Rabbi Yokhanan HaMatbil‘s  food was “locusts and wild honey” Mt 3:4. God-given natural foods that remind us of manna Ex 16:31. Most Catholic Bibles translate Rabbi Matityahu‘s Greek word akris directly as “locusts,” as if Rabbi Yokhanan ate insects. Perhaps he did; in his time locusts were kosher Lev 11:22, though later rabbis ruled that, since it was difficult to distinguish among the various kinds of locusts, all had to be prohibited.

Catholic tradition understands akris as “St. John’s bread,” carob, also called “locust bean.” Carob is common in the Mediterranean area and highly nutritious. It is healthy and delicious with wild honey.

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