Isaiah 30:6; Genesis 24:10-64; Isaiah 21:7; Esther 8:10-14; 1 Kings 4:28; Esther 8:10; Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 2:23; Matthew 23:24; Matthew 19:24
The well-known domestic animal of the East was the gamal with one hump; the word “bunches” in Isaiah 30:66The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. (Isaiah 30:6) seems to refer to the humps. Camels are very suited in their construction for the country in which they are used, their feet being especially fitted for the deserts, and their powers of endurance enabling them to travel without frequently drinking. They need as much water as other animals, but God has given them receptacles in which they stow away the water they drink, and use it as they need it. Cases have been known of a camel being killed for the sake of the water that could be found in it when its owner was dying of thirst. They feed upon the coarse and prickly shrubs of the desert.
They form an important item in Eastern riches. Job had 3,000 camels. They are used for riding as well as for beasts of burden, a lighter breed being used for riding and for carrying the mails (Gen. 24:10-6410And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. 11And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. 12And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. 13Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 14And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master. 15And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not. 22And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; 23And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in? 24And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. 25She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in. 26And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord. 27And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren. 28And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things. 29And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 30And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. 31And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. 32And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him. 33And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on. 34And he said, I am Abraham's servant. 35And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. 36And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. 37And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: 38But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. 39And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. 40And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house: 41Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath. 42And I came this day unto the well, and said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: 43Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; 44And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the Lord hath appointed out for my master's son. 45And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee. 46And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also. 47And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands. 48And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son. 49And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. 50Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the Lord hath spoken. 52And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. 53And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. 54And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. 55And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. 56And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. 57And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. 58And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. 59And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. 61And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country. 63And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 64And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. (Genesis 24:10‑64)). In Isaiah 21:77And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: (Isaiah 21:7) we read of a “chariot of camels.” Camels were not thus used in Palestine, but the prophecy refers to messengers coming from Babylon, and there another species of camel was common, called the Bactrian Camel, with two humps; these were at times linked in pairs to rude chariots. Perhaps the same species is alluded to in Esther 8:10-1410And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: 11Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, 12Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. 13The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace. (Esther 8:10‑14), that occurrence being also in the far East: the Hebrew word there is achashteranim. The camel was by the Levitical law an unclean animal.
The proverb of a camel being swallowed when a gnat was scrupulously strained out (Matt. 23:2424Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:24)), is to show how the weightier precepts of God may be neglected along with great attention to trivial things. Another proverb is that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:2424And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24)). This has been thought to refer to the camel squeezing through a small gate, which it could do with difficulty; but the Lord’s explanation refers it to what was impossible in the nature of things, yet was possible with God. In grace the new creation overcomes all difficulties.