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7 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2008 - 1:55PM #1
BetteTheRedde
Posts: 2,325
What is the Jewish position, generally, on whether Jonathan and David were lovers? Would it matter? Does the Hebrew text support this conclusion?

I see there's NO activity on this board, so I may tiptoe over to the main Jewish boards if I don't get an answer. I'm talking about this on a Christian thread, and it's always very helpful to get better information on the original text and meaning.
"Sometimes they are referred to as the 'radical Right.' But the fact is that there is nothing radical about them. They offer no novel solutions to the problems that plague them; indeed, they offer no solutions at all. They are immensely discontented with things as they are and furiously impatient with almost everyone in public office who can in any way be held responsible for their frustrations. But it cannot be said that they hold any clearly stated objectives or have any specific program either in common or individuals. They are fundamentally and temperamentally 'aginners.' And perhaps the commonest characteristic among them is anger. They can fairly be called, if nothing else, the Rampageous Right."

Alan Barth, New York Times, November 26, 1961
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 27, 2008 - 7:12PM #2
Zwartz
Posts: 97
[QUOTE=BetteTheRedde;449033]What is the Jewish position, generally, on whether Jonathan and David were lovers? Would it matter? Does the Hebrew text support this conclusion?

I see there's NO activity on this board, so I may tiptoe over to the main Jewish boards if I don't get an answer. I'm talking about this on a Christian thread, and it's always very helpful to get better information on the original text and meaning.[/QUOTE]

I am unaware of a Jewish position.  The ultra Orthodox like to think their most recent belief were handed down at Sinai is not before.  As Jews are aPpeople and not a religious cult, there does not seem to be a Jewish position. 

Historical scholarship concerning when and who wrote what portion of the Bible is on-going.  I do not think it is clear whether Jonathan and David is a story that pre-dates David or is a later invention which was imposed on David and Jonathan or is brief reference to an unspecified relationship.

(1)  Pre-dates David?   The ancient Middle East had the concept that a King should be a total man, e.g. Gilgamesh and Enkidu.  Thus, this story, kind of like the stock phrases in Greek poems, may have been floating around in the oral tradition to be applied as needed.

(2) Later Imposition:  Just as the Book of Ruth was written to justify the Jews returning from the Babylonian exile not divorcing their non-Jewish wives, the story of David and Jonathan may have been imposed upon David to shore up his legend as a great King.

(3)  Accurate Story:  David and Jon may have been male lovers, but the story may have been truncated as the cultures changed and having a male lover was no longer one of the pillars of manhood for the heroic King.  Perhaps the fight against Hellenism caused an editing of the story.

As late as 300 BCE, Alexander The Great had his male lover, Hephaestion, and before that there were Achilles and Patroklos.  Thus, Jewish editors may have started clipping out a word or two here and there in order to distance Jews from Greeks.  This idea, however, is speculation.  We need archeological evidence of any editing and right now, we've having a hard time figuring out who wrote what when.  Maybe we will find more accurate ancient records in 50 years or so.

One supposition seems relatively certain.  It would have been strange for a king of King David's stature not to have a male lover or at least a story of his male lover in order to bolster his kingly credentials.
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2009 - 12:02AM #3
leguru
Posts: 167

At the very least, Johathan's father, Saul, knew that his son and David were having an affair. Read ISam 20:30.

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