Luke 1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth…
In the Hebrew, Gabriel means “man of El” or “man of God”. Some also interpret the name to mean “God is my strength”.
A time point is given in the verse above, the sixth month. So what is the sixth month on a Hebrew calendar? After all, the Jewish people keep two calendars, a civil and spiritual calendar. In today’s 21st century world, Israel follows a civil calendar and the Jewish New Year takes place in the fall on Rosh Hashanah in the month of Tishri.
God has other instructions. He made the directions very clear to Moses. God states the first month of the year is Nisan in the spring. Moses was to proclaim this calendar to the people of Israel. God’s New Year begins in and around spring.
Exodus 12:2 This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.
The Lord makes further notations regarding time when it comes to the Fall Feasts. His Fall Appointments begin in the seventh month, Tishri.
Numbers 29:1a ‘Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation… .
See also Leviticus 23:23-25.
As God defines and keeps time, the month before the seventh month of Tishri is the sixth month of Elul. The Hebrew month of Elul typically lines up with the Gregorian month of August on a western calendar.
Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
The focus in the prophetic verse above is on the word “branch”. The Hebrew word is netzer. It is the netzer or branch or offspring who will bear fruit.
The Hebrew term netzer is transliterated to the Greek term Nazara, Nazaret, or Nazareth.
The town of Nazareth is specifically mentioned only in the New Testament and this occurs 6 times.
John 1:46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Back in the day, Nazareth was not exactly held in high esteem by the people of Israel. Morality was not a strength of the locals. God the Father had His chosen Son come from the worthless, country, hick town of Nazareth.
Let there be no doubt. The people identified Nazareth with Jesus. Nazareth was Jesus’ home town.
Matthew 21:11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Even the spirits and demons knew Jesus came from Nazareth.
Mark 1:24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”
Luke 4:34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”
Gabriel is an angel, a messenger of God. He is going to the countryside town of Nazareth, which means “branch”. He was sent late in the summer when the region is hot and dry and plants struggle to survive. The Hebrew month of Elul is a call to attention. Repent and return to God. Seek His Word. Gabriel is delivering a message of hope to Israel and this little town…
The Branch is coming.