Was King David gay?

It is unfortunate that many people equate sex with love. It is such assumptions that lead to promoting the false teaching that King David and Jonathan were gay. Now comes a problem. These same people think they have an ally in the Hebrew language in regard to their conclusion that these two men were gay. Let us take a brief look at the few verses that show that David and Jonathan were, indeed, very close friends.

The Bible gives us some detail how close was the friendship between David and King Saul’s son Jonathan and will help us clarify whether they were gay or not. It states, „(they) made a covenant because he loved (Hebrew: ) his own soul“ (1Samuel 18:3, 20:17, HBFV).

The Hebrew word as having affection for someone (either sexually or „otherwise“) and loving them like a friend or family member.

Sadly, those who want to believe David was gay conveniently overlook the OTHERWISE part of the definition. They overlook the fact that is commonly used elsewhere in the Old Testament for non-sexual love.

For example, in Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a sacrifice. The Hebrew word „ahab“ is used when the Lord commands him, „Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love (), and go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you“ (Genesis 22:2). It would be ridiculous to think that God was stating that Abraham was gay and he should sacrifice a child he was sexually abusing.

Another use of this word is found when Isaac, an old and blind man, called for his son Esau to shoot a deer for him. He requested, „And now please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make savory meat for me, such as I love () . . .“ (Genesis 27:3 – 4). Clearly, there was certainly nothing gay or homosexual about Isaac’s request of his firstborn son.

Perhaps the most important example of defining what usually means can be found in its relationship to the Ten Commandments.

After the Eternal gave his laws to the ancient Israelites, he summed up how humans were to treat each other with the following admonition, which states „You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love () your neighbor as yourself“ (Leviticus 19:18). If this admonition sounds familiar, it is because Jesus quoted it in Matthew 5:43 when he gave his famous Sermon on the Mount.

Even though King David and Jonathan’s relationship was not sexual (gay) in nature, their connection was close and their ultimate separation (due to King Saul) brought on deep sadness. They could not pick up a telephone and contact each other, as we can, or even send an Email. Only through death might our parting be as distressful as David experienced. They had a deep friendship that was indeed rare.

Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew DefinitionsHoly Bible, a Faithful VersionStrong’s Concordance

Were David and Jonathan Homosexual Lovers? — 2 Samuel 1:25-27

The last major passage about David and Jonathan is 2 Samuel 1:25-27. Verses 25-27 are the final verses of a lament over Saul and Jonathan (v. 17).

How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan is slain on your high places.I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;You have been very pleasant to love to me was more wonderfulThan the love of have the mighty fallen,And the weapons of war perished!”2 Samuel 1:25-27 (NASB)

The important part of this passage is David’s statement “Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women.” Homosexual advocates claim that “love of women” reveals that David and Jonathan were making love like men do with women. Therefore, when David said Jonathan’s love was “more wonderful then” David was referring to sexual activity. The major problem with this view is that the Hebrew word that is used for both words translated “love” in verse 26 is ahaba, which is derived from aheb. That is, this “love” is the common Hebrew word for love, with some intensity.

But the major problem with this view is that the Hebrew word for sexual love is dod and not aheb or ahaba. The Hebrew word dod is the primary word for sexual foreplay and intercourse in Hebrew. Of the 61 times the word appears in the Old Testament, 32 times it appears in Song of Solomon. It is the only word used for love in the fourth chapter of the book which describes foreplay and sexual intercourse between Solomon and his wife. Dod appears in Song of Solomon 4:10 and 16. In verse 10, the Hebrew word dod appears in the plural. That is, Solomon’s wife is engaged in different activities that is commonly called foreplay today. She is doing different things to simulate him.

How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!How much better is your love than wine,And the fragrance of your oilsThan all kinds of spices!Song of Solomon 4:10 (NASB)

In appears once in Song of Solomon 4:16 in the singular. That is why the NASB translates dod as “Beloved.”

Awake, O north wind,And come, wind of the south;Make my garden breathe out fragrance,Let its spices be wafted my beloved come into his gardenAnd eat its choice fruits!”Song of Solomon 4:16 (NASB)

A more accurate translation would be “Lover.” He is a sexual lover involved in foreplay in verse 10 and sexual intercourse in verse 16. It should be noted that she refers to him as “Beloved” or “Lover.”

This lengthy explanation of dod reveals that David’s statement “Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women,” is not a reference to sexual activity between David and Jonathan.

2 Samuel 1:25-27 is better understood as a very strong friendship commitment between two men. The word aheb is used in Psalm 109:4-5 for friendship. Proverbs 17:17 tells us that there are friends whose love is better than that of a brother.

A friend loves at all times,And a brother is born for adversity.Proverbs 17:17 (NASB)

This helps us understand that the David and Jonathan friendship was a covenantal love. Jonathan was better than a brother. Therefore, the question must be asked, “Since when must love between two people always refer to genital contact?”

Dale Ralph Davis in his commentary on 2 Samuel writes,

It is utterly wrong-headed to read the idea of homosexuality into this text. The comparison between Jonathan’s love and a wife’s love is not at the point of sexuality but at the point of fidelity. Matthew Henry saw this long ago:

He had reason to say that Jonathan’s love to him was wonderful; surely never was the like, for a man to love one who he knew was to take away the crown over his head, and to be so faithful to his rival: this far surpassed the highest degree of conjugal affection and constancy.

Were David and Jonathan Homosexual Lovers? — 2 Samuel 1:25-27

Bible Answer:

Some claim that King David and Jonathan were gay. That is, the David and Jonathan friendship was homosexual. They refer to 1 Samuel 18:1-3 which says twice that Jonathan loved David. They believe that the David and Jonathan kiss in 1 Samuel 20:40-41 indicates that David and Jonathan were homosexual lovers. But was Jonathan gay? Was King David gay? When 2 Samuel 1:25-27 says, “Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women,” it is claimed that this proves Jonathan and David were gay. Therefore, the question that this article addresses is, “Did King David and Jonathan have same sex relations?” These questions will be answered in this article.

Bible Answer:

Conclusion

Finally, just because Scripture states that two men loved each other, does not mean that they engaged in sexual activity with each other—homosexual activity. Love does not always mean sex. In fact, the saints in heaven will not engage in sexual activity between one another. The higher form of love in heaven will not include sex. There is a higher form of love that is not sexual. We must remember that love between a husband and wife is multifaceted. It involves love that flows from God to our hearts, a friendship love, and a physical love, that was designed by God.

Further, since the Bible overwhelmingly refers to homosexuality as a sin and wants us to not engage in this sin (Genesis 19:1-26; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:22-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10), why would God select David to become the king of Israel? The point is, that God would not do that. David and Jonathan’s relationship was one of close friends. It was not sexual.

Conclusion