Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The noun καμηλος (kamelos) means camel, and although to modern Westerners a camel is a big lumbering horse with humps, to the ancients it was something a great deal more specific.
Like today, most people lived in or near cities, and those cities provided the economic, intellectual and governmental hub to a much broader region (which in turn sported large agricultural complexes, with their own local villages that emerged from workers' barracks and such). And between those capital cities there was international trade: caravans of camels that connected production centers like patches sewn together into a blanket of global trade.
Horses were perfect for soldiers and a horse was regarded as a unit of the army's mobility, like a modern Jeep or Hummer. Donkeys specialized in domestic trade and transportation of persons: the modern mini-van. The camel was a wilderness and long distance specialist, like a modern truck, and was hence regarded as a unit of international trade. This helps to explain why the evangelists note that John the Baptist wore a robe (i.e. an ενδυμα, enduma, or a "thing gotten into") of camel hair: John's message went far and wide by merit of international trade (see our article on the name Abraham; the proverbial "father" of international trade).
The camel as unit of international trade also helps to explain the image of a new patch on an old garment or new wine in old wineskins (Matthew 9:16-17), which both have to do with the relationship of new ideas and old markets, but also Jesus' famous camel-and-needle remark (Matthew 19:24), which really speaks of the relationship between the acquisition of wisdom and that of wealth (both of which require vast networks of trade: see 1 Kings 10:23-25 and Revelation 21:24). And to deflate the usual myths: no small gate called eye-of-the-needle is mentioned anywhere in classical literature, and no word καμιλος (kamilos) meaning "rope" occurs anywhere in Greek literature prior to the publication of the gospels.
A Greek speaker might be forgiven to think that there was a connection between our word καμηλος (kamelos), unit of international trade, and καμινος (kaminos), furnace or kiln, also since the link between economic expansion and economic (over-)heating appears to be deeply intuitive and baked into our very human languages. In fact, our noun καμηλος (kamelos) is a transliteration of the Hebrew noun גמל (gamal), also meaning camel.
The Greek language is younger than the Hebrew one, and where Greek emerged in a world that was already wholly marked by global trade, Hebrew looks back upon a world in which global trade was as novel as the Internet is to us moderns. In Hebrew, the verb גמל (gamal) describes the initiation of a process that is hoped to result in maturation. It refers to trail-blazing and to the initial investment made into a relationship between centers of production that will hopefully solidify into a permanent trade route, with roads and oases with restaurants and inns along the way.
Significantly, in the Hebrew Bible, the verb גמל (gamal) is also used to mean to wean, to train a young child off milk and onto solid food. Our noun גמל (gamal) is a unit of that: a unit of international trade when the traffic is still conducted through an unregulated wilderness, while the steps of many feet are hoped to ultimately result in a worn-smooth highway, for anybody to journey on. The noun τριβος (tribos), smoothness, is used in the New Testament only in the description of the proverbial highway that John in his camel dress was calling people to make (Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3 and Luke 3:4).
The verb גמל (gamal) means to invest in a new market, and hence our noun καμηλος (kamelos), means "unit of new market creation". It occurs 6 times in the New Testament; see full concordance.