Jonathan And David - Were They 
A Partnered Gay Couple?

What about Jonathan And David?

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” 2 Timothy 3:16.

We are told “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21.

Sometimes the human authors, who ‘wrote’ scripture, dictated to a scribe who wrote down what the holy man spoke, Jeremiah 36:1-4. As we examine the story of David and Jonathan, a question naturally arises.

Why Did God Choose To Emphasize The Story
Of David And Jonathan In The Bible?

Although the human writer is Samuel, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate Author of scripture. Emphasis in the Bible on Jonathan’s love for David and David’s love for Jonathan does not come from gay men and lesbians. This exceptional love story, the longest and most in depth human love story in the Bible, receives major emphasis because God the Holy Spirit, the ultimate Author of scripture, chose to give it major emphasis.

The testimony of God
about Jonathan and David

“And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1-3.

In The Love Story Of David And Jonathan,
The Holy Spirit Presents
Intentional Contrasts

The Holy Spirit contrasts the love story of these young warriors with the stormy relationship between Michal and David. Because they formed an opposite sex marriage partnership, when we read that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David, 1 Samuel 18:20, readers assume their relationship was romantic and sexual, 18:27.

Yet there is nothing in scripture to indicate David loved Michal and they never had children.The great love of David's life was Crown Prince Jonathan, the first born son of a King. The great love of Jonathan's life was David, the last born son of a rancher. Theirs was a God ordained romantic match from beginning to end.

Jonathan and David

  1. The Holy Spirit reminds us three times, of David’s excitement at officially becoming the King’s son in law, 18:18, 23, 26, but says nothing about David’s excitement at marrying Michal.
  2. The Holy Spirit spends more time describing the love relationship between David and Jonathan than He spends describing David and Michal’s heterosexual marriage. 
  3. Another contrast. David is never said to love Michal but scripture tells us repeatedly of David and Jonathan's amazing mutual love. David and Michal's was an arranged marriage while David and Jonathan enjoyed a romantic match which clearly involved their hearts.
  4. Our introduction to Jonathan and David informs us that “the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and he loved him as his own soul,” 18:1. If that was said of a man and a woman, no one would doubt a romantic and possibly a sexual partnership. Yet when that is said of a man with a man, many Christians feel free to insist it could not possibly describe a romantic committed sexual partnership. In the Hebrew language, when souls are knit together in love, that indicates passionate romantic sexual love.
  5. Non-gay scholars assert that a sexual relationship between these two men was impossible because Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 prohibited homosexual practice in Israel. Our Leviticus chapter carefully points out that the Holiness Code prohibited worship of the Canaanite fertility goddess but did not prohibit loving same sex relationships which are within the Biblical moral framework - faithful, committed, non-cultic, nor did Leviticus prohibit gay marriage. Although both men later married wives, it is helpful to remember that this relationship between Jonathan and David began before either man married a woman. Given the cultural setting of ancient Israel, with Philistine overlords who regarded homosexual relationships between warriors as normal, it does not strain credulity or the scriptures, to believe such a covenant relationship existed between Jonathan and David, 1 Samuel 20:8.
  6. Jonathan’s love for David is contrasted with Saul’s hatred of David. We are told that the Spirit of the Lord came on David, 1 Samuel 16:13, and departed from Saul, 1 Samuel 16:14. King Saul seems to wander in and out of lucidity, his mind and character destroyed by self-will. Saul is consistent in one goal. He wants to kill David and destroy his relationship with Crown Prince Jonathan.

First, Saul plays matchmaker between David and Princess Michal, knowing that the temperamental and spoiled Princess will be a snare to David if they marry, 1 Samuel 18:21.

Second, Saul orders David into battle, hoping the Philistines will kill him, 1 Samuel 18:25.

Third, Saul sends assassins to David’s home to kill him, 1 Samuel 19:11.

Fourth, Saul personally tries to kill both Jonathan and David with his javelin, 1 Samuel 20:33 and 19:10.

Clearly, God the Holy Spirit, as the ultimate author of scripture, intends us to contrast Saul’s hatred of David with Jonathan’s incredible love for David.

Jonathan and David woodcut.

What We Know About Jonathan and David

  1. This strong biblical emphasis on the Jonathan and David relationship did not come from gay people. It originated in the loving heart of God!
  2. God the Holy Spirit, in His wisdom, made sure that chapter after chapter of the Bible is devoted to the amazing story of an incredible love partnership between two men.
  3. This incredible love story, part of Hebrew scripture for three thousand years, is God speaking to the modern church. I believe this is God’s message for the twenty first century church to accept saved gays and lesbians into full fellowship. Will the church listen to God?

I Believe This Is God's Message
To The Modern Church

“Stop attacking gay and lesbian couples and get with My program! I brought Jonathan and David together as partners. I blessed them and I blessed their relationship from beginning to end. Now, start acting like the loving Christians I intend you to be and reach out in love, not condemnation, to your gay brothers and lesbian sisters.”

God has a wise purpose for everything He allows. Knowing the controversy homosexuality would cause in the modern church, God inspired Samuel to record David’s unambiguous statement about his loving partnership with Jonathan so we would know that God blesses and sanctifies gay relationships which are within the Biblical moral framework - committed, faithful, noncultic. God is for gay marriage!

David And Jonathan Are An Excellent Example, In Scripture, Of a Same Sex Couple who dearly loved each other in spite of fierce opposition from King Saul.

God sometimes uses Analogy to teach us His will.

Four Excellent Analogies in Scripture, for Affirming Gay Marriage.

Here are Five More, Strong Analogies in Scripture, for Affirming Gay Marriage.

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