From the Hebrew name נָתָן (Natan)
meaning "he gave". In the Old Testament
this is the name of a prophet during the reign of King David
. He chastised David for his adultery with Bathsheba
and for the death of Uriah
the Hittite. Later he championed Solomon
as David's successor. This was also the name of a son of David and Bathsheba.
It has been used as a Christian given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation
. A famous bearer was Nathan Hale (1755-1776), an American spy executed by the British during the American Revolution.