Did Jonathan and David have a homosexual relationship?

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In 1 Sam. 13:1"Saul lived for one year and then became king, and when he had reigned for two years over Israel" 1 Sam. 13:1 ESV., Saul becomes the king of Israel. 1 Sam. 15:1"And Samuel said to Saul, 'The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the LORD'" ESV., The Lord sends Samuel to give Saul the task of destroying the entire city of Amalek, including the children and animals; however, Saul decides to save the healthiest animals and offer them as a sacrifice to the Lord instead of destroying them 1 Sam. 15:13-15, 17-19"And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, 'Blessed be you to the LORD. I have performed the commandment of the LORD.' And Samuel said, 'What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?' Saul said, 'They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the LORD your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.' And the LORD sent you on a mission and said, 'Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.'

And Samuel said, 'Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?'" 1 Sam. 15:13-15, 17-19 ESV.
. The Lord regrets making Saul the king of Israel (1 Sam. 15:35"And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the LORD regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel" 1 Sam. 15:35 ESV.) because Saul disobeys the Lord (1 Sam. 15:22-23, 26"And Samuel said, 'Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.' . . . And Samuel said to Saul, 'I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel'" 1 Sam. 15:22-23, 26 ESV.). Thus, the Lord searches for a new king of Israel (1 Sam. 16:1"The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons" 1 Sam. 16:1 ESV.), and the Lord commands Samuel to appoint David, Jesse's son, as the new king, unbeknown to Saul (1 Sam. 16:12-13". . . And the LORD said, 'Arise, anoint him, for this is he.' Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah" 1 Sam. 16:12-13 ESV.).

In 1 Sam. 16:15"And Saul's servants said to him, "Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you The " 1 Sam. 16:15 ESV., the Bible states that the spirit of the Lord left Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord took its place and tormented Saul. A servant suggests to Saul that he hire David to play the lyre to calm him (1 Sam. 16:16-18"'Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.' So Saul said to his servants, 'Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.' One of the young men answered, 'Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him'" 1 Sam. 16:16-18 ESV.). So, Saul invites David to his court to play the lyre for him (1 Sam. 16:21"And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer" 1 Sam. 16:21 ESV.).

Interestingly, the Bible describes David as being handsome and having beautiful eyes in 1 Sam. 16:12"And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome" 1 Sam. 16:12 ESV. and 1 Sam. 17:42"And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance" 1 Sam. 17:42 ESV., even though in 1 Sam. 16:7"But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart'" 1 Sam. 16:7 ESV. the Lord states that a man's physical appearance has little to do with his worthiness as a king. The Bible also describes David is being "a man of valor" and "a man of war" in 1 Sam. 16:18"One of the young men answered, 'Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him'" 1 Sam. 16:18 ESV., and in 1 Sam. 17:4-5, 49-50 David's "And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. . . . And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David" 1 Sam. 17:4-5, 49-50 ESV.vlamettle shines when he single-handedly kills the giant Philistine, Goliath, with only a stone and slingshot.

Saul also has a courageous son, Jonathan, who kills twenty men in 1 Sam. 14:13-14"Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow's length in an acre of land" 1 Sam. 14:13-14 ESV.. Immediately after Jonathan learns of David's triumph over Goliath and of David's lineage (1 Sam. 17:57-18, 18:1"And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, "Whose son are you, young man?" And David answered, "I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite. As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" 1 Sam. 17:57-18, 18:1 ESV.), the Bible states that Jonathan's and David's souls are knit together, and "Jonathan love(s) him as his own soul" 1 Sam. 18:2 ESV. (1 Sam. 18:1"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" 1 Sam. 18:1 ESV.). However, Saul's admiration for David turns to jealously because other people think that David is stronger than Saul (1 Sam. 18:7-9"And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, 'Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.' And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, 'They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?' And Saul eyed David from that day on" 1 Sam. 18:7-9 ESV.), and Saul tries several times to kill David (1 Sam. 19:1"And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David" 1 Sam. 19:1 ESV.). Jonathan warns David about Saul's plot, and, eventually, David realizes that he must leave Saul in order to save his life (1 Sam. 20:33, 42"But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. . . . Then Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, "The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever."' And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city" 1 Sam. 20:33, 42 ESV.).

Jonathan gives David the clothes off his back

Jonathan lies to Saul to protect David and Saul curses him

David marries Michal, Jonathan's sister

Jonathan and David kiss

David laments Jonathan's death and adopts his son

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Jonathan gives David the clothes off his back

Homosexuality Is Not a Sin Homosexuality Is a Sin

According to the Bible, the relationship between Jonathan and David was close – so close that their their love for each other was greater than "normal love" between a man and a woman according to David in 2 Sam. 1:26"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 Sam. 1:26 ESV.. We know from this passage and from others that David and Jonathan's relationship was strong and that their love and loyalty for each other exceeded normal friendship. These passages emphasize the love between David and Jonathan, a love that can be found between monogamous homosexual and heterosexual couples. Thus, David and Jonathan were involved in a homosexual relationship, and several other passages support this conclusion.

In 1 Sam. 18:1-4"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt" 1 Sam. 18:1-4 ESV., David's and Jonathan's souls fuse together, as the Bible states that "Jonathan loved (David) as his own soul," and Jonathan literally strips himself of his clothing, armor, and possessions, and gives them to David. Imagine if Jonathan had been a woman, and David had given her everything that he was carrying and wearing. A man giving a woman everything that he is carrying and is wearing during that time period was very uncommon because women had a very low societal status, and a man was required to impress a woman's father, not the woman, in order to receive his daughter's hand in marriage.

Interestingly, there are no other previous passages before 1 Sam. 18:1-4"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt" 1 Sam. 18:1-4 ESV. detailing interaction between David and Jonathan. Instead, as soon as Jonathan learns of David's triumph over Goliath, Jonathan immediately becomes attached to David and gives him his clothes and equipment. Jonathan's actions towards David might be compared to love at first sight.

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The Bible states that David and Jonathan were in love with each other, but we know that this love was a deep, brotherly love that never became a sexual love. Several passages show that David and Jonathan were kindred soul mates, and nothing more.

In 1 Sam. 18:1-4"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house.

Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt" 1 Sam. 18:1-4 ESV.
, Jonathan literally gives David the clothes off of his back and all of his weapons and armor. Interestingly, Jonathan does this immediately after he learns that David is a strong, brave warrior who defeated the terrible Palestine warrior, Goliath, and he also learns of David's lineage in 1 Sam. 17:57-18, 18:1"And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, "Whose son are you, young man?" And David answered, "I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" 1 Sam. 17:57-18, 18:1 ESV.
. At the time, David did not own a sword, as he defeated Goliath with just a slingshot and a stone (1 Sam. 17:49"And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground" 1 Sam. 17:49 ESV.). Saul had tried to give David armor and a sword, but David wasn't sure of the equipments' quality, and so he gives the armor and sword back to Saul (1 Sam. 17:38-39"Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, "I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them." So David put them off." 1 Sam. 17:38-39 ESV.). Thus, when David returns to the palace, Jonathan realizes that David still doesn't have quality weaponry, and, since David and Jonathan are good friends, Jonathan gives David his equipment (1 Sam. 18:4"And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt" 1 Sam. 18:4 ESV.). Additionally, David and Jonathan had made a covenant to remain best friends, and Jonathan's gift to David seals the covenant (1 Sam. 18:3"Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul" 1 Sam. 18:3 ESV.).

Jonathan lies to Saul to protect David and Saul curses him
Homosexuality Is Not a Sin Homosexuality Is a Sin

Jonathan loves David so much that he lies to his father in order to protect David (1 Sam. 20:5-6, 27-28"David said to Jonathan, 'Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. If your father misses me at all, then say, "David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the clan."'

But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David's place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, 'Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?'

Jonathan answered Saul, 'David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem'" 1 Sam. 20:5-6, 27-28 ESV.
). Saul becomes so angry with Jonathan that he curses him and threatens to kill David (1 Sam. 20:30-31, 33"Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die."

But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death" 1 Sam. 20:30-31, 33 ESV.
). Saul states: "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die (1 Sam. 20:30-31"Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die" 1 Sam. 20:30-31 ESV.)."

1 Sam. 20:30-31"Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die" 1 Sam. 20:30-31 ESV. is significant because Saul infers that there is a sexual element between Jonathan and David's relationship when he states that "Jonathan (has) chosen David to the shame of his mother's nakedness." In Mosaic law, when a mother's nakedness was mentioned, it referred to sexual impropriety and shame, as in Lev. 18:6-8"None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the LORD. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness" Lev. 18:6-8 ESV. and in Lev. 20:18"If a man lies with a woman during her menstrual period and uncovers her nakedness, he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. . . " Lev. 20:18 ESV..1 Through this statement, Saul infers that he knows David and Jonathan are in love with each other and that he forbids their relationship as he believes that it is shameful.

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Jonathan is so attached to David that when Saul becomes jealous of David and tries to kill him, Jonathan does everything in his power to save his friend, including lying to his father (1 Sam. 20:5-6, 27-28"David said to Jonathan, 'Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. If your father misses me at all, then say, "David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the clan."'

But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David's place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, 'Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?'

Jonathan answered Saul, 'David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem'" 1 Sam. 20:5-6, 27-28 ESV.
). Saul is angry with Jonathan because Jonathan allows David go to Bethlehem, and Saul curses Jonathan. Saul states: "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die (1 Sam. 20:30-31"Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die" 1 Sam. 20:30-31 ESV.)."

Saul makes this proclamation against Jonathan because he is filled with rage. He views David as a threat to his rule and to Jonathan's future rule over the kingdom. Saul uses incredibly strong language to convey his anger towards Jonathan, and he is so angry with Jonathan that he tries to kill him (1 Sam. 20:33"But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death" 1 Sam. 20:33 ESV.).

David marries Michal, Jonathan's sister
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* David marries Saul's daughter, Michal, but Michal is only mentioned twice in the Old Testament while Jonathan and David are partners. The Bible first mentions Michal when Saul decides that David will marry Michal only after David fights the Philistines because Saul wants the Philistines to kill David (1 Sam. 18:20-22, 25"Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. Saul thought, 'Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.' Therefore Saul said to David a second time, 'You shall now be my son-in-law.'

And Saul commanded his servants, 'Speak to David in private and say, "Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king's son-in-law."'

Then Saul said, 'Thus shall you say to David, "The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king's enemies."' Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines" 1 Sam. 18:20-22, 25 ESV.
) and it mentions her again when Michal helps David escape from Saul (1 Sam. 19:11-17"Saul sent messengers to David's house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, told him, 'If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.' So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled away and escaped.

Michal took an image and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats' hair at its head and covered it with the clothes. And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, 'He is sick.'

Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, 'Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.' And when the messengers came in, behold, the image was in the bed, with the pillow of goats' hair at its head.

Saul said to Michal, 'Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?' And Michal answered Saul, 'He said to me, "Let me go. Why should I kill you"'" 1 Sam. 19:11-17 ESV?
). Otherwise, Michal's role in David's life is insignificant while Jonathan is around because the Bible focuses on the interplay between Jonathan, David, and Saul.

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We know that David is not sexually attracted to Jonathan because David married Michal, Saul's daughter, while he's still friends with Jonathan. Saul makes the suggestion to David that he marry his daughter and David agrees to do so. However, winning Michal's hand in marriage is not an easy feat for David. David must go to extraordinary lengths to win Michal's hand in marriage. Saul requires that David pay a bride-price of a hundred Philistine foreskins for his daughter's hand, hoping all the while that the Philistines will kill David (1 Sam. 18:25"Then Saul said, 'Thus shall you say to David, "The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king's enemies."' Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines" 1 Sam. 18:25 ESV.).

David is in love with Michal, agrees to Saul's challenge, and successfully slays the Philistines (1 Sam. 18:26-27"And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son-in-law. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife" 1 Sam. 18:26-27 ESV.). If David had been in homosexual love with Jonathan, he most likely would not have agreed to marry Michal and put his life in danger for her. In fact, when David marries Michal, David and Jonathan actually become brother-in-laws since David is integrated into Saul's family.

Jonathan and David kiss
Homosexuality Is Not a Sin Homosexuality Is a Sin

When Jonathan learns in 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV"And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV. that David must leave him, he cries with David and they kiss until "David exceeded." Many Bible versions translate this verse differently. Most Bible versions leave the "kiss" portion in the Bible, with the exception of the New Living Bible (NLB), which substitutes "embrace" for "kiss," as stated in 1 Sam. 20:41 NLB"Then David bowed three times to Jonathan with his face to the ground. Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David" 1 Sam. 20:41 NLB..

The word that is translated as "kiss" is the ancient Hebrew word nâshaq, and it means "to kiss, literally or figuratively (touch); also (as a mode of attachment), to equip with weapons: - armed (men), rule, kiss, that touched."2 Obviously, it doesn't mean "to equip with weapons" in this passage because Jonathan gives his weapons to a servant boy in 1 Sam. 20:40"And Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, "Go and carry them to the city" 1 Sam. 20:40 ESV. before he kisses David, so we know that it must mean "kiss." Note that 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV"And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV. says that they kissed and cried "until David exceeded," which means that they cried and kissed over a certain amount of time; they didn't just kiss once.

It is true that the Bible records many kisses that are shared between men (most of the time they are shared between family members), but these kisses are exchanged during a greeting or a farewell. None of these kisses are exchanged between men before or after they express their eternal love for each other and the kisses are one-time gestures, not ongoing as insinuated in 1 Sam. 20:41". . . and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV.. The last phrase of 1 Sam. 20:41". . . and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV.,"until David exceeded," has been extremely difficult for translators to interpret.

Interestingly, some Bible versions add the word "friend" to 1 Sam. 20:41". . . and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV., such as the Common English Bible (CEB) in 1 Sam. 20:41 CEB"The friends kissed each other, and cried with each other, but David cried hardest" 1 Sam. 20:41 CEB ESV. and The Message (TM) in 1 Sam. 20:41 TM"And then they kissed one another and wept, friend over friend, David weeping especially hard" 1 Sam. 20:41 TM.. The Lexham English Bible (LEB) doesn't add the word "friend" to the verse, but the LEB states in footnotes b and c that the literal translation of "one another" is "each his friend" or "each with his friend," respectively. The ancient Hebrew word translated as "one another" in the King James Version is rêya‛ or rêa‛, and it means, "an associate (more or less close): - brother, companion, fellow, friend, husband, lover, neighbour, X (an-) other."3 Thus, this word can mean various things, including "lover."

Most Old Testament Bible verses translate rêya‛ to mean "neighbor" or "friend," but some translate the word to mean "companion" as in Exo 32:27" . . . and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour" Exod. 32:27 KJV. and "lovers" as in Jer. 3:1" . . . but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD" Jer. 3:1 KJV.. Since Jonathan's and David's love was stronger than the love between a man and a woman, it is obvious that "neighbor" and "friend" do not adequately describe their relationship. "Brothers" or "lovers" more appropriately describe their relationship; however, brothers do not repeatedly kiss each other, even in biblical times.

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When Jonathan learns in 1 Sam. 20:41"And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV. that David must leave him, he kisses David and cries with David "until David exceeded." According to the Bible, David and Jonathan kiss and cry with each other because David must leave Jonathan and his home, and David and Jonathan have become best friends and soul mates. Many biblical men have kissed each other, and it most often happens between sons and fathers (see Gen. 27:26-27"Then his father Isaac said to him, 'Come near and kiss me, my son.' So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, 'See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed'" Gen. 27:26-27 ESV. in which Isaac kisses his son Jacob, Gen. 29:13"As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things . . . " Gen. 29:13 ESV. in which Laban kisses his nephew, Gen. 31:55"Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them" Gen. 31:55 ESV. in which Laban kisses his sons and daughters, Gen. 33:4"But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept" Gen. 33:4 ESV. in which Esau kisses his brother, Gen. 45:15"And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him" Gen. 45:15 ESV. in which Benjamin kisses his brethren (brothers), Gen. 48:10"Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them" Gen. 48:10 ESV. in which Israel kisses his sons, Gen. 50:1"Then Joseph fell on his father's face and wept over him and kissed him" Gen. 50:1 ESV. in which Joseph kisses his father Israel, Exod. 4:27"The LORD said to Aaron, 'Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.' So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him" Exod. 4:27 ESV. in which Aaron meets Moses on the mount of God and kisses him, Exod. 18:7"Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent" Exod. 18:7 ESV. in which Moses meets his father-in-law and kisses him,1 Sam. 9:27, 10:1"As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, 'Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.' Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him . . ." 1 Sam. 9:27, 10:1 ESV. in which Samuel anoints Saul with oil and kisses him, 2 Sam. 14:33"Then Joab went to the king and told him, and he summoned Absalom. So he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom" 2 Sam. 14:33 ESV. in which a king kisses Absalom, 2 Sam. 15:5"And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him" 2 Sam. 15:5 ESV. in which Absalom kisses the hand of any man that does homage to him, and 2 Sam. 19:39". . . And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own home" 2 Sam. 19:39 ESV. in which a king kisses Barzillai).

In fact, the amount of biblical references to men kissing men, as either a greeting or a gesture of familial affection, is greater than the amount of biblical references to men kissing women. Men kissing each other was so common during biblical times that in 2 Sam. 20:9-10"And Joab said to Amasa, "Is it well with you, my brother?" And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. But Amasa did not observe the sword that was in Joab's hand. So Joab struck him with it in the stomach and spilled his entrails to the ground without striking a second blow, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri" 2 Sam. 20:9-10 ESV., Joab approaches Amasa to kiss him (Amasa is not alarmed), but, instead of kissing Amasa, Joab kills Amasa with his sword and Amasa doesn't even sense the attack. Interestingly, Joab's attempted kiss with Amasa and subsequent attack is somewhat comparable to Judas's kiss to Jesus and subsequent betrayal (Mark 14:44-46" Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, 'The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.' And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, 'Rabbi!' And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him" Mark 14:44-46 ESV.). Most of these kisses were exchanged during a greeting or a farewell. We know that in 1 Sam. 20:42"Then Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, "The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever."' And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city" 1 Sam. 20:42 ESV., David and Jonathan were parting for an unknown amount of time, and, thus, David and Jonathan's kiss was also exchanged during a farewell.

We also know that David and Jonathan are simply best friends and soul mates because the term used for "one another" in the King James Version is rêya‛ or rêa‛, and it means, "an associate (more or less close): - brother, companion, fellow, friend, husband, lover, neighbour, X (an-) other.1 Although rêya‛ can mean "lover," it is used way more frequently in the Bible to mean "neighbor" or "friend." Likewise, in 2 Sam.1:26"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 Sam.1:26 ESV., David calls Jonathan his brother, which has no sexual connotation, as he is mourning over Jonathan's death. Since David married Saul's daughter, Micah, David and Jonathan were brother-in-laws, which further supports the claim that their love for each other was purely brotherly (see 1 Sam. 18:26"And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son-in-law" 1 Sam. 18:26 ESV.). David states that Jonathan's love for him surpassed that of women because, when Jonathan was alive, he appreciated David on a much deeper level: intellectually and spiritually.

David laments Jonathan's death and adopts his son
Homosexuality Is Not a Sin Homosexuality Is a Sin

A final clue characterizing David and Jonathan's relationship is stated by David in his lamentation over Jonathan's death in 2 Sam. 1:26 ESV: "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." Although David calls Jonathan his brother, David states that Jonathan's love was greater than a woman's love.

Thus, we know that David's and Jonathan's love was very deep, and they must have loved each other's entire being and soul. In fact, David even adopts Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9:6-7"And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, 'Mephibosheth!' And he answered, 'Behold, I am your servant.' And David said to him, 'Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always'" 2 Sam. 9:6-7 ESV.), because of David and Jonathan's promise to each other in 1 Sam. 20:42"Then Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, "The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever." And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city" 1 Sam. 20:42 ESV.. In those days, kings' sons and families were often executed, as stated in 2 Kings 10:1-11, 11:1-3"Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king's sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom.

Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the LORD, while Athaliah reigned over the land" 11:1-3 ESV.
. However, Jonathan treats Mephibosheth as his own son as stated in 2 Sam. 9:7"And David said to him, 'Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always'" 2 Sam. 9:7 ESV.. Based on the evidence presented above, it is clear that David and Jonathan were involved in a homosexual relationship, which also happens to be one of the greatest love stories in the Bible because it was an eternal love that surpassed Jonathan's death.

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A final clue that characterizes David and Jonathan's relationship is David's statement concerning Jonathan's death in 2 Sam. 1:26"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 Sam. 1:26 ESV. in which David calls Jonathan his brother. Once again, David claims that Jonathan's love was greater than that of a woman's love because Jonathan loved David as his soulmate in a purely non-sexual manner.

Moreover, at some point before his death, Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, and David actually adops him (2 Sam. 9:6-7"And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, 'Mephibosheth!' And he answered, 'Behold, I am your servant.' And David said to him, 'Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always'" 2 Sam. 9:6-7 ESV.) because of David and Jonathan's promise to each other in 1 Sam. 20:42"Then Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, "The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever." And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city" 1 Sam. 20:42 ESV. that the Lord shall be forever between each other and their offspring. Thus, Jonathan had sexual relations at some point with a woman. Additionally, David had many children, as stated in 1 Chron. 3:1-9"These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite, the third, Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah; six were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years and six months.

And he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-shua, the daughter of Ammiel; then Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine.

All these were David's sons, besides the sons of the concubines, and Tamar was their sister" 1 Chron. 3:1-9 ESV.
, from mistresses, multiple wives, and concubines. Obviously, David was very active heterosexually. Thus, David and Jonathan's relationship was comparable to that of brothers or soul mates and not of lovers.

1Levin states that "'ervah, 'nakedness,' (is) a euphemism for sexuality" Levin, 1989, p. 117 and MacAuthur states in the ESV that in Lev. 18:6, uncover nakedness is "a euphemism for sexual relations" (p. 177, footnote for 18:6). Return

2"nâshaq."Strong, 1995/1996, Hebrew section p. 97, entry 5401 Return

3"rêya‛ or rêa‛." Strong, 1995/1996, Hebrew section p. 133, entry 7453 Return

4"gâdal." Strong, 1995/1996, Hebrew section p. 25, entry 1431 Return

1 "rêya‛ or rêa‛." Strong, 1995/1996, Hebrew section p. 133, entry 7453 Return

The meaning of 1 Sam. 20:41 "until David exceeded": The very last portion of 1 Sam. 20:41, ". . . and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" has been translated many different ways. The term that the KJV translates as "exceeded" is gâdal and it means, "A primitive root; properly to twist, that is, to be (causatively make) large (in various senses, as in body, mind, estate or honor, also in pride): - advance, boast, bring up, exceed, excellent, be (-come, do, give, make, wax), great (-er, come to . . estate, + things), grow (up), increase, lift up, magnify (-ifical), be much set by, nourish (up), pass, promote, proudly [spoken], tower."4

Throughout the KJV Bible, gâdal is translated to mean "great" as in Gen. 19:13"For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD" Gen. 19:13 KJV., "greater" as in Gen. 41:40" . . . only in the throne will I be greater than thou" Gen. 41:40 KJV., "magnified" as in Gen 19:19"Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy" Gen 19:19 KJV., "magnifical" as in 1 Chron. 22:5"And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries" 1 Chron. 22:5 KJV., "grew" as in Gen. 21:20"And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness . . . " Gen. 21:20 KJV, "grown" as in Gen. 38:14" . . . for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife" Gen. 38:14 KJV., "grown up" as in 1 King 12:10"And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him . . . " 1 King 12:10 KJV, "set" as in 1 Sam. 26:24" so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD" 1 Sam. 26:24 KJV., "exceeded all" as in 1 King 10:23"So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom" 1 King 10:23 KJV., "brought them up" as in 2 King 10:6"Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up" 2 King 10:6 KJV., "passed" as in 2 Chron. 9:22"And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom" 2 Chron. 9:22 KJV., "promote" as in Esth. 3:1"After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman . . . " Esth. 3:1 KJV, "promoted" as in Esth. 5:11" . . . and all the things wherein the king had promoted him . . . " Esth. 5:11 KJV, "advanced" as in Esth. 10:2"And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him" Esth. 10:2 KJV., "lifted up" as in Ps. 41:9"Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me" Ps. 41:9 KJV., "nourished" as in Isa. 1:2" . . . I have nourished and brought up children . . . " Isa. 1:2 KJV, "increased" as in Isa. 9:3" . . . and not increased the joy . . ." Isa. 9:3 KJV, "excellent" as in Isa. 28:29" . . . which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working" Isa. 28:29 KJV., and "proudly" as in Obad. 1:12" . . . neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress" Obad. 1:12 KJV.. Of course, none of these translations really fit with 1 Sam. 40:41, " . . . and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded."

Some Bibles translate the verse to mean that David wept more than Jonathan, cried louder, or cried the most, since he was leaving his friend and home, as in the 21st Century King James Version; the Common English Bible; the Contemporary English Version; the Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition; the English Standard Version; the English Standard Version Anglicised; the Expanded Bible; the GOD's WORD Translation, although this translation states that the Hebrew meaning is uncertain; the Holman Christian Standard Bible; the Lexham English Bible; The Message; the New American Standard Bible; the New Century Version; the New English Translation; the New International Reader's Version; the New International Version; the New King James Version; the New Life Version; the Today's New International Version; the Wycliffe Bible; and the New Revised Standard Version, although this translation also states that the Hebrew meaning is uncertain.

However, the Complete Jewish Bible translates the verse as "until it became too much for David;" the Easy-to-Read Version translates it as "It was a very sad goodbye, especially for David;" the Good New's Translation translates it as "David's grief was even greater than Jonathan's," although this translation states that the Hebrew meaning is not clear; the Knox Bible translates it as "there was no staunching David's tears;" the New Living Translation translates it as "Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David;" the Revised Standard Version translates it as "until David recovered himself;" and Young's Literal Translation translates it as "till David exerted himself."

One of the reason why translators have a difficult time translating the last phrase, "until David exceeded," in 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV". . . and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" 1 Sam. 20:41 KJV. is because the verb "exceeded" is used without an object. "Exceed" means "to be greater, as in quantity or degree" and "to surpass others; excel or be superior" when it is used in a sentence without an object according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, so perhaps the translations that state David's grief and crying was greater than Jonathan's are more accurate. However, the word ad translated as "until" is bothersome because, when it is used as a preposition, it denotes "onward to or till (a specified time or occurrence)" according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

According to Strong's Concordance, ad can also be translated as "as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with): - against, and, as, at, before, by (that), even (to), for (-asmuch as), [hither-] to, + how long, into, as long (much) as, (so) that, till, toward, until, when, while, (+ as) yet" ("ad." Strong, 1995/1996, Hebrew section p. 102, entry 5704). Basically, the phrase could be translated as "until David grew" or "until David was greater," which doesn't make much sense without the words "grief" or "cries" interjected into the phrase. Perhaps a more accurate translation in the KJV should have been "while David exceeded."

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