EUNUCH Biblical
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EUNUCH Biblical


Matt 19:11-12

11Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

NIV

  The oldest available version of Matthew is a translation probably from Aramaic or Hebrew into Greek, and the word used in the Greek translation is eunouchos, from which we get our word eunuch. The word eunouchos comes from eune (bed) and echein (to hold), and most scholars accept that it means "one who guards the bed." But Jesus would not have used the Greek word, since he spoke Aramaic. The Hebrew and Aramaic word for eunuch is saris, an Assyrian loan word that has been interpreted to mean "at the head."  an ancient Syriac translation of the Bible used the word mu'omin for eunouchos and saris. Mu'omin means "person of faith" or "person of trust." 

     Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. The article on the word eunouchos by Johannes Schneider stated that the Greek word appeared in two chapters in the New Testament, and the Hebrew word saris occurred 40 times in the Old Testament (which was underestimated). Moreover, Schneider asserted that many men were called saris in the Old Testament who were not actually eunuchs, by which he meant to say they were not castrated. Schneider also mentioned a discussion in the Talmud concerning differences between born versus man-made eunuchs.

The Bible References for Eunuch

All of these passages use the original  OT:5631 cariyc (saw-reece'); or caric (saw-reece'); a eunuch,  this list is in order of apearence

 

Gen 39:1

39:1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.

Genesis 37:36

36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.

Genesis 39:1

1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.

Genesis 40:2

2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.

Genesis 40:7

7 And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?

1 Samuel 8:15

15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

1 Kings 22:9

9 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah.

2 Kings 8:6

6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.

2 Kings 9:32

32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.

2 Kings 20:18

18 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

2 Kings 23:11

11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

2 Kings 24:12

12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

2 Kings 24:15

15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

2 Kings 25:19

19 And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city:

1 Chronicles 28:1

1 And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 18:8

8 And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla.

Esther 1:10

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

Esther 1:12

12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

Esther 1:15

15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?

Esther 2:3

3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:

Esther 2:14

14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.

Esther 2:15

15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.

Esther 2:21

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

Esther 4:4

4 So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.

Esther 4:5

5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.

Esther 6:2

2 And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

Esther 6:14

14 And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.

Esther 7:9

9 And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.

Isaiah 39:7

7 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon

Isaiah 56:3

3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.

Isaiah 56:4

4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

Jeremiah 29:2

2 (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)

Jeremiah 34:19

19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;

Jeremiah 38:7

7 Now when Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin;

Jeremiah 41:16

16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon:

Jeremiah 52:25

25 He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king's person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city.

Daniel 1:3

3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;

Daniel 1:7

7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.

Daniel 1:8

8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Daniel 1:9

9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

Daniel 1:10

10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

Daniel 1:11

11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

Daniel 1:18

18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

 

7249 Rab-Cariyc (rab-saw-reece');

 

2 Kings 18:17

17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rab-shakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field.

Jeremiah 39:3

3 And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon.

Jeremiah 39:13

13 So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rabsaris, and Nergal-sharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon's princes;

 

 

NT:2135

eunouchos (yoo-noo'-khos);

 

Matthew 19:12

12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Matthew 19:12

12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Acts 8:27

27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

Acts 8:34

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

Acts 8:36

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

Acts 8:38

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Acts 8:39

39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

   

Acts 8:27

And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

[A man of Ethiopia] Aneer (NT:435) Aithiops (NT:128) should be translated an Ethiopian, for the reasons given at Acts 7:2.

[An eunuch] See this word interpreted, at Matt 19:12. The term eunuch was given to persons in authority at court, to whom its literal meaning did not apply. Potiphar was probably an eunuch only as to his office; for he was a married man. See Gen 37:36; 39:1. And it is likely that this Ethiopian was of the same sort or they were gender variant 

[Of great authority] Dunastees (NT:1413), A perfect lord chamberlain of the royal household; or, rather, her treasurer, for it is here said, he had charge of all her treasure, een (NT:2258) epi (NT:1909) pasees (NT:3956) tees (NT:3588) gazees (NT:1047) autees (NT:846). The apparent Greek word Gaza (NT:1047), is generally allowed to be Persian, from the authority of Servius, who, in his comment on AEn. lib. 1 verse 118:

Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto,

Arma virum, tabulaeque, et Troia GAZA per undas.

"And here and there above the waves are seen

Arms, pictures, precious goods, and floating men."

              DRYDEN.

The words of Servius are: "Gaza Persianus sermo est, et significat divitias; unde Gaza urbs in Palaestina dicitur, quod in ea Cambyses rex Persarum cum AEgyptiis bellum inferret divitias suas condidit." GAZA is a Persian word, and signifies RICHES: hence, Gaza, a city in Palestine, was so called because Cambyses, king of Persia, laid up his treasures in it, when he waged war with the Egyptians. The nearest Persian word of this signification which I find is gunj, or ganz, and gunja, which signify a magazine, store, hoard, or hidden treasure. The Arabic kluzaneh, comes as near as the Persian, with the same meaning. Hence, makhzen, called magazen by the Spaniards, and magazine by the English; a word which signifies a collection of stores or treasures, or the place where they are laid up. It is scarcely necessary to remark that this name is given also to certain monthly publications, which are, or profess to be, a store of treasures, or repository of precious, or valuable things.

But who was Candace? It is granted that she is not found in the common lists of Ethiopia sovereigns with which we have been favoured. But neither the Abyssinians nor the Jews admitted women in their genealogies. I shall not enter into this controversy, but shall content myself with quoting the words of Mr. Bruce. "It is known," says he, "from credible writers engaged in no controversy, that this Candace reigned upon the Nile in Atbara, near Egypt. Her capital also, was taken in the time of Augustus, a few years before the conversion of the slave by Philip: and we shall have occasion often to mention her successors and her kingdom, as existing in the reign of the Abyssinian kings, long after the Mohammedan conquest: they existed when I passed through Atbara, and do undoubtedly exist there to this day."-Bruce's Travels, vol. 2 page 431.

It does not appear, as some have imagined, that the Abyssinians were converted to the Christian faith by this eunuch, nor by any of the apostles; as there is strong historic evidence that they continued Jews and Pagans for more than three hundred years after the Christian era. Their conversion is with great probability attributed to Frumentius, sent to Abyssinia for that purpose by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, about A.D. 330. See Bruce as above.

The Ethiopians mentioned here are those who inhabited the isle or peninsula of Meroe, above and southward of Egypt. It is the district which Mr. Bruce calls Atbara, and which he proves formerly bore the name of Meroe. This place, according to Diodorus Siculus, had its name from Meroe, daughter of Cambyses, king of Persia, who died there in the expedition which her father undertook against the Ethiopians. Strabo mentions a queen in this very district named Candace: his words are remarkable. Speaking of an insurrection of the Ethiopians against the Romans he says: Toutoon d' eesan kai hoi tees basilissees strateegoi tees Kandakees, hee kath' heemas eerxe toon Aithiopoon, andrikee tis gunee, pepeeroomenee ton ophthalmon, "Among these were the officers of Queen CANDACE, who in our days reigned over the Ethiopians. She was a masculine woman, and blind of one eye." Though this could not have been the Candace mentioned in the text, it being a little before the Christian era, yet it establishes the fact that a queen of this name did reign in this place; and we learn from others that it was a common name to the queens of Ethiopia. Pliny, giving an account of the report made by Nero's messengers, who were sent to examine this country, says, AEdificia oppidi (Meroes) pauca: regnare faeminam CANDACEN; quod nomen multis jam annis ad reginas transiit. Hist. Nat. lib. 6 cap. 29, ad fin. They reported that "the edifices of the city were few: that a woman reigned there of the name of Candace; which name had passed to their queens, successively, for many years." To one of those queens the eunuch in the text belonged; and the above in sufficient authority to prove that queens of this name reigned over this part of Ethiopia.

[Had come to Jerusalem for to worship] Which is a proof that he was a worshipper of the God of Israel; but how came he acquainted with the Jewish religion? Let us, for a little, examine this question. In 1 Kings 10:1, etc., we have the account of the visit paid to Solomon by the queen of Sheba, the person to whom our Lord refers, Matt 12:42, and Luke 11:31. It has been long credited by the Abyssinians that this queen, who by some is called Balkis, by others Maqueda, was not only instructed by Solomon in the Jewish religion, but also established it in her own empire on her return; that she had a son by Solomon named Menilek, who succeeded her in the kingdom; and, from that time until the present, they have preserved the Jewish religion. Mr. Bruce throws some light upon this subject: the substance of what he says is the following: "There can be no doubt of the expedition of the queen of Sheba; as Pagan, Moor, Arab, Abyssinian, and all the countries round, vouch for it, nearly in the terms of Scripture. Our Saviour calls her queen of the south; and she is called, in 1 Kings 10:1, etc., 2 Chron 9:1, etc., queen of Sheba or Saba; for Saba, Azab, and Azaba, all signify the south: and she is said to have come from the uttermost parts of the earth. In our Savior's time the boundaries of the known land, southward, were Raptam or Prassum; which were the uttermost parts of the known earth, and were with great propriety so styled by our Lord. The gold, myrrh, cassia, and frankincense, which she brought with her, are all products of that country. The annals of the Abyssinians state that she was a pagan when she left Saba or Azab, to visit Solomon; and that she was there converted and had a son by Solomon, who succeeded her in the kingdom, as stated above.

All the inhabitants of this country, whether Jews or Christians, believe this; and, further, that Ps 45 was a prophecy of her journey to Jerusalem; that she was accompanied by a daughter of Hiram from Tyre; and that the latter part of the Psalm is a prophecy of her having a son by Solomon, and of his ruling, over the Gentiles. Travels, vol. 2 page 395, etc. All this being granted, and especially the Scripture fact of the queen of Sheba's visit, and the great probability, supported by uninterupted tradition, that she established the Jewish religion in her dominions on her return, we may at once see that the eunuch in question was a descendant of those Jews; or that he was a proselyte in his own country to the Jewish faith, and was now come up at the great feast to worship God at Jerusalem. Mr. Bruce may be right; but some think that Saba, in Arabia Felix, is meant: see the note at Matt 12:42.

   

(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 

 

Last modified: 12/24/13