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21 So he awoke and took Jesus and Mary and returned to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus, Herod’s son, had succeeded him as ruler over all of the territory of Judah, he was afraid to go back. Then he had another dream from God, warning him to avoid that region and instructing him instead to go to the province of Galilee. 23 So he settled his family in the village of Nazareth, fulfilling the prophecy that he would be known as the “Branch.”[a]

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 2:23 Or “a Nazarene.” The Hebrew Scriptures give us a wonderful truth about the Branch (Sprout) of the Lord that would come and establish righteousness. The word for “branch” or sprout is netzer, the root word from which Nazareth, Nazarene, and Nazarite come. The teaching of the Branch of the Lord is a concept taught throughout the Bible, from the Tree of Life, to the seven branches of the Lampstand, to Jesus the Vine calling us his branches. Jesus is a Scion, a Branch that can be transplanted and grafted into a human life. Another variant form of this amazing word netzer can be translated “keeper, watchman, one who keeps secrets, guardian, one who keeps watch.” All of these words are true of Jesus, the Branch who was raised in the village of the Branch (Nazareth). Additionally, the Aramaic word for Nazareth means “heir of a powerful family” or “victorious one.” So it is entirely possible to translate this “he will be called the Victorious Branch (of Nazareth).” See Dan. 11:7; Isa. 11:1; 60:21. See also Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 6:12, which uses a Hebrew synonym for Branch, tsemach.

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