Beyond the Harem:
Stories of Three
Unlikely Heroes




John Tyler Connoley






A Masters Thesis in Biblical Studies submitted to
the Faculty of Earlham School of Religion.






Richmond, Indiana

September 30, 2002






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Front Matter

Acknowledgments (p. v)

Abbreviations (p. vi)

Preface (p. vii)

Chapter 1: Eunuchs in the Hebrew Bible

The Difficulty of Translation (p. 1)

Physical Characteristics of Eunuchs (p. 7)

Social Roles of Eunuchs (p. 9)

Social Status of Eunuchs (p. 13)

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Eunuchs (p. 16)

Ebed-melech, Hathach, and Ashpenaz (p. 20)

Chapter 2: Servant of the King (Jer 38:113)

Narrative (p. 22)

Analysis (p. 42)

Chapter 3: For Such a Time as This (Esth 4:417)

Narrative (p. 51)

Analysis (p. 64)

Chapter 4: Loving Daniel (Dan 1:321)

Narrative (p. 74)

Analysis (p. 86)


Appendix: Instances of saris in the Hebrew Bible