Wild honey, Mark 1:6.

When it is so often repeated in the Holy Scripture, that God gave to his people Israel "a land flowing with milk and honey," hence, 1. One would conclude that the whole land flowed with it; and, 2. Hence one would expect infinite hives of bees. But hear what the Talmudists say of these things:

"R. Jonah saith, The land flowing with milk and honey is the land, some part of which flows with milk and honey." And that part, they say, is in Galilee: for thus they speak; "For sixteen miles every way from Zippor is a land flowing with milk and honey": of which thing and country we shall speak elsewhere.

"R. Jose of Galilee saith, They bring not the firstfruits out of the country which is beyond Jordan, because that is not the land flowing with milk and honey." And he that brought the firstfruits was to say, "The Lord gave us this land flowing with milk and honey; and now I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me." Deuteronomy 26:9,10.

But that part that flowed, how did it flow with honey? Learn that from Rambam upon the place: "When he saith 'and honey,' he understands the honey of palms. For the palm trees, which are in the plain and in the valleys, abound very much with honey."

There was honey also distilling from fig-trees. "R. Jacob Ben Dositheus saith, I went on a certain time from Lydda to Ono before day-break, up to the ancles in the honey of figs."

This is the 'wild honey,' of which the evangelists speak, as of the Baptist's food. And how convenient for this the region about Jericho was, which was called 'The country of palm-trees,' is clear to every eye. Diodorus Siculus hath these words of a certain nation of Arabians: "They have pepper from the trees, and much honey, called wild honey, which they use to drink with water." Whether it were also as plentiful in locusts we do not say; certainly, in this also it gave place to no country, if either barrenness or fruitfulness served for the breeding them: for Jericho and the adjacent parts was like a garden of pleasure in the midst of a desert. Certainly, the place was very convenient for that great work to be performed by the Baptist; that is, baptizing in Jordan.