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Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. (Dan 1:9, KJV)

The prince of the eunuchs is the guy Daniel asks for permission to eat the pulse and water instead of the king's meat. This seems to indicate that Daniel was a eunuch, because the prince of the eunuchs was the person that he asks. This is an important question because how we translate it gives credibility to how hard it would be if not impossible to be as great and for God as Daniel was.

Think about it. Guys are distracted by lots of things that wouldn't be as distracting, if distracting at all, if one was a eunuch. If Daniel was indeed a eunuch then in a sense he would have had a head start at being a man of God.

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  • So... what do you want us to do? Are you searching for biblical support or contrary evidence to your claims? Are you searching for denominational refutation or support to your claims?
    – Double U
    Apr 5, 2014 at 20:45
  • I am looking for nothing but the truth. Was Daniel made a eunuch?
    – Jeremy H
    Apr 5, 2014 at 20:46
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    Better on Biblical Hermeneutics? Apr 6, 2014 at 2:54
  • @HandofDon- Eunuchs worked in the palace, with the women, ie Esther, so may have worked with the young male captives. No reason to think Daniel was because this man was.
    – Hello
    Dec 5, 2014 at 5:44

4 Answers 4

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No, the Bible does not say that Daniel was an eunuch.

For every verse that may imply that Daniel was, there are verses that imply otherwise. In the absence of concrete proof, I am more inclined to believe that he was not, especially since the Bible had specified in another case when someone was an eunuch (Acts 8:36).

Verses that may imply Daniel was an eunuch:

The divine judgement spoken by Isaiah to Hezekiah may have included Daniel and his friends.

(2 Kings 20:18) ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’

Daniel was under the charge to the chief of eunuchs and given a new name by the eunuch.

(Daniel 1:3) Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel

(Daniel 1:7) To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names

Verses that may imply Daniel was not an eunuch:

Ezekiel, a contemporary of Daniel, implied that Daniel would not be able to save neither son nor daughter.

(Ezekiel 14:20) Even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Daniel and his friends' well-being were very important to the king, even given a portion of the king's delicacies. If they languished in health, the king would have the chief eunuch's head. These circumstances imply a status that is different than an eunuch.

(Daniel 1:5) And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.

(Daniel 1:10) For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

Regardless, the Bible is full of examples of great men of God who were not eunuchs, for example, Elijah, John the Baptist, Paul the Apostle. They likely had some help from God given the important ministry they were to fulfill,

(Matthew 19:12) For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, 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.”

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While the Bible does not say it, it can certainly be implied. It would be strange for him to not be. Unfortunately, since the Bible is silent about it, then that is about as close as we can get to it. But, I say definitely yes, he was a eunuch.

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    Could you cite a source on that? What you say is not helpful, what do authoritative sources say?
    – wax eagle
    Apr 7, 2014 at 20:11
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    Well, I suppose the only source I could list would be my bible (KJV). It does not say if he was a eunuch or not specifically. Because there is no information available, all you are going to get from people are their opinions and assumptions.
    – user10712
    Apr 7, 2014 at 20:46
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Does the Bible say for sure that Daniel was a eunuch?

Of course the Bible does not say for sure that Daniel was a eunuch. But, in view of the evidence set out below, I feel sure we can be tolerably certain that he and his three friends were indeed all eunuchs.

If Daniel was a eunuch then there are plausible reasons why the Holy Spirit might have chosen to conceal it. The law in Leviticus 21:20 and Deuteronomy 23:1 declares that a eunuch could neither act as a priest nor enter the congregation. This probably means what the Good News Bible says:

No man who has been castrated ... may be included among the LORD's people. (Deuteronomy 23:1, GNB).

At least, eunuchs could not have an active role in the religious life of the nation. So if the book of Daniel openly revealed that Daniel was a eunuch it, amongst many Jews, would have undermined Daniel's status as a prophet and as a man of God, and consequently undermined the book of Daniel as the word of God.

It was common practice for the later Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Empires to take the best boys from conquered nations as tribute. In the process the boys would be castrated/made eunuchs. These boys would be trained up to be administrators/civil servants in the royal palaces. They could rise to very high positions of authority and power. The practice was so common there was even a high position in these Empires: eg in the Babylonian Empire the Rab-saris, the Chief of the Eunuchs, who would very likely be a eunuch himself.

As an example of this common practice, Herodotus recounts that in the days of the Persian King Darius, the annual tribute of the 9th satrapy, which included Babylonia and parts of Assyria, to King Darius included "500 child eunuchs" (Herodotus, book 3, note 92). Every year then these 500 boys would have entered into training for the royal court many of them in order to be ready to act as administrators in the king's service. And this extra-biblical evidence is precisely in harmony with the events surrounding the captivity of Daniel and his companions.

Herodotus mentions eunuchs on several occasions in his works, for example:

"And now their generals made good all the threats wherewith they had menaced the Ionians before the battle. For no sooner did they get possession of the towns than they choose out all the best favoured boys and made them eunuchs, while the most beautiful of the girls they tore from their homes and sent as presents to the king [suggestive of the events in the book of Esther], at the same time burning the cities themselves, with their temples. Thus were the Ionians for the third time reduced to slavery; once by the Lydians, and a second, and now a third time, by the Persians." (Book 6, note 32).

And eunuchs are spoken of as men in positions of trust and authority, for example:

"I sent my most trusted eunuchs" (Herodotus, Book 1, note 117).

The practice was to ensure that such men would be trusted amongst the royal harem and women at the court. Eunuchs would be able to devote all their time to serving the royal interests because there would be no divided loyalty with neither wife nor family making demands on their time.

The Persians learned the practice from the Babylonians who in turn took it from the Assyrians.

It is, in my mind, inconceivable that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not treated in what at the time would have been considered normal practice, which explains why the one in charge over them was the Rab-saris, the Chief of the Eunuchs.

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The word eunuch and its plural, eunuchs are used 27 times in the bible. None of these entries indicate that Daniel was a eunuch.

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    I disagree with your interpretation. The verse quoted in the OP refers to the man placed in authority over Daniel as the prince of eunuchs - there is a strong implication from this verse that Daniel is in fact a eunuch. You may say it doesn't constitute definitive proof, but you can't logically say that it doesn't indicate such a state of affairs Apr 6, 2014 at 16:18
  • Wouldn't the prince of eunuchs have authority over all the household slaves, not just the other eunuchs? I don't think this fact is determinative for this question.
    – SDGator
    Apr 6, 2014 at 23:38
  • The 27 passages listed, do not indicate that Daniel was a eunuch. this is not my interpretation. If there is a verse that states Daniel is a eunuch Ok. I don't see it in my bible. I could make the assumption that Daniel was a eunuch, but I don't. If there were other verses to support the assumption,then I may reconsider. I try to base my answers on what is actually written.
    – V. Rollins
    Apr 7, 2014 at 17:00

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