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Author Topic: He shall be called a Nazarene  (Read 2010 times)

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newoldstock

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He shall be called a Nazarene
« on: August 08, 2007, 12:42:52 PM »

Matthew 2:23-- He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled: He shall be called a Nazarene. [Isa. 11:1.] AMP
Question: I am doing a detailed bible study of Matthew and can not find a reference in the Old Testament for "He shall be called a Nazarene." The the reference given in various translations is Isa. 11:1 "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,And a branch from his roots will bear fruit." I don't see how it can be the proper reference. I can't see how I could pull "He shall ge called a Nazarene" from Isa. 11:1. ???
Do any of you know of any other reference?  Thanks, newoldstock 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 03:29:24 PM by newoldstock »
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Kat

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Re: He shall be called a Nazarene
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007, 02:32:38 PM »


Hi newoldstock,

I look in the commentaries sometimes to see what they have to say and have gotten a lot of relevant info from them.  Here is what Albert Barnes' notes on the Bible says, I thought it would be helpful  :)

Mat 2:23 -
...That it might be fulfilled which was spoken ... 
The words here are not found in any of the books of the Old Testament, and there has been much difficulty in ascertaining the meaning of this passage. Some have supposed that Matthew meant to refer to Jdg_13:5, to Samson as a type of Christ; others that he refers to Isa_11:1, where the descendant of Jesse is called “a Branch;” in the Hebrew נצר  Nêtzer. Some have supposed that he refers to some prophecy which was not recorded, but handed down by tradition. But these suppositions are not satisfactory. It is much more probable that Matthew refers not to any particular place, but to the leading characteristics of the prophecies respecting him. The following remarks may make this clear:
1. He does not say “by the prophet,” as in Mat_1:22; Mat_2:5, Mat_2:15, but “by the prophets,” meaning no one particularly, but the general character of the prophecies.
2. The leading and most prominent prophecies respecting him were, that he was to be of humble life; to be despised and rejected. See Isa_53:2-3, Isa_53:7-9, Isa_53:12; Ps. 22.
3. The phrase “he shall be called” means the same as he shall be.
4. The character of the people of Nazareth was such that they were proverbially despised and contemned, Joh_1:46; Joh_7:52. To come from Nazareth, therefore, or to be a Nazarene, was the same as to be despised, or to be esteemed of low birth; to be a root out of dry ground, having no form or comeliness. This was what had been predicted by all the prophets. When Matthew says, therefore, that the prophecies were “fulfilled,” his meaning is, that the predictions of the prophets that he would be of a low and despised condition, and would be rejected, were fully accomplished in his being an inhabitant of Nazareth, and despised as such.
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mercy, peace, and love
Kat

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newoldstock

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Re: He shall be called a Nazarene
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 03:22:55 PM »

Thanks once again Kat.  :) This verse is very perplexing to me. I usually do not consult commentaries, but I certainly see how they can be helpful especially perhaps with this verse. Is Barnes one of the eSword commentaries? If so, I will download it tonight. The Amplified bible says in brackets "branch or Separated One" after Nazarene. I think that separated one would be Nazarite. Such as one who has taken a Nazarite vow. I have checked a few other commentaries now and most focus on Nazarene as a root of  the root word "branch". It looks like the commentators are really reaching out on a "thin branch" for this one. Even if the root word is branch, how did Matthew get "He shall be called a Nazarene" from "then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit."? Either Barnes is correct with his idea of general prophesies with no specific one in mind or perhaps this quote is from a book that is missing or didn't make it into the Cannon. Jim
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Kat

  • Guest
Re: He shall be called a Nazarene
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2007, 03:38:58 PM »


Hi Jim,

Yes this was from eSword.  I know they do not offer any understanding of the Spirit.  But I find them useful in fact finding and History info.
Some of these things are so technical, going back to the root word and all, I really don't weight heavily on them.  But an understanding of it is good.
Here is another commentary that goes along with Barnes.

John Gill's exploration of the Entire Bible -

"...that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet..."

This affair of going into Galilee, and settling at Nazareth, was brought about with this view, to accomplish what had been foretold by the prophets, or prophet, the plural number being used for the singular, as in Joh_6:45. And indeed it is so rendered here in the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions; and designs the prophet Isaiah, and respects that prophecy of his in Isa_11:1 "and there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and נצר, "a branch shall grow out of his roots"; a prophecy owned by the Jews (e) themselves to belong to the Messiah, and which was now fulfilled in Jesus; who as he was descended from Jesse's family, so by dwelling at Nazareth, he would appear to be, and would be "called a Nazarene, or Netzer, the branch"; being an inhabitant of Natzareth, or Netzer, so called from the multitude of plants and trees that grew there.

A Nazarene, as David de Pomis says (f),

"is one that is born in the city Netzer, which is said to be in the land of Galilee, three days journey distant from Jerusalem.''

Now though Christ was not born, yet because he dwelt at Nazareth, and was educated there; hence the Jews frequently call him ישוע הנוצרי, "Jesus, the Nazarene (g)"; and sometimes only הנוצרי, "the Nazarene" (h). They also design him by בן נצר, "Ben Netzer" (i), of whom they say a great many evil things: and that Christ is often called Jesus of Nazareth, or the Nazarene, and his followers Nazarenes, from the place of his habitation, is known to everyone. One of Christ's disciples is called Netzer in the Talmud (k), and made to plead for his life, because his name signified a branch, according to Isa_11:1. Surenhusius observes (l), that the form לקיום מה שנאמר "to fulfil what is said", used by the Talmudists, and which he takes to be the same with this here, is used by them, when they allege not the very words of Moses, or the prophets, but their sense, which is deduced as a certain axiom from them; and thinks it is applicable to the present case.
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mercy, peace, and love
Kat

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hillsbororiver

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Re: He shall be called a Nazarene
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2007, 03:39:11 PM »

Hi Jim

Interesting subject for sure, nice research there Kat!

I was thinking about the difference between the phrase "it was spoken" and the phrase "it is written."

There may have been an oral tradition that many of the Jews were familiar with that covered this prophecy, you can see in this verse (Matt 2:23) the word "prophets" plural, rather than "prophet" singular and that Matthew writes "it was spoken" not "it was written" the verses Kat provided may have been expounded on by the "prophets" and lived on through the spoken word from one generation to the other.

Good topic,

Joe
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newoldstock

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Re: He shall be called a Nazarene
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2007, 03:55:36 PM »



I was thinking about the difference between the phrase "it was spoken" and the phrase "it is written."

Joe and Kat good answers. I think that "it was spoken" vs. the phrase "it is written" is a good point and may very well be the answer to this perplexing scripture. The use of prophets vs. prophet is also a good clue to the views of Barnes.

Thanks to both of you and Peace.
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gmik

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Re: He shall be called a Nazarene
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2007, 11:02:17 PM »

Oh, I love historical answers.  I wouldn't have thought of that as a question, but I learned some things.  Cool!


THIS is it. ;) (ya just gotta know)
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