An exegetical study for Matthew 17: 1-9

Verse 3

NASB: "And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him."

NRSV: "Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him."

NIV: "Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus."

Verse 5

NASB: "…behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!""

NRSV:"…suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!""

NIV: "…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!""


Verses 3 and 5: "idou"…"behold"

There are not many textual variants in the text.

Parallel texts: Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36

Luke 9:28-36

Verse 28: And some eight days after these sayings … to pray.

29: And while He was praying…

31: … were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

35: "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!"

This narrative is located in between His foretelling His death and resurrection in the synoptic gospels.

Matthew 16:21-28 17:1-13 17:22,23

Mark 8:31-9:1 9:2-13 9:30-32

Luke 9:22-27 9:28-36 9: 43-45

Therefore the appearance of Moses and Elijah has something to do with suffering and resurrection of Jesus.

Some exegetical questions

Why did Moses and Elijah appear? --- The purpose of appearance

Why did, particularly, Moses and Elijah appear, not other prophets in the Old Testament?

What would be significance when all three, Jesus, Moses and Elijah are considered?

Why did Jesus say, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead", in verse 9?