04 January 2015

Possibly Gay Bible Stories: Saul and David

(From Chapter 4 of Strange Flesh: The Bible and Homosexuality by Steve Wells)
Saul and David had a rough and rocky relationship, with lots of intrigue, warfare, and murderous plots. But some say there was a softer side to it -- that David and Saul were actually lovers. It’s a strange tale that is seldom told and seldom believed. Much of the argument hinges upon a single verse:
David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. 1 Samuel 16:21
According to Keith Sharpe in The Gay Gospels, armour bearers were young men that were chosen for their good looks, who served as homoerotic companions to the older soldiers who selected them.1 Saul selected David as his, saying to Jesse, David’s father:
Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 1 Samuel 16:22
But there’s more to it than that. Apparently verse 16:22 can be translated to read, “David came to Saul and had an erection before him.”2 It all depends upon a single assumed vowel in the Hebrew text.

Donatello - David

  1. “The role of amour bearer at that time meant a lasting close emotional homoerotic bond that was established between an older warrior and a handsome younger male, chosen for his good looks, who would be his constant companion.” Sharpe, The Gay Gospels, pp. 126-7.

  2. “The Hebrew of 16:21 could have originally been intended to read … ‘and he had an erection in his presence.’” Kamal Salibi, The Historicity of Biblical Israel, pp. 138-39.

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