[b-hebrew] Gen. 39:1 Potiphar's title

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Jul 10 12:11:53 EDT 2003

Okay, that makes a lot more sense.  I can see I'm gonna have to talk the wife 
into a larger book budget...

On Thursday 10 July 2003 03:22, Peter Kirk wrote:
> On 09/07/2003 22:18, Dave Washburn wrote:
> >I took a peek at Holladay's lexicon under the Hebrew term, SRYS, and it
> > says "eunuch."  It does raise an interesting question: if that's what the
> > term always means, why does this particular eunuch have a wife in the
> > first place?
> I remember learning that this was a word whose meaning changed from
> earlier to later Hebrew, from simply "official" to "eunuch". This is
> partly confirmed by the entry for sārîs in TWOT:
> The noun, meaning "(court) official," has its origin in the Akkadian
> title ša rēši (šarri) "the one of the (king's) head." The meaning
> "eunuch" arose with the practice of utilizing castrated men in key
> positions in the various nations of the ancient near east (e.g. in
> Persia, Est 2:3ff.; 4:4f.)
> The Hebrew word is clearly related to the name of the Akkadian royal
> official (II Kgs 18:17). Accordingly, sārîs is not to be translated
> "eunuch" unless context or other evidence demands it. Thus, since
> thorough study fails to uncover conclusive evidence for the employment
> of eunuchs as officials in ancient Egypt, the reason why the Egyptian
> officers in the Joseph narrative were called by this term is probably
> that in all three cases (Gen 37:36; 39:1; 40:2, 7) these men were
> special officials of Pharaoh. ...
> /*Bibliography*/:  TDNT, II, pp. 766-67.

Dave Washburn
"God does a lot of things in the Psalms
that He can't get away with in systematic theology."

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