Mark 10:25 AV
It is easier for a camel
to go¹ through the eye² of a needle,
than for a rich man³
to enter into the kingdom of God.
¹) To go out or come in: to enter; of men or animals, as into a house or a city.
²) A hole, (eye of the needle).
³) wealthy, abounding in material resources; Metaphorically: abounding, abundantly supplied.
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. [AMP] It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." [ESV] I'd say it's easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for the rich to get into God's kingdom." [MSB] It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. [KJV] It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." [NIV] It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!" [NLT] It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." [NKJV]
Some further information
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
When the Jews would express anything that was rare and unusual, difficult and impossible, they used a saying like this.
Speaking of showing persons the interpretation of their dreams (T. Bab. Beracot fol. 55. 2) “Says Rabba, ‘you know they do not show to a man a golden palm tree’ i.e. the interpretation of a dream about one, which, as the gloss says, is a thing he is not used to see, and of which he never thought, ‘nor an elephant going through the eye of a needle’.”
Again, to one that had delivered something as was thought very absurd, it is said (T. Bab Bava Metzia, fol. 38. 2) “perhaps thou art one of Pombeditha (a school of the Jews in Babylon), who make an elephant pass through the eye of a needle.”
That is, who teach such things as are equally as monstrous and absurd, and difficult of belief.
So the authors of an edition of the book of Zohar, to set forth the difficulty of the work they engaged in, express themselves in this manner (Prefat. ad Zohar, Ed. Sultzbach) “In the name of our God, we have seen fit, ‘to bring an elephant through the eye of a needle’.”
It has been thought by some that this referred to a small door in a gate of Jerusalem through which travelers still could enter the city after the gate was closed.
A camel could only, after he was completely unloaded, on its knees, and with a lot of trouble, enter through it.
Others claim that the Hebrew words for ‘camel’ and ‘cable’ sounds similar, and that the writer, who got the text dictated (this is a speculation) could have misunderstood it.
But in my opinion there is no need to suppose, that by ‘a camel’ instead of the animal a cable rope was meant, based on the speculation that the writer misheard it. This because these common proverbs manifestly make it appear, that a creature is intended.
The reason why instead of an elephant, as used in most sayings, Christ makes mention of a camel, may be, because that might be a more known animal in Judea, and because the humps on its back would make it still more impracticable.
God is the name of the Divine Being. It is the rendering of
▪︎ the Hebrew word ’El, from a word meaning to be strong;
▪︎ the Hebrew word ’Eloah, plural: ’Elohim.
The singular form, Eloah, is used only in poetry.
The plural form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible,
The Hebrew Name YHWH, the Name of the only true God, is uniformly rendered in the Authorized Version by “LORD,” printed in small capitals.
The existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible.
There is nowhere any argument to prove it.
He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalms 14:1).
The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of the being of God are:
▪︎ The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by reason.
▪︎ The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are,
• The cosmological, by which it is proved that there must be a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.
• The teleological, or the argument from design. We see everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.
• The moral argument, called also the anthropological argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only be explained on the supposition of the existence of God.
Conscience and human history testify that “verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth.”
The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses in Exodus 34:6,7; Deuteronomy 6:4, 10:17; Numbers 16:22; Exodus 15:11, 33:19; Isaiah 44:6; Habakkuk 3:6; Psalms 102:26; Job 34:12.
They are also systematically classified in Revelation 5:12, 7:12.
▪︎ God’s attributes are spoken of by some as
• absolute, i.e., such as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.
• relative, i.e., such as are ascribed to him with relation to his creatures.
▪︎ Others distinguish them into
• Communicable, i.e., those which can be imparted in degree to his creatures: goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.;
• Incommunicable, which cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity.
▪︎ They are by some also divided into
• natural attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.
• moral, holiness, goodness, etc.
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At first Jesus called it difficult for the rich to enter into God’s Kingdom (Mark 10:23, 24), now He makes it clear, with the comparison of the camel and the eye of the needle, that it is impossible (see the reaction of the disciples in Mark 10:26).
The contrast between the camel and the eye of the needle corresponds to the contrast between the camel and the mosquito (Matthew 23:24) as the two extreme poles of a comparison.
The camel here represents the largest animal in the Near East, the eye of the needle for the smallest conceivable opening.
It has been suggested that the “eye of a needle” was a small gate in the city wall, or in the gate, through which a camel could enter only when it was unloaded. However, this diminishes the power of Jesus’ words. True, a camel could hardly pass through the city gates, but it was still possible.
However, it is impossible for it to pass through the eye of a needle, like it is impossible for a person whose heart is possessed by his possessions.
The thought that the original text did not have kamēlos (camel), but kamilos (ship’s cable) also does not do justice to the text.
Since both words were pronounced the same, making a mistake when copying the text was very easy. (Someone dictated the text, and several writers wrote it down – by hearing).
So we must take “the camel” as wel as “the eye of the needle” in its literal sense (Luke 18:25 uses the synonym “belonë” – “needle”).
Now let us reflect on this
The rich young man stands before the Lord laden with all his spiritual good.
And that is a lot according to him. In his view that is so much, that he dares to ask the question: What am I still missing?
There is already so much that we would not know what is still lacking.
And yet, although the Lord loved him, he goes away from the Lord.
For to sell all his goods and give the proceeds to the poor is too much to ask.
That is just too much for this man who misses love.
And then the Lord says that a camel passes through the eye of a needle more easily than a rich man can enter the kingdom of heaven.
It is quite something, such a big bulging beast and then such a very small hole. Everyone must understand that this is not possible.
And so we all by nature, stand as a great monster, because of all the good we think we have in front of the narrow gate.
Note that the gate is not too small, but we are too big.
We have to get rid of all our supposed wealth, because that’s all tinsel to God. We must be willing to lose all our earthly riches (which we have only been given on loan, to do good with them, and which we cannot take with us when we go to our last resting place).
He is worth more than anything on earth, because only through Him can we gain entrance into the eternal Kingdom.
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