1. Mark 1:6 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What does John's clothing and food identify him as?

Mark 1:6 (ESV)

6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.

The description of John’s clothing and food identifies him as a dweller in the wilderness. The Bedouins wear coats made of camel hair (not camel skins) and leather belts. Their food consists of locusts and wild honey (although it is possible that meli agron means something else, namely, the sap of certain trees). The clothing is not characteristic of a prophet. But when a prophet (such as John appears to be; see Mark 1:4–5) wears such wilderness clothes, it identifies him as a prophet of repentance. This connects John with someone like Elijah (2 Kings 1:8) and with other prophets of repentance (Zechariah 13:4).1