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What happened to the books of Nathan and Gad?

q.gif (1639 bytes)    I Chr. 29:29 mentions 2 books (the book of Nathan the prophet) and (the book of Gad the seer). Have these books never been found? Is the Bible really complete without them? what if somehow these book are found, would you not say that they should be added?


a.gif (1659 bytes)   1 Chronicles 29:29 says, “Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer.” There are three books mentioned here: the book of Samuel, the book of Nathan, and the book of Gad. There are two Books in the Bible named after Samuel, First and Second Samuel. Samuel died in 1 Samuel 25:1 ("And Samuel died..."), so we know that those two books bear his name, but that he could not have entirely written even the first Book that bears his name, because it goes on for another 6 chapters after his death.

In 1 Samuel 22:5, we find that it is the prophet Gad, not Samuel, that is giving instructions to David. “And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.” Now that is something new, because it was the prophet Samuel that anointed David to be king. 1 Samuel 16:1-13 says, “And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”

Why the change? If God used Samuel to anoint David to be king, then why start using a different prophet to give David further directions? We see the answer in 1 Samuel 8:1-5. “And it came to pass, WHEN SAMUEL WAS OLD, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, THOU ART OLD, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” Even before Saul was anointed to be king, it was said that Samuel was “old.” Remember, Saul was then king for 40 years. Acts 13:20, 21 says, “And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.”

If Samuel was old before Saul started to reign, then he would have been very old when David began his reign, because that would have been 40 years later (but Samuel never lived long enough to see David placed on the throne - Samuel died in 1 Samuel 25, and David did not begin his reign until 2 Samuel 2:4, "And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.").

Also, remember that Samuel did not anoint David to be king at the end of Saul’s reign, but quite a number of years before (see I Samuel 16). Shortly thereafter, David then faced Goliath. Notice what was said of David at that time. I Samuel 17:33 says, “And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for THOU ART BUT A YOUTH, and he a man of war from his youth.” David was called a youth when he fought Goliath. He had already been anointed as the next king in the previous chapter, but he did not actually begin to reign as king until he was 30 years old. 2 Samuel 5:4 says, “David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.”

As we summarize what we have seen, Samuel was old and so the people sought a king to rule over them. Samuel, the old prophet, at God’s instruction, anoints Saul to be king. King Saul becomes a disobedient king, and the Lord instructs the old prophet, Samuel, to anoint someone to be the next king. God instructs him to anoint a youth, David, to be that one. But David, the youth, does not actually start reigning until he is 30 years old. That means that from the time that David was anointed to be king, until his actual reign, was probably at least 15 years, (plus or minus, depending upon what you consider a youth — 15 years old?). That would put the approximate reign-length of King Saul at 25 years when David was anointed to be the next king. This means that the old prophet, Samuel, was 25 years older when he was called upon to anoint the next king, David. But before David actually got to reign, Samuel, the old prophet, had died (remember, Samuel died in 1 Samuel 25:1, and David did not begin to reign until 2 Samuel 2:4).

That is why we see other prophets, like Gad and Nathan, used of the Lord to give David instruction.   When David needed instruction about where to abide as he was being hunted of King Saul, it was the prophet Gad that God used to give the instruction (I Samuel 22:5), because at that time, Samuel was a very old man.  When David made a tragic mistake and gave in to the lust of the flesh in regard to Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11:3,4 ("And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house."), it was Nathan whom God used to speak to David (2 Samuel 12:7-10, "And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife").  Why did God use Nathan, instead of Samuel, to deliver that news to David?  Because Samuel had died long before, back in 1 Samuel chapter 25.

Please notice, once again, what 1 Chronicles 29:29 says: "Now THE ACTS OF DAVID THE KING, FIRST AND LAST, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer."  There is no way that Samuel could have fulfilled writing about the acts of David, "first and last," because Samuel was only around long enough to anoint David to be king, but not long enough to see him sit upon the throne.  So Samuel would not have been there to write about the "first acts" of David as king, or about his "last acts" as king.  But we know that Gad was there to write about the acts of David, because he instructed David where to abide when being chased by king Saul.  We also know that Nathan was there to write about the acts of David in the middle and later part of his reign, because Nathan was the one that rebuked David when he sinned with Bathsheba, and he was still around when David was very old and the day-to-day running of the kingdom was being passed on to his son. (1 Kings 1:1, "Now king David was old and stricken in years..."  1 Kings 1:11,12, "Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.")  Between these three prophets, Samuel, Gad, and Nathan, they would have been around long enough to write about the first and last acts of David.

So God used Samuel to write part of the history of Israel as the time of the judges was drawing to a close, and the time of the kings beginning; and then God used men like Gad and Nathan to continue writing that history of God’s workings with His people during the times of the kings. I Chronicles 29:29 says, “Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer.” I believe that this is a reference to the Books contained in what we now know as 1 and 2 Samuel.  There are no "lost books" of the Bible.  We are specifically warned not to add or subtract anything from God's Word.  Revelation 22:18, 19 says, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

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