Carob – Ceratonia siliqua

Sacred to: Ek Chuah (Mayan)

Myth: Legend says John the Baptist sustained himself on the Carob beans while travelling in the wilderness. This particular reference has been rather misunderstood. St. John the Baptist has been reported to survive during his time in the dessert eating locusts (insects). This reference has been confused with Locust Bean which is another word for carob

Commonly believed to be the ‘Locust fruit’ of scriptures.  ‘The dry pulp in which the seeds are buried is very nutritious, and is supposed to have been the food of St. John in the wilderness; wherefore it is called the Locust-tree, and St. John’s Bread.’  John Lindley, quoted in Johnson’s Dictionary.  ‘Its sweet pods are often sold in London under the name of Locust fruit.’  [Gard. Chron. 1841].

Other Notes: The Carob was highly prized by the Ancient Greeks amongst others, it has been cultivated for at least 4000 years and there are references to it in the Bible.

In Palestine believed to be inhabited by devils.

Ceratonia siliqua, Carob, is often called the poor man’s bread and it is regarded as a symbol of humility

Honi and the Carob Tree – A Talmud Tale (as told by Peninnah Schram)

Honi the Wise One was also known as Honi the Circle Maker. By drawing a circle and stepping inside of it, he would recite special prayers for rain, sometimes even argue with God during a drought, and the rains would come. He was, indeed, a miracle maker. As wise as he was, Honi sometimes saw something that puzzled him. Then he would ask questions so he could unravel the mystery.

One day, Honi the Circle Maker was walking on the road and saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?”

The man replied, “Seventy years.”

Honi then asked the man, “And do you think you will live another seventy years and eat the fruit of this tree?”

The man answered, “Perhaps not. However, when I was born into this world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees.”

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