From the Hebrew name יְהוֹנָתָן (Yehonatan)
, contracted to יוֹנָתָן (Yonatan)
, meaning "YAHWEH
has given", derived from the roots יְהוֹ (yeho)
referring to the Hebrew God and נָתַן (natan)
meaning "to give". According to the Old Testament
, Jonathan was the eldest son of Saul
. His relationship with his father was strained due to his close friendship with his father's rival David
. Along with Saul he was killed in battle with the Philistines.
As an English name, Jonathan
did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation
. A famous bearer was the Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), who wrote 'Gulliver's Travels' and other works.