What Does Elijah Do?

Most of the identifying characteristics of Elijah are found in Malachi. Elijah has a very special title to his name among the Jews. He is known as the Messenger of the Covenant. When a Jew hears or reads this phrase, there isn't any confusion about who it is referring to. Malachi 3 starts off as a promise that this Messenger will come. Concerning him it says:

 

  • he is a "refiners fire" that few can withstand (3:2)
  • he will purify the Levites and reinstitute the korban (3:3)
  • he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons, and the sons to the fathers (he will bring resolution to the generational disconnect)

 

From the Talmud (Eruvin 43b):

  • Elijah will announce his role as the harbinger of Moshiach by making an appearance to the Beit Din (Sanhedron).

 

From the Zohar

  • "Elijah's relationship to Moses in the world to come will be like that of Aaron". Elijah will hold the office of High Priest of the Messianic Community and Third Temple.

 

From the Mishnah 

  • Elijah will resolve all halachic disputes (Eduyos 8:7).
  • He will distance those who forced their way in, and bring near those who forced their way out (Eduyos 8:1).