Could King David have been bisexual instead of gay?

by Nick
(Montreal, Canada)

I believe it is entirely possible that King David and Crown Prince Jonathan were bisexual instead of gay. Both men married women and both fathered children in their marriages.

Whether they were gay or bisexual, the Bible is fairly explicit that they were a partnered same sex couple. They are said to love each other, their love is described with the same Hebrew words used to describe the love of opposite sex married people and King Saul believed they were having a sexual relationship which he described with a Hebrew vulgarism in 1 Samuel 20:30.

In a eulogy before his troops after Jonathan's untimely death in battle, David himself describes the intensity and endurance of his fifteen year long loving partnership with Jonathan.

"I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women." 2 Samuel 1:26, ESV
Those who insist that David and Jonathan were not gay or bisexual keep telling us David could not possibly have meant what he said about his relationship with Jonathan.

Three thousand years after the events, we cannot prove it to everyone's satisfaction. Yet David's words are remarkably clear. Those who believe Jonathan and David were nothing more than close friends must convince themselves that David's words don't really mean what they say.

I believe God inserted the David and Jonathan story in the Bible to teach us that He affirms and blesses gay couples and same sex bisexual couples as well as opposite sex couples. No other human love story in scripture is told with such intensity, such detail or at such length.

Jonathan and David Links

Why didn't David kill King Saul
when he had the opportunity?

Are you misquoting scripture
about David and Jonathan?

Why is the Bible not explicit
about David and Jonathan?

If David and Jonathan were gay
why were they not put to death?

Did David have wives before or after
his partnership with Jonathan?

How could David have a romantic sexual
partnership with Jonathan when it is
written that he had wives and children
and even committed adultery with Bathsheba?

What does the Bible really say
about David and Jonathan?

We've answered the question: Could King David have been bisexual instead of gay? Click here to return to Gay Christian 101 Home Page.

Nick's Original Question:

"I would love to believe King David was gay or bisexual (most probably), but he did have adulterous sex with Bathsheba and had concubines of around 600 (?) women. Why would you not believe he was bisexual?"

Comments for Could King David have been bisexual instead of gay?

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Mar 05, 2011
David was NOT bisexual or gay
by: Sharon

King David was NOT bisexual. Jonathan deeply loved and supported David. David isn't telling him his love surpassed the love of women sexually. He is calling attention to Jonathan' radical self-denial in giving up any right to the throne. Jonathan gave his support to David as the Lord's choice to succeed Jonathan's father, King Saul, even to the point of risking his life for him. The love David is talking about is deep friendship and love, NOT sexual relations!

Mar 06, 2011
Just the facts ma'am
by: Rick Brentlinger

Rick's comment: Hi Sharon- It seems you prefer getting your exercise by jumping to conclusions instead of evaluating the facts and studying the Bible.

You owe it to yourself and the Lord to acquaint yourself with the facts. All of us who teach the Bible have a responsibility before God to teach the scriptures in context.

None of us has the right to ignore context or to wrest scripture out of context to make it "prove" something it doesn't mean in context.

So far in two emails to me this week and in two comments on this website you have steadfastly refused to address context. Is that because you know deep in your heart of hearts that scripture in context does not support your opinion?

I note that you have not dealt on a factual basis with anything published on this website. Are you really so enamored of your opinion that you feel we also should ignore context and facts and embrace your opinion?

Jun 06, 2011
I'm with sharon
by: Carlos

The bible is very clear as to how God feels about men having sex with men, there is no denying that. This is why looking into characteristics of who God is what the bible says about gay relationships helps you better understand that yes a man can better understand a man in certain aspects, like two brothers. It doesn't say they had sex with each other, that's like saying we can love each other with out having sex with each other, talk about sticking to the text.

Rick's comment: Carlos, the Bible verses you believe are condemning gay relationships are not, in context, talking about gay relationships.

Did you miss 1 Samuel 20:30 where King Saul uses a Hebrew vulgarism which indicates he believed Jonathon and David DID have a sexual relationship? King Saul was an eyewitness to their relationship and he thought it was sexual. What facts do you have which persuade you otherwise?

Nov 08, 2012
Minister in training
by: Hayne Bokum

Where in the Bible that states that God allowed gays or bisexual practices?

Rick's comment: We arrive at the belief that it is okay with God for us to be gay or lesbian or bisexual based on context. ALL of the verses people use to condemn gays are NOT in the context of two men or two women falling in love and deciding to be intimate partners.

Instead, ALL of the verses used to condemn gays are in the context of temple prostitution and using sex to worship false gods. THAT is what God condemns, not being gay or lesbian or bisexual.

May I ask you a few questions?

Where in the Bible does God say it is okay for heterosexuals to get married by a minister in a church building?

Where in the Bible does it say it is okay to use a computer?

Where in the Bible does it say it is okay to drive a car or fly on an airplane?

My point in asking these questions is to show that people do not apply the "Where does God say it's okay test" to anything other than being gay or lesbian or bisexual.

When Christians obey 2 Timothy 2:15 and always interpret the Bible in context, there is no need to ask questions like:

Where in the Bible that states that God allowed gays or bisexual practices?

Jan 20, 2013
wrong - now Satan is acting on you!
by: avenger

God created Adam and eve. So they will be unite. He dint creat both the males or females.and another side if you marry Same sex , how can you have a child ?? Meaningless !your minds are corrupted . Marriage is honourable above all , plz don't corrupt it . And bible clearly says homosexual is sin !!! Now don't search for reason to do sin through bible ! FATHER FORGIVE THEM , FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DOING .

Rick's comment: Were you chewing gum when you typed that comment?

Mar 09, 2013
Facts vs Opinion
by: Kenny R

Rick, I applaud you for having the strength to tell the truth even in the face of mean-spirited people.

May 09, 2013
I know they're bisexaul.
by: Anonymous

I read versions very clearly. I can relate to these words because I am gay. Others doubt it because they can't understand how gay men's feeling expression. Same thing Hearing people CAN'T understand how deaf people's feeling expression because I am deaf. I ignore them because they are ignorance. I have some straight friends actually understand these versions. Others refuse because GOD take Holy Spirit from their hearts because they're bigoted. GOD dislike "hypocrite" and "bigot".

Mar 08, 2014
Rick's stupidity
by: John

Rick shows a real lack of intelligence and inability to answer any questions, or even debate with a comment. He refuses to accept anyone else's case even to an extent. Answering these comments by with "another anti-gay view" etc shows you have no real argument other than claiming over and over again that they have no facts. You really have done the opposite of trying to convince people of bisexuality being acceptable, as I cam into this with a neutral opinion on the topic and have seen more sense in the other sides argument than your pathetic attempt at one.

Rick's comment: LOL John, lots of accusations but no facts. Have you always been truth-averse or is this a recent phenomenon with you?

May 01, 2014
This is exactly what lucifer wants - confusion
by: Nanosio

Religion divides I'm not Christian or any other so called entity or cult I praise GOD with righteousness and I will take his judgement as such but I know it says to have sex with same sex is an abomination a cursed thing but jus as I question when they say Jesus is GODS only begotten son then I say to myself I'm not GODS child I'm a man so I'm not his son or since Jesus was GODS ONLY SON AM I satans child cause if I believe what the bible says then that means yeah I thought we were all GODS CHILDREN so as I seek what exactly the bible is saying I get conflicted you know CONFUSED so let the battle and the hate of debate continue im sure lucifer enjoys us arguing over nothing let's just be righteous an maybe just maybe we can all go to heaven idk I'm jus voicing my opinion I think those who wrote the bible had personal agendas and as well to give us the gospel but we are talking about humans so the word isn't perfect but truth is in there I think you have to decide or figure your own perception and hopefully it's a righteous one.

Rick's comment: Are you a good person Nanosio? Do you know what the Bible says about how to get saved?

Apr 25, 2015
No one seems to mention varying translations
by: Tj

I've read The King James, New English, New International-what have you-versions of the bible and there are CLEAR discrepancies for this very verse :

"41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most." 1 Samule 20:41

I've read "The shook hands", "They hugged", "They kissed" as well the specified physical comforting being omitted all together. From what I've heard from many JEWISH friends is the poor translation of this verse and the erasure of David's clear "arousal" *cough* it actually does say erection *cough* from other verses --take from that what you will.

Getting to my point, there are too many "x" variables for anyone to say for sure what Gd's perspective is on queer relations… I believe prayer is the only way to know for sure but if you want my opinion, I'd say very firmly that there is no possible way Gd would give anyone such an intense love for another human being only to condemn them for it--satan didn't invent love nor does he/she support it. Queer (If you're wondering why I'm using this term it's because it's all inclusive to the non-cis/hetero) relationships are not only about sex. They can be just as intense and loving as any other relationship. And even if you don't agree, I can't say it's any of your right to judge anyway.

Nov 04, 2015
Romans Chapter 1
by: Damon Perry

How do you explain Romans 1:18-32? In these verses God calls same sex relationships a sin. In verse 24 God calls it uncleanness, lust and says that it brings dishonor.

In verse 26 God calls it vile affection and against nature. In verses 27 God says that it is unseemly or not proper. God ordained marriage to be between one man and one women for life, that is Gods plan. But man in his evil and sinful hearts has perverted what God called good.

Rick's comment: Hi Damon - Thanks for the good question. Understanding Romans 1 involves knowing the biblical, cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic and religious context. There is a lot of carefully sourced information at the link to help any student of the Bible discover what Romans 1 is about.

Jan 15, 2016
by: Marthinus

Hi Rick, thanx for this article. Me gay myself find this very educating. English not my home tongue so plse pardon mistakes.

If gay relationships were only about sex one could assume that its all about lust, decadense and everything from hell, but what the hetero world don't know/ understand is the deep brotherly love, respect 2 men can have for each other.

So there is no place in my mind for satan in a true love conceived gay relationship. The whole gay hate thing started because of the context-raping individuals and movements like Calvinism etc and was carried over by churches to the present.

Indoctrination gafe gay hate a place in sociaty.
I praise the Lord for fellow christian born again gay bothers cos we only have each other to help each other to stand against the hetero world attacks. Stay well.

Rick's comment: Hi Marthinus - God bless and thanks for adding your insights.

Jan 18, 2016
More than friends.
by: Ben

I'm a Christian, but I must admit that it sounds like David and Jonathan were more than just friends. I'm sure many other Christians think the same thing but are too afraid to say anything.

The story seems to drop little hints, like David and Jonathan's souls being knit, hugging and kissing (I know that was customary back then and still is in Middle Eastern countries for guys to kiss, but it's other things) and David saying that Jonathan's love for him passed love from women. Maybe it was written to cause debate or to counteract Leviticus.

Feb 19, 2016
by: Paula Vizcara

YOU ARE BLIND. That's that.

Rick's comment: Hi Paula - Thanks for letting me know that, when I disagree with you, I must be blind.

Aug 12, 2016
Use common sense
by: Nicholas

Okay people need to stop saying David and Jonathan weren't in a romantic relationship on account of the Old Testament not allowing it. The Old Testament didn't allow multiple wives/adultery, but that doesn't mean David didn't do those things. HE WAS NOT PERFECT. It isn't impossible that he was bisexual. Just because Leviticus says no doesn't mean David obeyed.

Aug 21, 2016
To Sharon Mar 05, 2011 - confused
by: Ben

To Sharon: What does Jonathan giving up the throne have to do with the love of women? How did you get that interpretation?

Dec 09, 2016
David was a monster
by: bedb

I have always disliked David, and now saying he did those terrible things to those women and children because he was gay just makes it worse.

Jonathan's last act was to ask David to look after his family...wife and kids....Jonathan was not a boy and had a real family that one must presume he cared about at one time before David arrived...the same year his baby boy was born. He had an older son that was put to death (did he reject David's bed? They would have been about the same age.)

You will never convince me Jonathan was gay, but I do accept that David was gay and wanted Jonathan . And Bathsheba was seduced because he wanted Uriah who was condemned to death for not sleeping with David.

And his first wife....did she deserve to see her babies butchered by this monster? Every time I think about this I am filled with hate. So much so that I have renounced the Bible. The creator of the Universe would not have allowed this happen to women and children if real.

Yes, you have convinced me David was gay. A straight man would not have abused those women and children the way he did. Congratulations.

Rick's comment: Hi Beverly - Thanks for writing to me - Because the written word can sometimes seem cold and unfeeling, please know that I answer in the spirit of a friendly conversation over coffee at Starbucks.

I sent this to you via email in response to your comments but my answer may have gone to your Spam folder. You've made some interesting comments, which I will attempt to address.

Beverly - I abandoned the Bible as the word of God because of David and Solomon.

Beverly - David raped Jonathan's wife,

Rick - According to the Bible, that did not happen. The Bible says nothing which suggests that David raped Jonathan's wife. For most of their relationship, David and Jonathan were single men, not married to a woman. About six years before his untimely death in battle, Jonathan married a woman and had a son, who was five years old when Jonathan died, 2 Samuel 4:4, 1 Samuel 31:2.

Beverly - David killed Jonathan's oldest son -

Rick - According to the Bible, that did not happen. David loved Jonathan deeply, enthusiastically, whole-heartedly and truly. The Bible tells us that David inquired about Jonathan's firstborn son, Mephibosheth, and arranged for him to live in the palace with King David himself, 2 Samuel 9:1-13

Nothing in the Bible indicates that Jonathan had any children before Mephibosheth, therefore, Jonathan did not have an older son whom David killed. I am curious as to why you believe that - what is the origin of that incorrect view?

Beverly - and had his baby crippled.

Rick - Jonathan's son was crippled but not because of anything David did. 2 Samuel 4:4 tells the story.

"And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel (1 Samuel 31:2 - "And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul's sons."), and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth."

Beverly - He murdered his first wife's husband and babies.

Rick - According to the Bible, that did not happen. This story is told in 1 Samuel 25. David was angry with Nabal and in the heat of anger, did threaten to kill him but did not do it because Abigail, Nabal's wife intervened and David changed his mind. Nabal had a stroke or a heart attack and ten days later, God smote Nabal, that he died, 1 Samuel 25:36-38.

Beverly - Now I have to wonder why he slept with Bathsheba. Did he kill her husband because Uriah wouldn't sleep with him?

Rick - According to the Bible, here is what happened. David in his lust, got Bathsheba pregnant. Her husband Uriah was away at war, fighting with the army of Israel. David had him recalled and tried to get him drunk, hoping Uriah would then go home and sleep with Bathsheba, so everyone would think the baby was his.

Uriah was a man of good character and would not sleep with his wife while his comrades in arms were still fighting battles for Israel. So David wrote to Joab, his commanding general and told him to put Uriah in the forefront of the battle and withdraw from him, hoping that Uriah would die in battle.

Uriah himself carried David's orders to Joab. Joab did as instructed, Uriah was killed in battle and God judged David and Bathsheba by taking their baby boy home to heaven. This story is told in 2 Samuel 11-12.

Beverly - Jonathan asked David to protect his family.

Rick - That is true and David did that by taking Mephibosheth to live in the palace with him.

Beverly - I suppose rape and murder is OK as long as the victims are women and children.

Rick - According to the Bible, rape and murder are not okay. People always pay a price when they sin.

Beverly - Too bad Nathan handed over Saul's women. David would have enjoyed the boys more. Still hate him..only more now.

Rick - The Bible doesn't specifically address that issue.

God has good news and peace of mind for us when we believe what He says in the Bible in context. The most important question to answer right now is:

Am I sure I am saved?

Many gays are cultural Christians instead of born again Christians. They grew up in church or they are religious or they are spiritual. They try to do the right thing but they've never personally received Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin.

Why do so many young people quit church?

The best preparation for being a disciple of Jesus is to know for sure you are saved. Everyone needs to be saved from sin and hell and the wrath of God. Here is what Jesus taught about hell and God's wrath.

Jesus teaches Hell 101

What is the wrath of God?

Getting saved and becoming a disciple of Jesus means not trusting your good works, baptism, sacraments, confirmation, being a cultural Christian or grace allegedly flowing from a church and instead, trusting by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone to save you.

What must I do to be saved?

Once you know you are saved, it helps to understand what happens when you get saved.

What happens when you get saved?

Once you understand what happens when you get saved, it helps to understand how long you are saved for. Is your salvation temporary or eternal?

What is eternal security?

I hope this is helpful to you Beverly and answers the questions on your heart.

With warm wishes for a blessed Christmas, Pastor Rick

May 10, 2018
by: Me

I find it entertaining that people are debating fictitious stories as if they are real events. There is zero proof that these events happened. Nothing in written history. Only stories and fables told during times of superstition when it was thought everything revolves around the earth. It’s a nice thought but only a thought. Zero proof. Take solace in knowing when you die it will be just like before you were born. Nothingness.

Rick's comment: Hi Me - Thanks for writing to me - Because the written word can sometimes seem cold and unfeeling, please know that I answer in the spirit of a friendly conversation over coffee at Starbucks.

1 Samuel 20:30 is the proof you may be seeking. King Saul, who knew Crown Prince Jonathan and David, thought they were in a sexual relationship.

If they were not, why did the Holy Spirit include that as part of inspired scripture?

Your theory about nothingness after death is only a theory. Jesus and the Bible teach a completely different truth, that heaven or hell are the eternal destination for all of us.

You make the choice. Trust Jesus as your Savior from sin, hell and the wrath of God and you can know for sure you're saved and going to heaven.

What must I do to be saved?

Mar 31, 2019
by: Inda

No, He is obviously speaking of a brotherly love; you cannot use the Bible to lie on King David or God himself to defend gay life style. God Loves All human beings gay or not, He love us regardless of our sins, but he has given you the freedom of choice to do good or bad. It does not mean he won't punish in the end. Sodom and Gomorrah is what he feels about all that. It is best to look into yourself to correct your ways before leaving this earth. Stop spread propaganda on King David and the Almighty.

Apr 02, 2019
David and Jonathan
by: Ben

To: Inda - I hear that argument a lot that it was a brotherly relationship. Why doesn't the author just come out and say it instead of being vague? I've never heard somebody say that their soul was knit with the soul of their sibling.

In ancient times and even today, "brother" doesn't always mean sibling. It can be used as an affectionate term. How do you explain "passing the love of women?" People seem to have a harder time explaining that part.

Apr 03, 2019
by: Inda

To Ben, I think it just means their friendship was a strong one and sometimes we just have friends like that, you trust them even more than you could trust a spouse, more than you trust your own blood. I have a few friends like that, you can trust more than family. I will tell you I am very moved by their story.

Rick's comment: Hi Inda - I encourage you to check out this link.

Jonathan Loved David.

Apr 04, 2019
David and Jonathan
by: Inda

That's what I said in my last comment. People seem to have a hard time explaining "passing the love of women." You get different interpretations.
It still sounds more intimate than a friendship to me.

Apr 05, 2019
David and Jonathan
by: Ben

Here's something else for everybody to think about. If David and Jonathan's love was non-romantic, wouldn't the author have clarified it ?

Whoever the author was, he doesn't say what "passing the love of women" means. He could've thought it was pretty straightforward.

Dec 08, 2019
Not Gay
by: John

They loved each other as brother's! Not as gay men want to believe they loved each other.

Dec 09, 2019
David and Jonathan
by: Ben

It sounds really awkward to say that your soul is knit to the soul of your sibling. If any of my siblings said that to me, it would be really weird.

Brother doesn't always mean sibling. They were both soldiers and I've heard soldiers refer to each other as "brother." Or my "brothers-in-arms." So we have to think about that too.

I don't think this argument will ever end.

Oct 10, 2020
Biblical sexuality
by: Pamela

What about Sodom and Gomorrah?

Rick's comment: Hi Pamela- Here are answers to your question about Sodom and Gomorrah.

What really happened in Sodom?

Questions about Sodom.

What must I do to be saved?

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