Context: Following the death of Herod, Joseph, having fled with his family to Egypt before the slaying of the innocents, is told by the Lord in a dream that he might return safely to Israel. Fearing, however, the new king of Judea, Archelaus, Joseph goes instead to the city of Nazareth in Galilee. Several years later, John the Baptist, wearing a camel's hair garment and eating locusts and wild honey, is found preaching in the wilderness of Judea. He calls upon the people to repent, likens his voice in the desert and his message of preparation for the coming of the Lord to those of Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3), and exhorts his hearers to smooth the road for the Lord as for a mighty king:
For this is he that was spoken of by the Prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.