This epithet (Gr. Nazaraios) is applied to Christ only once ( Matthew 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" ( Isaiah 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 ( Isaiah 11:1 ), i.e., he whom the prophets called the Netse , the "Branch."