Same-sex relationship in the Bible ignored by many Christians

King David & Prince Jonathan made a covenant of love & protection

By Toby Baxendale

London, UK – 12 September 2018


You may have heard many “hell fire and damnation” preachers, especially emanating from the USA, now polluting places like Africa, condemning homosexuals as depraved perverts who will spent an eternity in Hell and so on and so forth. That this message of hate stands full square in opposition to the teaching of Jesus, as witnessed in the Gospels, seems to be totally lost on them. It may surprise you, that in the heart of the Old Testament is the story of same-sex love involving King David, arguably one of the most important Jews to have existed and Jonathan a prince and son of the first King of Israel, Saul. They do not fit the erroneous homosexual trope of weakness and inferiority. David was the greatest King of Israel, the slayer of Goliath no less! And Jonathan was a noted military leader in his own right, who had defeated the Philistines in war. They are giants of the Bible! Also, more importantly via both his mother Mary and his adopted father, Joseph, the most famous Jew of all, Jesus, is directly descended from King David.

The story starts with David, then a lowly shepherd boy, having killed the giant Goliath, the leading protagonist in the war of the Philistines v the Israelites,[1] the first King of Israel, King Saul, gloriously honours David,  then……


1 Samuel 18:1-4

“Now when 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. Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.”

Wow! they really loved each other.

Now King Saul becomes jealous of David as the people cheer more for him, the famed giant slayer, than they do for Saul. To keep David close to Saul, Saul gives his daughter Michal, who was infatuated with David, in marriage, hoping this would divert his ambition and slow him down a bit. The dowry, as David had no money, was to fetch 100 Philistine foreskins (Saul hoped that by putting David in such danger, he would be killed). David does the grisly job & becomes son in law to the King. After more of David getting more glory than Saul in battle, Saul discusses with his son, Jonathan, how he now wants to kill David. There are lots of plots and sub plots. Then both David and Jonathan make a pledge or covenant to protect each other, especially from being killed by Jonathan’s father Saul. Specifically, Jonathan then makes a covenant of love and protection between him and David.

1 Samuel 20:17

Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.”

 Saul reveals his true hand as a jealous father when Jonathan speaks to him about granting David permission to not be present at a feast (where it was planned that he would be killed by Saul) but to be excused to attend to his own family devotional business.


1 Samuel 20:30-31

“Then Saul’s anger was aroused 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 (David) to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.”

It appears that Saul knew of the relationship between the two men, and disapproved – a relationship that was clearly more than just friendship!

Jonathan manages to help David escape once again from the plot to kill him by his jealous father.


1 Samuel 20: 41-42

“As soon as the lad had gone, David arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’ ” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.”

Now, of course we don’t know exactly what type of relationship this was, but it is clear it was not a regular “best mates” type of relationship but evidently homo erotic, extremely strong, loyal, touching, deeply moving and beautiful.

This story of same-sex love has been in the holy texts since their inception, some 3,000 years ago, and the Bible celebrates this relationship (Saul loses the anointing from God and becomes the villain in the story). The truth of the matter, is if you dig a little bit deeper, look at all of the classic so-called condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible, they actually condemn male (gang) rape, sex in the temple during acts of worship (imaging that at your Sunday morning service!), sex with minors (pederasty) and sex outside of marriage (both heterosexual and homosexual), but not this type of homo erotic love. As the vast majority of gay men don’t partake in these things that are condemned, but live happy peaceful loving lives, not bothering anyone, perhaps the hate preachers should read their scripture and back off the from their erroneous and despicable un-Christian preaching.

[1] Whom the modern Palestinians are descended from, 3,000 years on, has anything changed?