tsemach or ssemah

Why Four Gospels?
ssemah - offspring or branch
Jeremiah 23:5 - a kingJeremiah 33:14-15
Zechariah 3:8 - my servant
Zechariah 6:12 - the man
Isaiah 4:2 - of the lord
Fulfilled in:

   The Hebrew word tsemach or ssemah is used twelve times in the Old Testament. Five of these times relate directly to Jesus Christ. The basic meaning of tsemach is "sprout, shoot, or offspring." In the Old Testament it is translated Branch. The promised Christ was prophesied to have four characteristics. The four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each focus on a one of these promised characteristics.

The King - Matthew / Revelation
Twice ssemah is used to represent the king of Israel and offspring of David.  Two New Testament books point to the fulfillment of this prophecy - Matthew and the book of Revelation.

Jeremiah 23:5
   Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch [tsemach] and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Jeremiah 33:14,15
   Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
   In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch [ssemah] of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

   Matthew exclusively uses the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" thirty two times. There are ten parables related to a king unique to the gospel of Matthew. The genealogy given in Matthew 1 is a royal genealogy showing Jesus Christ's descent from David. The gospel of Matthew is the record of the fulfillment of the promise that the Christ would be a king from David's bloodline.

The Servant - Mark

Zechariah 3:8
   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 the Branch [tsemach].

   Mark clearly emphasizes Jesus Christ as a servant. Mark records no genealogy, as a servant does not gain his position by descent. Jesus Christ is referred to as "lord" or "sir" only three times in Mark where he is given that title seventy three times in the other gospels. Mark puts great emphasis on Jesus' acts of service to his fellowman. The gospel of Mark is the record of the fulfillment of the promise that the Christ would be a servant of God to men.

A Man - Luke

Zechariah 6:12
   And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch [tsemach]; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord:

   Luke emphasizes Jesus Christ as a man. The genealogy in Luke 3 traces Jesus' legal ancestry back to Adam the first man. There are eleven parables peculiar to Luke which emphasize the human aspect of Christ's walk. He is depicted as a friend of publicans and sinners. The entire gospel of Luke shows Jesus Christ's relationship with the common man.

The son of God - John

Isaiah 4:2
   In that day shall the branch [tsemach] of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

   John is the fulfillment of the prophesy that the Christ would be the "offspring of the Lord". The popular passage of scripture "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son..." comes from the gospel of John which concludes with "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. The gospel of John shows Jesus to be the only begotten son of God.

   Jesus Christ was and is the promised seed that was sent to redeem mankind. He was a priest and a prophet of God. He is king to Israel, a servant of God, a man just like us, and he is the only begotten son of God.

Cortright Fellowship
URL http://www.cortright.org/prophesy.htm
© Copyright September 1996  Michael Cortright