Eunuchs have become another attempted Biblical argument in favor of rewriting the Bible’s sexual ethic. Eunuchs were once not allowed in the temple because their bodies were not August 17, 2008 - “...And All God's People Said Amen” - Rev. asks the eunuch (Acts 8:29). This opening passage is one of the most inclusive promises in Isaiah and in the entire Bible. Foreigners and eunuchs are welcomed in the same way as anyone else--that is, those who keep the sabbath and hold fast the covenant. One would have to answer, certainly not Isaiah 56! 23:1 “A man with crushed [Heb. 2 Happy is the man who does this, and the son of man whose behaviour is … Eunuchs were excluded from temple worship by Torah itself (Deuteronomy 23:1-3; Leviticus 21:18-20), not for moral or ethnic reasons but because they were understood to be "blemished," excluded by the purity laws in the same way that blemished lambs were not acceptable as sacrifices. He finds that on arrival in Jerusalem, he has several strikes against him. I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off. Sandi Rice ●Eunuchs were once not allowed in the temple because their bodies were not “complete.” ●Are gays modern-day eunuchs? There were castrated men who served the Achaemenid Court (550-330 BCE), but not all persons referred to as eunuchs in Greek or by the Hebrew word סָרִיס (saris) were necessarily castrated. It is one of the most thrilling narratives in the entire book of Acts, but is of course, inextricably tied to every preceding conversion story. (1) It is used when the reference is to the whole complex. And the grace came in Hegai, the King's Eunuch, even though:-Eunuchs were banned from the temple assembly (Deut 23:1) So, the prediction that Ethiopians would come to the Lord and worship Him is a stunning prophecy. Whether a man was accidentally emasculated or deliberately castrated to be a eunuch, he was not regarded as a full citizen in Israel. Under the Old Covenant, such physical incapacity barred men from being part of the assembly.The assembly, or congregation, is the kahal, This is the Hebrew word that is carried into the New Testament by the Greek word ekklesia, “assembly, … All men, of any nation, are welcome in the Temple of God! The man is an example in his own person of both the foreigners and the eunuchs who are welcomed here in this Isaiah text. Eunuch, castrated human male.From remote antiquity, eunuchs were employed in the Middle East and in China in two main functions: as guards and servants in harems or other women’s quarters, and as chamberlains to kings. Be sure to order the DVDs and MP3s when they are available. Now, Ethiopians were Cushites, and, they were of the negroid races. They were also in charge of the priestesses of the Goddess as chamberlains; i. e. those who have charge of the bedchamber. Ever so briefly, here are a few of the highlights from the story of the Eunuch. In other words, they were not Israelites, period. 3. In order for us to know what the “temple” means and where the exact location of the blind and lame was when they were healed, we need to enlarge our study of the uses of hieron in the NT. The Ethiopian was a Eunuch, and as such, was permanently banned from entering the Court of Israel, no matter if he was of the twelve tribes (Deuteronomy 23). Because of Christ death. This is a ritual exclusion that did not regard the "blemished" as morally or socially inferior, but there were real social and religious consequences. It is true that as a eunuch, the Ethiopian official would not have been able to go any further into the Temple than the Court of the Gentiles. Castrated eunuchs were obviously unable to procreate, but the eunuchs mentioned in Isaiah 56:3-5 and Matthew 19:12 were not necessarily castrated, although they are recorded as living in chastity or unable to procreate for one reason or another.. All men, of any nation, can have fellowship in the Temple of God! Eunuchs were considered the most suitable guards for the many wives or concubines a ruler might have in his palace, and the eunuchs’ confidential position in … The place of foreigners among the people of Israel had been ambiguous--according to the Torah, aliens were to be welcomed and protected (Leviticus 19:34), but other laws required separation between Israelites and outsiders (Ezra 9:1-4). Deut 23:1 - No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD. being fruitful and multiplying. What follows here is but a taste of one of my presentations at the recent Preterist Pilgrim Weekend, held July 18-20, in Ardmore, Ok. DVDs and MP3s of the seminar will be available shortly. If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. This is why eunuchs could not serve as priest. And so it became a competition not only to become the queen, but a type of saviour for her people. According to Leviticus, they could not serve as priests; for Deuteronomy, they could not be admitted to the assembly of God's people at all. It was a competition amongst 400 beautiful virgins, each with only a one night stand with the King. This Ethiopian eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship God. The man was almost certainly a “proselyte of the gate” meaning that as a foreigner, (allogenes, i.e. First, he cannot actually enter the Temple. According to God, Eunuchs and gentiles could join His people under the same conditions the rest of the people were subject to: Isaiah 56:1 The Lord says, Let your way of life be upright, and let your behaviour be rightly ordered: for my salvation is near, and my righteousness will quickly be seen. (Isaiah 56:3-5) No wonder you go home rejoicing. Even under the theocracy, eunuchs were not excluded from religious privileges; they could keep God's Sabbaths, and take hold of his covenant, and choose the things pleasing to him, and so be part of the spiritual Israel, though shut out from the fellowship of that which was outward and national (cf. Replacement Theology| The Myth of Dispensationalism #3, Was There a Physical Rapture in AD 70 – A Formal Written Debate, Replacement Theology| A Dispensational Myth #4. On the one hand, there were Pharisaic Jews who did treat … He was probably a God­fearer. So that's the starting point, the Levitical code excluded eunuchs from the Assembly of God as sexual Others. Now, Ethiopians were Cushites, and, they were of the negroid races. One argument being, there is a alight chance that women below 10 and more than 50 may also have a chance of menstruation bleeding. Fleshly distinctions were removed. Moses writes in Deuteronomy 23:1, 1 No one who is emasculated, or has his male organ cut off, shall enter the assembly of the Lord [kahal].. There is soooo much more to the story of the Eunuch. You will be thrilled, challenged and comforted! In this text, foreigners who "join themselves to the LORD" (that is, proselytes) will be accepted as full members of God's people. Answer: The eunuchs of the Bible were usually castrated males or those incapable of reproduction due to a birth defect. Create a free account or login now to enjoy the full benefits of Enter the Bible: This text opens what has sometimes been called Third Isaiah--chapters 56-66, which seem to reflect the difficult situation back in Jerusalem after the exiles have returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. other seed.” This meant he was not of the seed of Israel.) Well, I think it has something to do with a conflict with the Old Testament, where the priests couldn't have a physical flaw and where eunuchs were not allowed into the temple! Eunuch Meaning: Unable to Procreate or Choosing a Life of Celibacy . Isaiah 56:4). Eunuchs were often employed as priests and royal court officers, who many of them had great power and influence. Many rabbis have held that Daniel and his three friends became eunuchs in Babylon. "What is to prevent me from being baptized?" All men, of any nation, or any “condition” can produce fruit unto God. This text finds one fulfillment in Acts 8:26-40, where Philip is sent to proclaim the good news to an Ethiopian eunuch who is reading Isaiah in his chariot. According to Deuteronomy 23:1, no castrated man might enter the assembly of the Lord. So, ever so briefly, the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch proves several things (developed more fully in my lesson at PPW-2013): The nature of the Messianic Temple– Very clearly, if the conversion of the Eunuch was the fulfillment of Isaiah, then the Messianic Temple was never to be a literal, physical temple! Forbidden relationships in Judaism (איסורי ביאה Isurey bi'ah) are those intimate relationships which are forbidden by prohibitions in the Torah and also by rabbinical injunctions.. Brought to you by Luther Seminary   ©2021 Luther Seminary. The chapters contain promises similar to those of Second Isaiah and words of judgment similar to those of the preexilic prophets. Eunuchs were more expensive than ordinary slaves, but there was no difficulty in obtaining them. Those who claim that the Temple of God was exclusively the “abode” of Israel are simply wrong, dead wrong. More on the Garden of Eden as Temple– and Eschatology- Don K. Preston, Replacement Theology| A Myth of Dispensationalism – #2. This fact has a direct bearing on our interpretation of Jesus’ statement that in the age to come, “they neither marry or are given in marriage” etc., for it shows that now, the Eunuch could produce sons of God, without marrying or giving in marriage! 3 et seq.) (Isaiah 56:4, 5) Their castration would no longer hold them back from becoming close to God and being in the congregation. he had joined himself to the God of Israel. According to Deuteronomy 23, after the third generation of joining themselves to YHVH, the seed of foreigners could enter the Court of Israel. A eunuch could also be someone who performed work typical of eunuchs, although he remained perfectly capable of having sex—i.e., “eunuch” in some cases was simply a title. The secret to the openness expressed in these verses seems to come at the end: God will gather these "outcast" (foreigners and eunuchs) to the "outcasts of Israel" already gathered. Therefore, some have argued that eunuchs were really castrated to assure that all of the children born in a harem would be from the seed of the master. Eunuchs have vital and honored roles in other stories, as well. Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13| Rome or Jerusalem? Do you have a Paypal account? Here is the acceptance, without physical circumcision, into the “House of God.”  And just like Isaiah foretold, this Eunuch could produce “fruit” through sharing the story of Jesus! Eunuchs were not allowed to be Jews in the full sense, but only proselytes of the gate. In the New Testament, eunuch is derived from a Greek word that means someone castrated and impotent (Strong's #G2135). Ever so briefly, here are a few of the highlights from the story of the Eunuch. The eunuch must have been very wealthy because in Acts it said he was reading from his own scroll of Isaiah and there were very few handwritten copies of the text available. Later regulations were milder, and the author of Isaiah (lvi. Anyone claiming that this man was a native Israelite must produce the proof, and there is none. The Eunuch was, first of all, an Ethiopian. He also must have been a humble man because he allowed a common man like Phillip to come up into his chariot to explain the Scriptures to him. For example, eunuchs were considered to be in a constant state of ritual impurity. But this exclusion isn't … The OT foretold the time when Ethiopians would worship the Lord (Isaiah 68). His physical deformity prevented him from producing “sons of God” i.e. What an incredible prophecy! God was against this practice, and He threatened Israel that if they did it, they would be cut off from certain fellowship with Him. No Eunuch was permitted to enter the Temple. However, unless he had converted to Judaism, he would not have been able to enter any further than that point, anyway. Those who know themselves to be gathered outcasts will more easily welcome other outcasts into their midst. Being a eunuch is a purely physical situation for a male. Jesus also mentions the unique place of eunuchs in His kingdom in Matthew 19. In ancient Egypt it came to be applied to any court officer, whether they were castrated or not. Deuteronomy prohibits certain groups from “enter [ing] the assembly of YHWH,” לא יבואו בקהל י-הוה, which likely reflects a ban on citizenship. Nevertheless, the oldest and most commonly known explanation for the term is as a prohibition against marriage, an interpretation already found in Kings and Ezra-Nehemiah. And an Ethiopian eunuch, courtier to Queen Candace, was one of the first Gentiles to follow Christ (Acts 8:25-40). Yhe obvious reason and the factual one is because the traders ad eventual owners did not want their women impregnated with alien blood so their race stayed “pure”. e-thi-o'-pi-an u'-nuk eunouchos: A man who occupied a leading position as treasurer at the court of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, and who was converted and baptized by Philip the deacon (Acts 8:27-39).Being a eunuch, he was not in the full Jewish communion (compare Deuteronomy 23:1), but had gone up to Jerusalem to worship, probably as a … Sabbath-keeping had taken on even greater importance during the exile because it was a religious observance and a sign of the covenant that people could do within the family even when there was no temple for sacrifice and festival worship. If castration occurs before the age of puberty or the gonads are injured, he will most likely not be able to have children or be able to perform sexually. More strikingly, this applies to eunuchs as well. Why Procreating Women Are Not Allowed. did not consider the fact of being a eunuch a reason for exclusion from the congregation. “Cut off with respect to the penis]) may not enter the assembly of the Lord”). None are members of God's people by right; all are outcasts, brought in by grace (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). The popular belief that menstruating women are unclean (because menstruation can happen anytime) and hence are not allowed into the shrine may not be true. The OT foretold the time when Ethiopians would worship the Lord (Isaiah 68). I love the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch! ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH. Second, he was a Gentile, and at best could have only entered the Court of the Gentiles, but that too was now unattainable. I wonder what happens when someone who looks like the Ethiopian eunuch walks into churches and onto Evangelical campuses today. The Eunuch was, first of all, an Ethiopian. Scan this QR code with your phone and give any amount to PRI. Isaiah 56 however, foretold the time when Eunuchs and foreigners– those not of the house of Israel– would be accepted as equals into the Messianic Temple of God! cultures, eunuchs were not allowed in the cultic centers of worship within the Deuteronomic code (Deut. The gentiles were allowed to be in the outer court (the court of the gentiles) and not beyond.8 But now, says the Lord (through the prophet), all that is changed. There is a lot we don’t know about this eunuch—the very first baptized believer in the early church. “bruised by crushing”] or severed genitals [Heb. Eunuchs were excluded from temple worship by Torah itself (Deuteronomy 23:1-3; Leviticus 21:18-20), not for moral or ethnic reasons but because they were understood to be "blemished," excluded by the purity laws in the same way that blemished lambs were not acceptable as sacrifices. It was a eunuch who rescued Jeremiah from the well (Jeremiah 38:1-13). 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