Description of John (Mt 3:4-3:4)

“Now John wore clothing

Of camel’s hair,

With a leather belt

Around his waist.

His food was locusts

With wild honey.”

 

Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ Ἰωάνης εἶχεν τὸ ἔνδυμα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τριχῶν καμήλου καὶ ζώνην δερματίνην περὶ τὴν ὀσφὺν αὐτοῦ· ἡ δὲ τροφὴ ἦν αὐτοῦ ἀκρίδες καὶ μέλι ἄγριον.

 

Matthew’s description of John the Baptist’s clothes (Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ Ἰωάνης εἶχεν τὸ ἔνδυμα αὐτοῦ) was taken directly from Mark, chapter 1:6. His clothing was camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist (ἀπὸ τριχῶν καμήλου καὶ ζώνην δερματίνην περὶ τὴν ὀσφὺν αὐτοῦ). His food was locusts and wild honey (ἡ δὲ τροφὴ ἦν αὐτοῦ ἀκρίδες καὶ μέλι ἄγριον). There was nothing special here. This was simple dull clothing and a weak sweet vegetarian diet of food. This description is very reminiscent of the description of Elijah in 2 Kings, chapter 1:8, who also wore a garment of hair and a leather belt. Thus, the comparison of John the Baptist with Elijah was only natural.