Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
Wide as was the moral and spiritual difference between the two great prophets of the Jordan wilderness, and the wild ascetics of later times, it is for this very reason important to bear in mind the outward likeness which sets off this inward contrast. Travellers know well the startling appearance of the savage figures who, whether as Bedouins or Dervishes, still haunt the solitary places of the East, with a cloak — the usual striped Bedouin blanket — woven of camel's hair thrown over the shoulders, and tied in front on the breast; naked except at the waist, round which is a girdle of skin, the hair flowing loose about the head. This was precisely the description of Elijah, whose last appearance had been on this very wilderness, before he finally vanished from the eyes of his disciple. This, too, was the aspect of his great representative, when he came, in the same place, dwelling, like the sons of the prophets, in a leafy covert, woven of the branches of the Jordan forest, preaching, in raiment of camel's hair, with a leathern girdle round his loins, eating the locusts of the desert, and the wild honey or manna which dripped from the tamarisks of the desert region, or which distilled from the palm-groves of Jericho. To the same wilderness, probably that on the eastern side, Jesus is described as "led up" by the Spirit — up into the desert-hills whence Moses had seen the view of all the kingdom of Palestine — "with the wild beasts" which lurked in the bed of the Jordan, or in the caves of the hills, "where John was baptising, beyond Jordan."
Parallel VersesKJV: Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.