tsemach as "the Branch", Zechariah 3:8, 6:12, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15

Schmuel schmuel at escape.com
Wed Dec 25 16:31:49 EST 2002

Shalom b-Hebrew,

    Wonder if any of our experts would like to comment on the translation of
tsemach as "branch" as compared to "spring, sprout, bud, grow".  Shoot is
another word used that is sorta inbetween these various usages, acting as
one definition for sprout and also it is a definition for branch..

Tsemach 6779-Strongs is used 12 times and four times in the KJB it 
is  translated as "branch".
                6780 is a closely related word as well.

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 

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:

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.

In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness 
to grow up unto David;
and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

Note the addition of the article "the" in some of these, where Branch is 
considered a name.

These passages are generally accepted as Messianic by Christian and Jewish 
scholars alike,
which effects in various ways the translation....

And there are various interesting interpretations put on the word, for example
a "shoot" or "sprout" is often hidden and revealed only as a small 
beginning and quietly
and easy to miss..
     (perhaps like a little baby born to a poor family in Bethlehem)

Generally the Jewish translations do not use "branch", with a couple of 
such as the JPS-1985....

Another, Samson Levey in his Targum book  simply translates tsemach in the 
MT as branch.
(in the Targum "Messiah" (in Aramaic) is substituted/translated in some 
passages for tsemach,

So there seems to be an interesting divergence of usage and translation, 
and in a sense
"the branch" may be more of a contextual or doctrinal usage than literal..

On the other hand, a lot of times we superimpose our modern Hebrew 
upon the Scripture text...

Your thoughts ?

Steven Avery
Bayside, NY

schmuel at escape.com
Messianic_Apologetic-subscribe at yahoogroups.com

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