2 Samuel 1:26: I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.

Was David serious about this even though Michal went against her own father to save him?

1 Samuel 19:11-13: Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.

  • Genuine friendship is deeper than physical attraction.
    – Lucian
    Oct 20 '20 at 3:08

The two passages are not meaningfully related:

  • the former speaks of David's heart delighting more in Jonathan's friendship towards him, than in the physical attraction towards the beauty of women.

  • the latter speaks of spousal devotion and faithfulness; but this is also distinct from lust.


There is a general pattern in David's writing and that of his contemporary biographers - David appears to have never been all that close to any of his wives - he loves them for a while but then it wanes and he has another wife.

There is a simple evidence for this - David had so many wives - David was married to Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacha, Haggith, Abital, Michal, Eglah and Bathsheba. Each of his first six wives bore David a son, while Bathsheba bore him four sons. Altogether, scripture records that David had 19 sons by various women, and one daughter, Tamar. Further, David had ten concubines (virgins) that were in waiting for him whom Absalom defiled during his insurrection in a tent on the roof of the palace. (2 Sam 16:20-23)

I would venture to say that if David was really in love with one wife there would have been no need for any more, but that is my opinion.

By contrast - David had a life-long very close friendship with Jonathon. The friendship was amicable, tender and affectionate but most of all, enduring. It appears to have begun at the time of the Goliath incident and continued until Jonathon's death.

The Pulpit commentary has this:

Verse 26. - Thy love to me was wonderful. Never was there a purer friendship than that of Jonathan for David. It began just after the combat with Goliath, when the young prince, instead of seeing in David a rival, who had equalled his own feat of valour, took him to his heart, put upon him his own robe and armour, and thus presented him to the army as his friend and brother. Nor did his father's hatred of David, nor the knowledge that David was to inherit the kingdom, interfere with his love. He remained a dutiful son to his father, and accepted his inferior position with magnanimity, without once seeing in David cause for blame; and it surpassed the love of women, because, to requite their devotion, they look for protection and homage, the more delightful because it is paid by the strong to the weak. But here the lives of the two friends could not combine in one happy fusion of mutual union. Their hearts were bound together, but a hard fate, of which they were fully aware, made the ruin of the one the certain result of the happiness of the other. Nevertheless, Jonathan, with everything to lose, and David with everything to gain, remained true and loyal friends.

  • @Lucian - quite right - fixed the spelling correction. Many thanks
    – Dottard
    Oct 20 '20 at 3:19

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