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» Nauvoo Forum » Nauvoo Classic Forum » Doctrines & Scholarship » David and Jonathan (Page 1)

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Author Topic: David and Jonathan
ErinHowarth
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I'm reading a book about the "real" King David. The author tries to sort out the myth, legend, folk tales and history of the great king of Israel. He brings up a point which I had never heard before, but he says is discussed by Bible scholars at length. The love that David and Jonathan share could have been sexual.
quote:
…the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul… Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. (1 Sam 18: 1-4)

Jonathan … delighted much in David (1Sam 19:2)

So Jonathan made a covenant with… David… And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul. (1 Sam 20:16-17)

My brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.(2 Sam 1:26)

Personally, I don't think that homosexual fornication is beyond the sins capable of King David. He was a scoundrel and a villain, a heroic scoundrel, but a scoundrel and a villain none the less. The author makes a point that he embodies the universal struggle we all experience between our good desires and our evil desires. As a larger-than-life figure, when he was good, he was very, very good and when he was evil, he was very, very evil.

I find it somewhat comforting that the Lord was able to forgive David all his sins including perhaps homosexual fornication (except in the murder of Uriah, D&C 132: 39).

The author mentioned the more pious interpretation that they were just friends, but he didn't mention something that I have read somewhere else. Some ancient cultures, I think I was reading about the ancient Greek culture, regard brotherly love to be more valuable than romantic love. It's a very different way of looking at he world. Today, I think we expect our spouse to be our best friend, and I've read arguments that such high expectations are one reason so many marriages fail these days.

So do you think it's within the realm of possibility that the love that King David and Jonathan shared included the sexual? Do you think they were just friends? Do you think King David valued brotherly love more than romantic love?

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fear of shiz
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Certainly brotherly love was more valued among the Greeks--witness Achilles' rage and grief in the Iliad over Patrokles' death.

I think our modern sensibilities have a hard time with allowing or understanding strong male friendships. Hence this constant snickering by modern academics at such passages as the one you cite--"look! They were gay!" No, they had strong meaningful friendships with other men. These men actually had feelings beyond bravado and anger, which is about all men are allowed to feel nowadays.

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PaddingtonBear
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I'm confused on the chronology. Would the homosexual love have been before David was called to be king? I'll have to go back and look at what the Lord said about David at the times that he would have been involved in homosexual love (if he was).
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Janey
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I read a Biblical commentary that stated that most of the sex in the Bible got read into it in the first few centuries AD, when Greek culture started reading the Bible. If you just stick with the text, there's a lot less sex in the Bible than most of us expect.

For example, many readers think Adam and Eve's sin was sexual relations, not just eating fruit. Doesn't say anything about sex in the creation story, but readers put it in.

Another example is Sampson and Delilah. We've got Delilah painted as this slinky seductress, but the text of the Bible just says that Delilah asked Sampson what his weakness was; we added in the seduction.

The Bible isn't shy about saying when sex is actually involved. The story about Joseph and Potiphar's wife is pretty plain. Same thing when Tamar tricked her FIL into sleeping with her because she wanted to get pregnant. The sins of Sodom were named. If it happened, the authors recorded it, so why add it in to stories where sex isn't mentioned at all?

My rule of thumb when reading the Bible is to not read sex into a story, and I'd apply that to David and Jonathan's friendship too.

[ March 29, 2006, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: Janey ]

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ErinHowarth
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The prophet Samuel anointed David King of Israel before he met Jonathan. David didn't become King until after Jonathan died.
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Randy
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According some, Batman and Robin are gay. Bert and Ernie are gay. I suppose they have to find role models to make it OK.

I don't see any evidence that David and Jonathan were gay. Love does not require a sexual element in order for it to be love. If we don't understand that, we have a lot to learn about love.

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Randy
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quote:
I find it somewhat comforting that the Lord was able to forgive David all his sins including perhaps homosexual fornication (except in the murder of Uriah, D&C 132: 39).
The problem with this is that it doesn't say that the Lord forgave David all his sins, instead it says that, within the context of David having multiple wives, there was no other sin to forgive or not forgive in the first place, the exception being the case of Uriah and his wife.

Forgiving a sin, and having no sin to forgive, are very different concepts.

According to 1 Kings 15:5, David was darn near perfect all his life with the exception of the matter of Uriah. So if you're going to call him a scoundrel and a villain, it has to be 100% because of what he did to Uriah. Because it was such a grievous sin I don't have a problem with that, but I normally reserve those appelations for people who are habitually that way rather than basing it on one out-of-character event (unless, of course, their sin is against someone that I love).

[ March 29, 2006, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: Randy ]

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rayb
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Having hung out in a much more "combative" LDS newsgroup for many a year, this topic comes up once in a while.

Invariably it is used as an attempt to justify Homosexual sin, or to normalize it, or to say, "Well, see, it's okay."

There are similar attempts done with Christ and his apostles, with limited degrees of success.

David and Jonathan are the most often used.

Honestly I believe they were very close friends who understood each other and shared a deep abiding (nonsexual) friendship. They could probably communicate at a level that they could not experience due to their highly coveted social positions within jewish society with wives and concubines.

Also someone mistakenly stated previously in this thread that David's many wives and concubines were not an abomination to the Lord, but that's contrary to what the Lord revealed to Jacob, who stated that in the case of David and Solomon such practice WAS abominable.

Here's the quote... Jacob 2:23-30

quote:

23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the achastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

Verse 24 outright explains their behavior was unnacceptable before the Lord, and not just David, but Solomon's also.

It is ONLY when it is commanded of the Lord that such things are permissible unto Him.

It is clear that Solomon and David sought wives without the seal of God, and were cursed for doing so.

The Nephites who thought they could practice polygamy were doing essentially what I've seen done to the scriptures often, justify their carnal desires, via the word of God.

That has been my experience with those who seek to suppose that Jonathan and David were Homosexual lovers.

Best regards,

--Ray

PS> I have met fellows who think the whole story of Bathsheba was made up, and that David was a sinless prophet. Now imagine combining that notion with this thing, and presto! you've got a pamphelete for gay rights in the Bible.

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ErinHowarth
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quote:
David was a corrupt and ambitious mercenary who committed treason against Israel by working with its enemies to seize the throne from King Saul; an ambitious and ruthless politician who initiated, sanctioned, or condoned murder and assassination as a way to eliminate political rivals, royal or otherwise; a Philistine vassal who used an army of malcontents to terrorize and conquer the Kingdom of Judah while Saul was still on the throne; a usurper who went to war against Israel after Saul’s death and imposed himself as king over the nation of Israel by military force; a cruel and unjust tyrant who used foreign mercenaries to centralize power under his direct control and who oppressed the people of Israel with high taxes and forced labor; a military imperialist who waged wars of conquest against his neighbors and exposed the peaceful Israelites to military counter-attacks that left many dead, wounded, or widowed; and the beneficiary of tales and legends that made him the doer of other peoples’ heroic deeds, such as the false claim that the youthful David slew the Philistine giant Goliath when in fact the original story told of a soldier in David’s army doing the deed long after David had become king.web page
quote:
But the word of the LORD came to me [i.e., David], saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. (1 Chronicles 22.8.)

Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. (2 Samuel 21:19, RSV.)

Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds; That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that showeth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or showeth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day? (1 Samuel 22:6-7.)

And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever. (1 Samuel 27:12.)

The LORD hath returned upon thee [i.e., David] all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man. (2 Samuel 16:8.)

Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker. (2 Samuel 3:1.)

And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. (2 Samuel 5:6.)

Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites: And Adoram was over the tribute [i.e., forced labor]: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder: And Sheva was scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests: And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David. (2 Samuel 20:23-26.)

Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. (2 Samuel 12:9-10)

And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. (2 Samuel 15:3-6.)

We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 20:2-3.)

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. (1 Chronicles 21:1.)

And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me? So David would not remove the ark of the Lord unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. (2 Samuel 6:9-10.)


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PaddingtonBear
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quote:
Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. (2 Samuel 21:19, RSV.)
What does RSV stand for?
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Euphrasie
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Revised Standard Version
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PaddingtonBear
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oh. The King James version reads "19. And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Beth-lehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam."

Just for comparison's sake.

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Randy
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rayb wrote:

quote:
Also someone mistakenly stated previously in this thread that David's many wives and concubines were not an abomination to the Lord, but that's contrary to what the Lord revealed to Jacob, who stated that in the case of David and Solomon such practice WAS abominable.
D&C 132:38-39

quote:
David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

So, which do we believe, Jacob or the D&C? I believe both. If we believe both, then we have to believe that Jacob was referring to the exceptions cited in D&C when he said that David and Solomon were guilty of committing abominations. The D&C makes it clear that, in the case of David, there was exactly one exception, only one case of taking a multiple wife that he sinned in doing so. His other wives were given him by the Lord (and if you read the Old Testament it also corroborates this). With Solomon there were many more exceptions (notably those he married of a different faith), but perhaps, like David, there were also cases in which he acted righteously in taking multiple wives.

[ March 30, 2006, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: Randy ]

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Randy
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Erin

If you find Gary whatsisname's web site more credible than Scripture, then now we know the
core reason for our disagreement. Gary expressed doubt that David even existed.

David always treated Saul with the greatest of respect, far more than Saul deserved.

David did shed much blood in war. That in and of itself is not a bad thing. Saul was repremanded by the prophet for not shedding enough blood. God wanted His temple to be built by someone who had not shed so much blood in war. Well it's His temple, so he gets to pick the builders.

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rayb
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Randy: That's an interesting (seeming) contradiction, not indicated by Jacob, though I don't think it negates my point.

My point that God commands it. If there is no command it is sin. As is clearly the case with Solomon.

Had David taken Bathsheba in less than sinister circumstances, and still had not had the prophet's approval, he would've been in sin.

--Ray

[ March 30, 2006, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: rayb ]

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Randy
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That may have been your point, but what you said was

quote:
someone mistakenly stated previously in this thread that David's many wives and concubines were not an abomination to the Lord
And they weren't, with one exception, and I stated that right up front, so the "mistakenly stated" now becomes "correctly stated".

God authorized Nathan and other prophets to give the wives to David, and the Bible says the Lord would have given him more if he wanted them.

At least we agree that it's not valid, right, and proper if it's not authorized by the Lord, and that there's no evidence that David and Jonathan were gay.

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Randy
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quote:
Had David taken Bathsheba in less than sinister circumstances, and still had not had the prophet's approval, he would've been in sin.
True, but perhaps he might have been able to be forgiven that and still have been able to achieve his exaltation, which was denied to him.
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rayb
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Actually, perhaps David's desire for many women IS evidence that he was gay.

(okay, I'm sorry...)

And you're right, I should've stated, David and Solomons desire for multiple wives was sinful. (That's what Jacob seems to more precisely indicate.)

It does make me wonder if their desire for more wives became a status issue, in the tradition of attempting to "one up" father Abraham, or other legendary Jews. And perhaps God's granting of those wives was done in much the same fashion that Martin Harris was granted the lost pages... to his eventual downfall...

Anyhow it's an interesting thought,

--Ray

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TheNephite
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I disagree with that view of David and Jonathan. I can understand where you are coming from, the Greek connection, everything, but I don't think it applies here.
For the greek connection, the Hebrews came from a different culture with different traditions and laws (it is specified in the Pentateuch that man shall not lie with man).
David, before becoming king was a good guy (his downfall came later). He cringed when he cut Saul's robe:
quote:
11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’s anointed 1 Sma 26:11
Even in his later years, after giving way to the natural man, David was repentant (as much as he could be I guess). He tried to rectify in what way he could his misdeeds. This I think defines his character.
As for his relationship with Jonathan, I consider it to be akin to that of Nephi and Zoram. Lehi said to Zoram,
quote:
30 And now, Zoram, I speak unto you: Behold, thou art the servant of Laban; nevertheless, thou hast been brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever. 2 Nephi 1:30
Personally I didn't really understand this until I was on my mission. My last companion became my dearest friend, we just bonded in such a way that I never knew possible. He is the one man of whom I would say we are true friends forever. Now, there is no homosexual attraction there, but there is a deep brotherly love. Nephi and Zoram shared it, and I think that David and Jonathan shared it too.
This is my personal opinion, but that is how I view the David/Jonathan relationship.

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fear of shiz
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quote:
It does make me wonder if their desire for more wives became a status issue,
How many wives does the King of Babylon have? Dang, how am I gonna keep up with Marduk-apal-iddina*?

[Big Grin]


*real ruler of Babylon. [Wink]

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fear of shiz
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quote:
Personally I didn't really understand this until I was on my mission. My last companion became my dearest friend, we just bonded in such a way that I never knew possible. He is the one man of whom I would say we are true friends forever. Now, there is no homosexual attraction there, but there is a deep brotherly love.

I agree with what he said. Had the same experience with some companions.
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Casisana
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quote:
How many wives does the King of Babylon have? Dang, how am I gonna keep up with Marduk-apal-iddina*?

Umm, EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!?! [ROFL]
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JimClay
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Ray,
quote:
And you're right, I should've stated, David and Solomons desire for multiple wives was sinful.
Given D&C 132:61, I find it hard to accept that view.
quote:
And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.


[ March 31, 2006, 10:55 AM: Message edited by: JimClay ]

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rayb
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I believe, all those desires are within the confines of the covenant, and under authority of the priesthood authority.

Again, David and Solomon let their desire get ahead of what was right in God's sight.

--Ray

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lumina
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quote:
and the first give her consent,
But what about the cases where the first did NOT give consent and only found out after the fact? What about the ones who were told if they opposed they should leave? Are those situations adultery?
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fear of shiz
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Uh oh....

Danger Will Robinson! Warning, warning!

Polygamy discussion starting!

[Angst]

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ErinHowarth
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Many laws are specified in the Pentateuch, and David broke almost all of them. For example, he kept images in his house. His wife Michal used one to help hide his escape from King Saul.
quote:
And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth. (1 Sam. 19: 13)
Immediately before becoming King of Israel, David was a mercenary for the Philistines – NOT a good guy. The Philistine king supposed the people of Israel must have come to hate him for serving their enemy.
quote:
And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever. (1 Samuel 27:12.)

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Randy
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quote:
Many laws are specified in the Pentateuch, and David broke almost all of them.
Yep. Jesus used David's example as his defense when he also was accused of doing so. Luke 6:1-4

[ March 31, 2006, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: Randy ]

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JimClay
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Lumina,
quote:
But what about the cases where the first did NOT give consent and only found out after the fact? What about the ones who were told if they opposed they should leave? Are those situations adultery?
It's not my place to pass judgement on them. Suffice to say that at the very least they did not do as the Lord commanded them.

I found out a while ago that an ancestor of mine that went on a number of missions for the Church came back from a mission to England married (wife #2) to a woman he converted there. I was extremely disappointed, and felt very bad for his first wife. I can only imagine how she felt.

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JimClay
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Lumina,
Sorry, missed your middle question.
quote:
What about the ones who were told if they opposed they should leave?
I'm not sure if you are referring to Emma Smith or something else. If you are referring to Emma Smith, it came from the Lord, so I assume we all agree that he can more or less do what he deems wise.

If you are referring to something else, then I don't know what you are talking about. In order to have an opinion I would have to know something about it.

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GiantMutant
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How we can know anything about David other than the biblical record and other writings that far postdate David is a mystery to me. There is no concurrent archaeological evidence that he even existed. Whether he existed is a matter of faith. Stelae from later eras and other countries hint that he existed, but there is no evidence in Israel for it.

My point is that speculation about whether biblical verses about the love between David and Jonathan had a sexual component can be nothing more than speculation.

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Casisana
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quote:
But what about the cases where the first did NOT give consent and only found out after the fact? What about the ones who were told if they opposed they should leave? Are those situations adultery?
Lumina,

I think they're only talking Biblical here, not the last dispensation time frame.

Casi

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JimClay
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quote:
I think they're only talking Biblical here, not the last dispensation time frame.
I don't know about the others, but I was referring to both.
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lumina
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Erin, I've read much of the scholarly works about David, and actually I agree with just about everything you are saying. I doubt he actually practised any gay behavior but... well, no need to go into it. Just know, I probably agree with much of what you are studying. I may have even read the book you are reading now.

After studying all these things the stuff that used to bother me about David doesn't any longer because I see how he was needed to help Israel, but at the same time I see the effect of the needed PR type of biblical stories, etc. But I definitely don't agree with the surface type of stories that get told about David. My thoughts are more in line with the scholarly work you are reading.

When you study the events in the context of the historical and societal influences, AND you examine the original hebrew you see all the extra info that is hidden in the rhyming, and word plays, etc. That explains a lot!

[ March 31, 2006, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: lumina ]

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lumina
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JimClay, I know what you mean. The trend I noticed in early church history was that most polygamists seemed to get permission for their first few marriages, but after a bit for some reason they tended to stop getting permission and just coming home with the surprise. I noticed it happened with several of my ancestors and some of the other early leaders. The wives I am familiar with handled it very well even though they were hurt a bit.

quote:
I'm not sure if you are referring to Emma Smith or something else.
I wasn't really thinking of Emma here. Years back I used to just plow right through all the early Journal of Discourses, collected works of all Brigham Youngs talks, etc. What I read is that the women were often told to stop complaining or to leave.

And I wasn't trying to start controversy. I was just curious how people in this conversation would account for these things related to the discussion that has occurred so far.

quote:
I don't know about the others, but I was referring to both.
Yes. I was interpreting it as applying to both as well.
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Randy
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Scholarly works also reveal that Jesus was the result of a laison between his mother and a Roman soldier, that he didn't really die on the cross, Mary Magdelene was the head of the church, Paul didn't talk about the same Jesus that the gospels talk about, and the Book of Mormon is the product of Joseph Smith's imagination.

If you want to believe that stuff.

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lumina
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Randy, not the majority of reputable ones, at least not in the way you convey it in the above post. Besides, if you truly study those things you will also have studied and taken into account the motivations of the people who teach those things, not to mention that some of those things were rumours from Christ's time, and from the Koran. You have to include the source as part of the study too if you are a serious student of history.

When it comes to the OT you learn a lot by studying the actual Hebrew, the culture, and the related history. To overlook those things is to overlook a goldmine of info, and makes it incredibly difficult to properly understand some of the messages in biblical scripture.

People may not realize it but many of the General Authorities study those scholarly works as well, and even quote them. To dismiss scholarly works as unhelpful to scripture study is rather premature.

PS - I wouldn't use the terms "scoundral" or "villian" to describe David. I would say that the history is not as black and white as the superficial story.

[ April 01, 2006, 12:54 AM: Message edited by: lumina ]

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Randy
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Heck no, I would never say that there is no value to scholarly research. The problem comes in when they are considered to be more reliable than the Word of God. By all means, let's understand the cultural and language contexts. But if it's divorced from faith, the value of it is gone.

It has been proven that Isaiah did not write portions of the book of Isaiah. The proof consists of the fact that the questioned portions discuss events that occured after Isaiah's death. Now those portions are prophecies. So now it is plain that it is possible to prove that prophets don't have the ability to foresee the future if you start with the postulate that prophets don't have the ability to foresee the future.

!

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lumina
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Somehow we are approaching scholarly works from completely opposite directions.

quote:
It has been proven that Isaiah did not write portions of the book of Isaiah.
I'm familiar with the idea about Isaiah not being the sole author however, it has NOT been proven. Most of the scholarly reading I have done about Isaiah say just the opposite. Yes, there is a small group who say Isaiah didn't write parts, and the main reasoning is that yes, they say the predictions must have been written by someone else after the fact. However, a larger group of scholars take that theory into account and refute it. The same scholars who say the predictions are impossible also cite the change of writing style as another reason to validate the different writers theory. HOwever, again the majority refute it.

I'm glad I know all the theories (well, not ALL, but as many as I can get my brain to hold), and all the reasons the scholars refute those ojectional theories that go against our beliefs. Just because I read as much about the topic as possible doesnt mean it takes away from my faith. It actually adds to it.

I think we are agreeing about this stuff, but rather are running into a semantic issue.

You can't believe EVERYTHING written by every scholar. We've probably all known some pretty "far out" scholars, if ya know what I mean. [Wink]

I just find it helpful to study as many credible sources as possible and try to increase my understanding. I think you are saying the exact same thing.

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panamajones
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In David's defense, much of the judgment passed on him by scholarly research is a matter of perspective. I do not wish to argue that he was a perfect man, far from it. He was human and capable (and culpable) of sin, in more than just "the matter of Uriah the Hittite." At a young age he was anointed to become king over Israel, thus becoming a target of Saul's. He found shelter among the Philistines and used them for his own ends, to fulfill his destiny.

Did he ever err in judgment? Of course. We sadly still have a tendency to idolize our prophets, to consider them more than mortal men. No prophet, including the modern ones from Joseph Smith to President Hinckley, would want to be held to such a standard. Joseph was an outstanding, but flawed, man. He served the Lord in spite of his flaws. He repented and moved on.

David repented and moved on. If anything, this is the mark of character. Following his sin regarding Uriah and Bathsheba, he did not give up. How many people do we all know who say, "I'm just not celestial material," and so they don't even try. They refuse to repent and wallow in their sins. David did not. He repented sincerely, and the remainder of his life is a testimony of his faithfulness and repentance. David is another example of a "rough stone rolling," one from which we can all learn and take hope.

Now, as far as the nonsense about David and Jonathan, what a load of garbage. Keep in mind that most serious scholars do not buy for a minute that anything more than close friendship existed between these two. Those who read more into it are either aligned with the gay rights party or are applying Greek cultural mores to a wholly different culture--bad scholarship either way. Isn't it refreshing to think that men can also have close, meaningful friendships? How incredibly healthy in a culture that isolates men from one another.

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