Matthew 17:10-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Elijah Has Already Come
Matthew 17:10-13 – Elijah Has Already Come
|| Mark 9:9-13
MT17:10 Now the disciples inquired of Jesus, asking, “Why do the Scribes say it is necessary for Elijah to come first?” [Malachi 4:5] MT17:11 Jesus answered them, saying: “Indeed, Elijah is coming and will restore everything. MT17:12 But, I tell you: Elijah has already arrived and they did not acknowledge him; rather, they treated him as they wished. And just so the Son of Humankind is about to suffer because of them.” MT17:13 Finally the disciples understood that Jesus spoke to them about John the Baptist.
 Scribes: Search the word scribe for notes elsewhere. Or, NEB: teachers.
 Elijah: Likely this prophet is raised as a result of the vision. We may suppose only the three disciples were asking the question. On Elijah research the name for other notes.
 Elijah is coming: Judging from Jesus’ words may we suppose there are two “Elijahs”? One to appear before the desolation of Jerusalem (Malachi 4:5). And, still another before the Parousia of Christ (Revelation 11:4, 5). The Nazarene does not mean the literal prophet but something like him.
 Restore everything: Or, NEB: set everything right; GDSP: reform everything; RIEU: reestablish everything. Compare Acts 3:21. Malachi 4:6 foretold the result of Elijah’s coming:
“He must turn the heart of fathers back toward sons, and the heart of sons back toward fathers.”
If this be the ‘restoration’ it deals strongly with family relationships and involves love. If we were to also apply Isaiah 40:5 to the coming of Elijah then this also would be involved: “The glory of Jehovah will certainly be revealed, and all flesh must see it together.” Additionally, consider Malachi 3:1-4: “And suddenly there will come to His temple the [true] Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting. Look! He will certainly come,” Jehovah of armies has said. “But who will be putting up with the day of his coming, and who will be the one standing when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he must sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and must cleanse the sons of Le’vi; and he must clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness. And the gift offering of Judah and of Jerusalem will actually be gratifying to Jehovah, as in the days of long ago and as in the years of antiquity.” (NWT) The ‘restoration’ not only involves family relationships but also the true Temple and the cleansing of the People of God. Compare Revelation 11:1-12; 11:19.
 Elijah has already arrived: See notes on Matthew 11:14 and Matthew 16:14 and the name Elijah elsewhere.
 They did not acknowledge him: “They” includes the Scribes. Or, KJV: knew him not; RHM: they recognized him not.
 They treated him as they wished: Or, KJV: have done unto him whatsoever they listed; RHM: did with him whatsoever they pleased; MOF: they have worked their will on him; KNX: misused him at their pleasure. “They” imprisoned and then beheaded John the Baptist.
 Suffer because of them: This is the second of two times Jesus mentions his foretold ‘suffering.’ (see notes at Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 17:25) That the Messiah would “suffer” is foretold by Psalm 22:1+ and Isaiah 53:1+. Compare also Isaiah 50:6 and Daniel 9:26.
Matthew 17:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Transfiguration Vision