eunuch, had charge of the harem of Ahasuerus (Esther 2:8).
servant of the beautiful, a chief eunuch in the second house of
the harem of king Ahasuerus (Esther 2:14).
the chief officer or prime minister of state of Candace (q.v.),
queen of Ethiopia. He was converted to Christianity through the
instrumentality of Philip (Act 8:27). The northern portion of
Ethiopia formed the kingdom of Meroe, which for a long period
was ruled over by queens, and it was probably from this kingdom
that the eunuch came.
severe, a eunuch or chamberlain in the palace of Ahasuerus, who
conspired with another to murder him. The plot was detected by
Mordecai, and the conspirators were put to death (Esther 2:21;
literally bed-keeper or chamberlain, and not necessarily in all
cases one who was mutilated, although the practice of employing
such mutilated persons in Oriental courts was common (2 Kings
9:32; Esther 2:3). The law of Moses excluded them from the
congregation (Deut. 23:1). They were common also among the
Greeks and Romans. It is said that even to-day there are some in
Rome who are employed in singing soprano in the Sistine Chapel.
Three classes of eunuchs are mentioned in Matt. 19:12.
a confidential servant of the king (Gen. 37:36; 39:1). In Rom.
16:23 mention is made of "Erastus the chamberlain." Here the
word denotes the treasurer of the city, or the quaestor, as the
Romans styled him. He is almost the only convert from the higher
ranks of whom mention is made (comp. Acts 17:34). Blastus,
Herod's "chamberlain" (Acts 12:20), was his personal attendant
or valet-de-chambre. The Hebrew word _saris_, thus translated in
Esther 1:10, 15; 2:3, 14, 21, etc., properly means an eunuch (as
in the marg.), as it is rendered in Isa. 39:7; 56:3.
lover of horses. (1.) One of the twelve apostles; a native of
Bethsaida, "the city of Andrew and Peter" (John 1:44). He
readily responded to the call of Jesus when first addressed to
him (43), and forthwith brought Nathanael also to Jesus (45,46).
He seems to have held a prominent place among the apostles
(Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; John 6:5-7; 12:21, 22; 14:8, 9; Acts
1:13). Of his later life nothing is certainly known. He is said
to have preached in Phrygia, and to have met his death at
(2.) One of the "seven" (Acts 6:5), called also "the
evangelist" (21:8, 9). He was one of those who were "scattered
abroad" by the persecution that arose on the death of Stephen.
He went first to Samaria, where he laboured as an evangelist
with much success (8:5-13). While he was there he received a
divine command to proceed toward the south, along the road
leading from Jerusalem to Gaza. These towns were connected by
two roads. The one Philip was directed to take was that which
led through Hebron, and thence through a district little
inhabited, and hence called "desert." As he travelled along this
road he was overtaken by a chariot in which sat a man of
Ethiopia, the eunuch or chief officer of Queen Candace, who was
at that moment reading, probably from the Septuagint version, a
portion of the prophecies of Isaiah (53:6,7). Philip entered
into conversation with him, and expounded these verses,
preaching to him the glad tidings of the Saviour. The eunuch
received the message and believed, and was forthwith baptized,
and then "went on his way rejoicing." Philip was instantly
caught away by the Spirit after the baptism, and the eunuch saw
him no more. He was next found at Azotus, whence he went forth
in his evangelistic work till he came to Caesarea. He is not
mentioned again for about twenty years, when he is still found
at Caesarea (Acts 21:8) when Paul and his companions were on the
way to Jerusalem. He then finally disappears from the page of
(3.) Mentioned only in connection with the imprisonment of
John the Baptist (Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19). He was the
son of Herod the Great, and the first husband of Herodias, and
the father of Salome. (See HEROD PHILIP I. ¯T0001763)
(4.) The "tetrarch of Ituraea" (Luke 3:1); a son of Herod the
Great, and brother of Herod Antipas. The city of
Caesarea-Philippi was named partly after him (Matt. 16:13; Mark
8:27). (See HEROD PHILIP II. ¯T0001764)
the queen of the Ethiopians whose "eunuch" or chamberlain was
converted to Christianity by the instrumentality of Philip the
evangelist (Acts 8:27). The country which she ruled was called
by the Greeks Meroe, in Upper Nubia. It was long the centre of
commercial intercourse between Africa and the south of Asia, and
hence became famous for its wealth (Isa. 45:14).
It is somewhat singular that female sovereignty seems to have
prevailed in Ethiopia, the name Candace (compare "Pharaoh,"
"Ptolemy," "Caesar") being a title common to several successive
queens. It is probable that Judaism had taken root in Ethiopia
at this time, and hence the visit of the queen's treasurer to
Jerusalem to keep the feast. There is a tradition that Candace
was herself converted to Christianity by her treasurer on his
return, and that he became the apostle of Christianity in that
whole region, carrying it also into Abyssinia. It is said that
he also preached the gospel in Arabia Felix and in Ceylon, where
he suffered martyrdom. (See PHILIP ¯T0002936.)
a vehicle generally used for warlike purposes. Sometimes, though
but rarely, it is spoken of as used for peaceful purposes.
The first mention of the chariot is when Joseph, as a mark of
distinction, was placed in Pharaoh's second state chariot (Gen.
41:43); and the next, when he went out in his own chariot to
meet his father Jacob (46:29). Chariots formed part of the
funeral procession of Jacob (50:9). When Pharaoh pursued the
Israelites he took 600 war-chariots with him (Ex. 14:7). The
Canaanites in the valleys of Israel had chariots of iron
(Josh. 17:18; Judg. 1:19). Jabin, the king of Canaan, had 900
chariots (Judg. 4:3); and in Saul's time the Philistines had
30,000. In his wars with the king of Zobah and with the Syrians,
David took many chariots among the spoils (2 Sam. 8:4; 10:18).
Solomon maintained as part of his army 1,400 chariots (1 Kings
10:26), which were chiefly imported from Egypt (29). From this
time forward they formed part of the armies of Israel (1 Kings
22:34; 2 Kings 9:16, 21; 13:7, 14; 18:24; 23:30).
In the New Testament we have only one historical reference to
the use of chariots, in the case of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts.
8:28, 29, 38).
This word is sometimes used figuratively for hosts (Ps. 68:17;
2 Kings 6:17). Elijah, by his prayers and his counsel, was "the
chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." The rapid agency
of God in the phenomena of nature is also spoken of under the
similitude of a chariot (Ps. 104:3; Isa. 66:15; Hab. 3:8).
Chariot of the cherubim (1 Chr. 28:18), the chariot formed by
the two cherubs on the mercy-seat on which the Lord rides.
Chariot cities were set apart for storing the war-chariots in
time of peace (2 Chr. 1:14).
Chariot horses were such as were peculiarly fitted for service
in chariots (2 Kings 7:14).
Chariots of war are described in Ex. 14:7; 1 Sam. 13:5; 2 Sam.
8:4; 1 Chr. 18:4; Josh. 11:4; Judg. 4:3, 13. They were not used
by the Israelites till the time of David. Elijah was translated
in a "chariot of fire" (2 Kings 2:11). Comp. 2 Kings 6:17. This
vision would be to Elisha a source of strength and
encouragement, for now he could say, "They that be with us are
more than they that be with them."