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The Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel’s Messiah, Part 13: Matthew 17:10-21, by Kevin M. Williams

There may have been any number of reasons for the question to come up, and none of them particularly pointing to any daftness on the part of Yeshua’s chosen.

Yet if we look again at the Malachi prophecy, it foretells of Elijah’s appearance before “the great and terrible day of the LORD.” To the Hebrew reared in the synagogue, this meant the Day of Judgment when all sins are revealed before the Judge of all the earth, when the Book of Life is read. Those whose names are inscribed within go on to the Olam HaBah, the world to come. Those whose names are not recorded spend the rest of eternity in Sheol.

So Yeshua’s statement that Elijah had come, and that “Elijah is coming and will restore all things” at some point in the future served to affirm his current role as the Messiah, but also clearly indicated His return, which will again be hailed by the spirit of Elijah.

This would be consistent with Jewish thought. For instance, this quote from the Seder ‘Olam Rabbah, ch. 17 reads: “In the second year of [King] Ahazia, Elijah was hidden, and he will not be seen again until King Messiah comes. And then he will be seen but will be hidden a second time, and seen again only when Gog and Magog will come.”1 How they reached this conclusion divorced of Yeshua is a puzzlement, yet Paul states that only a “partial hardening” has come upon them (Romans 11:25), so there remains a partial softening to the Spirit as well.

Yeshua also gives us a hint to his own future. By comparing his coming trials with those of John the Immerser’s, who was taken captive, jailed, put to death, and according to our passage, is “coming and will restore all things,” he will have some form of resurrection. These things awaited Yeshua in Jerusalem.

“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.”

— Daniel 7:13

Though prophesying about Himself, Yeshua still does not directly refer to Himself the Messiah, rather preferring the title “Son of Man.” The reasons for this have been covered before, but a quick review seems in order. The “Son of Man” euphemism had a twofold meaning in that day and age. It did indeed have direct reference to the Messiah as we read in Daniel 7:13: “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.”

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Spring 2004

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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