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What Is An Eunuch In The Bible

What Is A Eunuch In The Bible Definition And Examples

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8

Eunuchs in the Bible are typically defined as castrated men placed in charge over a kings harem of wives and concubines. But this lifestyle isnt the only representation of a eunuch. In the Bible, the Hebrew word saris , refers to a man in some sort of service to a ruler, but castration isnt always a part of the story.

Eunuchs in the Bible are typically defined as castrated men placed in charge over a kings harem of wives and concubines. But this lifestyle isnt the only representation of a eunuch. In the Bible, the Hebrew word saris , refers to a man in some sort of service to a ruler, but castration isnt always a part of the story.

Eunuchs In The Bible Made By Men

The Bible gives us warnings in Leviticus 21:1721 22:2224 that men who have had crushed testicles could not serve as a priest in Israel. The warning does not appear to apply to the inability to procreate but to a man whose testicles had been intentionally crushed. Also, Deuteronomy 23:1 prohibits a castrated man from entering the Lords house. But most likely this was due to the pagan practice of castration for religious purposes in the Canaanite religion.

Examples Of Eunuch In A Sentence

eunuchCNNeunuch National Revieweunuch San Francisco Chronicleeunuch Longreadseunuch eunuchs Washington Posteunuch Smithsonianeunuchs San Francisco Chronicle

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘eunuch.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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Eunuchs: Male Female Or Other

This blog is part 2 of my interaction with Megan DeFranzas excellent book Sex Difference in Christian Theology. As previously stated, Megan has offered a compelling argument that challenges the binary model of human sexuality. Some people are neither male nor female, Megan argues. And she views the naturally born eunuch as the biblical basis for exploring the category of a third gender.

Jesus first type of eunuchwho has been so from birthprovides a biblical door through which theologians may pass to explore the contributions provided by intersex to current concepts of human personhood, identity, image of God, sex, gender, and sexuality .

Sorry, did I lose some of you? I know, the thought of an intersex Christ might be too much to digest. To be clear, Megan doesnt come out and say that Jesus was intersex. She simply explores the possibility. In any case, this particular point isnt crucial to her argument. Her main point is that the eunuch was believed to be neither male nor female. And this challenges the binary model of two sexes.

So let me dive in with my first question. Okay, lets just call it a cautious disagreement. And again, Im very much open to the possibility that Ive misunderstood Megans point, or that Ive failed to recall some evidence she provides to support her point. But Im just not convinced that the Biblical writers viewed the eunuchs as neither male nor female a sort of sexual other.

Help me out here, Megan. What am I missing?

Eunuch Meaning: Four Possibilities

Philip &  the Ethiopian Eunuch

As a eunuch was someone in charge of the bed chamber in a palace or large home, jealous Eastern rulers often required the eunuch to be one deprived of their virility, as Smiths Bible Dictionary expresses.

Smiths goes on to explain that because this practice was the norm, the word eunuch became saddled with the connotation of castration. But as some of these rose to be confidential advisers of their royal master or mistresses, the word was occasionally employed to denote persons in such a position, without indicating anything of their proper manhood.

1. Eunuch Meaning: Only a Title

The word eunuch can refer only to the title of a court officer or important official to a ruler. For example, Potiphar was an officer to Pharaoh . But no physical condition of castration or impotence is mentioned, nor is it likely because Potiphar had a wife .

In 2 Kings 18:17, more literal translations like the ESV, KJV, NASB, and CSB use the term the Rab-saris instead of chief officer, used in the NIV, or field commander, which is used in the NLT.

Rab-sarismeans chief eunuch, specifically to an Assyrian or Babylonian king. This term is used as an official title also in Jeremiah 39:3 and Jeremiah 39:13.

2. Eunuch Meaning: Castrated

Some biblical accounts imply a eunuchs castration such as in Isaiah 39:7 and 2 Kings 20:18. The prophesies in these two verses likely refer to castration.

3. Eunuch Meaning: Unable to Procreate or Choosing a Life of Celibacy

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‘eunuch’ In The Bible

And the king asketh at the woman, and she recounteth to him, and the king appointeth to her a certain eunuch, saying, ‘Give back all that she hath, and all the increase of the field from the day of her leaving the land even till now.’

The king of Assyria sent his commanding general, the chief eunuch, and the chief adviser from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, along with a large army. They went up and arrived at Jerusalem. They went and stood at the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth.

And he causeth to cease the horses that the kings of Judah have given to the sun from the entering in of the house of Jehovah, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech the eunuch, that is in the suburbs, and the chariots of the sun he hath burnt with fire.

and out of the city he hath taken a certain eunuch who is appointed over the men of war, and five men of those seeing the king’s face who have been found in the city, and the head scribe of the host, who mustereth the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who are found in the city,

Let the king appoint commissioners in each province of his kingdom, so that they may assemble all the beautiful young women to the harem at the fortress of Susa. Put them under the care of Hegai, the kings eunuch, who is in charge of the women, and give them the required beauty treatments.

What Can We Learn From The Eunuch

1.How wholehearted are you for God?

Sometimes we can treat God like hes our favorite celebrity.

We love them, support them, know things about them, and would even stand up for them when someone else has something bad to say, but most of us wouldnt really sacrifice our time, money, or energy because we love them.

Im a super huge Tom Hanks fan and have seen practically every movie of his, can quote the entire Forrest Gump movie, and nearly cried when we and Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus. But I dont ever plan on running across country to stand outside a Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant that Tom Hanks is eating at. I at least better have a confirmation to personally meet him!

It seems trivial, but really ask yourselfhow wholehearted are you for God? Are you willing to prioritize him first in your life? Are you willing to sacrifice your time for him and love him wholeheartedly?

2.Do you have a humble heart?

Unfortunately, humility is a lost virtue in the world today

We gas ourselves up according to our experience or intellect. We put on a facade because we live in a social media, everyone-is-perfect-and-a-guru-at-something, era. We consider virtues like humility as weakness, or wrongly assume that if were humble, it automatically means that someone is taking advantage of us.

Scripture after scripture is paved with examples of those who are truly humble, compared with those that are not. God opposes a prideful, arrogant, haughty heart .

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Read More Articles About Eunuchs In The Bible In The Bas Library:

Birger A. Pearson, Did Jesus Marry?Bible Review, Spring 2005.

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How Did Christianity Spread In Ethiopia

Bible Word Study: Eunuch

The adoption of Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the fourth-century reign of the Aksumite emperor Ezana. … Frumentius sought out Christian Roman merchants, was converted, and later became the first bishop of Aksum. At the very least, this story suggests that Christianity was brought to Aksum via merchants.

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Imago Dei Not Sexual Behavior Determines Identity

While his argument from Matthew 19:12 is specious, Olmstead, like all who identify as LGBTQ, is a person bearing the image of his Creator, a person for whom Christ died, and is, therefore, the object of Gods redemptive love. While he yet lives, there is opportunity for him to turn from his sin and trust in Christ who alone can heal his heart and grant him eternal life. We should reject our cultures narrative that a persons identity is determined by their sexual orientation or practice. Terms such as gay, , and transgender should be used to describe behaviors not identities. Reducing peoples identity to their sexual practices or preferences implicitly strips them of their status as bearers of Gods image, objects of Gods love, and persons for whom Christ died so they might become members of his kingdom. Followers of Jesus must model both Jesus compassion for the brokenness of lost humanity and his uncompromising truth-telling. Workers of iniquity, regardless of the nature of the , will be rejected by Christ as those whom he has never known . Those who do the will of the Father will be welcomed by Christ as those whom his grace has redeemed and transformed .

What ‘game Of Thrones’ Gets Right And Wrong About Eunuchs And Masculinity

A lot of misconceptions about eunuchs have proliferated since the premiere Game of Thrones in 2011. A look back at the history of eunuchs allows us to explore what they really were, how they were castrated and the ways in which we define masculinity in pop culture.

Illustration from the Byzantine Menologion of Basil II of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.

Public Domain via Wikimedia

As I have, I have a particular interest in Game of Thrones’ Varys, a eunuch and former Master of Whisperers on the King’s Small Council who now advises Daenerys Targaryen. We don’t get a great deal of background on Varys, but he does reveal to Tyrion some of the experiences of his youth, “As a boy, I traveled with a troupe of actors through the Free Cities.” He was sold as a slave to a sorcerer in Myr who then castrated him and burned his body as part of a magic ritual. On the show, Varys is often mocked by his peers and used as the anti-symbol of masculinity. However, many eunuchs in antiquity and the medieval periods occupied respected positions within their communities.

Bronze ritual Roman era castration clamps found in the river Thames and now at the Museum of London.

Sarah E. Bond

Postcard with the chief black eunuch of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, early 20th century .

Public Domain via Wikimedia

Skeleton B21 from Ptolemaic era Quesna, Egypt. With its immature bones and tall stature, this… individual might have been intersex.

Sonia Zakrzewski

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The Context And Meaning Of Matthew 1: 12

How should we understand the implication of Jesus statement in Matthew 19:12: He who is able to accept this, let him accept it? As always, any text of Scripture must be interpreted in context. In the preceding nine verses , Jesus responds to the Pharisees question about marriage and divorce. He says, Whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery. The disciples are shocked. They respond that in that case, its better not to get married at all ! Jesus moderates their conclusion with Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it is given . The saying which not all men can receive is the disciples statement, It is better not to marry. In other words, Jesus affirms that only some will be able not to marry.

Jesus statement naturally raises the question, To whom has it been given not to marry? He answers this implicit question in the following verse: For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it .

Jesus is not affirming that eunuchs constitute a third gender option or an exception to maleness and femaleness.

Other Eunuchs In The Bible

Épinglé sur Portraits Historiques

Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas are named as the seven eunuchs who served King Xerxes. They were the ones the king told to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the kings command, Queen Vashti refused to come .

Harbona is mentioned again in Esther 7:9 as the eunuch who informed King Xerxes about the gallows that Haman prepared for Mordecai .

Hegai is mentioned a couple times in the book of Esther as the kings eunuch, who in charge of the women . After the Babylonian king Xerxes removed Queen Vashti from her royal position, the king called for select young women to be brought into his harem, under the care of Hegai. Whichever of the young women who pleased the king got to be queen. Esther was one of the women taken into the kings harem, and Hegai is a key player in her story. In Esther 2:15, Hegai is reported to have given her advice, which helped Esther succeed in becoming the queen.

Shaashgaz was another eunuch of King Xerxes who was in charge of the concubines .

Hathak was one of Queen Esthers eunuchs who informed her about Hamans plan to annihilate the Jews in area .

This conversion story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39 shows that eunuchs are welcome in Gods kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ.

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Who Was The First Evangelist In The Bible

Thus Saint Matthew is the first evangelist Saint Mark, the second Saint Luke, the third and Saint John, the fourth. Saint Matthew was a tax collector, but beyond that fact, relatively little is known about him. He is mentioned only five times in the New Testament, and only twice in his own gospel.

The Nashville Statement: Its Scriptural Basis And Significance

Is there any validity to the charge that the Nashville Statement is an appropriation of the Bible to justify modern tribal prejudices? In short, no, there is not. There is nothing modern about the Nashville Statements affirmation of traditional Christian values on sexuality and gender roles. In fact, it is refreshingly reflective of the ancient Judeo- Scriptures. The Nashville Statement accurately reflects Scriptures positive view of human sexuality and marriage and its negative view of all sexual behavior outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriage . It affirms that intersex persons are made in Gods image and may live fruitful lives in obedience to Christ. It also addresses how Christians should express Christs love to those who suffer from same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. Inasmuch as the statement articulates Gods perspective, it can hardly be called a modern tribal prejudice. The statement itself is well-crafted, doctrinally sound, irenic, and worthy of support.

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Eunuchs In The Bible Created By God

The most significant passage in the Bible about eunuchs occurs in Matthew 19. Verses 10-12 capture an important statement made by Christ.

The disciples said to Him, If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry. But He said to them, Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mothers womb and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it. Matthew 19:10-12

Here Jesus states there are three types of eunuchs. The first type of eunuch is a man who is a eunuch at birth. That is, he does not have any testicles at birth. Medical authorities refer to this as cryptorchidism. Technically, cryptorchidism can refer to a man who is missing one or both testicles.

Since some men are born without testicles, these men were made eunuchs by God. For in Exodus 4:11-12 God declares that He makes the mute, deaf and the blind.

The LORD said to him, Who has made mans mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say. Exodus 4:11-12

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