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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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chām´bẽr -lin : In the Old Testament the word rendered chamberlain, סריס , ṣārı̄ṣ , is more properly "eunuch," an officer which oriental monarchs placed over their harems (Esther 1:10 , Esther 1:12 , Esther 1:15; Esther 2:3 , Esther 2:14 , Esther 2:21; Esther 4:4 f; Esther 6:2 , Esther 6:14; Esther 7:9; 2 Kings 23:11 ). This officer seems also to have had other duties. See under EUNUCH . In the New Testament (1) οἰκονόμος , oikonómos , literally manager of the household, apparently the "treasurer" as in the Revised Version (British and American) "Erastus the treasurer of the city saluteth you" (Romans 16:23 ). Compare adapted use as applied to Christian apostles and teachers, bishops, and even to individual members; in which cases, rendered "stewards" (1 Corinthians 4:1; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 4:10 ). (2) In Acts 12:20 , "Blastus the king's chamberlain" (ho epı́ toú koitō̇nos toú basiléōs , "he who is over the king's bed-chamber"), not treasure-chamber, as above; here praefectus cubiculo , or chief valet de chambre to the royal person, a position involving much honor and intimacy.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Chamberlain'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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