What is a EUNUCH?

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Question: What is a Eunuch? Was Daniel the prophet one of them?

Answer: Being a eunuch is a purely physical situation for a male. If castration occurs before the age of puberty in a boy or he injuries his gonads, he will most likely not be able to have children nor be able to sexually perform. A man in this condition can be trusted to guard the king's women or the females in some official's personal harem. Boys in this condition were many times sold by parents or made into slaves. They did this to give their son a life better than they could possibly provide or to have him provide financial support for the family. The selling of girls occurred as well.

The prophet Daniel, who was taken prisoner when the kingdom of Judah was overcome by Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar, was highly likely a Eunuch. Josephus, a historian in the first century A.D., asserted that Daniel, AND three others who were also of royal blood and his friends, were these type of people.

"But now Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, took some of the most noble of the Jews that were children . . . He also made some of them to be EUNUCHS . . . Now among these there were four of the family of Zedekiah (Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego)."

The Bible, in several places, discusses people who became Eunuchs. One that is noteworthy in the New Testament was sent by the Queen of the Ethiopians, Candace, to Jerusalem to worship the true Creator God. As he was drawing closer to Jerusalem Philip, a leader in the first century church of God, was sent by God to explain and preach the gospel to him. The eunuch was eventually baptized in the desert (Acts 8:27, 30-31).

Queen Esther (wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus) had one assigned to serve her personal needs. This shows that in this time period it was common for the women of the household to be attended by castrated males or Eunuchs (see Esther 4:5).

 
 
 
 
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Only certain types of people, again based on the Bible, even if they were descendants of Aaron the High Priest, they could not make certain kinds of offerings to the Lord at his temple.

No man of your descendants (Aaron's descendants) in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread . . . OR IS A EUNUCH ' " (Leviticus 21)

Jesus taught in Matthew 19 that some may choose to be eunuchs (meaning someone who chooses not to marry) for the sake of serving God:

"They (the Pharisees) said to Him (Jesus), 'Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?' He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. . . ."

"His disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry."

"But He said to them, "All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: . . . and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it." " (Matthew 19:7-8, 10-12)

The idea that a person who was a eunuch could be baptized, draw close to God and eventually be begotten into God's family shows the impartiality of our Father in all things.

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