Friday, July 21, 2006

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 3:
David & Jonathan...

To read earlier parts of this series, please click on the following links:

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 1:
Sodom & Gomorrah

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 2:
Levitical Law

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 3:
David & Jonathan

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 4:
The Words of Christ

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 5:
Paul's Letter to the Romans

Let me preface this issue of the series by stating up front that this is not about a passage fundies use to condemn homosexuality... It is a passage they blatantly either ignore completely or explain away as completely misinterpreted (cause we all know God only speaks to them about interpretation, right?), twisted by us card-carrying members of the Gay Agenda. (Note: Toaster Ovens are on back order... Please stay tuned for an updated memo about Top-of-the-Line Microwave Ovens in all the latest styles and colors...)
As we trek through this ancient book of stories and fables known to some as the bible, we begin to read about David, God's chosen king for the people of Israel, a man described in the Bible as "a man after God's own heart," who falls in love with then-King Saul's son, Jonathan...

Screeeeeeeeccccccchhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your brakes okay? You sure? Can I continue?

Let's read the passages, shall we?

1 Samuel 18:1-4: When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him [David] 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. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.

1 Samuel 20:17-18, 41: Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the LORD seek out the enemies of David." Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life. [...] As soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He bowed three times, and they kissed each other, and wept with each other; David wept the more.

2 Samuel 1:25-26: How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
Wow. Powerful stuff, eh? Now, now, now, hold on fundies, I know what you're saying... Liar! You are completely ignoring the context! This is about best-friends, not lovers! Oh, ye of little brains... tsk, tsk, and triple tsk...

It should be noted that whenever David--king of the disgruntled chosen people of god who always had something to bitch about--strayed from the "man after god's own heart" path, he was sent a prophet (mostly Samuel and Nathan) to set him back on the path of "god-heartedness," but in this case... No prophet. This is hint number one that David and Jonathan were on the up-and-up. No prophet to set little Davie "straight," no word about evilness or abominations, not even a picnic basket with shrimp cocktail... Nadda.

We do, however, get to see Jonathan's father, soon-to-be-debunked King of Israel's reaction when he found out about their little... shall we say, roll in the meadow?

1 Samuel 20:30: "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?"
I know, sort of puts my father's "stupid" quote to shame, doesn't it? Well, straight fathers have never coped well when they found their sons batting for the other team...

Let's look at, first off, the little tryst, shall we? David and Jonathan are out and about, traipsing through the fields. Jonathan is actually helping David escape Saul who is suffering from and I quote, "an evil spirit of God that was upon Saul" (1 Sam. 16:15-28). David had been playing an apparently not-so-pleasant sounding little tune on his harp for the King, but the "evil spirit" wasn't a fan, so Saul tried to kill David a couple of times. This was one of those times when Saul had his panties in such a twist, Jonathan, the king's own son, was helping him escape. Now Saul had good reason to be pissed at David, some of which were:

  • Samuel had already told Saul David was next in line for the Kingship
  • There was that pesky evil spirit hanging around
  • David couldn't play a chord in C major
  • Saul wanted to stay king...
  • Jonathan wasn't the only child to fall in love with the apparent stud-muffin of the shepherding community, as Michel, Saul's daughter, was also quite smitten with the strapping lad...
  • All of the people loved David much more than they loved Saul
But that doesn't explain the following passage at all:

1 Samuel 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.
Now, this, of course, does not mean they had sex... But as any gay man knows, you don't need to be doing to be... Just as straight folk don't need to be actively engaged in the Hump-de-Hump to know what they like and don't like, neither do we...

They were in pain with love! They cried and bowed and wept and wept... Jonathan and David sent the lad away (who was, really, just an arrow-fetcher for Jonathan setting up this secret meeting) and grieved with one another, afraid they may never see one another again. When the bible says "their souls were knit" (1 Samuel), the Hebrew literally reads "nephesh Y@hownathan qashar nephesh David," or, in English, they were bound by the souls eternally. They were one soul. Dare I say, "Soul mates"? It can't be much clearer, especially when David learns of the death of Jonathan in battle. David cries, "Your love to me was wonderful, passing that of the love of a woman." Again, in the Hebrew, he isn't just crying about losing a best friend, although that would be enough to cry over, but David says "'ahabah pala' 'ahabah 'ishshah," or, in English, you were more to me than any woman I have ever known. Now, it is curious to me that, if David were comparing any old friend that had died, why would he compare them to women? Why would he specifically mention that Jonathan, who had died in battle with the blood of their enemies on his hands, compare him to a woman? Not to be mean... not to call him a pussy... to find the words to express the type of love Jonathan and he shared, the kind of love that surpassed the closest comparable thing he could think of in that day and age... the love of a woman.

It also explains Saul's angry outburst when Saul calls Jonathan "son of a perverse, rebellious woman." Saul basically says "You're a twisted son of a bitch, you know that?" Saul isn't just berating him for kissing a peasant girl, he's calling him a mistake of nature, even blaming his mother with the translation of the second half being "your mother's indecency" or "your mothers perversions." Maybe Jonathan's mother was a lesbian? She's never mentioned again, so I suppose we'll never know...

David and Jonathan, while it is not said that they were a same-sex couple, everything points in that direction, from David and Jonathan sending away the boy so they could be alone to cry and grieve together, to their "knit" souls, to David's eulogy for Jonathan, more like that of the death of a spouse than the death of a warrior and friend...

God never even uses the words "abomination" or "sin," never sends a prophet to tell them to knock it the fuck off, never says a cross word about it. Even after Jonathan passes, David continues to be "blessed" by god, and is given not only many many many many women and land and victories in battle, God never brings this up...

Much like the fundie ministers of today...

For how foolish do they want to look when David is punished for killing his mistress's husband when pregnant with his (David's) child, but he isn't punished for loving Jonathan....?

11 comments:

Ergo said...

Hmm... my interpretation of that passage has always been that of unrequited love... Johnathan's love of David was never "returned" in the same way.
It is clear that Jonathan was gay.. but it's not so clear that David was. Infact, I believe the story actually points out that the gay dude was in love with the straight dude... (not much has changed in this world, I see..), but the straight dude merely thought of the gay dude as a very very good friend, close friends, even soulmates, if you will. It is not uncommon in non-western cultures (especially, of that time more than 2000 yrs ago) to find such intimae male-on-male action...er, bonding.

cs said...

I'm not sure why I am even taking the bait but I think you are reading into it a tad bit too much. If I may?

Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Mankind - another male
Liet - sex, carnal intercourse.
abomination - moraly disgusting, an abhorrence

David and Johnathan were not sexual lovers or else, as you know, the scriptures would use the word "know" as in the men of Sodom wanted to "know" the strangers in Lot's house. Or use the word "lieth". I do find it somewhat paradoxical that you see what isn't written in a story but ignore things plainly written.

Just my .02. Thanks.

Jason Hughes said...

Um, what was I "ignoring" that was plainly written?

I said it wasn't necessarily sexual. But they were in love, I think that much is so clearly obvious from the terms of "knit souls," Jonathan giving David extremely important gifts from back in the day, having secret mettings, Saul calling Jonathan a perverse person, David's lamenting of Jonatan's passing in battle...

I hate to say it, but I think it's you who are plainly ignoring what is written...

A lot of couples didn't have the word "know" or "lieth" by their names, yet they were popping out kids in the bible....

Perhaps you simply don't want to see it?

This will be my .03. :D

Thanks for stopping by...

cs said...

If you were saying that they loved each other that is fine. You are putting a homosexual spin on it. One that is not their. If it were God would have punished David or sent a prophet. He didn't. I'm not ignoring anything in the text. Johnathan and David had a love that was closer than a brothers love. Their souls were knit together, that doesn't mean anything close to homosexuality. It is completely pure and non-sinful. I have a couple of friends that are closer to me than family. I love them deeply and would be crushed if they died. You are spinning it into a perversion. You are ignoring what is plainly written in Leviticus and only other places.

Given the Paul conversion argument that wasn't even an argument. You misread several things in that passage, doesn't surprise you are misreading everything now. I have an idea. If the Bible is full of fables, like you say, then why focus so much attention on it? It just makes you look like you are threatened by it. This is may be my last post, I'm sure my oppinion isn't wanted here. I'm not trying to be offensive or anything, have a nice day and weekend.

Jason Hughes said...

CS, comments are always welcome, even those "dissenters..." Never feel like you can't share your opinion here. I am a noncernsoring blogger! :D

I spend so much time on the bible because it was a huge part of my life, all through my childhood to a good part of my early twenties... it is a part of who I am whether I like it or not. It also was a great source of grief and anger to me, and I know it is to others. So I talk about it, and people start discussions, and while we may never agree, disagreement makes for great conversation...

You need to read part 2 concerning Levitical Law.

There is no "spinning into perversion." It is simply another take on the passage. You are free to disagree with it. But you aren'ty free to ignore the implications and thoughts presented there. You taking Daviod and Jonathan's real pain, real anguish and belittling it to something akin to Bert and Ernie.

Yes, I too, have friends that I feel closer to than some in my own bloodline.... But if they were to die a soldiers death on the battlefield fighting for my countrymen, would I really compare their love for me and mine for them to "Exceding that of a woman's"?

Read the clues, follow the path--it may not be homosexual in act per se, but it is certainly more than straight best friends who like to share a brewsky...

Stop looking at the trees and stare at the forest...

And never feel like you can't share an opinion...

All are welcome to share their thoughts if they so wish...

It's very very hard to offend me too! :D

cs said...

Cool. Thanks Jason. I agree whole heartedly about Johnathan and David's connection is beyond what some ever feel with either man or woman. It doesn't mean in anyway they were homosexual. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to speak. I don't want to come accross as "mean spirited".

Darkmind said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cs said...

Dark: Are you serious about your thoughts on that verse? I got a good laugh out of it, I figured it was sarcastic? Incase you are serious, maybe the laugh was a little premature. May I explain some words in that verse?

We all know that lie has two meanings. An untruth and to lay down. So which word did Leviticus 18:22 use? It used שׁכב - shaw-kab' which means- to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose). Look at the words, does it make sense to lie with someone if lie was an untruth? Then you both would be lying and therefore neither party deceived. The word for an untruth is kaw-khash' its first mention is in Leviticus: "Lev 6:2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbor in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbor;
Lev 6:3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:"

Besides women were not second rate citizens throughout the Bible, there are actual instances in scripture where a woman had lots of power. Also the word lieth just means lies. It is old english and it is a plural form of the word. Take believe for instance, in old english it is believe, in plural form it is believeth. As in "he beleiveth that Jesus is the Christ." or "he believes that Jesus is the Christ."

So it isn't twisting the scripture in anyway to say it meant having sex. Of almost forgot, the verse just beneth it speaks of lying with beasts, that is known as 'beastiality'. Thanks.

DaBich said...

First off, I love this look. Green is my fav color =D

Second, I think Jason is onto something here. There are too many...descriptive words that are too strong for him to be taking it out of context.

Other words would have done better, why word it so strongly?

Good post, Jason!

Jason Hughes said...

CS, comments are always welcome, even those "dissenters..." Never feel like you can't share your opinion here. I am a noncernsoring blogger! :D

I spend so much time on the bible because it was a huge part of my life, all through my childhood to a good part of my early twenties... it is a part of who I am whether I like it or not. It also was a great source of grief and anger to me, and I know it is to others. So I talk about it, and people start discussions, and while we may never agree, disagreement makes for great conversation...

You need to read part 2 concerning Levitical Law.

There is no "spinning into perversion." It is simply another take on the passage. You are free to disagree with it. But you aren'ty free to ignore the implications and thoughts presented there. You taking Daviod and Jonathan's real pain, real anguish and belittling it to something akin to Bert and Ernie.

Yes, I too, have friends that I feel closer to than some in my own bloodline.... But if they were to die a soldiers death on the battlefield fighting for my countrymen, would I really compare their love for me and mine for them to "Exceding that of a woman's"?

Read the clues, follow the path--it may not be homosexual in act per se, but it is certainly more than straight best friends who like to share a brewsky...

Stop looking at the trees and stare at the forest...

And never feel like you can't share an opinion...

All are welcome to share their thoughts if they so wish...

It's very very hard to offend me too! :D

cs said...

Dark: Are you serious about your thoughts on that verse? I got a good laugh out of it, I figured it was sarcastic? Incase you are serious, maybe the laugh was a little premature. May I explain some words in that verse?

We all know that lie has two meanings. An untruth and to lay down. So which word did Leviticus 18:22 use? It used שׁכב - shaw-kab' which means- to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose). Look at the words, does it make sense to lie with someone if lie was an untruth? Then you both would be lying and therefore neither party deceived. The word for an untruth is kaw-khash' its first mention is in Leviticus: "Lev 6:2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbor in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbor;
Lev 6:3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:"

Besides women were not second rate citizens throughout the Bible, there are actual instances in scripture where a woman had lots of power. Also the word lieth just means lies. It is old english and it is a plural form of the word. Take believe for instance, in old english it is believe, in plural form it is believeth. As in "he beleiveth that Jesus is the Christ." or "he believes that Jesus is the Christ."

So it isn't twisting the scripture in anyway to say it meant having sex. Of almost forgot, the verse just beneth it speaks of lying with beasts, that is known as 'beastiality'. Thanks.