Elijah and Jewish end times

I find the prophet Elijah fascinating. He was a healer, he performed miracles, he gave Elisha the spirit, he was taken away by a fiery chariot and he appeared with Jesus and Mosed in the Transfiguration.
I also believe at the Passover meal an extra chair is placed around the table for Elijah.
My question is in Judaism will Elijah appear before their messiah comes or will Elijah accompany the messiah? What role does Elijah play?
Hoping meltzerboy or someone who knows a lot about judaism might be able to answer this question for me.
Thank you ahead of time.


Malachi 3:23: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet **before **the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.”

The Talmud in tractate Eiruvin 43b says that Elijah will come on the day before the Messiah to announce his imminent arrival.

The prophet Elijah figures greatly in Jewish culture, folklore and various practices of Judaism. Elijah’s name is invoked at the weekly Havdalah ritual that marks the end of each Sabbath, and during observances such as the Passover seder (the use of “Elijah’s cup”) and the Brit milah (the circumcision ceremony in which “Elijah’s chair” plays an important role). He appears in numerous stories and references in the Haggadah and rabbinic literature, including the Babylonian Talmud. And legends abound regarding the prophet in rabbinic literature and even daily life.

Those Jews who still believe in a forthcoming individual messiah do indeed look forward to his arrival as it preludes the coming of the messiah. Traditionally the prophet Elijah is held to be the one to announce the next messiah in his position as the “angel [messenger] of the covenant.” (Malachi 3:1) At the Havdalah, the closing hymn petitions God to send Elijah back during the coming week with the words:

Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite. Let him come quickly, in our day with the messiah, the son of David.

Does he come with the messiah or announces him before? Most would say Elijah’s arrival precedes his coming. Of course there are various facets to Judaism, just like there are many denominations in Christianity. So views regarding Elijah and practices connected to them will differ–sometimes greatly–depending on the religious views of the individual.

Okay. Thank you both!

I find this extremely interesting, especially when we look at the Gospel of Matthew:Matthew 17: [2] And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. [3] And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him.
It would seem to me that the prophesy was indeed fulfilled. The Transfiguration happened very shortly before they went up to Jerusalem for the pasch. So, Elias did come to ‘announce’ that the Messiah had arrived. I know there are some who see John the Baptist as the ‘coming’ of Elias, but that never made much sense to me. For some reason, when I read that post it finally clicked. That was the reference to the return of Elias, connected with the Messiah. (I guess I’m a little slow on the uptake, sometimes. :blush:)

According to St. Matthew’s God-inspired testimony, Jesus Christ claimed that St. John the Baptist fulfilled the role of Elijah. It should be of interest that this declaration of Jesus came after the Transfiguration in which Elijah appeared with Moses on the mountain with Jesus.

Matthew describes the conversation between Christ and his disciples as follows:

And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He replied, “Elijah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.—Matthew 17:10-13, italics added.

So according to Jesus, John the Baptist was “Elijah…already come.” They “did to him whatever they pleased” in that John was jailed and beheaded in prison. This did not occur to the vision appearance of Elijah, so Jesus could not be speaking of him.

Again it should also be noted that this statement of Jesus happened immediately *after *the Transfiguration. Not only would this have been the perfect time for Jesus to state that the literal Elijah had come in the person of the mountain vision, the Holy Spirit would not have failed to inspired St. Matthew to note this in his narrative. So there is a link a between the two, as you noted. It’s just that Jesus was quick to add that Elijah was not to literally return. Like the prophet Elisha that took up Elijah’s cloak after the original prophet had been taken up, the “cloak” or position of “Elijah” now came to a different person, namely John the Baptist.–See 2 Kings 2:6-14.

Jesus tells his disciples that the Transfiguration was a “vision,” not a literal historical visit to earth of Moses and Elijah (even though they were likely involved in its presentation from heaven). As a vision and not a corporeal reality, the vision of Moses and Elijah was limited to the audience selected by Christ, which is clear from the fact in that he allowed only Peter, James, and John to witness it and then forbade them to mention a word of it until after his Passion.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.”—Matthew 17:1-9, italics added.

Because it was a vision limited to a select audience, this visionary appearance of Elijah could not be a fulfillment. Elijah was to engage in a ministry that was interpreted as introducing the coming of the Messiah. Jews who do not believe this has occurred yet still pray for this event to occur which is evidence that a select-audience-only vision could never be considered as a fulfillment.–See also Malachi 3:1.

But it is a good guess and, if it were not for what Jesus said right after the Transfiguration may have been what others could have concluded based on the same line of reasoning you have presented here.

So will elijah come before the second coming of Jesus?

Since the Jewish people do not believe Jesus is their messiah they are waiting for elijah to return the first time I guess.

Thank you! I had forgotten about those passages from Jesus. :blush:

I suppose the vision would not be considered a fulfillment for the reasons you gave. Although, I think it’s significant that it happened in such close proximity to His death, and His comments about John the Baptist. It always amazes me when I find little snippets, here and there, that make connections that I never considered before. This is certainly why it’s always good to read the Bible regularly. There’s always something new, and it’s never to late to learn, even for us old folks. :smiley:

Official Church doctrine regarding much more about Elijah is absent.

Also the Jewish people as a whole do not reject Jesus. I’m a Roman Catholic of Jewish ancestry, and my father’s side of the family is said to be descended from Jews who accepted Jesus as Messiah in the first century. Many Catholics of Hebrew origin embrace Jesus, as do many Protestants, all of us believing he is the promised Savior.

There are also Jews who believe the messiah was someone other than Jesus Christ, and for these Jews expectations regarding Elijah’s coming differ from messiah figure to messiah figure.

And then a large number of Jews no longer believe that the messiah is to be an individual. They believe that prophecies regarding the coming messiah are in reference to what humanity must be or will become in the Messianic Age. For each of these beliefs differ regarding a literal return of Elijah.

Finally, in answer to your specific question above, for those Jews still in expectation of a traditional messianic figure–who knows? The Church does not have an official statement or dogma as to how Christ figures into the salvation history of the Jewish people at this level.

The fact that many attempts by powerful nations to wipe out the Jews throughout history, with each of these nations being destroyed and the Jews always surviving (often without fighting back and being grossly outnumbered by their enemies), has lead the Church to acquiesce God’s providence regarding Israel. Great armies and nations consisting of war machines have been trampled into dust, like those that participated in the Holocaust, with the object of their hatred coming out the victor. It is thus apparent that God knows exactly how to rescue his people best, and therefore preconceived ideas and expectations need to be placed aside.

St. Paul wrote that the refusal of most Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah would last ONLY "until the full number of the Gentiles has come in." The following verse in Romans which is often rendered “and so all Israel will be saved” can literally be translated: “And THEN (meaning “afterwards”) Israel will be saved.”–Romans 11:25-26.

There is no definitive and dogmatic pronouncement from the Church or in Scripture that details how this will or has to come about. The only thing Paul has to say about it is: “How unsearchable are [God’s] judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”–Romans 11:33.

Yes, some Jews were awaiting a literal return of Elijah the prophet, presumably flying down from the clouds on a fiery chariot.

Jesus explained that the return was NOT the return of the same name and body of Elijah. Instead, John the Baptist was the return of the “spirit and power” of Elijah. Those who thought there would be a miraculous return of Elijah flying down from the sky missed out on the truth and beauty of Jesus Christ.

Is there any mention in scripture of anyone preceding the second coming of Christ?

The book of Revelation mentions two candlesticks, two olive trees, three woes, and many other symbols relating to multiple holy servants of God coming during the Parousia.

:confused: hmmm I wonder what those are supposed to represent?

'Let no man deceive you by any means:for that day shall not come ,except there come a falling away first,and that man of sin be revealed ,the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,or that is worshipped;so that he as God sitteth in the temple of a God,shewing himself that he is God’

Whereby some may say this ‘man’( of sin) is an individual or and individual head of a religious body ; for me it could also be mankind seen as a whole; or indeed each man in particular: fallen ’ away’ ( from God) and this on a universal scale.
In Luke 18:8,Jesus with Devine foreknowledge asks us the following questions:

‘Nevertheless when the son of man cometh,shall he find faith on the earth’

As to Elijah to come,Matthew 17:10&11 ,informs us :"And his disciples asked him ,saying why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

‘And Jesus answered and said unto them,Elias truly shall first come,and restore all things’

For me Jesus is confirming their interpretation that first comes Elijah ,( before him)
But he also identifies John the Baptist to be his contemporary Elijah .Does he who proceeded Jesus first coming greatly resemble another ( Elijah )who would in a similar likeness to Elijah proceed the second coming of the son of man?

Then for me,the ministry of Elijah was largely in the face of false worship (and Jezebels false prophets)
The ministry of the ‘Baptist’ likewise was against all that Jerusalem held falsely.
Then one with like ministry will proceed the end.

According to the latest version of the Blasphemous beliefs against my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Blessed Followers of the word of God. to the point, said talmud is anti non jew, we are beasts etc. Jesus Christ and Followers are in Hell and I won’t state what the talmud states what body fluid they are alleged to be boiling.

In Closing guess when their Messiah will arrive,when Rome is DESTROYED!
It pays in spades to go “under cover”.

Could you be more specific what you mean in your post -
“when Rome is destroyed!”

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