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What type of relationship did Jonathan and David have?

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Thank you for asking your bible based question about the relationship between Jonathan and David.

Jonathan and David's relationship was one of intense friendship of brotherly love. Throughout his life, Jonathan would risk his life and even gave up his right as the heir to the throne for David, such was their close relationship.

We see this relationship being shown with a symbolic covenant in 1 Samuel 18:3-5:

Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armour, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants.

As the son of Saul, Jonathan was the expected heir to the throne, and was treated as the prince that he was. Jonathan and Saul worked together on battles and there would have been administrative training for the future king. However, even though David is a threat to Jonathan's position, he chooses to love him as a brother and even gives some of his possessions to David as a gesture of saving 'what is mine, is yours'.

Some people have tried to make the claim that there was a sexual element to the relationship. However, there is no indication in the scripture about this. The Bible is never shy of mentioning certain acts, especially in the narrative portions, and if there was a sexual relationship between Jonathan and David, the bible would have mentioned it.

The relationship was such that when Jonathan died in battle, David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. (2 Samuel 1:11-12). David was struck with grief because his best friend had died, even though this meant that he would be king.

We do see this form of relationship still happen today. There are friends who may share what they have with someone, risk their life for each other and even die to protect their friend. This type of relationship is not exclusive to the Bible; it still happens today. 

You may think that there is no one that would be willing to lay down their life for you, but in fact there is someone who already has. Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth and lived a perfect life. His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead was to show he has power over sin and death. Our sin has separated us from God, but Jesus laid down his life for us, taking the punishment of sin that we deserve so that we can be reconciled to God. 

In summary, David and Jonathan's relationship was one of brotherly love, an intense friendship that would result in Jonathan sharing his possessions and even giving up his right to become king so that David could become king. We see this kind of relationship happen throughout the world today. Jesus Christ has died for your sin and rose again fromt he dead to show his power over death. He longs to have a relationship with you, if you will accept him as your Lord and Saviour. 

If you have never asked for the forgiveness of your sins through Jesus Christ, then I encourage you to do so today. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you, one that is even greater than the relationship between Jonathan and David. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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