Zechariah 6:12 has at least three different readings, the branch, the sunrise, the east.

Now first has the sunrise and the east been made known to me and I wounder what manuscript to follow here, what word fits it's context best? I hold צמח tsemach, branch to be a prophecy for נצר netser, meaning a "shoot" or "sprout" that is ישוע נוצרי Yeshua Natzari (Jesus of Nazareth).

King James Bible

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: (Zechariah 6:12)

Manuscript Masoretic Text וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה־אִישׁ צֶמַח שְׁמֹו וּמִתַּחְתָּיו יִצְמָח וּבָנָה אֶת־הֵיכַל יְהוָה׃

H6780 tsemach צֶמַח - sprout, growth, branch

Aramaic Bible in Plain English

And say to him: ”Thus says LORD JEHOVAH of Hosts, ‘behold the Man and his name Denkha (The Sunrise), and from below he shall rise up. (Zechariah 6:12)

Manuscript Aramaic Peshitta not found

Denkha, "Sunrise"

Douay-Rheims Bible

And thou shalt speak to him, saying: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, saying: BEHOLD A MAN, THE ORIENT IS HIS NAME: and under him shall he spring up, and shall build a temple to the Lord. (Zechariah 6:12)

Manuscript Latin Vulgate et loqueris ad eum dicens haec ait Dominus exercituum dicens ecce vir Oriens nomen eius et subter eum orietur et aedificabit templum Domino

Oriens, the Latin word for "the East"

  • 1
    I do not get too concerned about the numerous differences between the Hebrew text and the several (Greek, Latin, Aramaic) translations. There are many of these. The Hebrew here is definitely the Messianic "Branch". See Isaiah 11.
    – Dottard
    Jul 7 at 21:27

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Zechariah 6:12

And say to him: ”Thus says LORD JEHOVAH of Hosts, ‘behold the Man and his name Denkha (The Sunrise), and from below he shall rise up.

Gill explains the origin of this translation:

Philo the Jew (n) interprets this passage of a divine Person, the Son of God, by whom no other than the Messiah is meant,

"we have heard (says he) one of the friends of Moses, i. e. Zechariah, saying thus, behold the man "whose name is the east", or rising sun (so the Greek version renders the words); a new appellation, if you can think it said of one consisting of soul and body; but if of that incorporeal one, bearing the divine image, you will own that the name is fitly given him, the ancient Sun, the Father of beings will cause to arise; whom otherwise he names the first begotten, and who, being begotten, imitates the ways of his Father; and looking at his archetypal exemplars, forms the same.''

(n) De Confus. Ling. p. 329.

Whether one named it Sunrise or Orient, there was no disagreement that they all referred to the coming Messiah.

Centuries before Zechariah's prophecy, Jeremiah prophecied in 33:15

“’In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch [H6780] sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.

Zechariah only followed Jeremiah's precedent and Zechariah himself prophecied earlier in 3:8

“’Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch [H6780].

There is no discrepancy in the MT of Zechariah 6:12

Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch [H6780], and he will branch out [H6779] from his place and build the temple of the LORD.

The two Hebrew words are related. One is a noun; the other, a verb. There is no controversy here among the MT texts.


The confusion seems to be related to how the Septuagint (LXX) translated the Hebrew word. I couldn't find exactly why. The Hebrew word in the MT does not resemble the Hebrew word for east. Maybe confusion with the Greek word meaning both sprout up and rise up.

The Masoretic text (MT) has the words. enter image description here


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and say to him, “Thus said the LORD of Hosts: Behold, a man called the Branch shall branch out from the place where he is, and he shall build the Temple of the LORD. (Zech 6:12, JPS)

Note how the Septuagint (LXX) sometimes translates the word in the MT.

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and the verb:

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  • Amen.. Thanks now I understand Anatoli means both didn't see it by myself =) Jul 8 at 13:55

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