Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Locusts and Wild Honey

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat [food] was locusts and wild honey. Matt.3:4

I thought a Biblical recipe might come in handy sometime, especially one that helps the entire family work together in preparing it.. Under the law of Moses, locusts were kosher. General C. M. Bisset, in his work entitled Sport and War in Africa, gives an interesting illustration of the use of these as food.

"About the year 1830, some dispersed natives from the interior of Africa migrated south to seek employment among the farmers. My father engaged one family, consisting of a man named Job and his two wives, with seven or eight children. Soon after their arrival a flight of locusts came from the interior, and night after night, whilst the locusts settled on the earth, the whole of this family, with great sandals of ox-hide tied on to their feet (very like Canadian snow-shoes), would walk about the whole night wherever the locusts were thickest.

The next day the locusts would again take wing; but where this family had been walking about all night you saw acres and acres of ground covered with swarms of disabled locusts that could not fly away, and the natives would collect them and bring them home in baskets; they would then break off the wings, pinch off the tail end of the body, and pull off the head, and withdraw the inside of the locust; thus the body and legs alone remained, the inside of the body being covered with fat. This portion of the locusts was then spread open upon mats in the sun to dry, and when dry packed away in huts raised from the ground and built on purpose. These people received a very good ration of food, yet this family preferred the bread made from these locusts to any description of food.

Their mode of manipulation was as follows: A basketful of the dried locusts would be taken from their store, and one of the women would sit down on the ground by a flat stone, and with another round stone in her two hands would grind or reduce the locust to flour, and therewith make thick cakes, and bake them on the coals or in the ashes, and eat this locust- bread with wild honey. Honey was most abundant in the country at this time, and I have seen Job, after a day's hunting, carry home leather bags full, weighing more than I could lift from the ground. Hence I believe it was thus that John the Baptist' lived upon locusts and wild honey' in the wilderness.


  1. Interesting! Thanks.

    Steven Montgomery

  2. I heard James Charlesworth speak at BYU on John the Baptist. I think he would have found these insights riveting!