John the Baptist and Locusts

This entry is part 119 of 371 in the series Inquiring Minds

How did John the Baptist, a practicing Jew, eat unclean locusts and how would he have chosen to do that?

This question stumped me at first. If locusts were unclean insects, he would not be able to eat them. I postulated that maybe they were one of the only food items available to him in the wilderness. But this is not true.

There were a number of different foods and things that John could’ve eaten in the wilderness. The fact that he chose to locusts and wild honey further magnifies his affinity with Elijah and live in a gruff life.

It turns out that Jews were allowed to eat locusts of all kinds (Leviticus 11:20-23). It seems this was an exception to the law stated in Leviticus 11:20. It is followed up with allowance for all types of locusts.

Therefore, John the Baptist could eat locusts and still be a practicing Jew. They were not unclean to eat in the wilderness. But who knows. Perhaps John the Baptist fry them and dipped them in honey. It’s not chocolate covered ants, but it’s not too bad.

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