Matthew 2:23 NIV

and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

From what research I have done, it does not seem that any of the prophets who are recorded in the old testament said this, or anything similar. Even the apocrypha does not seem to make reference to this prophecy.

Even more troubling, is Matthew saying the prophets, plural, have predicted this, making it even more vexing that it is not written in anywhere in the canon today. What was Matthew referencing here?

  • Also, more to the point - why is the sect of Nazarenes (such as Samson was) conflated with a geographical location? Dec 20, 2012 at 23:55
  • 1
    Nazareth is a place and has nothing to do with being a Nazarite. You would be a Nazareen if you came from Nazareth not a Nazarite, two completely different things.
    – user8826
    Nov 30, 2013 at 0:02
  • 1
    @zurc maybe, but Matthew is clearly connecting the two? Isn't he? Dec 1, 2013 at 1:04
  • This article notes numerous examples of this problem (New Testament quoting scriptures that we cannot find), and supplies early church father quotes about this problem and they handled it. Useful resource, I felt it warranted a comment, though not a full answer.
    – emeth
    Jul 22, 2019 at 14:43

13 Answers 13


My response comes from this article about OT prophecy about Jesus from Nazareth.

It basically states that there is no direct Old-Testament reference to Nazareth. The article postulates two explanations:

1) It was a reference that Jesus would be despised.

He says 'prophets,' plural. It could be that Matthew was referring to several Old Testament references to the despised character of Jesus (i.e., Psalm 22:6, 13; 69:10; Isaiah 49:7; 53:3; Micah 5:1). Nazareth held the Roman garrison for the northern areas of Galilee.1 Therefore, the Jews would have little to do with this place and largely despised it

2) It might be a play on words for the Hebrew word for branch.

there could be a play on words that Matthew was referring to. In Isaiah 11:1 it says, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit." In Hebrew, the word for "branch" is netzer, "NZR" which letters are included in NaZaReth.

  • 1
    "In Hebrew, the word for "branch" is netzer, "NZR" which letters are included in NaZaReth." Your arguement trying to connect netzer with Nazareth lacks foundation in the Hebrew word netzer. Your reading Matthew 2.23 into Isaiah 11:1 when there is no such verse (He will be called a Nazarean) anywhere in the Hebrew Bible!!! May 25, 2018 at 18:15
  • 2
    @YochananMauritzHummasti Actually, Matthew says nothing about any verse or scripture, just that the prophets foretold ("declared") that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. The prophets aren't confined to the Scriptures only, but prophesied elsewise: we know this from the Scriptures themselves. Also, even in the Talmud they paraphrase Scripture as if it is a citation all the time, assuming the reader knows the passage or passages in question and how said paraphrase is a relevant reading of the passage. Also, Nazareth is just a feminized form of the word nezter, indicating a place name. Oct 26, 2019 at 19:53

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. (Matthew 2:23) [ESV]

In his book, Barney Kasdan states Matthew is using a midrash, which is "an interpretive act, seeking the answers to religious questions (both practical and theological) by plumbing the meaning of the words of the Torah."1

In the context of Matthew and other similar verses, this would be more of a midrashic approach, a broad application derived from specific biblical statements. It is not that Matthew is ignorant of the fact there is no such verse that specifically mentions Natzeret. But in good Semitic fashion, he uses a sermonic application to many of the events recorded in the life of Yeshua. In this case, any educated Jew would understand the connection between the town of Natzeret and the Mashiach. The town's name is, in fact, derived from the Hebrew word for "branch," which would call to mind a common term for the Messiah himself (cf. Isaiah 11:1, Zechariah 6:12, as well as the synonym "tzemach" found in Jeremiah 23:5 and Tractate Berachot 2.5)2

Matthew's midrash would be called an aggadah which interprets biblical narrative, exploring questions of ethics or theology, or creating homilies and parables based on the text."3

What Matthew is pointing out is a good play on words that the Netzer (Branch) is now residing in the city called Natzeret (Branch). In his mind, this is a perfect midrashic fulfillment of this concept that is indeed mentioned by several writers of the Tanakh (note the plural "prophets" in verse 23). Instead of being a contradiction or mistake, this verse actually underscores the messianic qualifications of Yeshua in a manner that many first-century (and modern) Jews would appreciate.4

Of the three passages cited, the direct linguistic connection to Nazareth is present only in Isaiah where "branch" is נֵצֶר, netser:

Isaiah 11:1
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. (ESV)
And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a blossom shall come up from root: (LXX)

"Branch" in Jeremiah and Zechariah is צֶמַח tsemach:

Jeremiah 23:5:
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. (ESV) Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will raise up to David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and understand, and shall execute judgment and righteousness on the earth. (LXX)

Zechariah 6:12
And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. (ESV)
and thou shalt say to him, Thus saith the Lord Almighty; Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall spring up from his stem, and build the house of the Lord. (LXX)

In order for Matthew's use of prophets (plural) to be accurate, the two Hebrew terms must be conflated as applied to Jesus. This is a valid interpretative, or aggadah as the passage in Isaiah and Jeremiah are considered messianic. Even if the messianic expectation at that time was for two Messiahs, Messiah ben David and Messiah ben Joseph, both Isaiah (root of Jesse) and Jeremiah (David, a righteous branch) point to the Davidic Messiah. Therefore, Matthew is correct in using prophets (plural).

In citing Scripture to show how Jesus met the qualifications of the Davidic Messiah, Matthew begins with the ancestry (Chapter 1) and then points to three physical locations:

  • Bethlehem: birthplace was Jesse's city (2:5-6)
  • Egypt: fled Bethlehem so He could be called out of Egypt (2:15)
  • Nazareth: a branch from the root of Jesse (2:23)

The branch, "netser," is important to explain why the Davidic Messiah would be called a Nazarene, that is to say, Jesus of Nazareth and not, for example, Jesus of Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Messiah. Consider also how any questions or doubts raised by the genealogy in Chapter 1 are answered by identifying Jesus as both the nester of Jesse and and the tsemach of David. In other words, the locations, and particularly Nazareth, is proof Jesus is a descendant of Jesse.

John confirms no one expected the Branch to be from Nazareth:

Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:46)

One of the qualifications of the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. Matthew's midrash addresses an overlooked qualification for the Messiah: to be called a נֵצֶר netser as Isaiah clearly states. So, after affirming His ancestry (Chapter 1), and birthplace, and coming out of Egypt, as predicted by the prophets, Matthew explains why the Davidic Messiah would not be called by either the town of His birth or His ancestry.

As a peripheral issue, Judaism does not recognize the passage in Zechariah as messianic. Commenting on Zechariah, Ehud Ben Zvi notes:

One would expect that the king would be crowned, but only the high priest Joshua is. Ibn Ezra, Radak, Rashi, and others consider Zerubbabel to be the Branch, and the person for who the other crown was meant. The Targum, however, reflects a different understanding: "And you shall take silver and gold and make a large crown and set it upon the head of Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. And you shall speak to him saying, 'Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, behold the man whose name is Anointed will be revealed and he shall be raised up, and shall build the temple of the LORD.'"5

Matthew, however, may have also seen this passage as predictive of the Messiah. The man whose name is Anointed (i.e. "Christ") shall be raised up and build the temple of the Lord; that is, His body:

18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (John 2)

The Scripture John is referring to is in Zechariah.

1. My Jewish Learning
2. Barney Kasdan, Matthew Presents Yeshua, King Messiah, Lederer Books, 2011, p. 25
3. My Jewish Learning
4. Kasdan., p. 26
5. Ehud Ben Zvi, The Jewish Study Bible, Edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 1256


Some think that Samson was a type of Messiah because he was a Nazarite (one consecrated to God - נָזִר nazir) for his entire life.

Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’ (Judges 13:7, ESV)

But this is not the only prophetical book that ties into the Nazarite theme of Messiah. The same Hebrew word 'nazir' is used (set apart) in reference to Joseph who was also a type of Messiah.

The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, up to the bounties of the everlasting hills. May they be on the head of Joseph, and on the brow of him who was set apart (נָזִר nazir) from his brothers. (Genesis 49:26, ESV - brackets original Hebrew)

Therefore by both Judges and Genesis playing on the theme of 'nazir' it can be said the prophets predicted that Messiah would be called a Nazarite.

According to Alfred Edersheim there is even an ancient Jewish tradition that seems to recognize this Messianic expectation of nazir:

ancient Jewish tradition, in referring to the blessing spoken to Dan (Gen. xlix. 17, 18), applies this addition: “I have waited for Thy salvation, Jehovah,” through Samson the Danite, to the Messiah. (Alfred Edresheim, Bible History Old Testament)

This view also seems to have been held by John Calvin, here.

  • I think this is closer to the truth. the Septuagint word for Nazarite being my reason for believing this. Jun 17, 2019 at 23:49

The root word for Nazareth and Nazirene are similar in both the hebrew and greek. The hebrew NeTseR is used as most likely a play on words in the Hebrew, which is read right to left (Resh-Tsade-Nun : Strong's H5342) means a "figurative descendent". It's direct translation is "Sprout, Shoot, Branch" which used in Isaiah 11:1-refering to Meshiach (Messiah), but also 14:19, 60.21, Dan 11:7. NeTseR is also the root word for Nazereth so in Hebrew the word play would be obvious.

The Gospel of Mathew was written in Hebrew as attributed to the Apostolic Father Papias (Papias, 150-170 CE, quoted by Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 3:39), and church Fathers, Ireneus (Ireneus, 170 CE, Against Heresies 3:1), Origin (Origen circa 210 CE, quoted by Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 6:25). Knowing this we imagine there was a play on words, characteristic in Hebrew, in Matt. 2:23" Were Yeshua (Jesus) "...came to a town "NaTseReTh"(little branch) ... ","...Spoken by the Prophets...","...would be called a "NeTseR" (Branch). The greek "Nazoraios" (Strong"s G3480, translated Nazarene in english, would have been Resh-Zayin-Nun in Hebrew, see Amos 2:11,12, but Nazoraios may have been the closest translation in the greek in order to preserve the hebrew word play. It means a Nazirite; one who takes a Nazirite vow. However,we know Yeshuah (Jesus) never took a Nazarite vow since we know he drank wine which is forbidden to any Nazirite. In addition there is nowhere in the prophets that speak of Mashiach being a Nazarite, which is contrary to Mathews gospel.

On the other hand, another hebrew word for "Branch" is TsaMaCh, (Chet-Mem-Tsade in hebrew, Strong's H6780), see; Jer. 23:5, 33:15, Zech. 3:8, 6:12- all clear references to Meshiach, but also found in Isa 4:2, 61:11, , Ezek. 16:7, 17:9,10, Hos. 8:7, Psalm 65:11.

So the theme of "The Branch" referring to Meshiach, NeTseR in Matt. 2:23, TsaMaCh in Jer 23:5, 33:15, Zech 3:8, 6:12, all referring to Yeshua Mashiach, was spoken by the Prophets as well fulfilling Mathew's gospel. Thus the entire statement of Matt 2:23 is fulfilled, but only if we assume a hebrew word play in an original hebrew Gospel of Matthew.


I believe that it is pointing to the prophecies regarding "The branch" (Especially as it is stated in Isaiah 11:1) but also something more for people to just study out of interest. IT could be pointing to "The seed of the women". instead of looking at Nun-Tsion-Resh as a single word in the Hebrew there are two instances where this appears when speaking of sowing/seed of women.

[Num 5:28 KJV] 28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and [shall conceive]:[נִזְרְעָה] seed.


[Eze 36:9 KJV] 9 For, behold, I [am] for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and [sown]:[נִזְרַעְתֶּֽם]

This is the only two places that I can find this...interestingly Numbers 5 is speaking of the jealousy of a husband and a curse against an adulterous wife. The curse is removed from the book by erasing it with holy water (whether she is adulterous or not). In Ezekiel 36 God is speaking of His jealousy for Israel and how "He" will restore her from their adulterous state for "His names sake"

So it can be talking of sowing/seed of the women and also "winnowing" (Mat 4!)

This then fits in with "the tree of life" (seed within itself) / the sower / the seed of the women (seed singular spoken of by the apostles and prophets - Christ) and also the judgement of God (winnowing - removal of chaff to gather in the wheat). ... (Have a look at zara/zera in the Hebrew) nazareth maybe (maybe) referring to nzara (zara/zera)...Could be all conjecture or there might be something in this. Either way...it was lovely to read everything and it all clearly points to the Messiah wheter we look to Nazarite or "The Branch"...etc

Every blessing to you all

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    – agarza
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I think part of the difficulties in finding what this refers to are that:

  1. It appears to be a paraphrase and not a direct quotation.

  2. There appear to be multiple Hebrew words that could be associated with the Greek word Ναζωραῖος (Nazooraios) - Nazarene (there is a discussion of this here)

Some Church Fathers associate the Greek Ναζωραῖος (Nazooraios) with the Hebrew roots נצר and/or נזר. These words have multiple vocalizations:

נֵ֫צֶר [neser] - "root" or "branch"; translated "flower" in the Septuagint

נָצַר [naser] - "keep watch", "protect", "preserve", etc.

נָזַר [nazar] - "consecrate" or "separate oneself"

נָזִיר [nazir] - a consecrated (i.e. holy) one

Both Jerome (Commentary on Matthew) and Cyril of Alexandria (Fragment 16) saw "Nazorene" as referring to neser (root/branch/flower), which appears in Isaiah:

Isaiah 11:1 (RSV)

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch [נֵ֫צֶר] shall grow out of his roots.

Isaiah 11:1 (Brenton LXX)

And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a blossom [ἄνθος/נֵ֫צֶר] shall come up from his root.

Both, along with Chromatius (Tractate on Matthew VII.2), also allow that it might also refer to nazir, in the sense of "holy", as relates to the Nazorites [נָזִיר], in the Book of Numbers.

John Chrysostom has a completely different understanding and supposes that the original prophesy is lost:

And what manner of prophet said this? Be not curious, nor overbusy. For many of the prophetic writings have been lost; and this one may see from the history of the Chronicles [2 Chronicles 9:29] For being negligent, and continually falling into ungodliness, some they suffered to perish, others they themselves burnt up and cut to pieces. The latter fact Jeremiah relates [36:23] the former, he who composed the fourth book of Kings [LXX; 2 Kings in MT], saying, that after [22:8] a long time the book of Deuteronomy was hardly found, buried somewhere and lost. But if, when there was no barbarian there, they so betrayed their books, much more when the barbarians had overrun them. For as to the fact, that the prophet had foretold it, the apostles themselves in many places call Him a Nazarene [Acts 3:6,22;4:10;6:14].

Homily IX on the Gospel According to St. John


Matthew 2:23 is the only biblical reference to Jesus as a Nazarene. This says that this was in fulfilment of a prophecy, but there is no known Old Testament or apocryphal text that mentions Nazarenes. However, there is another intriguing reference that also seems to suggest that the term was not used simply to refer to residents of the village of Nazareth in Galilee.

Acts 24:5 has Tertullus refer to Paul as a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

Acts 24:5 does not have to be accepted as historically reliable to be of interest here, since the use of the term in Acts shows that at least by the end of the first century there must have been a sect of that name.

Nearly all critical scholars say that Matthew's Gospel was substantially based on Mark's Gospel, so the author of Matthew knew from several references in Mark's Gospel that Jesus was from Nazareth. But this author found it useful to link Nazareth to being "called a Nazarene." The interpretation of this depends on whether the sect to which Acts 24:5 refers only arose in the approximately two decades that elapsed between the authorship of Matthew and that of Acts, or whether there was already a Nazarene sect of which Matthew's author was aware.

If there was no Old Testament or apocryphal text in which it was prophesied that the Messiah would be a Nazarene, the author of Matthew must have had other reasons for drawing attention to Jesus as a Nazarene. In my view, Acts 24:5 provides that reason, if only obscurely. During the first century, there was a sect of Nazarenes of which Jesus would be seen as the leader.

Note: The Nazarenes should not be confused with Nazarites, such as Samson. It would certainly be hard to picture either Jesus or Paul as having followed the rituals and laws that applied to Nazarites.


I would like to add a bit more detail to Mike's answer. Samson was the one about whom the bible says,

Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’ (Judges 13:7, ESV).

There are several more verse which have dual application - refers to Jesus and some other person.

Some examples:

  1. Israel and Jesus:

    Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt.

This clearly refers to the deliverance of Israelites from Egypt, but was applied to Jesus

Matthew 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son.”

  1. Solomon and Jesus: Psalm 72 - David sang this Psalm as a prayer for Solomon, but it applies to Jesus more than Solomon

  2. Isaiah's son and Jesus: Isaiah 7:14-17 - This is very clear when we see Isaiah 8:3-8:

    And I went unto the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then said the Lord to me, “Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry ‘My father,’ and ‘My mother,’ the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away to the king of Assyria.” The Lord spoke also unto me again, saying, “Inasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that flow softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son, now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels and go over all his banks. And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck. And the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.”

All these people have a few similarities:

  1. Their birth was foretold
  2. They were all males
  3. Many among them were types of Christ.


  1. Issac - promised son, father sacrificed son: type of heavenly Father sacrificing His Son
  2. Samson - promised son, a judge and savior: Jesus - promised Son, the Judge, and Savior
  3. Solomon - birth foretold, son of David, righteous king: Jesus - Birth foretold, Son of David, righteous king
  4. Isaiah's son - called Immanuel: Jesus also called Immanuel

You really have two questions, I think the one of being a "nazarene" is pretty well answered above, but no one correctly discussed why the word, "prophets" was used.

This was the nomenclature in the early church for the "other" books, besides Torah (the first five books of the Bible).

We see this from Jesus:

[Mat 22:40 NKJV] 40 "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

The "Law" is Torah, the "Prophets" is the poetry and tanakh, and the literal books of prophecy, like Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc

Paul also refers to the Septuagint scripture in this way:

[Act 28:23 NKJV] 23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at [his] lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.

The "Law" and the "Prophets" is the whole Old Testament. The "Prophets" in this reference, is likely referring to Judges 13:7 and the Greek of the Septuagint really shows this.

When the writer of Matthew recorded this, He used this Greek word:


The LXX uses this for Nazarite:


They aren't exactly the same, but I believe it is the origin of both the prophecy and the Greek word that Matthew used. It's also unfortunately in both the Septuagint (and even the Masoretic translation) not a translation of a concept, it's a transliteration of the Hebrew to Greek, and then Greek to English.

An interesting note - the translators of the Torah didn't transliterate Nazir into Greek. The later translators of the book of Judges (or a different group of scholars) decided to transliterate it in the book of Judges.

I think the scholars that made the HNV (Hebrew Names Version) understood this and they rendered them as follows:

[Jdg 16:17 HNV] 17 He told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come on my head; for I have been a Nazir to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I will become weak, and be like any other man."

[Mat 2:23 HNV] 23 and came and lived in a city called Natzeret; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: "He will be called a Natzri."


If I prophesy that a person will be called "Plank", using it as an idiom to mean that he'll be "stupid", and then someone calls him "board" also meaning "stupid", and another confirms he is just plain "stupid", the meaning is the same (sorry for the poor example, but I'm trying to think of words that imply the same meaning).

So also, there are many words in any language meaning the same thing. And Hebrew loves to use word-play and connect similar sounding words. Mosshiach wasn't to be a literal "branch" in terms of the molecules found in the wood of a tree; the word is used as an idiom to mean something - a role, an anointing, a calling, like the many parables Y'shua told which used natural things, e.g. seed, to depict something being taught about. Further: there would've been more than one prophet prophesying the same thing, since God always let there be witnesses.

Just as the Apostles quote from books that we don't have today, the fact is: we do have enough that states Mosshiach will be a Branch/root/shoot, etc., even though different words are used. That נצרי (Nazari) means "little branch", is still branch! The Apostles often paraphrased and played on words. A better example as my "board/plank" example above is the many words for righteous used in Hebrew, but the concept is still the same: the person is righteous, good, blameless, etc. There are many examples in every language. The concept is the same! He's a branch, whether the word twig or stump or whatever is used. Truth is: He is all of those, as the many prophets tried to describe what they saw in their own words. Shavua tov!


Nazareth is a place and has nothing to do with being a Nazarite. You would be a Nazareen if you came from Nazareth not a Nazarite, two completely different things. A nazir is one who abstains from wine, grapes and the produce from the grape-vine; a nazir does not cut his or her hair and does not come in contact with the dead. Clearly, Yeshki (Jesus or Y'shua or whatever name one wishes to call that false prophet) did not become a nazarite as he admittedly drank wine and came in contact with the dead. Moreover, a person takes the VOW of a nazir when he witnesses or is a witness to the act of adultery which is why the passage of the nazir in the Torah is juxtaposed to the passage of the sotah. In any event, Yeshki did not fulfill the vow of a nazir as he did not shave his head and offer a sacrifice when he allegedly became a nazir. On the other hand, if Matthew is saying that the prophets (plural) called the Moshiach (Messiah) a Nazarean, then they would have had to predict a city which did not exist in their lifetime. (Netzaret was little more than a village in the time of Yeshki and was a Roman garrison.) Nowhere does the Jewish Bible (the TaNaK) refer to the Moshiach (Messiah) as a nazir! The author of Matthew simply made up a "non-existent quote" from the Jewish Bible. There are many other instances of this type of referencing the Tanak found in the Xtian scriptures for which there are no existing passukim (verses) in the Tanak!


Nazar and Neser are two different words and Matthew was a man of letters, a clerk, suggesting that he would hardly have referred to Nazar as Neser and the translation of the Aleppo Codex settles that he meant Nazar in Nazorim. (i.e. the consecrated)

The words of Yehoshuah indicate that he was Ebvion and the Nazorim were Ebvion, and his principles of immersion and the abandonment of wealth as a precusor to fulfilling the consecration suggests that he promoted the ways of of the Ebvion. In fact he stated that the Kingdom of Heaven was for the Ebvion (i.e. the poor) and in Acts the immediate followers of Messiah are seen receiving the fruits of repentance and using this to establish Ebvion communes and Paul was called a leader of the Nazorim.

  • 1
    It's very difficult to understand what this is saying. Perhaps you could split it into shorter sentences, and define some of your capitalized terms (for example Ebvion and Nazorim). Feb 23, 2017 at 20:03
  • Ebvion here means Ebionites, an early Christian sect whose name means "the poor". Nazorim seems to mean Nazirite. Not sure about Nazar or Neser. Jun 14, 2018 at 9:49
  • The very reference to `prophets' and not a specific prophet implies that the prophesy was handed down orally from generation to generation, and was not written down. Jun 20, 2019 at 4:18

Wow, you are really confused.

First, when the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) was translated from Aramaic to Greek, the scribes mistranslated the singular navi for the plural veviim. Matthew actually said in Aramaic, "...as foretold by the prophet..." - singular. Who was the prophet. In Hebrew everyone knows "the prophet" refers to Yeshayahu - Isaiah. And Mattityahu (Matthew) is referring to Isaiah 11:1-3. Bear in mind "netzer" means root and branch.

You are correct that Netzari (Nazarene) has nothing to do with a physical location but is actually poetically pointing to the spiritual. So what did Isaiah say?

1 "A (netzer) shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a (netzer) Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of YHWH will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of YHWH. 3 and he will delight in the fear of YHWH. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;

Isaiah is speaking of this Netzer having humble beginnings in the "stump" of Jesse - it was cut down (off) but this tiny shoot came forth that would eventually branch out to encompass the entire earth with the glory of YHWH.

While Netzarit (Nazareth) means "City of the Branch", it actually has nothing to do with what Mattityahu is speaking of.

This is one example of lost understanding, mis-translation and misinterpretation because of reliance on the Greek translations of the original Aramaic.

  • I'm confused along with any reader who is a non Hebrew\Greek scholar Jul 5, 2014 at 21:56
  • Can you give some references to some other people who argue that 'Nazarene' is a mistranslation of the word for 'shoot/branch'? Also remember the idea that the NT was originally written in Aramaic is very much a minority position, but this could be evidence for it if it was argued well.
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 5, 2014 at 22:11
  • Welcome to the site! This doesn't really have much to do with your answer, but I find that sharing the following tends to help new visitors avoid mistaking the purpose of this site. I do hope to see more from you! When you get a chance, please see How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? Jul 5, 2014 at 22:50
  • 2
    “Wow, you are really confused.” - Word of advice - don’t begin your answer so.
    – user900
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:48

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