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Luke 18:24-25

18:24 When Jesus noticed this, 1  he said, “How hard 2  it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 3  18:25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle 4  than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

1 tc ‡ The phrase περίλυπον γενόμενον (perilupon genomenon, “[When Jesus saw him] becoming sad”) is found in the majority of mss (A [D] W Θ Ψ 078 Ë13 33vid Ï latt sy), and it is not unknown in Lukan style to repeat a word or phrase in adjacent passages (TCGNT 143). However, the phrase is lacking in some significant mss (א B L Ë1 579 1241 2542 co). The shorter reading is nevertheless difficult to explain if it is not original: It is possible that these witnesses omitted this phrase out of perceived redundancy from the preceding verse, although intentional omissions, especially by several and varied witnesses, are generally unlikely. NA27 places the words in brackets, indicating doubts as to their authenticity.

tn Grk “him.”

2 sn For the rich it is hard for wealth not to be the point of focus, as the contrast in vv. 28-30 will show, and for rich people to trust God. Wealth was not an automatic sign of blessing as far as Jesus was concerned.

3 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

4 sn The eye of a needle refers to a sewing needle, one of the smallest items one might deal with on a regular basis, in contrast to the biggest animal of the region. (The gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” was built during the middle ages and was not in existence in Jesus’ day.) Jesus is saying rhetorically that this is impossible, unless God (v. 27) intervenes.

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