Nazarene is Netzerite
by Craig C. White
The Branch of David is a term used in the Old Testament to describe a decedent of King David. The Branch of David was also a popular concept in New Testament times. Even Roman governors understood that Jesus was the Branch of David. In Acts chapter 24 the Jewish religious leaders brought the apostle Paul to court in front of Felix the governor in Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. A man named Tertullus was the spokesperson for Ananias the high priest. Tertullus accused Paul of being “of the sect of the Nazarenes”.
Act 24:5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
The word translated Nazarene should rather be translated Netzerite. Netzer is a Hebrew word meaning descendant or branch. Netzerite means “people of the branch”.
According to Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries “Netzer” is defined as:
a shoot; figuratively, a descendant: – branch.
BRANCH is a prophetic name for the messiah. God promised that he would raise a descendant of King David to be ruler in Jerusalem over all the earth. So the messiah is the BRANCH of David.
Isa 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Zec 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
Zec 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
Jesus was the descendant or BRANCH of David. So when the apostle Paul was called a Netzerite in Acts 24:5 he was being called a follower of David’s descendant!
Here is another verse where the word Nazarene actually means Netzerite or Branch.
Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
According to Matthew several Old Testament prophets said that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Problem is that nowhere in the Old Testament does it say that the Messiah will live in Nazareth. However several Old Testament prophets do say that he will be called THE BRANCH or netzer.
As you can see from the Hebrew spelling these two words are very similar. You read Hebrew right to left.
Nazareth – נָצְרַת, pronounced Natz’rat
Netzer – נֵ֫צֶר, pronounced ne·ṣer
Netzer meaning branch is the root word of Nazareth. By living in Nazareth Jesus was called a Nazarene or Branch, thus fulfilling prophecy.