2 Samuel 1:26, Was King David Gay?
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.
//This is a long-standing debate, and while I don’t pretend to have the answer, I will weigh in with my guess after presenting some of the verses Bible readers point to.
1 Samuel 18:1, After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. (NIV)
1 Samuel 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. (RSV)
1 Samuel 20:30, 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? (RSV)
The ambiguity of these passages is evident. The problem, of course, is that homosexuality is a sin in the Bible. Leviticus 20:13 states this plainly: If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death. This new law was recorded hundreds of years after David lived, and as such, the law could not have impacted its past, but it could have impacted the time in which the scriptures were written down! At the time the stories of David were collated into scripture, a definite anti-gay bias existed, and this may have affected how the stories were presented. The language may have been purposefully toned down.
I promised my own guess, and it’s this: David should not be called gay. As best I can tell, there simply was no clear distinction at the time he lived; no designation of gays or straights, simply a sliding scale of preference, and everybody fell somewhere on that scale. How gay sex grew into such an abomination in the eyes of Israel’s later lawmakers, I don’t know.