God Conversation
God Conversation
The Messiah would be called a Nazarene

The Messiah would be called a Nazarene

Podcast and outline

Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

The words of Nathanael in John 1:46: “Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, "Come and see."  

People from Nazareth were not held in high esteem; they were considered backward and, we might say, “trashy.” In fact, Galilee as a whole did not have a sterling reputation. When the Pharisee Nicodemus defended Jesus in front of his fellow Pharisees, they replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee” (John 7:52).

Matthew 2:23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene

No Old Testament prophecy corresponds to these precise words. The paraphrase is based on Jesus’ boyhood home, Nazareth, and a similar-sounding Hebrew word netser, which is translated as “sprout,” “shoot,” or “branch.”

What does "Nazarene" mean?

“Nazarene” refers to the “branch” in Isaiah 11:1

The Hebrew word for “branch” in Isaiah 11:1 is ‘netser”, and since Hebrew was written with only consonants, this word would have appeared as NZR, which are the same consonants found in Nazarene

“Nazarene” refers to a person who is despised

In the first century, Nazareth was a small town with a negative reputation.

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Nazareth may draw on the deeper meaning of the name in application to the prophecies that Jesus would be called a Nazerene. Matthew may also  simply use a word play which might have been recognized by his Jewish audience.  The verb nazar can have very broad application (cf. Lev. 15:31; 22:2; Num. 6:2; Ezek. 14:7; Hos. 9:10). The Messiah would be “set apart” to God in the ultimate sense.

God Conversation
God Conversation
A new episode every weekday from Monday to Friday. Tony Silveira from Montreal, Canada. Short Bible Studies every weekday.
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