Tuesday, April 9, 2013

David and Jonathan - Part IIc

...a continuation of the detailed analysis begun in this post: Were David and Jonathan Gay Lovers?

Another claim arises from this last verse that we have examined. In the first half it speaks of how “pleasant” Jonathan was to David, but in the second half of the verse, we read this:

2 Sam 1:26b Your love to me was more wonderful Than the love of women.

Is David saying, in the midst of his mourning over both Saul and Johnathan, that he prefers sex with Jonathan over sex with women? I suppose, if one were to take just that phrase alone without context one might raise an eyebrow. But a more complete read of the text makes the meaning clear. David starts the verse off with the words “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan.” David declares the relationship here. If he had said “my lover Jonathan”, we could throw out everything I have said to this point. Instead, David’s own words confirm that which the scripture has already informed us: David and Jonathan had a brotherly love for each other. What David is telling us now, is that brotherly love has dimensions that exceed the bond and companionship that even a wife can provide. There is nothing to suggest that this refers to a "better" sexual love than sex with a woman. In fact, it reflects a stark non-sexual contrast to the sexual love between man and wife. David knew both the romantic, sexual, marital love of a woman (with Jonathan's sister, no less) and the “comrades in arms” love of a brother. David’s last words regarding Jonathan prove their love was of the latter type.

One last word on words before I tackle the last minor argument. I have demonstrated how NONE of the words and phrases used in the text are universally or even remotely related to romance, sex, or marriage. But that doesn’t mean the bible doesn’t talk about those things. There are plenty of Hebrew idioms for, as well as direct discussions of, sex and marriage throughout the bible, including, importantly, descriptions of homosexual sex. But not a single one of them are used do describe David and Jonathan’s relationship. So, not only does the text not say what homosexual advocates say it says, but it is completely void of those expressions in the bible that do mean what they want it to mean.

There is one final argument that I have heard regarding David and Jonathan. It is a minor consideration but I will cover it simply to avoid it coming up later. There are some who claim, through a very selective parsing of the text of 1 Sam 18:6-13, that Saul kept David under surveillance and then kicked him out of the palace because of Saul’s displeasure with David and his son’s sexual relationship. Here is all the pertinent text for review. The context and reason for Saul’s actions should be clear.

1 Sam 18:6 It happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with musical instruments. 7. The women sang as they played, and said, "Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands." 8. Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?" 9. Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on... 12. Now Saul was afraid of David, for the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. 13. Therefore Saul removed him from his presence and appointed him as his commander of a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

Saul’s motivation is clearly jealousy over David’s fame, not any kind of anger over his relationship with Jonathan. In fact, at this point in the text, it is not even clear if Saul knew how close David and Jonathan were.


To conclude, there is simply no scriptural foundation to the theory that David and Jonathan were homosexual lovers. You may believe the theory if you want to, but do so knowing that you have no rational, factual basis for those beliefs. Enjoy your fantasy, but I prefer the truth.

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