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July 31, 2012
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Probably the most well-known relationship mentioned in the Bible was the one between David and Jonathan, who were regarded by some as homosexual lovers, and by others as merely close companions like brothers.
    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. (1 Samuel 18:1)
The primary meaning of the word ahab is sexual and romantic love, though it can also be used to describe a mutual friendship love or a love from God to man. The word nephesh is translated here as "soul" and it refers primarily to the life and passion of the person. The word qashar is translated as "knit" meaning to bind, in a literal sense or a figurative sense such as forming a league or as a tie to the person.

When qashar and nephesh are put together, it describes a uniting of souls or binding of passion. Added to the word ahab, this would refer to either a friendship bond, a political alliance bond, or a sexual bond. Nephesh however is an intense word and refers to the wholeness of the person, and if one was qashar to another's nephesh it meant that the bond was strong to the point that one would die without the other. In addition, Jonathan's nephesh was bound to David's at first sight, which rarely if ever occurs between simple "friends" and implies that this bond is more likely to have been romantic or even sexual.
    Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal Saul's daughter loved him (1 Samuel 18:27-28)
The same word ahab was used here, and this was Michal's first meeting with David, much like David and Jonathan's meeting in verse 1. Most people accept without question that the use of the word ahab in this context meant that Michal had "fallen in love" with David, yet in David and Jonathan's situation, it could only refer to a friendship despite the fact that the context in both situations was the same. Hmm.
    Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle (1 Samuel 18:3-4)
Here Jonathan removed his robe and placed it on David.

It's clearly a shame that most scholars tend to overlook the symbolic meaning of this action and assume that Jonathan was merely providing David some clothing. The act of removing one's own clothing and placing it on another was symbolic of a union; that Jonathan, by placing his own clothing onto David, was signifying that he considered David to be another part of himself, or another part of his own flesh.
    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24)
Jonathan also gave David his belt and weapons, leading most scholars to believe that this was simply a political act of reverence and signified that David was to be king. However what they fail to account for is the previous verses which state that Jonathan loved David as his own nephesh.
    Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness? (1 Samuel 20:30)
Son of the perverse rebellious woman most closely resembles the modern-day phrase "son of a b**ch! Back then, however, the phrase meant to equate him to a woman who was perverse and rebellious. In a sense, this phrase son of the perverse rebellious woman implies that he is weak and effeminate and of the same essence as the woman (an insult gay men are not unfamiliar with).

Ervah translates as "nakedness" which is a direct reference to the genitals, and bosheth meaning "shame" can be associated with ervah to mean "sexual shame." The word bachar is what translates to "chose," however the spelling of the Hebrew word bachar בָּחַר is identical to the word bachur בָּחֻר which means something more along the lines of a young man in his prime, instead of simply "siding with" or "being friends with" any person in general. Most likely, if this word is correct, Saul meant to insult Jonathan for being partners with David.
behold, the fabulous story of David and Jonathan :3

I'd put my links up to the Lexicon Concordances but I figured people could look that up themselves
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this is soooo true!!!
homoerotic subtex is still a thing today
gerooley Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Im a Jonathan. This makes me proud.
cooldas Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think you're way off on the one about verse 41--if you click on the word here --> [link] there is nothing sexual about the word. It's translated as David wept more (than Jonathan.)
I noticed that afterward. I might remove that one part, but I'm pretty confident in the rest of it
I'm still a bit unsure if I believe they were a couple, since I've heard different opinions on it from both sides, but this makes me lean a bit more toward believing it. ^^'
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