- Persons of the male sex who had been castrated; kings and court officials regarded them as ideally suitable to serve as guards of the royal harems. Whether the defect was by accident or malevolence, eunuchs were excluded from the Israelite assembly (Deut. 23:1); but they are not treated contemptuously in the OT (Isa. 56:4–5); indeed the eunuch Ebedmelech the Ethiopian rescued Jeremiah from his water dungeon (Jer. 38:10). And in the NT another Ethiopian eunuch was baptized by Philip (Acts 8:38).Jesus said that some might become eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:12), i.e. might be called to celibacy. But Origen (185–254 CE), one of the greatest thinkers of the early Church, took the words literally and mutilated himself—or so it was alleged by the historian Eusebius: but, later in life, Origen, who regarded allegory as one form of scripture interpretation, rejected a literal meaning of Matt. 19:12.
Dictionary of the Bible.
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Eunuchs — Castrated males. In Byzantium (q.v.), from the reign of Constantius II (q.v.), they traditionally held high positions in the state civil and military administration and within the church. In theory, they were without family and totally… … Historical dictionary of Byzantium
eunuchs — euÂ·nuch || juËnÉ™k n. castrated man or boy; castrated man who works as a harem attendant; (Informal) inefficient or unmasculine man … English contemporary dictionary
EUNUCHS — … Useful english dictionary
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