But what went ye out for to see?
&c.] Since it cannot be thought it was to see the reeds in the wilderness blow to and fro by the wind, or a man like one of them, either in gesture or doctrine; was it to see
a man clothed in soft raiment?
In raiment made of soft materials, as fine wool, cotton, silk such as Mecaenos wore, and who was therefore called Malacinus F25: one finely dressed, and richly apparelled, draws the eyes of persons to him; but such an one is not to be expected in a wilderness: and if the Jews went to see such a person, they were greatly disappointed; for John's raiment was of camel's hair, undressed, and he had a leathern girdle about his loins; and as for his diet, it was locusts and wild honey: no,
behold they that wear soft clothing,
or, as Luke says, are "gorgeously apparelled"; to which he adds,
and live delicately, are in kings' houses,
or "courts"; not in a desert, where John came preaching, nor in a prison, where he now was: he was no light, inconstant, flattering person, as generally courtiers are; had he, he would not have been in a prison; it was for his uprightness and faithfulness, in reproving Herod the king, that he was in such a place and condition. Thus from his very garb and diet, his character is vindicated from the charge of levity and change.
F25 Alex. ab Alex. Genial Dier. 1. 5. c. 18.