The term Nazarene (Ναζωραiος) might be more exactly transcribed Nazoree. Its termination thus suggests a member of a sect (cf. Pharisee, Sadducee) rather than an indication of origin; cf. Magdalene, i.e. of Magdala. It is probable that the term Nazoree was first applied to the disciples after our Lord’s death, Acts 24:5, with a measure of contempt for the provincial origin (cf. John 1:46) of the founder of the sect. When the word became common its hostile sense would diminish (cf. Quaker) and it might well have become synonymous with the strictly geographical term Nazarene originally used of Jesus himself (Prat, I, 119) — hence its use throughout Matthew, Acts, John (Mark uses Nazarene). Nevertheless, it was always possible to recall the original, contemptuous flavour of the expression, and it is probable that this is Matthew’s intention here (Lagrange). If this is so, he wishes to say that the obscurity of his Master’s home, though now a subject of derision, should not be unexpected to those who knew the prophets. These, rightly read, had spoken of a Messias humanly inglorious, Isaiah 53, Psalms 21. It is perhaps less probable that the term Nazoree contains a verbal reference to the sapling (nēser; Douay Version flower) from the Davidic root, Isaiah 11:1. This would make the prophecy little more than a punning coincidence and would scarcely justify Matthew’s plural prophets.
Jones, A. (1953). The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew. In B. Orchard and E. F. Sutcliffe (Eds.), A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (p. 857). Toronto; New York;Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson.