A Jewish Expectation

Three prophetic figures feature in Jewish eschatological expectation.

(1) Mai. 4.5-6 evidently aroused considerable speculation regarding the return ofElijah: 'Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse'. This expectation was echoed in Sir. 48.9-10: 'you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury,181 to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob'. The expectation does not seem to have left much trace in the pseudepigrapha,182 though it is alluded to in the But the expecta tion obviously lies behind various formulations in the Gospels,184 as also the opinions voiced in Mark 6.15 par. and 8.28 pars, concerning who Jesus might be.185 One of the most interesting features of Jewish expectation is the associ

181. The Syriac reads, 'before the day of the Lord'; the Hebrew is missing.

183. 4Q521 fragment 2 'The fathers will return to the sons' (echoing 4.5; Sir. 48.10); 4Q558: 'to you I will send Elijah, before. . . .'

184. Luke John the Baptist 'will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children . . .'; Mark 9.11-12/Matt. 17.10-11: 'Elijah comes (first) to restore all things'; Matt. 11.14; 'Elijah who is to come'; John 1.21: 'Are you Elijah?'.

185. More detail in J. Jeremias, El(e)ias, TDNT2.931-34. Note also Justin, Dial. 8.4;

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