micah of his image, and persuaded his mercenary priest to go with them, tempting his ambition by promising that he should be the priest, not of a single household, but of a tribe.  They kept their word, and Jonathan became the first of a line of priests who worshipped at the shrine of the stolen idol till "the captivity of the land" (the carrying of the ten tribes to Assyria) (?) (Judg. xviii. 3-6, 14-31óR.V.).
    (2) The eldest son of king Saul (1 Sam. xiv. 49; xxxi. 1, 2; 1 Chron. viii. 33; ix. 39).  When first mentioned, after his father had reigned two years, he is in command of 1,000 men, Saul leading other 2,000.  Jonathan with his forces attacked and destroyed the Philistine garrison at Geba (1 Sam. xiii. 3).  Shortly afterwards, the young prince, attended only by his armour-bearer, climbed up an ascent between two rocks, called Bozez and Seneh, and suddenly assailing the first Philistines he met, created a panic in their army, which became so great that in their fright the soldiers turned their arms against each other (xiv. 1-23).  The same day Saul had almost put his heroic son to death for having eaten honey in a wood, being ignorant that the king had pronounced a rash imprecation against anyone who should partake of food that day.  But the people interfered, and would not allow Jonathan's life to be sacrificed (24-46).  When David, then a young man and known but to few, achieved his great victory over Goliath, Jonathan, who was of a singularly unselfish nature, commenced a warm friendship with the hero (xviii. 1), and would not give it up, even when Saul pointed out that his friend might one day supersede him on the throne.  During Saul's persecution of David, Jonathan kept continual communication with his youthful associate, giving him most valuable intelligence of the king's feelings and movements, till at length the tyrant, provoked by what he considered his unfilial conduct, threw a javelin at him, as he had more than once done at David (xviii., xix.).  Jonathan was killed, with two of his brothers and their father, at the battle of Gilboa, and his bones, like their, must have been affixed to the walls of Bethshean, till the men of Jabesh-Gilead removed them and gave them honourable burial (xxxi. 1, 11-13; 1 Chron. x. 2, 8-12).  David deeply lamented his death (2 Sam. i. 17-27).  Jonathan left behind him a son called Mephibosheth, or Meribbaal, who was lame, his nurse having let him fall, when she had him, then five years old, in her arms, and was running away with him in terror when the news of Gilboa came (2 Sam. iv. 4).  David ultimately showed him great kindness for Jonathan's sake, and the line of his descendants is traceable for several generations in increasing numbers, as if all danger of its extinction had passed away [Mephibosheth) (2 sam. ix. 1-13; 1 Chron. viii. 33-40; ix. 37-44).
    (3) (?) The uncle of king David.  He was a counsellor, a man of understanding, and a scribe (1 Chron. xxvii. 32óR.V.).  But the margin calls him "brother's son," which would make him David's nephew, instead of his uncle, and would identify him with No. 5.
    (4) The son of the high priest Abiathar.  He was one of two young men who, concealing themselves at En-Rogel, near Jerusalem, during Absalom's rebellion, sent David information of everything passing in the city (2 Sam. xv. 36; xvii. 15-22).  During Adonijah's brief usurpation Jonathan appeared to intimate the proclamation of Solomon, a piece of intelligence which led to the breaking up of the assemblage (1 Kings i. 41-49).
    (5) The son of David's brother Shimeah, and victor over one of Goliath's sons, as David had been over Goliath himself (2 Sam. xxi. 21, 22).
    (6) One of the sons of Jashen (2 Sam. xxiii. 32).  Called in 1 Chron. xi. 34 the son of Shage the Hararite.  He was one of David's mighty men.
    (7) The younger son of Kareah.  After the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, he placed himself under the protection of Gedaliah (Jer. xl. 8).
    (8) The father of a certain Ebed, who with fifty males accompanied Ezra to Palestine (Ezra viii. 6).
    (9) The son of Asahel.  He helped Ezra to ascertain which of the Jews had married foreign wives (Ezra x. 15).
    (10) The father of a certain priest Zechariah, one of those who sounded trumpets when Nehemiah dedicated the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. xii. 35).
    (11) A priest of the family of Malluchi (R.V.), or Mellicu (A.V.), in the days of Joiakim (Neh. xii. 14).
    (12) A Jewish high priest, the son of Joiada, and the father of Jaddua (Neh. xii. 11).  In verse 22 he is called Johanan, corresponding to the New Testament name John.  Josephus (Antiq. XI. xii. 1), who calls him John, says that he killed his brother Jesus in the temple, believing that he was about to superseded him in the high priesthood.  This was in the reign of the Persian king Artaxerxes Mnemon, B.C. 404 to 362. (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894).


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