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Probably the fruit of the carob or locust tree, common in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. When ripe, these pods are filled with a dark honeylike syrup. They were collected, ground up, and fed to animals. They were also eaten by the very poor (Luke 15:16). Since it is possible that the locusts eaten by John the Baptist (Matt 3:4) refer to this plant rather than to the insect, these pods are also called St. John’s Bread.

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.