And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,…
The text and context are a remarkable prophecy of the coming of the promised Messiah in the flesh, who is described by His natures, His offices of Priest and King, and His work in building the spiritual temple of the Lord.
1. Some observations upon the occasion and reason of this name. the Branch, given to the promised Messiah, before His coming in the flesh.
(1) The original word, "tsemach," does not signify "the East," as some have imagined, but always, "the Branch." There are also other Hebrew words expressing Jesus Christ by this His name, the Branch.
(2) A man's offspring are, by a very just metaphor, called his branches, because they proceed from him, as branches or sprouts from a root. Jesus Christ is said, in Isaiah 11:1, to be a "Branch out of the root of Jesse."(3) Jesus Christ is metaphorically called a Branch, respecting some family He was to spring from in His human nature, and this was the family of David, the son of Jesse.
(4) When the kings of David's family, and their kingdom, which was then the Church of God, were greatly declined, sore oppressed and much weakened, this promise to David, that Christ was to come as a Branch from him, was presented to their faith, that they might expect the greatest blessings to themselves, and to the Church of God, by the means of this Branch of David's family.
(5) After the return from captivity, the encouragement and hope of the Church were founded upon the coming of this Branch of David.
2. Scriptures of the New Testament where He is designed the Branch (Luke 1:78). For "day spring" the margin has sun rising or branch (Matthew 2:23). Nazareth had its name from a branch, which, though not the same word as in our text, yet is of the same signification.
3. The Scripture account of Jesus Christ, under the name and designation of the Branch.
(1) He was to be the true and eternal God. "The Lord our Righteousness."(2) The Branch of the Lord (Isaiah 4:2). Son of God the Father, by an eternal, incomprehensible, and incommunicable generation.
(3) Really and truly man, and of the lineage and posterity of David.
(4) Both God and man, without any change of one nature into another, or confusion of the one with the other, and all this in one person.
(5) He was to be Jehovah's servant for the redemption of lost sinners. "He took upon Him the form of a servant." He came, "not to be ministered unto, but to minister."(6) This Branch was, in a peculiar manner, of God's bringing forth and raising up. God the Father found Him out, and called Him to the work of saving sinners.
(7) He was for a time to be very low and contemptible, to be cut down, and to grow up to the greatest height. This was to be specially true of His birth.
(8) The Branch was to sustain and execute offices for the building of the temple of the Lord, both as Prince and Saviour.
(9) It was to be a righteous Branch, a Branch of righteousness. Application —
1. Learn the advantage of studying the Old Testament.
2. Be restless in your endeavours, until this Branch, this man, be excellent, desirably glorious and precious to you, and in your esteem.
3. Behold the man whose name is the Branch. Behold Him in His person, in His natures.
4. Come and take up your dwelling under the shadow of this man whose name is the Branch.
(James Robe, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,