I just read this passage and had never heard of this prophecy regarding Elijah.
Malachi 4:5-6 ESV
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
- Taking account of this passage in Malachi, will Elijah make a re-appearance on earth at some point in the future, specifically, as it appears from the passage, at the time of or around the time of the final judgement?
- Was this a fulfilled prediction of the transfiguration prior to Jesus's execution?
- Was this prophecy fulfilled at some other point in the past?
- Is Malachi literally talking about Elijah coming back to earth or was he speaking metaphorically?
- How is this prophecy regarded or interpreted in dispensationalism (if at all). How so in Catholicism, or any of the other major Christian groups?
- Also, Does this passage inform the beliefs of the people at the time of Christ, when they were confused about his identity.
Mark 6:14-15 NIV
King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
Others said, “He is Elijah.”
Mark 8:27-28 NIV
Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”