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Matthew 19:23-30

Context

19:23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, 1  it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! 19:24 Again I say, 2  it is easier for a camel 3  to go through the eye of a needle 4  than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” 19:25 The 5  disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” 6  19:26 Jesus 7  looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, 8  but for God all things are possible.” 19:27 Then Peter said 9  to him, “Look, 10  we have left everything to follow you! 11  What then will there be for us?” 19:28 Jesus 12  said to them, “I tell you the truth: 13  In the age when all things are renewed, 14  when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging 15  the twelve tribes of Israel. 19:29 And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much 16  and will inherit eternal life. 19:30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

1 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

2 tn Grk “I say to you.”

3 tc A few late witnesses (579 1424 pc) read κάμιλον (kamilon, “rope”) for κάμηλον (kamhlon, “camel”), either through accidental misreading of the text or intentionally so as to soften Jesus’ words.

4 sn The eye of a needle refers to a sewing needle. (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 was saying rhetorically that it is impossible for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom, unless God (v. 26) intervenes.

5 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

6 sn The assumption is that the rich are blessed, so if they risk exclusion, who is left to be saved?

7 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

8 tn The plural Greek term ἄνθρωποις (anqrwpois) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NASB 1995 update, “people”). Because of the contrast here between mere mortals and God (“impossible for men, but for God all things are possible”) the phrase “mere humans” has been used in the translation. There may also be a slight wordplay with “the Son of Man” in v. 28.

9 tn Grk “Then answering, Peter said.” This construction is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation.

10 sn Peter wants reassurance that the disciples’ response and sacrifice have been noticed.

11 tn Grk “We have left everything and followed you.” Koine Greek often used paratactic structure when hypotactic was implied.

12 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

13 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

14 sn The Greek term translated the age when all things are renewed (παλιγγενεσία, palingenesia) is understood as a reference to the Messianic age, the time when all things are renewed and restored (cf. Rev 21:5).

15 sn The statement you…will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel looks at the future authority the Twelve will have when Jesus returns. They will share in Israel’s judgment.

16 sn Jesus reassures his disciples with a promise that (1) much benefit in this life (a hundred times as much) and (2) eternal life will be given.



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