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:


  • 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


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.


  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
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