how does ||Moses|| = ||Elijah|| ?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#1
just to clarify,
|| X || means 'the measure of X'
so i'm asking, why does God measure Moses equivalently to Elijah?


this has a certain context: i'd like to hear whatever you can tell me about why Moses & Elijah have equal measure with regard to the transfiguration -- why these two, why no one else? what is equivalent about them that makes them, and them alone, the ones revealed with Christ God glorified in Matthew 17, Mark 9 & Luke 9?

i have these premises:

  • everything God does is perfect and intentional and good
  • God chose Moses & Elijah, and no one else, to be in the presence of and speaking with the revealed deity of Christ at the transfiguration
  • these are the perfect two to appear to the disciples with Him: no one else will do
  • therefore they have a common set of traits that make them exactly the ones to be there in that context doing what they are doing

what do they share that makes them exactly the people who are with Christ, speaking to Him, at this event?
why them? why no one else? what is it about both of them that puts them there? that rules out everyone else?
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
17,517
9,600
113
#2
Another way to see it is that Moses represents the Law, and Elijah represents the prophets.

"All the law and the prophets testify about Me."
 
S

Scribe

Guest
#3
They represent the Law and the Prophets. All the revelation of God to man leads up to Jesus and what he is about to accomplish with his death at Jerusalem (which is what they were discussing) The voice from the Father said "this is my son HEAR HIM" so all attention is to be transferred from the partial revelation of the Law and the Prophets to the full revelation of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant.

What was the first think Jesus said to Peter, James and John after God say "Hear Him?" You will have to look up the answer. :)
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
27,410
4,681
113
#4
what do they share that makes them exactly the people who are with Christ, speaking to Him, at this event?
why them? why no one else? what is it about both of them that puts them there? that rules out everyone else?
They share the honor of being the two God chose to appear with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Why no one else? Because God did not choose anyone else. What is it about them that puts them there? God chose them to be there. Everyone else is ruled out because God did not choose everyone else, or anyone else.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#5
Another way to see it is that Moses represents the Law, and Elijah represents the prophets.

"All the law and the prophets testify about Me."
the direct context of Christ saying this in John 5 is with regard to what is written in the law and the records of the prophets: "search the scriptures" -- if we search them, will we find something unique about these two men? Moses' body was hidden, and Satan sought it. Elijah was taken up.

the relationship of Moses to '
the law' is clear -- but why Elijah the prophet? the spirit on Elijah, Elisha had a double portion of - and there are many more recorded miracles of Elisha than Elijah. Jeremiah's book is the longest in the Bible. Isaiah's is full of testimony of Christ.

John the Baptist, Christ called '
Elijah' and greater than any other prophet. in fact this is right there in Matthew 17 directly after He reveals His glory to them -- the disciple ask Him why the teachers of the law say Elijah must come before the Messiah. He says John was the 'second coming' of Elijah; the transfiguration was not the second coming of Elijah. so the type of 'the prophets' testifying of Christ had already come. He shoots down the idea that Elijah's presence at the transfiguration was the fulfillment of the prophecy he would be sent to turn the the hearts of the people toward God.

also, we don't see them testifying of Christ to Peter James & John. they are speaking to and with Christ, not giving testimony of Him to others. the only way they testify of Him, here, is by their presence, and only to these few that He took with Him to the mount.
what exactly is their presence testifying of to them?
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#6
They share the honor of being the two God chose to appear with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Why no one else? Because God did not choose anyone else. What is it about them that puts them there? God chose them to be there. Everyone else is ruled out because God did not choose everyone else, or anyone else.
yes

so it seems to me, if we search the scripture, there is something unique to the two of them, some property that qualifies them, that no one else has.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#7
how did they recognize them?

they were speaking with Christ - was Jesus calling them by name?

had they seen portraits of them? did they have name tags?
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#8
They represent the Law and the Prophets. All the revelation of God to man leads up to Jesus and what he is about to accomplish with his death at Jerusalem (which is what they were discussing) The voice from the Father said "this is my son HEAR HIM" so all attention is to be transferred from the partial revelation of the Law and the Prophets to the full revelation of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant.

What was the first think Jesus said to Peter, James and John after God say "Hear Him?" You will have to look up the answer. :)
"get up" :)
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
17,517
9,600
113
#9
the direct context of Christ saying this in John 5 is with regard to what is written in the law and the records of the prophets: "search the scriptures" -- if we search them, will we find something unique about these two men? Moses' body was hidden, and Satan sought it. Elijah was taken up.

the relationship of Moses to 'the law' is clear -- but why Elijah the prophet? the spirit on Elijah, Elisha had a double portion of - and there are many more recorded miracles of Elisha than Elijah. Jeremiah's book is the longest in the Bible. Isaiah's is full of testimony of Christ.

John the Baptist, Christ called 'Elijah' and greater than any other prophet. in fact this is right there in Matthew 17 directly after He reveals His glory to them -- the disciple ask Him why the teachers of the law say Elijah must come before the Messiah. He says John was the 'second coming' of Elijah; the transfiguration was not the second coming of Elijah. so the type of 'the prophets' testifying of Christ had already come. He shoots down the idea that Elijah's presence at the transfiguration was the fulfillment of the prophecy he would be sent to turn the the hearts of the people toward God.

also, we don't see them testifying of Christ to Peter James & John. they are speaking to and with Christ, not giving testimony of Him to others. the only way they testify of Him, here, is by their presence, and only to these few that He took with Him to the mount.
what exactly is their presence testifying of to them?
Good thoughts and questions. I don't think that M's and E's appearance at the transfiguration was intended to be 'the testimony' to which Jesus was referring in John 5. Rather, if the theory is sound, then M and E act as representatives only. As you noted, there are oddities about the ends of both of their lives, but then why was Enoch absent? I agree; I don't think that Elijah's appearance is directly connected to John's fulfillment of "the Elijah to come".

Another possibility is that the entire transfiguration event was far less about Moses and Elijah specifically, and more about the reality of Jesus' identity and the eternal nature of His kingdom. As He said to the Pharisees, God is the God of the living. Moses and Elijah clearly were not living (on earth) concurrently, but again they would act as representative samples, so to speak, of those faithful ones who had died and those who were gone but had not died; both are in the kingdom with Jesus.

One may fairly ask again, why Elijah and not Enoch; I suspect that the answer is in the amount of detail available in Scripture regarding their lives. Enoch lived before the flood; very few details were recorded in Scripture, while Elijah would have been much more familiar to the disciples.
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,493
1,086
113
#10
just to clarify,
|| X || means 'the measure of X'
so i'm asking, why does God measure Moses equivalently to Elijah?


this has a certain context: i'd like to hear whatever you can tell me about why Moses & Elijah have equal measure with regard to the transfiguration -- why these two, why no one else? what is equivalent about them that makes them, and them alone, the ones revealed with Christ God glorified in Matthew 17, Mark 9 & Luke 9?

i have these premises:

  • everything God does is perfect and intentional and good
  • God chose Moses & Elijah, and no one else, to be in the presence of and speaking with the revealed deity of Christ at the transfiguration
  • these are the perfect two to appear to the disciples with Him: no one else will do
  • therefore they have a common set of traits that make them exactly the ones to be there in that context doing what they are doing

what do they share that makes them exactly the people who are with Christ, speaking to Him, at this event?
why them? why no one else? what is it about both of them that puts them there? that rules out everyone else?
I think moses and Christ is the better fit.
 
Mar 23, 2016
4,179
1,223
113
#11
what do they share that makes them exactly the people who are with Christ, speaking to Him, at this event?
why them? why no one else? what is it about both of them that puts them there? that rules out everyone else?
I am in agreement with @Dino246 regarding Moses as representative of lawgiver and Elijah as representative of prophet ... and that the Lord Jesus Christ is both Lawgiver and Prophet in Whom both Moses and Elijah had faith. The Lord Jesus Christ is also Priest. The three of them together represent the the fullness of law/prophet/priesthood.




also, we don't see them testifying of Christ to Peter James & John. they are speaking to and with Christ, not giving testimony of Him to others. the only way they testify of Him, here, is by their presence, and only to these few that He took with Him to the mount.
what exactly is their presence testifying of to them?
I also am in agreement with @p_rehbein concerning God's discretion in having only those two. I pray God reveals to you why those two.

The record of the event in Luke is the only record which reveals what was discussed: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem (vs 31). Must have been quite a discussion ...




 

Yahshua

Senior Member
Sep 22, 2013
2,111
447
83
#12
the relationship of Moses to 'the law' is clear -- but why Elijah the prophet?
It can be argued that in a partial fulfillment, Elijah was the prophet Moses promised would come after him that the people must listen to when they strayed from obedience.

Elijah's work was to restore the people back to obedience to the law, as they had strayed to worshipping Ba'al in error through Jezebel and Ahab.

Moses provided the law while Elijah restored the law...and the Messiah's ministry was focused on challenging the traditions of the pharisees that nullified the law, while saving those who broke it. Not trying to be that guy again, but the law is the common denominator with all three men.

Another interesting bit of info about Moses is that the transfiguration of the Messiah wasn't the first time Moses shone. When he spent weeks and weeks with the Almighty receiving the law atop the mountain he came down emanating light. This terrified the people so much that he had to wear a veil when around them.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#13
I also am in agreement with @p_rehbein concerning God's discretion in having only those two. I pray God reveals to you why those two.
just like @p_rehbein our dear Ouliphant, i take it as a given that God chose these two for His own purpose.
i take it as implicit that He has a purpose and a reason, that His decision in this matter is perfect.

i think we ought to be able to figure out 'why' and 'why not someone else' if we study the scriptures -- at least come close enough to 'why' that we have a better answer than 'because that's what God did, that's why'

come on, what's similar between them? what do they have in common? of those things, what things does no one else in scripture have in common with them?
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#14
Moses provided the law while Elijah restored the law...and the Messiah's ministry was focused on challenging the traditions of the pharisees that nullified the law, while saving those who broke it. Not trying to be that guy again, but the law is the common denominator with all three men.
why not Josiah?

Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.
(2 Kings 23:25)
the Bible says no one ever, either before or after, ever 'restored the law' like Josiah.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#15
I think moses and Christ is the better fit.
Moses is absolutely a profound figure of Christ!
famously prophesying of Him, Moses says He will be '
like me' ((Deuteronomy 18:15)) - there are hundreds of details of Moses' life that align with Christ's.

what about Elijah tho? is he a better/stronger '
type' of Christ than Elisha? or Adam? or David?
is God's measure in choosing them about '
strongest analogy' ?
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#16
One may fairly ask again, why Elijah and not Enoch; I suspect that the answer is in the amount of detail available in Scripture regarding their lives. Enoch lived before the flood; very few details were recorded in Scripture, while Elijah would have been much more familiar to the disciples.
a couple points on that, because i think 'the Enoch question' is an important & intuitive one, and i've been thinking about him a lot too. :)

  • Jude seems to have had a book of things Enoch had said, so there is some familiarity
  • somehow Peter James & John knew who these men were. that's not explained -- they almost 100% surely had no portraits of them they might have been familiar with, and couldn't have known their voices. how they recognized them is an open question -- one that leaves open the possibility that however it was they knew, they could equally have known Enoch if he was there.
  • it's obvious to think of how Elijah was taken up into the whirlwind. Enoch, too, did not suffer death - and there isn't anyone else in scripture in that category, born of woman & never having died. Moses, however, explicitly died. perhaps importantly for consideration, at God's own hand -- but the fact that it's not Enoch with Elijah there rules out 'not having died' as the measure
  • so we're looking for some aspect Moses shares with Elijah but Enoch doesn't. you pointed out how we know very little about Enoch, but comparatively tons about Elijah & Moses. that's a good point, but i'd say it could equally be that we are given so much about these two because they had been ordained to appear at the revealing of the glory of Christ. the cause/effect relationship there could be reversed, because God is the one who decided these two, and God is the author of scripture, too. for example if He'd chosen Enoch, He could just as easily given Moses a whole lot to write down about Enoch, as much as he wrote about Noah or much more, but He didn't. He wanted Enoch's person and life to be largely 'hidden' -- is that the reason he's not at the transfiguration? or is the fact that he's not at the transfiguration the reason we're not told much about him? God knows.
  • for most of my life i thought 'the two witnesses' John writes of in Revelation were probably Enoch & Elijah, because they didn't 'taste death' like Hebrews 9:27 says is appointed to man, but the prophecy says the 2 will die, lie in the street for 3 days, and be raised. i saw that as the 'solution' to Enoch, Elijah, and Hebrews 9:27. but thinking about the transfiguration has made me seriously question whether they aren't going to be Moses & Elijah returned, or even if not, what the real basis is for whoever the 2 witnesses are, being who they are.
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,493
1,086
113
#17
Moses is absolutely a profound figure of Christ!
famously prophesying of Him, Moses says He will be '
like me' ((Deuteronomy 18:15)) - there are hundreds of details of Moses' life that align with Christ's.


what about Elijah tho? is he a better/stronger 'type' of Christ than Elisha? or Adam? or David?
is God's measure in choosing them about '
strongest analogy' ?
My take is that moses represents the shepherding as to Elijah represents the power.
Haven't read through the reply this might of been said already.😏
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,493
1,086
113
#18
a couple points on that, because i think 'the Enoch question' is an important & intuitive one, and i've been thinking about him a lot too. :)

  • Jude seems to have had a book of things Enoch had said, so there is some familiarity
  • somehow Peter James & John knew who these men were. that's not explained -- they almost 100% surely had no portraits of them they might have been familiar with, and couldn't have known their voices. how they recognized them is an open question -- one that leaves open the possibility that however it was they knew, they could equally have known Enoch if he was there.
  • it's obvious to think of how Elijah was taken up into the whirlwind. Enoch, too, did not suffer death - and there isn't anyone else in scripture in that category, born of woman & never having died. Moses, however, explicitly died. perhaps importantly for consideration, at God's own hand -- but the fact that it's not Enoch with Elijah there rules out 'not having died' as the measure
  • so we're looking for some aspect Moses shares with Elijah but Enoch doesn't. you pointed out how we know very little about Enoch, but comparatively tons about Elijah & Moses. that's a good point, but i'd say it could equally be that we are given so much about these two because they had been ordained to appear at the revealing of the glory of Christ. the cause/effect relationship there could be reversed, because God is the one who decided these two, and God is the author of scripture, too. for example if He'd chosen Enoch, He could just as easily given Moses a whole lot to write down about Enoch, as much as he wrote about Noah or much more, but He didn't. He wanted Enoch's person and life to be largely 'hidden' -- is that the reason he's not at the transfiguration? or is the fact that he's not at the transfiguration the reason we're not told much about him? God knows.
  • for most of my life i thought 'the two witnesses' John writes of in Revelation were probably Enoch & Elijah, because they didn't 'taste death' like Hebrews 9:27 says is appointed to man, but the prophecy says the 2 will die, lie in the street for 3 days, and be raised. i saw that as the 'solution' to Enoch, Elijah, and Hebrews 9:27. but thinking about the transfiguration has made me seriously question whether they aren't going to be Moses & Elijah returned, or even if not, what the real basis is for whoever the 2 witnesses are, being who they are.
I look for enoch and Elijah to be the witnesses. They are the only 2 who have not died the earthly death.
 
Mar 23, 2016
4,179
1,223
113
#19
just like @p_rehbein our dear Ouliphant, i take it as a given that God chose these two for His own purpose.
i take it as implicit that He has a purpose and a reason, that His decision in this matter is perfect.


i think we ought to be able to figure out 'why' and 'why not someone else' if we study the scriptures -- at least come close enough to 'why' that we have a better answer than 'because that's what God did, that's why'

come on, what's similar between them? what do they have in common? of those things, what things does no one else in scripture have in common with them?
I'm pretty sure Moses was there as representative of the law. And Elijah was representative of the prophet. And I believe the Lord Jesus Christ was representative of Priest. So we have law and Lawgiver, prophet and Prophet, and High Priest.

What they have in common ... @Yahshua brings up some interesting points.


As far as why Elijah and not another prophet? We know that there are prophecies relating to Elijah that are yet to be fulfilled, so perhaps continuing on that theme?

Another thought that occurred to me was that perhaps Moses represents the time of wandering ... Elijah represents the time after the people entered the promised land ?

I don't know exactly what you're looking for here and, again, I hope/pray God reveals to you the information you seek.



 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,845
10,128
113
#20
I'm pretty sure Moses was there as representative of the law. And Elijah was representative of the prophet. And I believe the Lord Jesus Christ was representative of Priest. So we have law and Lawgiver, prophet and Prophet, and High Priest.

What they have in common ... @Yahshua brings up some interesting points.

As far as why Elijah and not another prophet? We know that there are prophecies relating to Elijah that are yet to be fulfilled, so perhaps continuing on that theme?

Another thought that occurred to me was that perhaps Moses represents the time of wandering ... Elijah represents the time after the people entered the promised land ?

I don't know exactly what you're looking for here and, again, I hope/pray God reveals to you the information you seek.

i think it'd be useful at this point to step back and ask what the point of the transfiguration is.
at that event, in a bright cloud, the voice of God declares "this" is the Son -- what's He mean by "this" ?
at that event, Christ is revealed to Peter James & John in glory. they want to build tabernacles. there's a bright cloud of glory.

the "this" is obviously Jesus Christ, the Son. but why here in the context of being revealed in glory? why doesn't God say this, you know, in the temple while healing lepers or teaching? why at the transfiguration? the voice of God out of a cloud of glory is a really significant thing; it's important to recognize that it's happening in this context -- here the specific "this" is Christ revealed in glorious light.

so we've got a situation where there's a cloud, there's glorious light, there's talk of tabernacles, and there's the voice of God.
in Moses' life and Elijah's life do we have events with clouds, glorious light, tabernacles, and the voice of God? :geek:


and we have primarily the intent of the transfiguration: it's revealing something about Christ. what do God's voice in a bright cloud, glorious light, and talking about tabernacles reveal about Christ? His entire life is revealing Himself as the Messiah -- note that John, whose purpose in writing is to prove Jesus is the Christ, doesn't record this event in his gospel, even tho he was there while most of the other disciples weren't. so John doesn't consider it to be a necessary component of demonstrating that Jesus is the Son of God -- i would say, it's already established that Jesus is the Son of God, in each of Matthew Mark & Luke, well before this account of transfiguration.
so the transfiguration is revealing something else about Christ, not just the triune nature of God or that He is the Son. those things are given. we should expect metaphorical figures in what happens there; they aren't the purpose of the event just the fingerprints and motifs we find everywhere in the accounts of the Christ. i would say, the primary purpose of the transfiguration is revealing something about who the Son of God is, what it means that He is the Son.


look at the context. He takes three of them to a high place, is revealed in glorious light, there's a bright cloud of glory and the voice of God saying this glorious light is the Son. Peter wants to build tabernacles because they were afraid and didn't understand.
they come down. Jesus forbids them to tell what they have seen. they find the other disciples incapable of casting out a particular demon & Jesus is frustrated with their lack of faith.

i'm going to say that Peter wanting to build tabernacles is congruent to the other disciples not being able to cast out this demon. i'm going to say that these human failures/frailties are direct counterpoint to what God has just revealed to Peter James & John about who the Son is, and that the presence of Elijah & Moses are perfect, tailor-made witnesses attesting to the thing about who the Son is that is being revealed here, and that truth about the identity of the Son of God has something to do with bright clouds of glory and the voice of God & reminds your typical bewildered Jewish guy of tabernacles.


is this making sense to anyone yet :)