Was King David a homosexual?

There is a belief among some in the LGBT community that King David had a homosexual relationship with his friend, Jonathan, the brother of David’s first wife, Michal. 1

The alleged relationship between David and Jonathan is based on 2 Samuel 1:26, ‘I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me.  Your love was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.’  David wrote this after Jonathan, his father Saul, and his two brothers died in battle on Mount Gilboa. 2 Let us look at some aspects:

Jonathan

  • He interceded for David when his father, King Saul, viciously persecuted David. 3
  • Later Jonathan again pleaded on David’s behalf. 4  When Jonathan saw there was no hope that his father would leave David alive, he said in parting to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants for ever.”’ 5
  • Jonathan visited David again while he fled from Saul’s vicious campaign against him,  ‘And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him to find strength in God.’ 6  

Jonathan and David made a covenant of friendship with each other.  Besides that, they were both married men, and David had many more wives later in his life.  Isn’t that strange for homosexuals?

David’s wives

  • Michal, Saul’s daughter.  Though Saul later gave her to another man (probably out of spite), David demanded her back when he became king of Israel. 7
  • While a fugitive, he had two wives,  Abigail and Ahinoam. 8
  • While king in Hebron he took five more wives. 9
  • Scripture mentions his 10 concubines. 10

Thus we see David loved women, even though he was constantly surrounded by young soldiers and followers.  His wives were not just for the show, because he had many children by them.

Jonathan’s love ‘more wonderful than that of women’

Their friendship, more wonderful than the love of women, was on a different level.  It was a relationship of loyalty, support and protection.  Jonathan was never jealous of David, even though he knew that David would be the next king, and not he, Jonathan. 11

Conclusion

David later sinned with the wife of his loyal soldier Uriah. 12  He repented of his sin, 13 but there is no evidence that he ever repented of a ‘homosexual relationship’ with Jonathan.  One would expect David, who had such a wonderful relationship with God, to have repented of it (he wrote many psalms which describe events in his life).  It is because there was no homosexual relationship.

References

  1. 1 Samuel 18:27
  2. 1 Samuel 31
  3. 1 Samuel 19:1-7
  4. 1 Samuel 20
  5. 1 Samuel 20:42
  6. 1 Samuel 23:16
  7. 2 Samuel 3:13
  8. 1 Samuel 25
  9. 2 Samuel 3:2-5
  10. 2 Samuel 20:3
  11. 1 Samuel 23:17
  12. 2 Samuel 11-12
  13. Psalm 32:1-5; 51:1-17

Author: Gerard and Alida

As you can see in the photo, there are two of us. We live and work together 24/7, studying and enjoying our grandchildren. Our passion is to know and understand what will happen after death. Is there a way to provide for and invest in that?

2 thoughts on “Was King David a homosexual?”

  1. Gender and sexual identity are a bit more complex than “gay vs straight”. Being married and having children does not automatically mean one’s not a homosexual. Ted Haggard is a famous example, as well as many other prominent figures, church leaders and politicians among them.

    There are, as usual, many ways to look at this particular biblical story. For example, it might be possible that even though David and Jonathan were both married, they both knew it was for show, to conform with society rules. But between them, they acknowledged that their relationship was the true love, whether they actually engaged in sexual intercourse or not, and were therefore not jealous of the women in each others lives. I’m not saying that’s the way it was, but its a possibility.

    As to David repenting his “sin” – perhaps David had such a wonderful relationship with God, that he accepted the way in which God created him. Since there would be no sin in accepting God’s will, there would be nothing to repent.

    Since none of us was there to interview the two personally, we have no way of knowing what exactly their relationship was and how they reconciled it with their wives and God.

    I respect your right to hold an opinion on the matter which is different than mine. At the same time, I would like to stress again that it is not possible to interpret the Bible in a uniform fashion and that most Biblical stories contain several context layers, which go beyond the story itself.

    Like

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