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Easton's Bible Dictionary

Jonathan

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Whom Jehovah gave, the name of fifteen or more persons that are mentioned in Scripture. The chief of these are,
  • A Levite descended from Gershom (Judges 18:30 ). His history is recorded in 17:7-13,18:30. The Rabbins changed this name into Manasseh "to screen the memory of the great lawgiver from the stain of having so unworthy an apostate among his near descendants." He became priest of the idol image at Dan, and this office continued in his family till the Captivity.

  • The eldest son of king Saul, and the bosom friend of David. He is first mentioned when he was about thirty years of age, some time after his father's accession to the throne (1 Samuel 13:2 ). Like his father, he was a man of great strength and activity (2 Samuel 1:23 ), and excelled in archery and slinging (1 Chronicles 12:2 ; 2 Samuel 1:22 ). The affection that evidently subsisted between him and his father was interrupted by the growth of Saul's insanity. At length, "in fierce anger," he left his father's presence and cast in his lot with the cause of David (1 Samuel 20:34 ). After an eventful career, interwoven to a great extent with that of David, he fell, along with his father and his two brothers, on the fatal field of Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:2,8 ). He was first buried at Jabesh-gilead, but his remains were afterwards removed with those of his father to Zelah, in Benjamin (2 Samuel 21:12-14 ). His death was the occasion of David's famous elegy of "the Song of the Bow" (2 Samuel 1:17-27 ). He left one son five years old, Merib-baal, or Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 4:4 ; Compare 1 Chronicles 8:34 ).

  • Son of the high priest Abiathar, and one who adhered to David at the time of Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 15:27,36 ). He is the last descendant of Eli of whom there is any record.

  • Son of Shammah, and David's nephew, and also one of his chief warriors (2 Samuel 21:21 ). He slew a giant in Gath.


  • Copyright Statement
    These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Jonathan'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ebd/j/jonathan.html. 1897.

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