The main prophet in the court of King David. As such, he set the pattern for the proper functioning of a royal prophet. He is introduced as the prophet through whom God establishes his covenant with David (2 Sam. 7.5–16). Later, he pronounces God's judgment on David for David's sins against Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Sam. 12.1–15); but then he reports God's love for Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12.24–25). This sets the stage for Nathan's role in helping Solomon succeed David to the throne (1 Kings 1.11–48). In Chronicles, Nathan is said to be partly responsible for recording the events of the reigns of David and Solomon (1 Chron. 29.29; 2 Chron. 9.29; 29.25). Though often dismissed as pious tradition, this is not an unreasonable claim. Many of the concerns that Solomon would have faced early in his reign (e.g., defending his claim to the throne)—when Nathan was still influential—are addressed by the stories about Nathan and David.

Timothy M. Willis