Matthew 3:4 and Mark 1:6 describe the food of John the Baptist as locusts and wild honey. The word locust takes different definitions as follows:
a. large and mainly tropical grasshopper with strong powers of flight. It is usually solitary, but from time to time there is a population explosion, and it migrates in vast swarms that cause extensive damage to crops.
b. the large edible pod of some plants of the pea family, in particular the carob bean, which is said to resemble a locust.
c.any of a number of pod-bearing trees of the pea family, in particular the carob tree and the black locust.
I remember to have read in some old versions of NT which had directly been translated from Syrian language, that the Baptist ate the grasshopper . But modern translations in my language go in favor of the vegetarian dish as at definition (b) above.
I feel that in the original texts, the word ‘locust’ had been used in singular which would refer to the vegetable by its generic name.
My question is : what did the Baptist eat– the vegetable locust or the flying locusts ?