New Testament

Matthew 19:24

21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! 24 Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” 25 The disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.”

Date: 70-90 C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates

Bava Metzia 38b

Babylonian Talmud

The Gemara relates: There was a similar incident in Neharde’a, and Rav Sheshet resolved the matter from this baraita and ruled that the court does not authorize a relative to descend to the property of a captive. Rav Amram said to him: Perhaps we learned in the baraita that the courts do not allow a relative to descend and to sell the land? Rav Sheshet said mockingly to him, employing a similar style: Perhaps you are from Pumbedita, where people pass an elephant through the eye of a needle, i.e., they engage in specious reasoning. But doesn’t the juxtaposition between their wives and their children in the verse teach that the meaning is similar in both cases? Just as there, with regard to the wives, it means that they may not remarry at all, so too here, with regard to the sons, it means that they may not descend to the property at all.

Date: 450-550 C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates