2 Samuel 12 New King James Version (NKJV) 12 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor.
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My understanding is that Nathan was not a part of David's court as such, but was the successor to Samuel as the prophet appointed to represent God in His dealings with Israel. Nathan did not perform governing or judging duties for the nation (as Samuel had), since those functions had been assumed by the king. However, he acted as God's spokesman to the king, such as by confronting him when he sinned, as Nathan did with David in regard to David's sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12); just as Samuel had also previously done with Saul when he had been king (1 Samuel 13; 1 Samuel 15); and as Gad (who succeeded Nathan) later did when David sinned by taking a census of Israel (2 Samuel 24). Nathan also congratulated the king on God's behalf on occasions when it was appropriate, such as when Solomon (who would succeed David as king) was born (2 Samuel 12:24-25).
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