Jonathan and David in a loving embrace. Image from St-Takla.org
Now, I'm sure there's plenty of apologetics out there trying to explain this away, so here's the facts, not the spin. 18:1 says that their souls were knit together.18:3 says David loved Jonathan as his own soul. 18:4 says Jonathan took off all his clothes and armor and gave it to David.
It's ambiguous and the point can be argued either way, but it is at least suspicious to the average reader, which I purport myself to be. I'm just reading the Bible again just to make sure I didn't miss anything. This second time around is obviously a lot more engaged then previous times.
Also in this chapter, Saul, who I guess has not been told yet that he's not the king that Yahweh (God) wants, is becoming jealous of David. Apparently, they start a contest on who can kill the most people in the name of God. This is like the wet dream of the most religious people alive today!
King Saul engages in a little bit of deception. Saul saw that David was enamored with his daughter, and figured that giving her to David would calm him down. Saul said David can have his daughter (named Michal), and he didn't need a dowry. However, he did want 100 Philistine foreskins.
Think about that.
A lot of people give their wife a wedding ring, in some cultures the groom is expected to give the family money or gifts (a dowry), but in this case David is asked to bring 100 FORESKINS!
Well, David wanted Michal so bad that he went and killed 200 Philistines, and brought back 200 foreskins. Piles of foreskins seems to be a fairly common thing in the Old Testament! Paying 200 foreskins for a bride is a rather odd price, and it's also very weird. That's why I find it interesting that this story isn't as well-known as it ought to be.
It almost seems like our own modern morality causes Bible readers to ignore these passages. Not me. I find these passages immensely interesting, and at the same time it just cements my personal belief that Bible is not a guide to morality, but "empty bleatings of a barbaric tribe", as Christopher Hitchens might put it.