Matthew 17:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 17:10, NIV: "The disciples asked him, 'Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?'"

Matthew 17:10, ESV: "And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?”"

Matthew 17:10, KJV: "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?"

Matthew 17:10, NASB: "And His disciples asked Him, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?'"

Matthew 17:10, NLT: "Then his disciples asked him, 'Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?'"

Matthew 17:10, CSB: "So the disciples asked him, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?""

What does Matthew 17:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter, James, and John are trying to figure out how what they have just witnessed on the mountain fits with what Jesus has said about rising from the dead.

On the one hand, they have just seen with their own eyes Elijah, from heaven, standing on the earth and talking to Jesus. If that was the return of Elijah, though, wasn't he supposed to come before the Messiah? Jesus, who they now understood to be the Messiah, had already come. They ask Jesus why the scribes say that Elijah must come first before the Messiah.

Jesus will confirm that the scribes' insistence that Elijah must come first was right. It was based on the prophecy found in Malachi 4:5–6: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes."