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Re: What do you think?
Ready2Rapture Views: 941
Published: 18 years ago
This is a reply to # 632,477

Re: What do you think?

The short answer is, "it's a Hebrew thing".

First let me examine this from the negative view, just to cover all the bases (I'm not saying you believe this part, just making sure no one else does).

It is not, as some would claim, an example of reincarnation. The spirit of the real, historical Elijah did NOT inhabit the body of John the Baptist. Departed spirits only rarely appeared on earth, and only for very short durations (see 1 Samuel 28, Matthew 17:1-9). John the Baptist was a separate person with his own childhood and ministry.

But it should be noted that in the Bible you will find many examples of people being called by more than one name. This can be confusing, especially without considering context. This is a typical Hebrew practice, but not for us, at least not to anywhere near the same extent. Just something to keep in mind.

Now from the positive view:

There are two individuals in the OT who never physically died: Enoch and Elijah. They still (don't ask me how) must have their own physical bodies, so it should be obvious that John the Baptist could in no way be the literal OT Elijah. So for the Bible to call him Elijah must mean that J the B is picking up where Elijah left off, so to speak.

I'm sure, if God wanted to, he could have named J the B specifically in the OT to remove all doubt, but God has his reasons for keeping things hidden from some people. Jesus used parables to convey truths to his followers that would not be understood by others. The Messiah Himself is never specifically called "Jesus" in the OT, nor "Immanuel" in the NT. So I'm guessing the most likely reason for J the B to be called Elijah has to do with God's will for some people to see and understand while others would not.

(Note to Toonces: Don't get any funny ideas about that last statement ;-)

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