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Matthew says that Jesus fulfilled a prophecy that 'He will be called a Nazarene.' But Nazareth isn't even mentioned in the Old Testament – it could not have been, because it did not exist in Old Testament times. So what is Matthew getting at?
The name 'Nazareth' sounds like the Hebrew word for 'Branch,' and there's a prophecy in the Old Testament that describes the Messiah as 'The Branch.'
Nazareth was probably founded by Jews returning from the exile in Babylon, and it is possible that they deliberately chose a Messiah-related name for their new settlement – in English it would be something like 'The town of the Branch.'
So the Old Testament used 'The Branch' as a title for the Messiah, the descendant of King David, who would deliver Israel. Was Matthew claiming that Jesus fulfilled this expectation?
Unwrapped video #27