We have a dangerous shortfall this month—$10,302 short—a serious deficit. Your support needed NOW!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

JONATHAN

Son of Saul, who was King of Israel. He is distinguished in biblical history for his unselfish, loyal friendship for David. Ironically, when the latter ultimately succeeded Saul to the throne, he was receiving what normally would have gone to Jonathan (II Samuel 5:4-5). While Saul was alive, he was so envious of David's military victories and popularity with the people that he tried repeatedly to have him killed. He sent him into battles, hoping that David would not survive (I Samuel 18:25). He attacked David himself with a spear. Yet he never succeeded ( Samuel 19:10). In all these attempts, Jonathan was caught between his father's hatred and his devoted friendship. He never wavered, however, in protecting David and warning him of Saul's schemes (I Samuel 20). Finally, the king died in the battle of Gilboa; Jonathan and his brothers were killed also (I Samuel 31:6). David paid tribute to both Saul and Jonathan, but his grief was greater for a supremely faithful friend: "Oh, Jonathan, in your death I am stricken. I am desolate for you, Jonathan, my brother . . ." (II Samuel 1:26). It was tribute richly deserved.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Can Islam confront its problem with violence? 1 hours ago
On the failure of history—and historians—without Christ 19 hours ago
Salvation? No matter who we are, one price. January 28
Rich Spiritual Instruction January 27
Snowbound thoughts on natural law January 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis names 20 new cardinals CWN - January 5
In ‘state of the world’ address, Pope decries ‘throwaway culture’ CWN - January 12