What does Matthew 17:5 mean?
ESV: He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
NIV: While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"
NASB: While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice from the cloud said, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!'
CSB: While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!"
NLT: But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.'
KJV: While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
NKJV: While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
Verse Commentary:
Witnessing Jesus radiating the glory of heaven while talking to Moses and Elijah, Peter felt the overwhelming need to do something, to say something. This follows the typical pattern of the Gospels, which reveal Peter to be a man of both positive and negative extremes (Matthew 14:28–31; 16:13–19, 21–23). He has suggested the worshipful act of building three tents, resting places, one each for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. He seems to have in mind the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (Matthew 17:1–4).

Peter's mistake is in implying that Jesus is equal to Moses and Elijah instead of far superior to them as the Son of God. Moses and Elijah were revered in Israel, but they were merely fallible men whom God had used to accomplish great things. Jesus was the perfect and sinless "image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15).

This was also not an appropriate time for Peter to speak, at all. Adding to the awkwardness, Peter's clumsy attempt is interrupted—literally as "he was still speaking"—by the voice from heaven. The voice of God the Father booms out that Jesus is His beloved and pleasing Son. God commands Peter, James, and John to listen to Jesus. How awesome and terrible it must have been for Peter to be rebuked by the voice of God the Father. How clearly He must have received the message to listen to Jesus.

The cloud that overshadows the trio fits the description of the cloud that often appeared when God descended to interact with people on earth (Exodus 13:21–22; 34:5–7; 1 Kings 8:10–13). There could have been no doubt in Peter's mind who was speaking to him.
Verse Context:
Matthew 17:1–13 follows Jesus' prediction that some of the disciples won't die before seeing Him coming in His kingdom (Matthew 16:28). Peter, James, and John see Jesus transfigured—radiating the glory of God––while talking with Moses and Elijah. Peter blunders in his attempt to contribute to the moment. The voice of God the Father identifies Jesus as His Son and commands the disciples to listen to Him. Jesus tells the three not to tell anyone else what they've seen until after He is raised from the dead. He answers their question about a prophecy involving Elijah.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain. There, they see Him "transfigured" into a shining, divine form. They also see Christ speaking with Moses and Elijah but are commanded not to speak of this event until later. Jesus heals a demon-afflicted boy after the disciples cannot cast the demon out. Jesus very clearly tells the disciples He will be delivered into the hands of men, killed, and raised on the third day. After explaining why He is exempt from a temple tax, Jesus agrees to pay it and tells Peter to find the money in the mouth of a fish.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 17 begins with the fulfillment of Jesus' prediction at the end of the previous chapter: that some of those present would not die before seeing Him coming in His kingdom. Jesus casts out a demon, predicts His death, and commands Peter to pay a temple tax with a coin from the mouth of a fish. This leads Matthew back to extensive records of Jesus' teachings, continuing through chapter 20.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 7/15/2024 2:22:05 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com