Benjamin Britten used the term in his diaries "Tell it not in Gath" (2 Samuel 1:26) in a reference to Jonathan's love for David as a justification for his homosexual infatuations. Quite clearly this is out of order and I am using the usual arguments in my footnotes to my Ph.D. thesis to show how this interpretation is incorrect (e.g. David already married, the law, etc). However, I wondered whether there is anything in the Hebrew language itself that can nail the issue down more concisely? If you have a New York minute, could I prevail on you to send me a gem.

Gath has nothing to do with homosexuality. If anything, the Philistines would have had less reason to object if this farfetched allegation had any substance--given their well-known immorality. He says "tell it not in Gath" for a reason: "lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice." Context must be respected.

I see nothing in the Hebrew language to shed light on this point, which I too have heard before but consider too ridiculous to take seriously. The record in the text itself shows Jonathan as a bosom buddy, but what did he do? He encouraged David to find strength in God. He protected him by informing him of Saul's stormy and volatile moods. What they shared--and this was wonderful--was camaraderie and genuine love. This is something David and Saul (who had a weak heart) could never share. King David may have had his own sexual struggles, but they were of the heterosexual variety (2 Samuel 11). He was as straight as an arrow, nor is there any biblical evidence to the contrary.

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