Addendum to: Thought, Word and Deed
Jesus of Nazareth was no Nazirite; He was the true Branch.
In the 9-27-2016 article I started to mention that Jesus was a Nazarite. Upon fact checking myself I realized that would be an error. Two words stating that the Jesus of Nazareth was no Nazirite.
Nazareth is the geographical locality of where the Old Testament prophesied the Messiah would have lived. Viewing these two words from an English language perspective they look superficially synonymous. From the usage in Hebrew they are totally different.
"...and being warned by God in a dream, he [Joseph] departed for the regions of Galilee, and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene,' " (Matt. 2:22,23)
(NOTE the 7's incorporated that show completeness below)
Thus there were fourteen generations in all, from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. It is not possible to find a singular prophet using this idea. It is possible to know that St. Matthew generally interpreted prophets as meaning a more general term. St. Matthew made no mistake. It's the story here that matters.
God in his wisdom takes us to a wide spot in the road that was Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth, as he identified himself, to the Apostle Paul, came into the world to save sinners from this insignificant wide spot in the road. God consistently uses the commonality of persons to self identify.
Some have suggested that the question hints that the town had a bad reputation, while others contend that Nathanael probably viewed the community merely as insignificant. The city is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, the Talmud, nor by Josephus. One scholar notes that the geographical location of the city, overlooking the plain of Esdraelon, generated a certain disposition of “aloofness” which invited the scorn of the neighboring communities. (J.W. Charley, Baker Encyclopedia of Bible Places, John Bimson, Ed., Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995, p. 224)*
*Jackson, Wayne. "Was Matthew Mistaken in the 'Nazarene' Prophecy?" ChristianCourier.com. Access date: October 3, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/573-was-matthew-mistaken- in-the-nazarene-prophecy
The term Nazarite is as ancient as Judaism.
To be a Nazarite one had to be an oath taker which Jesus of Nazareth was not. Nazarites' tradition holds that the candidates are set aside and cannot perform or partake in a Levitical litany of ideas.
For example, Nazarites could not go near a corpse. How could have Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead?
Nazarites may not drink wine. In Jesus' earthly ministry, the very first miracle was changing the water into wine. Secondly, the Last Supper would not have happened.!
Yet, in all this contradiction, there is a greater name attached to Jesus of Nazareth: the true Branch. Now, truly I tell you that Jesus may be viewed as Jesus, the true Branch of Nazareth.
It becomes very clear then, that what the Gospels are doing is not making Jesus out to be the 'vow taker' but 'the Branch,' for the meaning of Nazareth is 'branch,' a very powerful messianic title used by a number of prophets:
Isaiah 4:2: 'In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.'
Isaiah 11:1: 'Then a Shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.'
Isaiah 60:21: 'Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the Land forever, the Branch of My planting, the work of My Hands, that I may be glorified.'
Jeremiah 23:5: 'Behold, the days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch. And He will reign as King and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the Land.'
Jeremiah 33:15: 'In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.'
Zechariah 3:8: 'Now listen, Joshua the High Priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you, indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My Servant the Branch.'
Zech. 6:12: 'Then say to him, 'Thus says the Lord of Hosts, '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.'
These are the major cites where the Coming One, Yeshua the Messiah, was entitled 'Branch.' There is much to this and it all began when God put an end to the rebellion of Israel in the Wilderness, specifically concerning who installed Aaron as High Priest. For the rebel Korah said it was because Aaron was Moses' brother, that Moses made Aaron High Priest. And God instituted a dead branch (also known in English as a staff or rod), to be His witness as to whom He had chosen to be High Priest. It was when this dead branch came to life, sprouted and had almonds on it (Numbers 17:8), that God revealed to Israel whom He had chosen. It was when Yeshua, a dead 'branch' came back to life, glorified,, that all Israel could know that God had made Yeshua both Lord and Messiah (Acts 2:36).
It was out of the turbulence of rebellion that God established who was to be His anointed one, Aaron. And now the concept of a branch would become a symbol for the Messiah, used by many prophets. So, when Matthew (2:23) and others call Yeshua a 'Nazarene', they are not referring to the vow, but to the place of His having been recognized as having grown up in, for they are also very well aware of the prophecies that say the Messiah will be a 'Branch,' which is the meaning of the name of Nazareth.
It gets very interesting when we read John 19:19 which is: 'Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, 'Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.' It can equally be translated like this: 'Jesus My Branch, the King of the Jews.'
The above was extracted from: NAZARITE OR NAZARENE?, by Avram Yehoshua.