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Matthew 19:12

    Matthew 19:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For there are men who, from birth, were without sex: and there are some who were made so by men: and there are others who have made themselves so for the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to take it, let him take it.

    Webster's Revision

    For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    World English Bible

    For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For there are eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, which were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, which made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    Definitions for Matthew 19:12

    Let - To hinder or obstruct.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 19:12

    Eunuchs - Ευνουχος, from ευνην εχειν, to have the care of the bed or bedchamber; this being the principal employment of eunuchs in the eastern countries, particularly in the apartments of queens and princesses. These are they whom our Lord says are made eunuchs by men, merely for the above purpose.

    So born from their mother's womb - Such as are naturally incapable of marriage, and consequently should not contract any.

    For the kingdom of heaven's sake - I believe our Lord here alludes to the case of the Essenes, one of the most holy and pure sects among the Jews. These abstained from all commerce with women, hoping thereby to acquire a greater degree of purity, and be better fitted for the kingdom of God: children they had none of their own, but constantly adopted those of poor people, and brought them up in their own way. Philo, Josephus, and Pliny have largely described this very singular sect; and Dean Prideaux, with his usual fidelity and perspicuity, has given the substance of what each has said. Connex. vol. iii. p. 483, etc.; edit. 1725. The account is very interesting, and well worthy the attention of every Christian. Among the rabbins we find these different kinds of eunuchs, not only mentioned, but circumstantially described, סריס חמה saris chama, eunuchs of the sun, i.e. eunuchs by the hand of God; men born impotent. סריס אדם saris Adam, eunuchs of men, those who were castrated. And they add a third sort; those who make themselves eunuchs, abstain from marriage, etc., that they may give themselves Up to the study of the Divine law. See many examples in Schoettgen.

    He that is able to receive - Χωρειν χωρειτω. These words are variously translated: he who can take; let him take it; comprehend, let him comprehend it: admit, let him admit it. The meaning seems to be, Let the man who feels himself capable of embracing this way of life, embrace it; but none can do it but he to whom it is given, who has it as a gift from his mother's womb.

    The great Origen, understanding the latter clause of this verse (which I have applied to the Essenes) literally - O human weakness! - went, and literally fulfilled it on himself!

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 19:12

    For there are some eunuchs ... - Jesus proceeds to state that there were some who were able to receive that saying and to remain in an unmarried state. Some were so born; some were made such by the cruelty of men; and there were some who voluntarily abstained from marriage for the kingdom of heaven's sake - that is, that they might devote themselves entirely to the proper business of religion. Perhaps he refers here to the Essenes, a sect of the Jews (see the notes at Matthew 3:7), who held that marriage was unsuitable to their condition; who had no children of their own, but perpetuated their sect by adopting the poor children of others. Eunuchs were employed chiefly in attending on the females or in the harem. They rose often to distinction, and held important offices in the state. Hence, the word is sometimes used with reference to such an officer of state, Acts 8:27.