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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Joman, Jan 8, 2006.
Where in the OT says the prophey that Jesus has to be called Nazarene?
The term 'Nazarene' in the time of Jesus was a term used for despised people.
In Isaiah 53:3, we read that the Messiah would be despised. To be a Nazarene was to be a person despised -- "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
It doesn't say so. Matthew records that the prophets spoke it, not wrote it.
There seems to be an oral tradition among the Jews as well as written scripture and occassionally you will find a reference to something the prophets said that they didn't actually write down.
Verse 23. Nazareth. This was a small town, situated in Galilee, west of Capernaum, and not far from Cana. It was built partly in a valley, and partly on the declivity of a hill, Lu 4:29. A hill is yet pointed out, to the south of Nazareth, as the one from which the people of the place attempted to precipitate the Saviour. It was a place, at that time, proverbial for wickedness, Joh 1:46. It is now a large village, with a convent and two churches. One of the churches, called the church of the Annunciation, is the finest in the Holy Land, except that of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
A modern traveller describes Nazareth as situated upon the declivity of a hill, the vale which spreads out before it resembling a circular basin, encompassed by mountains. Fifteen mountains appear to meet to form an enclosure for this beautiful spot, around which they rise like the edge of a shell, to guard it against intrusion. It is a rich and beautiful field in the midst of barren mountains.
Another traveller speaks of the streets as narrow and steep; the houses, which are fiat-roofed, are about two hundred and fifty in number, and the inhabitants he estimates at 2000. The population of the place is variously stated, though the average estimate is 3000; of whom about five hundred are Turks, and the residue nominal Christians.
As all testimony to the truth and fidelity of the sacred narrative is important, we have thought ourselves justified in connecting with this article a passage from the journal of Mr. Jowett, an intelligent modern traveller; especially as it is so full an illustration of the passage of Luke already cited:
"Nazareth is situated on the side, and extends nearly to the foot, of a hill, which, though not very high, is rather steep and overhanging. The eye naturally wanders over its summit, in quest of some point from which it might probably be that the men of this place endeavoured to east our Saviour down, (Lu 4:29) but in vain: no rock adapted to such an object appears here. At the foot of the hill is a modest, simple plain, surrounded by low hills, reaching in length nearly a mile; in breadth, near the city, a hundred and fifty yards; but farther south, about four hundred yards. On this plain there are a few olive and fig trees, sufficient, or rather scarcely sufficient, to make the spot picturesque. Then follows a ravine, which gradually grows deeper and narrower towards the south; till, after walking about another mile, you find yourself in an immense chasm, with steep rocks on either side, from whence you behold, as it were beneath your feet, and before you, the noble plain of Esdraelon. Nothing can be finer than the apparently immeasurable prospect of this plain, bounded on the south by the mountains of Samaria. The elevation of the hills on which the spectator stands in this ravine is very great; and the whole scene, when we saw it, was clothed in the most rich mountain-blue colour that can be conceived. At this spot, on the right hand of the ravine, is shown the rock to which the men of Nazareth are supposed to have conducted our Lord, for the purpose of throwing him down. With the Testament in our hands, we endeavoured to examine the probabilities of the spot; and I confess there is nothing in it which excites a scruple of incredulity in my mind. The rock here is perpendicular for about fifty feet, down which space it would be easy to hurl a person who should be unawares brought to the summit; and his perishing would be a very certain consequence. That the spot might be at considerable distance from the city is an idea not inconsistent with St. Luke's account; for the expression, thrusting Jesus out of the city, and leading him to the brow of the hill, on which their city was built, gives fair scope for imagining, that in their rage and debate the Nazarenes might, without originally intending his murder, press upon him for a considerable distance after they had quitted the synagogue. The distance, as already noticed, from modern Nazareth to the spot, is scarcely two miles; a space which, in the fury of persecution, might soon be passed over. Or, should this appear too considerable, it is by no means certain but that Nazareth may at that time have extended through the principal part of the plain, which I have described as lying before the modern town. In this case, the distance passed over might not exceed a mile. I can see, therefore, no reason for thinking otherwise, than that this may be the real scene where our Divine Prophet, Jesus, received so great a dishonour from the men of his own country and of his own kindred."
Mr. Fisk, an American missionary, was at Nazareth in the autumn of 1823. His description Corresponds generally with that of Mr. Jowett. He estimates the population to be from 3000 to 5000, viz., Greeks, three hundred or four hundred families; Turks, two hundred; Catholics, one hundred; Greek Catholics, forty or fifty; Maronites, twenty or thirty; say in all seven hundred houses.
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, etc. 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 Jg 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 Netzer. Some have supposed that Matthew refers to some prophecy which was not recorded, but handed down by tradition. But these suppositions are not satisfactory. It is a great deal 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:
1st. He does not say, "by the prophet, as in Mt 1:22; 2:5,15; but "by the prophets," meaning no one particularly, but the general character of the prophecies.
2nd. The leading and most prominent prophecies respecting him were, that he was to be of humble life, to be despised, and rejected. See Isa 53:2-3,7-9,12; Ps 22:1.
3rd. The phrase "he shall be called," means the same as he shall be.
4th. The character of the people of Nazareth was such that they were proverbially despised and contemned, Joh 1:46; 7:52. To come from Nazareth, therefore, or to be a Nazarene, was the same as to be despised, and esteemed of low birth; to be a root out of dry ground, having no form or comeliness. And this was the same as had been predicted by the prophets. When Matthew says, therefore, that the prophecies were fulfilled, it means, that the predictions of the prophets that he should be of humble life, and rejected, were fully accomplished in his being an inhabitant of Nazareth, and despised as such.
Albert Barnes Notes on the New Testament
Might I add, that I believe that Jesus was more than a prophet... He was the Son of God born in the flesh by the virgin Mary.
The word neitzer meaning "branch" or "off-shoot" (as in Isaiah 11:1 נֵצֶר). This could in turn refer to the claim that Jesus was a "descendant of David", or to the view that Jesus (or rather the teachings he or his followers advocated) were an offshoot from Judaism. Until the 20th century neitzer was the undisputed etymology behind Nazareth.
Isa 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
another interesting look - using both branch and despised as possible roots:
"Nazareth: separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew netser, a "shoot" or "sprout."" (Easton's Bible dictionary, Nazareth)
"Thus the word "Nazarene" carries with it an allusion to those prophecies which speak of Christ as "despised of men" (Isa. 53:3). Some, however, think that in this name there is an allusion to the Hebrew netser, which signifies a branch or sprout. It is so applied to the Messiah (Isa. 11:1), i.e., he whom the prophets called the Netse, the "Branch." (Easton's Bible dictionary, Nazarene)
The Old Testament passages regarding branch are: Is 4:2; 11:1; 53:2; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12.
The Old Testament passages that Christ was despised, humiliated and hated: Psa. 22:6-8; 69:8; Isa 49:7
Here is a prophecy of the Branch who was Jesus: "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord." Zechariah 6:12
Isa 53 combines both the idea of "branch" and humiliation". "For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him." Isaiah 53:2-3
So to say you are a Nazarene would be personally humiliating and degrading. It would cause people to look down on you... just as Isa 53 says.
Jesus wears the name with pride: Acts 22:8 "I am Jesus the Nazarene." In response to Paul, who may have been using the name as a slur before he was converted.
Even if our etymological connection with Nazarene and neser (branch) is incorrect, it is still clear that he would be despised and looked down upon. In this way, the Hebrews, who despised and looked down upon Nazarenes, would immediately leap the logic and make the connection.
Thank you everybody.
Nobody has brought up the possible linguistic connection to the Nazorite Vow. If someone took the Nazorite vow, they would not necessarily be despised, they would be considered dedicated to God. Jesus was, apparantly, not under any nazorite vows as far as we know, yet He was called a Nazorite ANYWAY because of his HOME TOWN . . which fulfilled some (probably oral, now unknown to us) prophecy in a way completely unexpected. But God sometimes likes to fulfill his prophecies in unexpected ways (let the end-time scenario writers take note and be careful)
Jesus was a Nazarene. That is different than taking the Nazerite vow, isn't it?
Nazarene because of home town. Not because of vow.
This epithet (Gr. Nazaraios) is applied to Christ only once (Matt. 2:23). In all other cases the word is rendered "of Nazareth" (Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67, etc.). When this Greek designation was at first applied to our Lord, it was meant simply to denote the place of his residence. In course of time the word became a term of reproach. Thus the word "Nazarene" carries with it an allusion to those prophecies which speak of Christ as "despised of men" (Isa. 53:3). Some, however, think that in this name there is an allusion to the Hebrew netser, which signifies a branch or sprout. It is so applied to the Messiah (Isa. 11:1), i.e., he whom the prophets called the Netse, the "Branch."
The followers of Christ were called "the sect of Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5). All over Palestine and Syria this name is still given to Christians. (See NAZARETH.)
Nazarite (Heb. form Nazirite), the name of such Israelites as took on them the vow prescribed in Num. 6:2-21. The word denotes generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson, yet it is evident that they existed before the time of Moses. The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead.
When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with (1) a he lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, (2) a ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering, and (3) a ram for a peace-offering. After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering.
For some reason, probably in the midst of his work at Corinth, Paul took on himself the Nazarite vow. This could only be terminated by his going up to Jerusalem to offer up the hair which till then was to be left uncut. But it seems to have been allowable for persons at a distance to cut the hair, which was to be brought up to Jerusalem, where the ceremony was completed. This Paul did at Cenchrea just before setting out on his voyage into Syria (Acts 18:18).
On another occasion (Acts 21:23-26), at the feast of Pentecost, Paul took on himself again the Nazarite vow. "The ceremonies involved took a longer time than Paul had at his disposal, but the law permitted a man to share the vow if he could find companions who had gone through the prescribed ceremonies, and who permitted him to join their company. This permission was commonly granted if the new comer paid all the fees required from the whole company (fee to the Levite for cutting the hair and fees for sacrifices), and finished the vow along with the others. Four Jewish Christians were performing the vow, and would admit Paul to their company, provided he paid their expenses. Paul consented, paid the charges, and when the last seven days of the vow began he went with them to live in the temple, giving the usual notice to the priests that he had joined in regular fashion, was a sharer with the four men, and that his vow would end with theirs. Nazarites retired to the temple during the last period of seven days, because they could be secure there against any accidental defilement" (Lindsay's Acts).
As to the duration of a Nazarite's vow, every one was left at liberty to fix his own time. There is mention made in Scripture of only three who were Nazarites for life, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist (Judg. 13:4, 5; 1 Sam. 1:11; Luke 1:15). In its ordinary form, however, the Nazarite's vow lasted only thirty, and at most one hundred, days. (See RECHABITES.)
This institution was a symbol of a life devoted to God and separated from all sin, a holy life.
A couple of notes - Paul never completed the vow, he was arrested [Acts 21:27-30] In my opinion, I believe that God prevented Paul from completing the vow, because Jesus died "once and for all" - His Sacrifice absolved and fulfilled all sacrifices. As the Holy Spirit indwells all true believers, and we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and made the righteousness of God in Christ, there is no need for the Nazarite vow today.
Secondly - to be a Nazerite means made separate to be used of God - a vow of purity. Not applicable to the Son of God - He is sinless, perfect - Jesus is God.
Thirdly, if, as some have supposed/taught that Jesus did take the vow - Scripture proves otherwise: He drank wine, there is no scriptural reference to Him not cutting His hair, He touched dead people, and He would have had to sacrifice an animal on His own behalf - not gonna happen.
[ January 09, 2006, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: eloidalmanutha ]
In other words, Jesus was NOT a Nazirite but he was a Nazarene.