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

Conflict, Church and LGBT community

It is not our intention to get involved in the debate between the Church and the LGBT community.  We leave that to the theologians and apologists.  What we do want to do is to highlight the design of God.

#  The Bible begins and ends with the man/woman relationship.

Genesis 2, a picture of Eden, is a miniature or blueprint of what God intends to do on the new heavens and earth.  God, the bridegroom (Adam) and the bride (Eve), are in perfect harmony in a beautiful setting.  In Revelation 19:7-8 the wedding of the Bridegroom (Jesus) and the Bride (the Church, the elect) is celebrated in the new Eden. 1 God is also described as the Husband of Israel, His ‘wife.’ 2   Note the ‘male/female’ pattern.

#  Love between male/female is very important.

The book, Song of Songs, describes the specific love between man and woman.  This description is applicable to the love between God and Israel, Jesus and the Church and man and woman.  A particular emphasis is, ‘Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.’ 3  Love is strong and jealous, as is God and Jesus’ jealousy over Israel and the Church, man and woman.

#  The male/female pattern is God’s design.

Adam was incomplete without a mate and God rectified it.  Male and female were different from their creation.  God made Adam from earth, but Eve from Adam’s rib.  She was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone (literally).  God is also the source of Israel and Jesus of the church.  The male and female are physically different.  Yet man and woman are equal in God’s sight 4 and joint heirs of the Kingdom. 5

#  Man and woman had to be fruitful.

God gave Adam and Eve the command to be fruitful. 6  Why was it important to God that they had to fill the earth?  It has to do with the eventual filling of His coming Kingdom on the new earth.  He needs many citizens there.  We deduce that the man/woman; Jesus/Church; and God/Israel relationships have to do with fruitfulness in various aspects.


Whichever way we look at it, in God’s Kingdom the male/female, bridegroom/bride relationship features strongly.  In each case the bride differs from the bridegroom.  What the LGBT community wants to do is to change it.  They might succeed to force the Church to change its beliefs, but whether they will succeed in changing God’s Word is doubtful.  Taking our cue from 1 Peter 1:25 (‘…the Word stands forever’) we are inclined to view God’s Word as unchangeable.


  1. Revelation 21-22
  2. Isaiah 54:5-7; Ezekiel 16:8
  3. Song of Songs 8:6
  4. Galatians 3:28
  5. 1 Peter 3:7
  6. Genesis 1:28; 9:7
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