Why are the books of Nathan and Gad not in the Bible?

It is often claimed that there are “missing” or “lost” books of the Bible. 2 of these books, the book of Nathan the prophet and the book of Gad the seer, are supposedly mentioned in 1 Chronicles 29:29 

1 Chronicles 29:29  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,

At first glance, taking this verse at simple face value it most certainly does look like it does reference both of these books. Obviously neither are included in the Bible and so the claim that they are lost or missing would seem to stand. 

However when we investigate this we will see that this claim is false and these books are not scripture. 

The first thing we need to do is notice that the word translated as book in this verse is the Hebrew דָבָר Dabar. Dabar does not mean a literal book but rather a speech or a word. 

The Hebrew word for book in this verse is  סֵפֶר sepher This is a document or book as in Exodus 17:14 where the LORD told Moses to write the law in a book. 

Exodus 17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

1 Chronicles 29:29 is not referring to 3 separate books but 3 separate accounts or the words of Samuel, Nathan and Gad. 

What we will see is that these 3 accounts are all recorded in the 1st and 2nd Samuel .

While these are 2 separate books in the Christian Bible it is very important to note that in the Hebrew Bible they are actually one single work, one book, simply known as Samuel. 

What is interesting about these books or book, depending on which version you are reading is that Samuel dies 6 chapters before the end of 1 Samuel. 

1 Samuel 25:1  And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

This is before King David became King as this did not happen until 2 Samuel. 

2 Samuel 2:4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul.

It is generally understood by Hebrew tradition that Gad and Nathan finished writing the book of Samual. 

If we go back and look at the verse in 1 Chronicles we will see that it clearly states the acts of David the King FIRST AND LAST

1 Chronicles 29:29  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,

We see that Samuel recorded information regarding the birth and early life of David, it was Samuel who anointed David to be future king. 

1 Samuel 16: 13Then 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.

However,  there is no way that Samuel could have recorded the last acts of King David seeing he was already dead. 

Last is the Hebrew אַחֲרוֹן acharon which means coming after. So this is simply a reference to the acts that would follow after the things before. 

Let’s just go back and get some context. 

Samuel was an old man when he made his sons judges over Israel. 

1 Samuel 8:1And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel

However,  these sons did not walk in the way of the LORD like Samuel did. They took bribes and perverted judgement. 

1 Samuel 8: . 3And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

Because of this the people demanded that Samuel anoint them a king like the other nations had. 

1 Samuel 8: 4Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5And 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.

Saul, the father of David was chosen as King in chapter 9 and anointed as King in chapter 10 

Now we know that Saul reigned for 40 years before he died and David took his reign. 


Acts 13:  21And 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.

So David became King 40 years after Saul was anointed king by Samuel who we already know was old when he anointed Saul and had died before David had become King. 

Therefore it was necessary that God use someone else to instruct David and take over from Samuel. 

What we will see is that God used both Gad and Nathan to instruct King David. 

 God had actually first used Gad to instruct King David while Samuel was still alive. David was being perseud by his father King Saul and Gad instructed him where to hide. 

1 Samuel 22:5 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.

God also used Nathan the prophet to instruct David on numerous occasions

2 Samuel 7:2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. 3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee. 4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan, saying,

2 Samuel 7:  17According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. 

2 Samuel 12:1 And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.

2 Samuel 12:5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:

2 Samuel 12:7 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;

2 Samuel 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

And then we see that Gad was once again used by God to give David instruction.

2 Samuel 24:11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,

2 Samuel 24:13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.

2 Samuel 24:18 And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. 19 And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded.



So the words of Samuel, Nathan and Gad are all recorded in 1 and 2 Samuel. There is no lost or missing book of Gad or Nathan and the Bible does not refer to these books. The book of Samuel, Nathan and Gad is Samuel (1 and 2). 

The Bible contains the books that God inspired.