one of the names that the holy bible uses referring to the prophet muhammad (pbuh) is "elijah", and according to gematria is equal to 53. 2
it is also a name of a great prophet sent by god to the children of israel in the ninth century (bc), whose name in the quran is elias.
the prophet malachi in his short book talks about the disobedience of the children of israel and about elijah or the new coming elijah, who is different from elias who died seven centuries before.
malachi said that god said, "behold, i send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me: and the lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple, and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight: behold, he is coming, says the lord of hosts. but who can endure the day of his coming? and who can stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:"(malachi: 3/1-2).
the text in the prophet malachi's scripture talks about two prophets. one of them is the one who paves the road for the one that is coming from god. the second one is the one who will suddenly come to the temple, and he names him the master and the angel of the covenant, and that is the one that the children of israel are seeking and waiting for.
malachi, while he still talking about the expected prophet and about the children of israel's alteration and denial, says at the end of his book,: "remember the law of my servant moses, the statutes and rules that i commanded him at horeb for all israel. behold, i will send you elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the lord:" (malachi: 4/4-5).
malachi called the next prophet elijah after he reminded them about moses’ commandment on the mountain of horeb, the mountain on which moses (pbuh) mentioned the coming of a prophet like him among the brothers of children of israel. the interpreter who wrote "the masterpiece of the generation" says:
"the messenger elijah, who was mentioned at the end of malachi's book, is a puzzle, and he is the rabbi of the world who will come at the end of time". 1
christians think that the prophet who paved the road is john the baptist whose name was elijah, in the text in mark says: "as it is written in isaiah the prophets, behold, i send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way. the voice of one crying in the wilderness: “prepare the way of the lord, make his paths straight,” john appeared baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. and all the country of judaea and all jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river jordan, confessing their sins. now john was clothed with camel's hair, and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. and he preached, saying, after me comes he who is mightier than i, the straps of whose sandals i am not worthy to stoop down and untie. i have baptized you with water: but he will baptize you with the holy spirit. in those days jesus came from nazareth of galilee, and was baptized by john in the jordan." (mark: 1/2-9), which is what luke told quoting jesus (pbuh):
“what then did you go out to see? a prophet? yes, i tell you, and more than a prophet. this is heof whom it is written, behold, i send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. i tell you; among those born of women, none is greater than john: yet the one who is least in the kingdom of god is greater than he. “(luke: 7/26-28).
therefore, according to christians, the one who will prepare the road is john the baptist, and the one for whom the road is prepared for is jesus (pbuh).
they consider the first one to be elijah due to what matthew said quoting jesus (pbuh) in the course of his talk about john the baptist: "what then did you go out to see? a prophet? yes, i tell you, and more than a prophet. this is heof whom it is written, behold, i send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. truly, i say to you, amongthose born of women, none is greater than john: yet the one who is least in the kingdom of god is greater than he. from the days of john the baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. for all the prophets and the law prophesied until john. and if you are willing to accept it, he is elijah, who is to come. he who has ears to hear, let him hear." (matthew: 11/9-15).
matthew also mentioned that jesus (pbuh) said: "and the disciples asked him, “then why do the scribes say that first elijah must come? he answered, elijah does come, and he will restore all things. but i tell you, that elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. so also, the son of man will certainly suffer at their hands. then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of john the baptist." (matthew: 17/10-13).
therefore, christians believe that the prophesier, the one who will prepare the road, is john the baptist, and the prophesized, the one for whom the road is prepared for is jesus (pbuh). the fact is that elijah was a symbol for the expected prophet and not to the prophet who prepared the road for him.
before we unveil the truth of this prophecy, we must alert readers to the alterations that have happened in some of these texts. in malachi he says "the covenant angel", which is in the old translations: "the messenger of circumcision", also in the modern translation he says: "i will send my angel" but in the old translation "i will send my messenger", and in some editions "the master will come", but in some others "the guardian", and in another "elijah".
in the gospel’s text, there is an alteration made to the quotes from malachi who used the first person object pronoun “me” “heshall prepare the way before me", but in the gospels the pronoun became the third person object pronoun “you” referring to jesus " heshall prepare the way before thee”.
we can also see clearly, that the alterations have reached the words of jesus (pbuh) and the baptist when the evangelists claim that jesus considered the baptist to be the one who prepared for his message. "behold, i send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way." (luke: 7/26), and that he called him the expected elijah "but i tell you, that elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. so also, the son of man will certainly suffer at their hands. then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of john the baptist."(matthew: 17/12-13).
it is an alteration when they said that the baptist told that the strong one that he prophesized of his coming, is jesus (pbuh). "john answered them, i baptize with water: but among you stands one you do not know; even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal i am not worthy to untie." these things took place in bethany across the jordan, where john was baptizing. the next day he saw jesus coming toward him, and said, behold the lamb of god, who takes away the sin of the world. this is he of whom i said, after me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me. i myself did not know him, but for this purpose i came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to israel. and john bore witness, “i saw the spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained of him. i myself did not knew him, but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me, he on whom you see the spirit descend, and remain, this is he who baptizes with the holy spirit. and i have seen and bore witness that this is the son of god. the next day again john was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at jesus he walked by and said, “behold the lamb of god! the two disciples heard him say this, and they followed jesus. jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “what are you seeking? and they said to him, rabbi, (which means teacher) where are you staying? he said to them, come and you will see. so they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. one of the two who heard john speak and followed jesus, was andrew, simon peter's brother." (john: 1/26-40).
our claim of the alterations is not to say that the texts did not agree with the issue that we are trying to prove. it is that john the baptist denied that he is the prophet elijah. elijah, who was supposed to prepare the way for the coming master, the baptist denied it when the priests and the levites jewish messengers came to him "and this is the testimony of john, when the jews sent priests and levites from jerusalem to ask him, who are you? he confessed, and did not deny; but confessed, i am not the christ. and they asked him, what then? are you elijah? he said, i am not. are you the prophet? and he answered, no." (john: 1/19-21), this is a clear confession where john denies that he is elijah who will prepare the road, and that he is neither the expected messiah nor the expected prophet.
this confession leaves us with three choices. either jesus lied when he said that elijah had come, that the baptist lied when he denied that he was elijah or we should say that the disciples did not understand the words of jesus (pbuh). the last analysis is more likely, as matthew made a mistake when he said, "then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of john the baptist". they thought that they understood, but in fact, they did not. he was talking to them about himself "behold, i send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me: and the lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple, and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight: behold, he is coming, says the lord of hosts.”in addition, the description of elijah does not match that of the baptist, because he comes after jesus, as jesus said about him: "elijah is expected to come"; but jesus and the baptist were contemporaries.
when elijah comes, he "will return everything", and "and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers". there is no report about the baptist as such. the one who, according to matthew, lived in the desert, feeding on locusts and honey, and his clothing was made of camel skin, and the best thing he did was to baptize whoever came to him repenting. (see matthew: 3/1-5).
it is impossible to accept that the baptist was a prelude to jesus. the baptist, according to the gospels, before his death did not know the truth about jesus, and he sent his disciples to ask jesus (pbuh) "and said to him, are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" (matthew: 11/3).
how could it be that he was sent at this time, when he did not know the truth about him? what did john do before the coming of jesus? did he do something related to jesus’ mission that the gospels are claiming?
there is no report on the baptist other than giving the prophecy of the kingdom, the same as what jesus (pbuh) did after him. (see matthew: 3/1). he used to baptize those who came to him confessing about their sins. (see matthew: 3/6), and that is what jesus did. that confirms that they had the same message that was to prophesize and tell about the prophet muhammad (pbuh) the prophet of the kingdom. as he said: "but he said to them, i must preach the good news of the kingdom of god to other towns as well: for i was sent for this purpose." (luke: 4/34), he was sent to give good news of the next kingdom.
the fact is that the baptist and jesus (pbuh) came with the same message. both of them were sent to preach about the final prophet. they were preachers of the final prophet, which matthew called the heavens kingdom, as the prophet john the baptist preached about the closeness of the expected prophet’s time, "inthose days john the baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of judea, 'repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'." (matthew: 3/1-2).
after the death of john the baptist jesus renewed the good news of the kingdom, "and from that time jesus began to preach, saying, 'repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'.”(matthew: 4/17), "and he went throughout all galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom." (matthew: 4/23).
moreover, he ordered his disciples to give the good news of the closeness of the kingdom’s time, so he said, "and proclaim as you go, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (matthew: 10/7), they had the same message, and that is to preach and prepare the road to the expected prophet.
not only did these descriptions not match the baptist, but also did not match jesus (pbuh); the baptist said:
"i baptize you with water for repentance, but he, who is coming after me is mightier than i. whose sandals i am not worthy to carry. he will baptize you with the holy spirit, and with fire: his winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. then jesus came from galilee to the jordan to john, to be baptized by him." (matthew: 3/11-13).
the expected prophet that had the good news would baptize with the holy spirit and fire. while jesus (pbuh) never baptized anyone during his life, even though this was spread among the people, but in reality, he did not. his disciples did it in his name "now when jesus learned that the pharisees had heard that jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than john, (although jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left judea and departed again to galilee " (john: 4/1-2).
the baptist also mentioned that the expected prophet would baptize with spirit and fire. meaning that he will have the control over religion and life, in order to change the wrong and encourage repentance. he would not stop at the external cleansing of washing the body with water, but he pays attention to internal cleansing, and his tool to do this is what the holy spirit (gabriel) comes with, revelation, information and explanation, as he cleansed with fire many places on earth from paganism.
such baptism was not performed by jesus (pbuh), whom his disciples baptized with water, and where his preaching was a continuation of the baptism of the baptist. that is to give the good news about repentance and forgiveness of sins, for jesus, after the crucifixion and resurrection, asked everyone of his disciples "and that the repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from jerusalem." (luke: 24/47), so his baptism (pbuh) was not different from the baptism of the baptist. (see john: 3/22-23).
his disciples continued after him to baptize with water like john the baptist, and when paul went to ephesus, “andthere he found some disciples, and he said to them, did you receive the holy spirit when you believed? and they said, no, we have not even heard that there is a holy spirit. and he said, into what then were you baptized? they said, into john's baptism. and paul said, john baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, jesus. on hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the lord jesus." (acts: 19/1-5). if jesus (pbuh) had a baptism different from the baptist’s, then it should have been well known and spread among the disciples.
the baptist also described the expected prophet as stronger than him. there was nothing about the message or the life of jesus that indicated such strength. both john the baptist and jesus did not come with a new law, nor were they kings over their people, and both of them never had any influence or authority. not only had they no power, but also christians, falsely, claim that they were both killed! where is the strength that the baptist mentioned?
moreover, jesus (pbuh) did not match the baptist’s statement about the expected prophet. “whosefan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." that is a metaphor, which dr. william edie explained as:
"it is a metaphor indicating the end of the whole mission, and it is possible that this metaphor was an indication of god's discipline of the people and his revenge on them in this life". in fact, it goes further than that, as it explains the power that purifies god’s giving of the law to his prophets, and whatever was associated with it.
based on that, the expected prophet is muhammad (pbuh), and he is the only one that came to the holy land and the temple suddenly, when he flew on his night journey to the holy house, while jesus and john grew up in the area of the temple.
he is also the prophet that, is named by some translations "the messenger of circumcision", as he did call for, and alerted the muslims that it is one of the guidance traditions, and the muslims kept this tradition after him.
2 (a=1, y=10, l=30), which is equal to the word ahmad (a=1, h=8, m=40, d=4).
1 look in: the difference between the created and the creator, by: abdul rahman bagy al bagdady (654).