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(1.00) (Mar 10:25)

sn The referent of the eye of a needle is a sewing needle. (Although the story of a small gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” has been widely circulated and may go back as far as the middle ages, there is no evidence that such a gate ever existed.) Jesus was speaking rhetorically to point out that apart from God’s intervention, salvation is impossible (v. 27).

(1.00) (Mat 19:24)

sn The eye of a needle refers to a sewing needle. (Although the story of a small gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” has been widely circulated and may go back as far as the middle ages, there is no evidence that such a gate ever existed.) Jesus was saying rhetorically that it is impossible for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom, unless God (v. 26) intervenes.

(0.86) (Luk 18:25)

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. (Although the story of a small gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” has been widely circulated and may go back as far as the middle ages, there is no evidence that such a gate ever existed.) Jesus is saying rhetorically that this is impossible, unless God (v. 27) intervenes.

(0.57) (Exo 26:36)

tn The word רֹקֵם (roqem) refers to someone who made cloth with colors. It is not certain, however, whether the colors were woven into the fabric on the loom or applied with a needle; so “embroiderer” should be understood as an approximation (cf. HALOT 1290-91 s.v. רקם).

(0.43) (Luk 17:6)

tn The passives here (ἐκριζώθητι and φυτεύθητι, ekrizōthēti and phuteuthēti) are probably a circumlocution for God performing the action (the so-called divine passive, see ExSyn 437-38). The issue is not the amount of faith (which in the example is only very tiny), but its presence, which can accomplish impossible things. To cause a tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea is impossible. The expression is a rhetorical idiom. It is like saying a camel can go through the eye of a needle (Luke 18:25).

(0.29) (Luk 14:34)

sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens: Under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a.d. 90), recounts how when he was asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be, both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle.

(0.29) (Mar 9:50)

sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its saltiness since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens: Under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a.d. 90), recounts how when he was asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle.

(0.29) (Mat 5:13)

sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested that the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens; under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a.d. 90), recounts how when he was asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be that both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle.



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