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Matthew 19:24

    Matthew 19:24 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And again I say unto you, 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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And again I say to you, 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.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And again I say to you, It is simpler for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a man with much money to go into the kingdom of God.

    Webster's Revision

    And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    World English Bible

    Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 19:24

    A camel - Instead of καμηλον, camel, six MSS. read καμιλον, cable, a mere gloss inserted by some who did not know that the other was a proverb common enough among the people of the east.

    There is an expression similar to this in the Koran. "The impious, who in his arrogance shall accuse our doctrine of falsity, shall find the gates of heaven shut: nor shall he enter there till a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle. It is thus that we shall recompense the wicked." Al Koran. Surat vii. ver. 37.

    It was also a mode of expression common among the Jews, and signified a thing impossible. Hence this proverb: A camel in Media dances in a cabe; a measure which held about three pints. Again, No man sees a palm tree of gold, nor an elephant passing through the eye of a needle. Because these are impossible things. "Rabbi Shesheth answered Rabbi Amram, who had advanced an absurdity, Perhaps thou art one of the Pembidithians who can make an elephant pass through the eye of a needle; that is, says the Aruch, 'who speak things impossible.'" See Lightfoot and Schoettgen on this place.

    Go through - But instead of διελθειν, about eighty MSS. with several versions and fathers, have εισελθειν, to enter in; but the difference is of little importance in an English translation, though of some consequence to the elegance of the Greek text.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 19:24

    It is easier for a camel ... - This was a proverb in common use among the Jews, and is still common among the Arabians.

    To denote that a thing was impossible or exceedingly difficult, they said that a camel or an elephant might as soon walk through a needle's eye. In the use of such proverbs it is not necessary to understand them literally. They merely denote the extreme difficulty of the case.

    A camel - A beast of burden much used in Eastern countries. It is about the size of the largest ox, with one or two bunches on his back, with long neck and legs, no horns, and with feet adapted to the hot and dry sand. They are capable of carrying heavy burdens, will travel sometimes faster than the fleetest horse, and are provided with a stomach which they fill with water, by means of which I they can live four or five days without drink. They are very mild and tame, and kneel down to receive and unload their burden. They are chiefly used in deserts and hot climates, where other beasts of burden are with difficulty kept alive.

    A rich man - This rather means one who loves his riches and makes an idol of them, or one who supremely desires to be rich. Mark says Mark 10:24 "How hard is it for them that trust in riches." While a man has this feeling - relying on his wealth alone - it is literally impossible that he should be a Christian; for religion is a love of God rather than the world - the love of Jesus and his cause more than gold. Still a man may have much property, and not have this feeling. He may have great wealth, and love God more; as a poor man may have little, and love that little more than God. The difficulties in the way of the salvation of a rich man are:

    1. that riches engross the affections.

    2. that people consider wealth as the chief good, and when this is obtained they think they have gained all.

    3. that they are proud of their wealth, and unwilling to be numbered with the poor and despised followers of Jesus.

    4. that riches engross the time, and fill the mind with cares and anxieties, and leave little for God.

    5. that they often produce luxury, dissipation, and vice. that it is difficult to obtain wealth without sin, without avarice, without covetousness, fraud, and oppression, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 6:17; James 5:1-5; Luke 12:16-21; Luke 16:19-31.

    Still, Jesus says Matthew 19:26, all these may be overcome. God can give grace to do it. Though to people it may appear impossible, yet it is easy for God.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 19:24

    19:24 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, (a proverbial expression,) than for a rich man to go through the strait gate: that is, humanly speaking, it is an absolute impossibility. Rich man! tremble! feel this impossibility; else thou art lost for ever!