555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

113. What Were the Locusts That Became the Food of John the Baptist?

Some writers think it may have been the common locust or green grasshopper, which, when prepared and dried, tastes somewhat like a shrimp. Many ancient authors mention them as food. Diodorus Siculus refers to a people of Ethiopia, who were called acridophaghi, or locust eaters. Porphryius says that whole armies have been saved from starvation by eating locusts. Aristotle and Aristophanes assert that they were relished by the Greeks, and Layard, the discoverer, found evidence that they were eaten in a preserved state by the Assyrians. Later commentators, however have conjectured that the "locust" mentioned in Mark's Gospel as being the food of John the Baptist, was the carob, the fruit of a tree of the locust family, which is a sort of sweetish bean, in pods, much used by the poorer classes.