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NATHAN


711


NATHINITES


Natchitoches 30 Nov., 1904. The most important act of his administration has been the transferring of the see from the inaccessible town of Natchitoches to the progressive city of Alexandria, a railroad centre with a large Catholic population. He went to Rome in 1910 and requested Pius X for the removal of the see. In August, 1910, he received from the Consis- torial Congregation the decree suppressing the See of Natchitoches and creating the See of Alexandria. The new See of Alexandria numbers 26 diocesan priests, 10 regulars (Jesuits and Marists), the Brothers of the Sa- cred Heart, the Daughters of the Cross with mother- house at Shreveport, the Sisters of Divine Providence, and the Sisters of the Incarnate Word, with a Catho- lic population of about 32,4.31.

M.tRTiN, History of Louisiana (New Orleans, 1882); Shea, His- tory of the Catholic Church in the United States, I; Clarke, Lives of the Deceased Bishops (New York, 1888) ; and the unpublished letters of Bishop RIartin.

C. Mahe.

Nathan ([nj, God-given), name of several Israelites mentioned in the Old Testament.

(1) Nathan, successor of Samuel and prophet in the times of David and Solomon. No indication is given as to his origin, and he appears in the narrative for the first time when David is contemplating the erection of a house to the Lord (II Kings, vii). He assures the monarch of the Lord's support and of the divinely ordained establishment of his kingdom for all time, but dissuades him from the idea of building the proposed temple, stating that this honour was re- served for his son and successor (II Kings, vii, 13; I Chron., xvii, 1-15). Nathan appears later to re- proach David in the name of the Lord for his crime of adultery and murder narrated in II Kings, xi, and, after skilfully proposing the allegory of the poor man's little ewe lamb, surprises the king with the words: "Thou art the man". He then declares the anger of the Lord and the punishments that are to fall upon David, although in view of the latter's repentance his sin is pronounced forgiven, for his crimes had given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blas- pheme (II Kings, xii, 1-1.5). The prophet next ap- pears on the scene when it is question of securing to Solomon the succession to the throne of his father. Adonias, abetted by Joab and the high priest Abia- thar, made an attempt to have himself proclaimed king. The plan was frustrated by Nathan who, first through Bethsabee and later in a personal interview, informed David as to the doings of Adonias, and per- suaded the aged monarch to confirm his promise in favour of Solomon and have him proclaimed king at the fountain of Gihon (III Kings, i, S-45). In this instance Nathan served the interests of the country as well as those of David and Solomon by averting a civil war. He is credited by the Chronicler with having written a part of the history of David, to- gether with Samuel the seer and Gad the seer (I Chron., xxix, 29; II Chron., xxix, 25). The time of Nathan's death is not given, but his name is mentioned in Ecclus., xlvii, 1.

(2) Nathan, son of David and Bethsabee (II Kings, y, 14; I Chron., iii, 5, xiv, 4). The name Nathan aug- mented by the theophorous prefix or suffix is borne by other members of the family of David. Thus one of his brothers was Nathanael (I Chron., ii, 14), and one of his nephews, Jonathan (II Kings, xxi, 21).

(3) Nathan, father of Azarias and Zabud, important functionaries of the court of Sojonion (III Kings, iv, 5). By .some scholars he is identified with Nathan the prophet (1), and by others with Nathan the son of David (2). Both opinions are merely conjectural. His son Zabud is (le.signated a.s priest (p^), this being an indication, among many others, that the functions of the priesthood were not at that period exercised ex- clusively by the descendants of Aaron.

(4) Nathan, son of Ethei and father of Zabad (I


Chron., ii, 36), of the tribe of Juda and of the branch of Caleb. His grandfather Jeraa was an Egyptian slave to whom Sesan gave one of his daughters in mar- riage (I Chron., ii, 34-35).

(5) Nathan, one of the prominent Jews of the time of the Captivity, chosen by Esdras together with sev- eral others to find levites for the temple service when the Jews were camped on the banks of the Ahava pre- paring to return to Palestine (I Esdr., viii, 16).

(6) Nathan, one of the sons of Bani mentioned in I Esdr., x, 39. He was among those who, at the com- mand of Esdras, put away the foreign wives they had married.

LEsfcTRE in ViQ. , Dictionnaire de la Bible, s. v. ; a Lapide, Com' mcntaria in Scrip. Sac. Ill (Paris, 1862). 461 sqq., 481 sqq.. 547; X (Paris, 1868), 482; XVI (Paris, 1874), 96. 98; Hummelauer, Com- mentarius in Libros Samuelis (Paris, 1886), 316 sqq.; Idem, Com- mentarius in Librum Primum Paralipomenon (Paris. 1905), 290 sqq.

James F. Driscoll.

Nathanael, one of the first disciples of Jesus, to Whom he was brought by his friend Philip (John, i, 43-51). It is generally held that Nathanael is to be identified with the Apostle Bartholomew of the Synop- tic writers. The latter make no mention of Nathanael, but in their lists of the Twelve, one, Bartholomew, is always designated by his family name Bar-Tolmai (son of Tolmai), and it is assumed that it is he whom the author of the Fourth Gospel designates by his personal name Nathanael. The main reasons on which this assumption rests are: (1) that the circum- stances under which Nathanael was called do not dif- fer in solemnity from those connected with the call of Peter, whence it is natural to expect that he as well as the latter was numbered among the Twelve; (2) Na- thanael is mentioned as present with other Apostles after the Resurrection in the scene described in John, xxi; (3) Nathanael was brought to Jesus by Philip ( John, i, 45), and thus it .seems significant that Bar- tholomew is always mentioned next to PhiUp in the lists of the Twelve given by the Synoptists (Matt., X, 3; Mark, iii, 18; Luke, vi, 14).

Le Camus, La vie de N.-S. Jeaus-Christ (Paris, 1883), I, 232 sqq., 378 sq.; II, 631 — tr. Hicket (3 vols.. New York, 1906-08); a La- pide, Commenlaria in Scrip. Sac, XVI (Paris, 1874), 322 sqq.; Trench, Studiesin the Gospels (New York, 1867). 66 sqq.

James F. Driscoll.

Nathinites, or Nathinbans (D'ynjn, the given ones; LXX generally oi NaBeivtii^ once [I Chron., ix, 2] oi Sedon^mi), an inferior class of Temple serv- ants. The name occurs in seventeen passages of the O. T., and the Vulgate renders it always by the adapted transcription NathincFi. Joscphus (Ant. of the Jews, xi, i, 6) renders the Hebrew Nelhinim by the equiva- lent icp65ou\oi, i. e. "sacred servants". The Na- thinites appear under this title only in the post- ExiUc writings, but if we are to credit the Jewish tradition reflected in the Talmud, their origin goes back to the time of Josue, viz.: that in the first organi- zation of the Mosaic ritual no provision had been made for the menial services regularly deputed to slaves — all being performed by the levites. But after the defeat of the Madianites, Moses gave ([HJ nalhan) one out of every 50 of the 16,000 prisoners (320 in all) to the levites for the service of the Taber- nacle at night (Num., xxxi, 47). Josue, however, it is claimed, was the first to officially depute a number of slaves for the exclusive service of the sanctuary. Out of respect for his oath he spared the fives of the Gabaonites (Jos., ix, 23, 26-27), but decreed that henceforth they must become hewers of wood and drawers of water in connexion with the Jewish wor- ship. After the construction of the Temple and the consequent development of the ritual, the number of these slaves was increased. They were in all proba- bility prisoners of war, who in the growing organiza- tion of the Temple worship were condemned to be the servants of the levites, even as the latter in the course of time had been differentiated from the priests.