Matti 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.] Those things which are brought from Isaiah 11:1 concerning Netzer, the Branch; and those things also produced concerning Samson the Nazarite, a most noble type of Christ, have their weight, by no means to be despised. We add, that Matthew may be understood concerning the outward, humble, and mean condition of our Saviour. And that by the word, Nazarene, he hints his separation and estrangement from other men, as a despicable person, and unworthy of the society of men.
I. Let it be observed, that the evangelist does not cite some one of the prophets, but all:
“spoken by the prophets.” But now all the prophets, in a manner, do preach the vile and abject condition of Christ; none, that his original should be out of Nazareth.
II. David, in his person, speaks thus; I was a stranger to my brethren, Psalm 69:9.
III. If you derive the word Nazarene, which not a few do, from Nazir, a Nazirean, that word denotes not only a separation, dedicated to God, such as that of the Nazarenes was; but it signifies also the separation of a man from others, as being unworthy of their society; Genesis
49:26, “They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.” Therefore, let us digest the sense of the evangelist by this paraphrase: Joseph was to depart with Christ to Beth-lehem, the city of David, or to Jerusalem, the royal city, had not the fear of Archelaus hindered him. Therefore, by the signification of an angel, he is sent away into Galilee, a very contemptible country, and into the city Nazareth, a place of no account: whence, from this very place, and the name of it, you may observe that fulfilled to a tittle which is so often declared by the prophets, that the Messias should be Nazor, a stranger, or separate from men, as if he were a very vile person, and not worthy of their company.