Dromedary Camel -- near Ein Hatzveta/Negev-Aravah 2006

The camel above has its legs tied to prevent it from running away.  It may have been able to hobble, but not gallop.

A boy and his camels, near Yeroham/Machtesh Ha-Gadol, 2006

Isaiah 60:6 (ASV)

6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of Jehovah.

A camel was able to carry three hundred pounds and go days without water.  The camel gave milk to her herders.  One camel was able to go ten days without drinking.  During the days of Jesus, the Nabateans of the desert used camel caravans to gain wealth by trading.  Nabatean caravans may have transported incense, spice, pearls, and gold  from Arabia in the south to Petra, Gaza, Damascus, Palmyra, Babylonia and parts in between. 

While in Jerusalem, Jesus was rebuking some of the religious teachers of his day:

Matthew 23:24 (ASV)

24 Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!

The passage above seems like a description of someone straining a gnat out of water before drinking it, then erring in eating a whole camel like a glutton.  There is some probability the original text might have been "you strain out a gnat, but swallow like a camel(?)."  Jews were not allowed to eat camels and Jesus' audience was usually Jewish.  By law the camel was unclean as it did not have a split hoof even though it "chewed the cud" (Leviticus 11:1-8).  It was not kosher to "swallow a camel."  Drinking too much water may lead to blindness or death.  Under normal circumstances one should not guzzle like a thirsty camel filling up after being without a drink in a week.  Excessive alcohol consumption is also potentially deadly.   

Matthew 19:24 (American Standard Version)

24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The apostles asked, "Then, who can be saved?"  Jesus answered, "With God all things are possible." 

An ancient Greek word for camel was kamelos.  In one text an ancient Syriac/Semitic word for rope was kamilos and was translated into Greek as kamelos (camel).  Some people would rather like to substitute the word rope in this parable such as, "It is easier to thread a rope through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." 

See also:

See also:

Parable of the Mustard Seed
     A Mustard Field Along Highway 87-North Shore of Galilee
     Mustard Seeds in the Palm of a Hand
     A Branching Mustard Plant Near the Jordan River/Bethsaida
     Mustard Field March 1999
     Mustard Flowers
Upper Most Seats of the Synagogue

The Fig Tree
     Mt of Olives Fig Tree April 12-13, 2005
     Fig and Pomegranate trees below Siloam in Jerusalem
     Israel Photos II fig tree page
     Sycomore Fig Tree
The Good Shepherd
The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats
     Goat Herder
Ritual Cleansing

     The Olive Harvest of Samaria
     Mt. Ebal
     Olive Tree
Pearl of Great Price
A First Century Synagogue at Gamala
     View from the Vulture Overlook
     Overview of Gamala
Modern Galilee Fishing Boats
Caves and/or Tombs
     Steep Slope near the Lake
Feeding the 5,000
     On the Mountain
     Walking on Water

     Ramot-Zelon area
     Alternate location
Mt. Hermon
The Pool(s) of Bethesda in Jerusalem

     Healing Pools
     Southern Pool
     Crusader Chapel and St. Ann Church
The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem
     Gihon Spring
     Hezekiah's Tunnel
     Overlook of  Siloam
Tower of Siloam
A Watch Tower in a Vineyard/Olive Grove
     Grape Vines at Beth Horan

Mt. Precipice
     South Face
     Over the edge
     Measuring Line
     View of Nazareth from near Megiddo
     The Basilica of the Annunciation
Healing a Paralytic in Capernaum
Waterskins and Wineskins
The Fish and the Coin

A Denarius
Casting out a demon
The Road to Jericho
     Old Roman Road
     Wilderness Above Jericho

     Old Jericho
Western Wall
Rolling Stone Tombs - Jerusalem
     Other Rolling Stone Tombs
Gethsemane and the Cave of  Gethsemane
Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Solar Power in Israel

Salt of the earth

Home Page