The original question was:
The Bible states:“Jesus came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth that it might be fulfilled which was written by the prophets, he shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23) I have searched high and low for any prophets who said this and have been unsuccessful. Can you help me?

Answer by John Mackay

The answer to this one fits the category of prophecies we might call “Clues for Jews”. Matthew was a converted Jew, and Matthew’s gospel is written for Jews. Therefore, it is not surprising that Matthew portrays many things that make sense to those who have Jewish background, but may not be obvious to those who only know English, and have been brought up with western academic thought.

There is no prophet recorded in Old Testament who states directly “He shall be called a Nazarene.” However, there are long passages of prophecy about the coming of the Messiah by the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, who states “there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall go out of his roots.”( Isaiah 11:1) The context makes it clear this prophecy is about the Messiah, Jesus Christ who was a descendent of David, who was a son a Jesse.

If you do a search you will find that the word translated “branch” in Hebrew is “Neser” and the name Nazareth has exactly the same root word “Neser”. Nazareth actually means “town of the branch”, so where better for the Branch out of Jesse to come from than “Branch Town.” Our western academic reference system insists that if you claim a prophet said “quote/unquote ” then your reference must be exactly those words or you are accused of error, imagination or fraud. However, when studying Bible prophecy we must stop and take off our western cultural glasses so that next time you read an account by a Jew about the Saviour who came first to the Jews as a Jew, then you can rejoice in such hidden Hebrew clues that transfer the truth accurately in a way that western prejudice would never have even thought of.

There is one mistake to avoid however. Sadly when Jesus came to his own people, they largely rejected him. Don’t make the same error – there is no other Saviour than this Jesus Christ.

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