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Nazareth

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: No
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: No

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Nazareth

Separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew netser, a "shoot" or "sprout." Some, however, think that the name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Palestine is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew notserah, i.e., one guarding or watching, thus designating the hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region.

This city is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (1:26-28). Here Jesus grew up from his infancy to manhood (4:16); and here he began his public ministry in the synagogue (Matthew 13:54), at which the people were so offended that they sought to cast him down from the precipice whereon their city was built (Luke 4:29). Twice they expelled him from their borders (4:16-29; Matthew 13:54-58); and he finally retired from the city, where he did not many mighty works because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58), and took up his residence in Capernaum.

Nazareth is situated among the southern ridges of Lebanon, on the steep slope of a hill, about 14 miles from the Sea of Galilee and about 6 west from Mount Tabor. It is identified with the modern village en-Nazirah, of six or ten thousand inhabitants. It lies "as in a hollow cup" lower down upon the hill than the ancient city. The main road for traffic between Egypt and the interior of Asia passed by Nazareth near the foot of Tabor, and thence northward to Damascus.

It is supposed from the words of Nathanael in John 1:46 that the city of Nazareth was held in great disrepute, either because, it is said, the people of Galilee were a rude and less cultivated class, and were largely influenced by the Gentiles who mingled with them, or because of their lower type of moral and religious character. But there seems to be no sufficient reason for these suppositions. The Jews believed that, according to Micah 5:2, the birth of the Messiah would take place at Bethlehem, and nowhere else. Nathanael held the same opinion as his countrymen, and believed that the great "good" which they were all expecting could not come from Nazareth. This is probably what Nathanael meant. Moreover, there does not seem to be any evidence that the inhabitants of Galilee were in any respect inferior, or that a Galilean was held in contempt, in the time of our Lord. (See also Dr. Merrill's Galilee in the Time of Christ.)

The population of this city (now about 10,000) in the time of Christ probably amounted to 15,000 or 20,000 souls.

"The so-called Holy House' is a cave under the Latin church, which appears to have been originally a tank. The brow of the hill', site of the attempted precipitation, is probably the northern cliff- the traditional site has been shown since the middle ages at some distance to the south. None of the traditional sites are traceable very early, and they have no authority. The name Nazareth perhaps means a watch tower' (now en-Nasrah), but is connected in the New Testament with Netzer, 'a branch' (Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; Matthew 2:23), Nazarene being quite a different word from Nazarite."


Hitchcock's Names Dictionary
Nazareth

separated; crowned; sanctified


Naves Topical Index
Nazareth

A village in Galilee.

Joseph and Mary dwell at
Matthew 2:23; Luke 1:26-27; Luke 1:56; Luke 2:4; Luke 2:39; Luke 2:51

Jesus from
Matthew 21:11; Mark 1:24; Mark 10:47; Luke 4:34; Luke 18:37; Luke 24:19

People of, reject Jesus
Luke 4:16-30

Its name opprobrious (carrying a sense of disgrace)
John 1:46


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Nazareth

(the guarded one) the ordinary residence of our Saviour, is not mentioned in the Old Testament, but occurs first in (Matthew 2:23) It derives its celebrity from its connection with the history of Christ, and in that respect has a hold on the imagination and feelings of men which it shares only with Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It is situated among the hills which constitute the south ridges of Lebanon,just before they sink down into the plain of Esdr'lon, (Mr. Merrill, in "Galilee in the Time of Christ" (1881), represents Nazareth in Christ's time as a city (so always called in the New Testament) of 15,000 to 20,000 inhabitants, of some importance and considerable antiquity, and not so insignificant and mean as has been represented.

ED.) Of the identification of the ancient site there can be no doubt. The name of the present village is en-Nazirah the same, therefore, as of old it is formed on a hill or mountain, (Luke 4:29) it is within the limits of the province of Galilee, (Mark 1:9) it is near Cana, according to the implication in (John 2:1,2,11) a precipice exists in the neighborhood. (Luke 4:29) The modern Nazareth belongs to the better class of eastern villages. It has a population of 3000 or 4000; a few are Mohammadans, the rest Latin and Greek Christians. (Near this town Napoleon once encamped (1799), after the battle of Mount Tabor.) The origin of the disrepute in which Nazareth stood, (John 1:47) is not certainly known. All the inhabitants of Galilee were looked upon with contempt by the people of Judea because they spoke a ruder dialect, were less cultivated and were more exposed by their position to contact with the heathen. But Nazareth labored under a special opprobrium, for it was a Galilean and not a southern Jew who asked the reproachful question whether "any good thing" could come from that source. Above the town are several rocky ledges, over which a person could not be thrown without almost certain destruction. There is one very remarkable precipice, almost perpendicular and forty or fifty near the Maronite church, which may well be supposed to be the identical one over which his infuriated fellow townsmen attempted to hurl Jesus.