Matthew 3:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 3:4, NIV: John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 3:4, ESV: Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 3:4, KJV: And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 3:4, NASB: Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 3:4, NLT: John's clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 3:4, CSB: Now John had a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

What does Matthew 3:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Scripture's description of John the Baptist intends to show him as something more than just a wild character. Of course, he was wild, indeed. He wore unusual clothing, like a camel's hair garment with a leather belt, and ate unusual food, such as locusts and wild honey. Matthew's description also connects John the Baptist to the prophet Elijah, who dressed in a similar way (2 Kings 1:8). Malachi prophesied that Elijah would return (Malachi 4:5).

John's clothing and diet also connected him to the poor. Wilderness-dwelling people in the Middle East still eat locusts, which are similar to large grasshoppers. John's simple, frugal lifestyle echoed his message to the Jewish people to humbly confess their sins and repent: to turn back to following God.