We read in Mtt 17:1-3 (NKJV):

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

It is implied that God the Father ordained Moses and Elijah to be part of the Transfiguration, with a special purpose. Moses had been dead and buried while Elijah was thought to be alive( Mtt 27:49). The former was associated with Law while the latter was considered as one of the greatest prophets. My question is : Whom and/or what did Moses and Elijah represent in the Transfiguration ?

  • Can't see a good reason for a down-vote so I have cancelled it +1. Might be better on SE-BH but I am not certain of that. Good uestion.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Feb 27 at 10:42
  • Thanks, Nigel J. Hope you have some inputs. Commented Feb 27 at 12:18
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    Haven't you already said the answer? The law and the prophets!
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 27 at 13:36
  • Well, that is what Wikipedia says. There could be a different thought. Commented Feb 27 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.- Romans 3:21-26

I suspect that there may be denominational differences in answering this question but, perhaps it is a 'what' and not a 'whom' that is ultimately represented by Moses and Elijah on the transfiguration mount. Paul (in Romans, especially) declares that the law and the prophets bear witness to the righteousness of God and the means by which God is both just and the justifier of sinners (every one of us).

If, indeed, Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus as representatives of the Law and the Prophets (which thing can be well supported, in my view) then what they are representing is not merely the Law and Prophets but the testimony that the Law and Prophets have given and do give of the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ.

Luke's account (9:30-31) gives us the added detail that "behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem". This decease is obviously the crucifixion wherein, according to Paul, the righteousness of God is demonstrated through the propitiation of Christ's blood.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16-17 

The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel of Christ; His death, burial, ascension, and coming again. The Law and Prophets bear witness. The two who best represent appear with Jesus conversing about his upcoming sacrifice. The voice of God pronounces, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.".

It is interesting to note that the 'voice' of the Law did not enter into the land of Promise and that the 'voice' of the Prophets was taken back up into glory, thereby leaving access to God's righteousness open to everyone by faith.

  • 1
    Thanks, Mike Borden.I have since edited my Question. Commented Feb 27 at 15:14
  • 1
    Well presented and well substantiated. Much appreciated. Heartily up-voted+1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Feb 27 at 19:33

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