Eye of the Needle

  • There is a well-known biblical expression that says it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • The eye of the needle mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke was one of several gates in the massive walls surrounding the City of Jerusalem.
  • The eye of the needle was such a narrow passage that anyone with a camel load of goods had to dismantle much of the load for the animal to pass through.
  • Custom had it that everything taken off the camel at this point should be given to the temple – the rich must share with religious leaders and the people.

Note how the caravan stretches across the desert like a thread unrolling from a ball of golden wool – the sun. In world culture, a thread was often associated with fate, so the whole procession reminds us of human life following its course from rising at the dawn (birth) to shrinking at the gate (death).