eunuchs


eunuchs
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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • EUNUCHS —    Eunuchs played a significant role in most ancient Near Eastern administrations, although the scholarly debate over the meaning of terms denoting “eunuch” (Sumerian LU.SAG; Akkadian sa resi) continues.    In the textual material from… …   Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia

  • 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 — eu·nuch || juːnÉ™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

  • Eunuch — European illustration of one of the white eunuchs of the Ottoman Sultan s court (1749) A eunuch (  / …   Wikipedia

  • china — /chuy neuh/, n. 1. a translucent ceramic material, biscuit fired at a high temperature, its glaze fired at a low temperature. 2. any porcelain ware. 3. plates, cups, saucers, etc., collectively. 4. figurines made of porcelain or ceramic material …   Universalium

  • China — /chuy neuh/, n. 1. People s Republic of, a country in E Asia. 1,221,591,778; 3,691,502 sq. mi. (9,560,990 sq. km). Cap.: Beijing. 2. Republic of. Also called Nationalist China. a republic consisting mainly of the island of Taiwan off the SE coast …   Universalium

  • Cui Yin — (崔胤) (854[1] February 1, 904[2][3]), courtesy name Chuixiu (垂休),[1][4] nickname Zilang (緇郎), formally the Duke of Wei (魏公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign …   Wikipedia

  • Ming Dynasty — Great Ming 大明 ← 1368–1644 …   Wikipedia

  • Disasters of Partisan Prohibitions — The Disasters of Partisan Prohibitions (黨錮之禍) refers to two incidents in which a number of Confucian scholars who served as officials in the Han imperial government and opposed to powerful eunuchs, and the university students in the capital… …   Wikipedia


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