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We must remember that Elijah did not die, but was translated to heaven by God
(II.Kings.ii.11) and Moses was evidently raised from the dead, an act that Satan disputed
God's right to perform (Jude 9).
In this tremendous experience Peter is again the spokesman:
"Peter said to Jesus, `Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish I will put up three
shelters--one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah'." (Matt. 17: 4, N.I.V.).
We may wonder why Peter uttered these words, but we must remember that he had
been awakened from sleep (Luke 9: 32) and was still drowsy. In addition to this the
overwhelming glory dazzled him, so it was no wonder that he did not realize fully what
he had said (Luke 9: 33; Mark 9: 6).
But it may be that, in spite of all this, he had a reason for his words. It has been
suggested that this was the time of the feast of Tabernacles and Peter was saying that they
could celebrate it just where they were on the mountain. Or perhaps Peter, realizing that
it was night, felt it would be desirable for them to have shelters to stay in. Whatever the
real reason, the experience they were undergoing, though tremendous, was intensely
wonderful and he wanted it to last. He said, "it is good (kalos) for us to be here". Kalos
means beautiful or delightful. Had any human being ever had such an uplifting and
astounding experience before?
"While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a Voice from the
cloud said, `This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to
Him!'." (Matt. 17: 5, N.I.V.).
Even the cloud that surrounded them reflected the glory that they were beholding, and
the Voice spoke the very words which were uttered at the Lord's baptism. They most
certainly bore repetition, in fact they could not be repeated too often. "Hear ye Him",
"Listen to Him"! They were words which would have reminded Peter of his recent
failure to do this when Christ had spoken about His death. The Voice was the Voice of
God and fear now overtook them, for they fell down, terrified (17: 6).
The Lord in His compassion, now tenderly touches them and says, "don't be afraid",
and when they looked up, the vision was ended and they were alone with the Lord.
As they descended from the mountain the Lord charged or commanded them to keep
silent about what they had seen (9). He knew that it would be completely misunderstood
by His enemies. After His resurrection, when His Godhead would be demonstrated, it
The disciples had a problem about the promise of Elijah's coming in Mal. 4:
There he is represented as coming before the Messiah with his work of restoration.
But the King was here and Elijah had not come. Had the scribes who taught the law been