Needle - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G4476, rhaphis ]
from rhatpo, to sew," occurs in Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25.

[ 2,,G956, belone ]
akin to belos, "a dart," denotes a sharp point, hence, "a needle," Luke 18:25 (some mss. have No. 1).

Note: The idea of applying "the needle's eye" to small gates seems to be a modern one; there is no ancient trace of it. The Lord's object in the statement is to express human impossibility and there is no need to endeavor to soften the difficulty by taking the needle to mean anything more than the ordinary instrument. Mackie points out (Hastings' Bib. Dic.) that "an attempt is sometimes made to explain the words as a reference to the small door, a little over 2 feet square, in the large heavy gate of a walled city. This mars the figure without materially altering the meaning, and receives no justification from the language and traditions of Palestine."

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words