One of the names that Israelites of Old Testament times gave to the expected Messiah was ‘the Branch’. This arose from the Israelite expectation that the Messiah was to come from the ‘tree’ of David’s dynasty (Jer 23:5; 33:15; cf. Isa 4:2; 11:1; see MESSIAH). After the Jews’ return from their Babylonian captivity, the name ‘branch’ was used in relation to Zerubbabel, the Jewish governor in Jerusalem. Zerubbabel was a descendant of David in the royal line that eventually produced Jesus the Messiah (Hag 2:21-23; Zech 3:8-10; 6:11-13; Matt 1:12-16; see ZERUBBABEL).

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