On prophecy that Jesus “Shall be Called a Nazarene"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Bro. Ruben, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. Bro. Ruben

    Bro. Ruben
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    Hi; a newbie here from Saudi Arabia.

    Matthew 2:23 says “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

    Now, where can you find the prophecy that Jesus shall be called a Nazarene?

    God bless.
     
  2. Helen

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    There are several responses to this. In Jesus' day, the word "Nazarene" was considered a synonym for 'despised', and we find that He would be despised in Isaiah 53:3. If this sounds strange, we have done the same thing with the word 'cretin' which originally meant someone coming from the island of Crete, but now means someone who is incredibly stupid or retarded.

    The other possibility is that the Hebrew word for 'branch' is 'neser', and Matthew may be referring back to Isaiah 11:1.

    I tend to discount the second option simply because the Hebrew understanding of that verse in Isaiah 11:1 was not 'branch' but 'blossom', as shown in the Alexandrian LXX (translated by Jewish scholars about 250 years before Christ). Their translation of that verse comes into English as "And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a blossom shall come up from [his] root."

    So, and it is just my opinion, the first option, that of "Nazarene" being a synonym for 'despised' seems to be the most likely. The listener/reader of the time would have understood completely the double meaning as well as the reference to Isaiah's prophecy of the Messiah.

    And, oh yeah, welcome to Baptist Board!
     
  3. HankD

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    Many words in the NT are transliterations of Hebrew words especially the names of the cities and villages of Israel.

    "Bethlehem" for instance is a transliteration of the Hebrew Beth L'Hem or "house of bread".

    An alternative to Helen's excellent post is that "Nazareth, Nararene" has an affinity to Numbers 6 concerning the Nazarite vow.

    However, it is obvious that Jesus was not a Nazarite because he at very least consumed the "fruit of the vine" (wine or grape juice) forbidden to a Nazarite.

    But, if one looks at the Numbers 6 passage, the English word for "separate" and/or "consecrate" used repeatedly in the chapter has as it's triliteral Hebrew root NZR (nazar or nezer).
    Strongs 5144 : to dedicate, consecrate or separate.

    So, the title "nazarene" can have the functional meaning of "the consecrated, dedicated or separated one" extrapolated from Numbers 6 (being fulfilled by Christ) without necessarily being one who took the "Nazirite vow" of refraining from wine, etc.

    Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

    IMO.

    HankD
     
  4. robycop3

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    The simplest and most likely answer is that it was included in a writing God did not choose to become Scripture. And there's a large difference in Nazarene and Nazirite. There are Nazarenes to this day, as Nazareth is still inhabited. (Not to mention those in Nazareth, PA!)
     
  5. HankD

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    I suppose that is possible Roby but to rebut your rebutal (this is a "debate" forum),

    Matthew 2:23
    And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

    Seems likely that this is recorded somewhere in the Scriptures because of the phrase spoken by the prophets.

    If the word "nazarene" (root - NZR) is as I contend, simply the helenized semite word for NZR (nazar, nazir, nezer), "separate, consecrate or dedicate" then there isn't a "problem" because "nazirite" has NZR as it's root and Christ fulfilled Numbers 6 in function as "separate from sinners" - Hebrews 7:26.

    Numbers 6 uses the NZR root 13 times.

    And Moses was a prophet.

    Deuteronomy 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,


    HankD
     
  6. prophecynut

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    Could this be a possible answer?

    In the time of Jesus the Holy Land was divided into regions; from south to north they were Idumea, Judea, Samaria and Galilee of the Northern Kingdom where Nazareth was located.

    The Northern Kingdom of Israel was attacked in 734 by the Assyrian Tiglath-Pileser III, it became a province of Assyria in 732. Under Gentile domination the area was called "Galilee of the Gentiles."

    Isaiah was written not long after 701 BC, 9:1 mentions the fall of the Northern Kingdom as occurring in the past when God "humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali."

    "In the future" God honored Galilee by having Nazareth as the place of Jesus's upbringing and the area near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus began his ministry (Mt. 4:13-15). His presence certainly "honored" that area of Galilee where Nazareth was located.

    Could a "Nazarine" be synonymous with a "Galilean" as prophesied by Isaiah?
     
  7. HankD

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    Chapter and verse?

    HankD
     
  8. prophecynut

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    HankD

    You should of asked for the Coast Guard, I just sank your ship.
     
  9. Bro. Ruben

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    Someone shared me this explanation:

    That the answer may be found in the latter half of the verse. Beginning in verse 22, here is what the passage actually says:

    But when he (Joseph) heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither; and being warned of God in a dream, he withdrew into the parts of Galilee, and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets, for he should be called a Nazarene.

    As various Bible commentators have noted, that nowhere in the Old Testament did any of the prophets say: “He shall be called a Nazarene”. However, while at first glance the verse might be construed to suggest that some “prophets” (the plural form is significant) suggested that Christ “should be called a Nazarene,” further study shows that this is not the actual intent of the passage at all.

    But the plural “through the prophets” is important. It cannot refer to one prophet speaking for all. This plural evidently refers either to the prophetic books in general or to the entire Old Testament. It also shows that no quotation is to follow which will introduce some word that was uttered by several prophets.

    Lenski, a great student of the bible suggests that the structure of the Greek involved in the passage under consideration “is not...like our quotation marks, pointing to a direct quotation.” Then, after remarking on the original words, the form in which they occur, and their careful use by Matthew within the passage under consideration, Lenski noted that such construction in the Greek “shuts out not only a direct quotation but also an indirect prophetic utterance.”

    What, then, is Matthew’s meaning? The text is saying simply this: Jesus lived in Nazareth not because the prophets had said that He would live in that specific city, but in order to fulfill additional specific things that the prophets had said about Him.

    Jesus lived in Nazareth in order to fulfill the prophets; and the evidential reason by which we ourselves can see that his living in Nazareth fulfilled the prophets, is that afterward, due to his having lived there, he was called “the Nazarene.” We may add that even his followers were called “Nazarenes.” Matthew writes nothing occult or difficult. A Nazarene is one who hails from Nazareth. Matthew counts on the ordinary intelligence of his readers, who will certainly know that the enemies of Jesus branded him the “Nazarene,” that this was the name that marked his Jewish rejection and would continue to do so among the Jews. They put into it all the hate and odium possible, extending it, as stated, to his followers. And this is “what was spoken through the prophets.” One and all told how the Jews would despise the Messiah, Psalm 22:6; Isa. 49:7; 53:3; Dan. 9:26; every prophecy of the suffering Messiah, and every reference to those who would not hear him, like Deut. 18:18. The Talmud calls Jesus Yeshu Hannotzri (the Nazarene); Jerome reports the synagogue prayer in which the Christians are cursed as Nazarenes.... Compare Acts 24:5, “sect of the Nazarene,” and Paul’s characterization. If Jesus had been reared in Jerusalem, he could not have been vilified as the Nazarene. It was God who let him grow up in Nazareth and thus furnished the title of reproach to the Jews in fulfillment of all the reproach God had prophesied for the Messiah through the prophets.

    What do you think?


    (PS: Thanks to Sis Helen for welcoming me here)
     
  10. HankD

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    That's a cute but mean spirited statement brother prophecynut.

    I simply asked for the passage in Isaiah of which you said:
    so that I could see it for myself.

    Now, may I have the Chapter and verse without any "incoming"?

    HankD
     
  11. prophecynut

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    Bro Ruben

    I agree to the significance of the plural form of prophet, there were other prophets besides Isaiah. Being plural nullifies a direct quotation from a single prophet. The NIV has quotation marks around "He will be called a Nazarene" and the KJV doesn't. I have crossed out the quotation marks in my Bible and will go with KJV.

    Lenski's view of the Greek construction shutting out "indirect prophetic utterances" doesn't hold water, all prophecies have to point to something literal, whether indirectly or directly.

    I like this:

    If Jesus had been reared in Jerusalem, he would of been hunted down by Archelaus, the son of Herod the Great. The cruel and tyrannical Archelaus ruled over Judea and Samaria for ten years (4 BC - AD 6). Smart decision by Joseph to seek refuge in Nazareth.
     
  12. prophecynut

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    Hank

    How can someone be adorable and lovable, yet contemptible and despicable at the same time, maybe I have a split personality and don't know it.

    Maybe ironical criticism would be better.

    No chapter and verse to give you.
     
  13. R. Charles Blair

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    Note Scofield reference Bible's comment here - Heb., like English, has 3 words with essentially the same meaning; one is "netzer" = "branch," "limb," "twig" - 2 other Heb. words used almost interchangably - by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah - several times in Zech., even in caps - "THE BRANCH" - the Man from the town of dry branch, broken branch, or dry twig.
    But "Who has despised the day of small things?" Nazareth was in the region Hiram called "Cabul" or "worthless" when Solomon dumped them on him in "repayment" for the building materials for the temple. (It was not a town then, but is part of that region) - and despised: "Can any good thing come out of N.?" Hope everyone had as good a Thanksgiving as the Blairs. Best - Charles - Ro. 8:28
     
  14. HankD

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    Yes that would probably be the case if indeed you were schizophrenic, both of you would be unaware of the other (or however many personalities).

    Well, if your statement about the Isaiah passage was one of irony (that in actuality it doesn't exist) then both it and the reason you said it escapes me. But then again the older I get the more apparently does escape me.

    So, to answer your question concerning Galilee, I suppose it could be a substitute for Nazareth, but now I don't know where your irony (or whatever) begins or ends so I don't want to go any further than "I suppose".

    HankD
     
  15. robycop3

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    Archaeology has found that the town of Nazareth has been inhabited by Jews ever since they took over the area in David's time Though small, it was always known as a staunch Jewish town, & for centuries, non-Jews weren't allowed to live there. Thus, Nazareth was well-known in the Jewish world.

    Confusion sometimes arises between 'Nazarene' & 'Nazirite'. Again, I believe there was some prophecy that God didn't choose to be in Scripture.
     
  16. R. Charles Blair

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    Robycop - What is your source for the "old Nazareth" view? I had missed that one, but haven't done much with recent archaeology (or is that another oxymoron like "despised and lovable"?
    It is certainly true that N. is not mentioned in any OT Scripture, though almost certainly it is in the area included in the "land of Cabul" given to Hiram by Solomon.

    You are right on about the confusion of terms.
    Nazarene means only one from the town of Nazareth; Nazarite means only one who was dedicated from birth to the Nazarite vows, which Jesus clearly was not. I suppose a Nazarite could come from Nazareth, or any other place; but given the size of the town, probably very few Nazarenes would actually have been Nazarites, it would seem?

    As to "prophecy not in Scripture," that is a little hard to square. There were certainly popular notions not justified by Scripture texts
    or only by mis-readings of texts, but to have the term "prophets" plural surely indicates some written Scriptures. Noting the proverb of John 1:46, Scofield's insight seems most satisfactory to me - wonderful thing about being a Baptist; no popes to tell us what to believe! Best for this blessed season - Charles -Ro. 8:28
     
  17. Bro. Ruben

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    I thought at first that Jesus was a Nazarite; can someone please tell me thoroughly why He's not?

    Was it because of the wine?

    Thanks.
     
  18. HankD

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    Not just wine but any product from the grape.

    Numbers 6
    3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
    4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.

    But Jesus said...

    KJV Mark 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

    Unless this was His Nazarite vow.


    HankD
     
  19. Bro. Ruben

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    Is being a Nazarite from birth, or from a specific period of time the man wanted to be? Say at age 20 a man started devoting his self to be a Nazarite.

    Pardon my innocence.

    Thanks.
     
  20. HankD

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    Samson was a Nazarite from birth to death (supposed to be anyway) but he was a special case (Judges 13).

    The Nazarite vow was an act of free-will of a man or a woman (Numbers 6) and seems to have no set age or amount of time.

    HankD
     

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