Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.
These are the last words and thoughts of the Old Testament. There would be silence for approximately 425 years…
A tradition at a Passover Seder is to leave an empty seat for the prophet Elijah. The empty seat is at the head of the table. A cup of wine is poured for Elijah should he show at the Seder. Elijah is the honored guest who is to announce the arrival of the Messiah.
Tradition has children opening the front door of the home in the hope of the arrival of Elijah. As the door is opened, the guests say… “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Christ in the Passover, Ceil and Moishe Rosen, Moody Press, Chicago.
John the Baptist was a type or forerunner for the first coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself made the declaration.
Mark 9:12-13 And He said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I say to you that Elijah has indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written of him.” –Jesus.
And Jesus confirms that John the Baptist functions as if Elijah.
Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.” –Jesus.
…and they did to him whatever they wished…and that they did. John the Baptist was beheaded. King Herod used the excuse of a “good dance” to complete what he wanted to do anyway.
Matthew 14:10-11 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
Jesus is coming a second time and will return to Earth. At that time, Christ will have a forerunner as He did the first time. I take it this next time it will be Elijah himself. Although he is not specifically named, Elijah is likely one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. The skill set and characteristics of the witnesses are consistent with the prophet Elijah on his first mission.
See 1 Kings 17-21 and 2 Kings 1-2 for Elijah’s initial career and efforts.
Revelation 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
And like John the Baptist…
Revelation 11:7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
So when Elijah shows up and drinks the cup of wine at the Passover Seder, Yeshua HaMashiach is close…