LGBT History: David and Jonathan

David and Jonathan were they lovers?

The author of 1 and 2 Samuel is thought to have been a member of King David’s court. He seems to know the intimate details of King David’s life and pulls no punches when telling the story of David’s reign, and of his predecessor King Saul. As part of this story, the author tells about Saul’s son Crown Prince Jonathan and his unique relationship with David.
You may have heard Jonathan and David’s story, but if you’re like most people, you have probably never looked at it closely. If your pastor preached about it, the sermon probably talked about the “friendship” of Jonathan and David. Some Christians point to Jonathan and David as an example of idealized male bonding — a type of “brotherly love” not “stained” by the romantic entanglements of male-female relationships. The biblical text, however, is completely contradictory with this strained interpretation. We will present the biblical evidence and let you be the jury. You decide: Were Jonathan and David merely good friends (experiencing brotherly love), or was there a deeper (romantic) level to their relationship?

Many gays believe that Jonathan and David were same sex lovers, based on the way God presents their story in scripture and based on the Hebrew words used to describe their relationship.
Did Jonathan and David do anything that might indicate they were gay?
Scripture speaks in glowing terms of Jonathan and David’s loving intimacy, exchanging clothing, embracing, weeping together, hugging and kissing each other. Gays point out that the same Hebrew words used to describe Jonathan and David’s relationship also describe intimate opposite sex relationships.
Jonathan loved David and so they consistently make time alone together and when alone, affirm their love for each other. Each time they reaffirm their covenant, love for each other is the justification given in scripture. Jonathan goes against his father, his family, his opportunity to be Israel’s King, in favor of supporting David.
1 Samuel 18:4-5 (King James Version):  And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
Clothes were such at that time that people did not wear underwear. In removing his robe Jonathan would have stripped himself naked in front of David. That would be considered extremely unusual behavior then (and quite possibly now), which may be another indication that their relationship was more than friendship and quite possibly physical.

But there is more
1 Samuel 20:17 (King James Version): And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

1 Samuel 20:41 (King James Version): “And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded”. The original Hebrew text says that they kissed each other and wept together until David became large; i.e. had an erection or until David ejaculated or both. Again, the thoughts of David becoming sexually aroused after kissing Jonathan is too threatening for Bible translators, so they either ignored the ending entirely or created one of their own.

When Jonathan died, David wrote a lamentation 2 Samuel 1: 25-26 (King James Version):  Jonathan lies slain upon thy high places, I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

Yet, because it is believed that scripture does not directly state that Jonathan and David enjoyed a romantic, sexual relationship, the argument from the presumed silence of scripture is used to "prove" a sexual relationship between them did not exist.

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