This is the most common word nowadays in Hebrew for a gift. It is exactly the same word that was used in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testaments.
The root of this word is ‘na•tan,’ (gave, gift) spelled with the letters: ‘noon,’ ‘tav’, and ‘noon.’ If you are among our readers who began to learn Hebrew you’ll see right away that this is actually the name Nathan. Nathaniel is also from the same root and it means: the ‘gift of God.’ A well known Israeli dignitary who is a good friend of Pastor Michael Evans is Bejamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister. The meaning of his name is: ‘he is a gift from God.’
A gift (the act of giving) is ‘ma•tan,’ very close to the word of the day, ma•ta•na.
The first time ma•ta•na, gift, is mentioned in the Bible, is in reference to the Levites that are given as a gift by God to the Israelites:
‘And I, behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel; to you they are given as a gift for the Lord, to do the service of the Tent of Meeting.’
Like today, ma•ta•na may mean a gift of assets:
‘Thus says the Lord God: If the prince gives a gift to any of his sons, it shall be its inheritance, it shall be its sons’; it shall be their possession by inheritance.’
The fine line between an innocent gift and bribery was well recognized in scriptures:
‘Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a bribe destroys the heart.’
Gift, matana, mentioning in the New Testament mostly refers to Jesus being the gift for the believers, but the source of this and all other gifts is one:
‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow.’