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Matthew 2:23

Should be called a Nazarene (Nazwraio klhqhsetai). Matthew says "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets" (dia twn prophtwn). It is the plural and no single prophecy exists which says that the Messiah was to be called a Nazarene. It may be that this term of contempt ( John 1:46 ; John 7:52 ) is what is meant, and that several prophecies are to be combined like Psalms 22:6 Psalms 22:8 ; Psalms 69:11 Psalms 69:19 ; Isaiah 53:2 Isaiah 53:3 Isaiah 53:4 . The name Nazareth means a shoot or branch, but it is by no means certain that Matthew has this in mind. It is best to confess that we do not know. See Broadus on Matthew for the various theories. But, despised as Nazareth was at that time, Jesus has exalted its fame. The lowly Nazarene he was at first, but it is our glory to be the followers of the Nazarene. Bruce says that "in this case, therefore, we certainly know that the historic fact suggested the prophetic reference, instead of the prophecy creating the history." The parallels drawn by Matthew between the history of Israel and the birth and infancy of Jesus are not mere fancy. History repeats itself and writers of history find frequent parallels. Surely Matthew is not beyond the bounds of reason or of fact in illustrating in his own way the birth and infancy of Jesus by the Providence of God in the history of Israel.

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