-by Tony Warren
The word eunuch in the old testament is the Hebrew word [caric](pronounced saw-reece'), meaning to be castrated. And by extension it means to be celibate or figuratively to live unmarried. In practical application, Kings and Rulers would often use castrated men or eunuchs, as those who were charged with the management and care of women's chambers. This was done for obvious reasons, since it would be impossible for them to have sexual relations with the women that were under their care. Thus they were the ideal guardians of harems and servants quarters. For this reason the word [caric] is also translated chamberlain in scripture. Because it illustrates those who were given charge of the bed chambers of women. For example:
In the new testament the Greek word eunuch is [eunouchizo], which literally means to "hold bed." And it is made up of the root Greek words [enue] meaning bed, and the verb tense [echo], meaning to hold, as in possession. By extension it means the chamberlain or holder of the women's bed chambers, who was normally castrated to be celibate and charged with that task. So basically, it has the very same meaning as the old testament word does. In it's narrowest technical sense, it means (either literally or figuratively), a celibate or emasculated man. as these were those who were often used as chamberlains. We can also see a vivid example of this word used for this service illustrated in the Ethiopian eunuch who had charge of the Queen's Chamber.
So, as we've clearly seen, the word is used to illustrate a castrated or celibate person. And it is self evident from scripture that God uses the word in the New Testament in this application. It is a common misconception that the word is "always" used in scripture for castrated males. But while that is the root meaning, by extension the word identifies anyone who won't have sexual union with a woman. For example anyone who, for conscience sake, will not enter into sexual union, has by implication made himself a eunuch or a celibate man. Jesus Himself uses the word signifying those abstaining from sexual union, choosing to remain single or unmarried (celibate).
However, there is not a single phrase anywhere in scripture declaring or implying that homosexual activity or lifestyle is related to eunuchs. God having already condemned the practice of homosexuality many times, would not in contradiction to this precept, call homosexuals (if they were eunuchs) Christians. And so these arguments by some people that these eunuchs are homosexuals, is an untenable position, without any biblical foundation. The word eunuch can mean a castrated man, but by extension it can also mean any man who has cut himself off from having sexual relations with women. ie, any man who has for one reason or another denied himself women, sexually. Not to be confused with the word "homosexual," which means men who are attracted to other men, or women who are attracted to other women. These are totally different words with totally different definitions. For example, Christ spoke of those who "would not marry" for the kingdom of God's sake, and called them eunuchs. Because these were men who would remain single or celibate so that they could better serve God.
Others will be eunuchs (never have sexual union) because someone has taken it upon themselves to physically make them that way. Either by castration, so as to be chamberlains, or as slaves were often castrated, or because of the cruelty of men. In our day one might even be castrated for medical reasons.
And Christ also declares that others will never have sexual union because of the Kingdom of God's sake. In other words, because, like the Apostle Paul (Who wished that all were as he, Unmarried - 1st Corinthians 7:7-9
So we have Christ giving all sorts of reasons why one would have no sexual union (be a eunuch). Because God never intended that all people would get married. Therefore, the point is that it is not a failure or a cause for despair if one remains a eunuch or in the celibate state. And it very well may be a special calling of God, or something that is for the best, according to the will and purpose of God.
Indeed, Christ says in Matthew that it is not for everyone to have sexual union in marriage, but he who can receive it, let him receive it. He who will never marry does not need the law against divorce, but to he who does decide to marry, Jesus says it is "till death do them part." A one flesh union that cannot be torn asunder. Therefore, to them, these words of Christ about divorce and two flesh becoming one, apply. So the word eunuch clearly applies to celibate men, as well as castrated men.
Those who attempt to have this word eunuch mean homosexuality, actually have Jesus saying in that chapter that some were born "homosexuals" for the kingdom of God's sake. And that is a ludicrous statement for any sound Christian man to make. But just another example of the wild justifications and rationalizations of man. We have Biblical proof that these eunuchs cannot be homosexuals.
These questions having been answered, the question now is, "why then do so many people today think that these verses that speak of eunuchs, are talking about homosexuality?" The answer is the social engineering and political correctness that is running rampant in our society today. It's the way of the world today to turn everything upside down, and esteem bad as good, and good as bad. It is the way of the world to make quoted scripture seem un-compassionate evil legalism, and smooth and compromising words of nullification seem good christian compassion. The world makes those who bear faithful witness to truth, the bad guys, while those who say, "ye are all saved and shall have peace," seem loving and Christ-like. It is the creeping apostasy and sloppy exegesis mixed with carnal or humanistic thinking, that has brought these abominable ideas into the Churches. And frankly, many professed Christians today just don't really care what the word of God says. They just want to be called a Christian and to live in peace with the world, and like the world. They are just too deceived to understand that this kind of peace with the world, is enmity with God.
May the Lord who is most Gracious, keep us rooted firmly in Him, that we might endure to the end, through our hour of great trial and tribulation.
Copyright ©1999 Tony Warren
Feel free to duplicate, display or distribute this publication to anyone who would like a copy, as long as the above copyright notice remains intact and there are no changes made to the article. This publication can be distributed only in it's original form, unedited, and without cost.
Created 10/4/99 / Last Modified 05/17/10
The Mountain Retreat / firstname.lastname@example.org