The Two Olive Trees, Were They Moses and Elijah?

God created spiritual beings with different appearances and specific capabilities, animals, and humanoids of different types. Humans are perfected humanoids.

Spiritual beings were created in the image of humans or are capable of changing into the image of humans and of functioning like humans. In Genesis 1:26 God told His companions: 

“We will make mankind in our image, after our likeness…”

There are two spiritual beings that took on the appearance of men and appear in the writings of the Bible a few times. These two beings are apparently of high rank and have astounding powers.

First Appearance of the Beings in the Book of Genesis.

Genesis 18:1 -2 And the Lord appeared to him in the plains of Mamre and he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and there were three men standing by him.

Abraham greeted them, invited them to eat and he prepared a meal for them. The men ate. Here are three spiritual beings that looked just like men and surely dressed as men dressed in those times. Abraham recognized one as the Lord God, and the other two were His companions.

Genesis 18:22 And the men turned their faces from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 

Abraham persuaded the Lord to save his relative, Lot, who lived in Sodom. The two men went to Sodom by themselves, and now the writer calls them “angels”:

Genesis 19:1 And two angels came to Sodom in the evening and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom.

Lot also offered hospitality to the “men”, and they ate. The men of the city came and wanted to abuse the two men/angels. Lot went out to deal with the sodomites who then wanted to kill him.

Genesis 19:10 But the men put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house to them and shut the door.

The two men /angels were then ready to destroy Sodom, and they told Lot:

Genesis 19:12,13 And the men said to Lot: “Do you have any here besides yourself? For we will destroy this place, because their cry has become great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

Here we have only two men, new in the city, no weapons of any kind, no “reinforcements”, only bare-handed and cool as cucumbers, telling Lot, “Thanks for dinner, Lot, now we are going to destroy the city.”

These two spiritual beings had the power to destroy a city and its inhabitants, and they did.

Second Mention of the Two Spiritual Beings.

Zechariah 4:11-14 Then I answered and said to him: What are these two olive trees on the right side of the Menorah and on the left side? And I answered again and said to him: What are these two olive branches through which the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?

And he answered me and said: “Don’t you know what these are?”

And I said: “No, my lord.” Then he said: “These are the two anointed ones who stand by The Lord of the whole Earth.”

This is an allegoric representation of the rank and power of the two beings. Saying that they were anointed was an understatement, because as two olive trees they produce the olives which produce olive oil for anointing. In other words, their anointing was so high they exuded olive oil.

And they stand by God all the time.

Third Mention of Two Spiritual Beings.

Matthew 17:1-3  (Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36) Then after six days Jesus took Peter and John and Jacob his brother and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transformed before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as the light.

And behold, Moses and Elijah were seen by them conversing with Him.

This was a tremendous event. And it is surprising that the disciples did not run away upon seeing two “dead people” speaking with Jesus.

I have to question: Who came up with the identification of Moses and Elijah? How would the disciples have known what Moses and Elijah looked like? The disciples did not record that Jesus told them who they were. I believe that someone inserted this in the text at a later time. The two beings were not Moses and Elijah, but the “two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole Earth.”

Fourth Mention of Spiritual Beings.

Revelation 11:3-7 And I shall give My two witnesses power, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred sixty days clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two Menorahs that are standing before The Lord of the Earth. If anyone determines to injure them, fire goes out from their mouth and devours their enemies, yes, if someone would purpose to injure them, it is necessary for him to be killed this way.

These have the authority to close the sky so that rain would not fall the days of their prophecy, and they have authority upon the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague as often as they would want. 

And when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends from the abyss will make war with them and will overcome them and he will kill them.

And they from all the nations will see their corpses three and a half days and will not allow to bury them.  

11:11 -12 And after the three and a half days the breath of life from God will enter them and they stood upon their feet and great fear fell upon those who saw them.

Then the two heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them: “You must ascend to this place.” Then they ascended into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.

They had the power to:

  • Throw fire out of their mouth and devour their enemies;
  • Control rain;
  • Turn water into blood;
  • Strike the earth with plagues. 

And I presume that they were in Egypt working with God, “standing by the Lord of the whole Earth”, during the struggle with the Pharaoh to set Israel free.

Consider:

  • The gospels of Matthew and Mark were written around 50 A.D., 50 years after Jesus ascended to Heaven. They were not eyewitnesses.
  • The gospel of Luke was written around 59-63 A.D. and Luke was not an eyewitness.
  • The gospel of John was written around 85 A.D. If this is the John who was with Jesus at the transfiguration, he did not mention Moses and Elijah being there.
  • The book of Revelation was written around 89-96 A.D. by another John, not the disciple.

This John, the writer of Revelation, must have heard or read the gospels, but he did not mention the appearance of Moses and Elijah in his writings. What he heard from the Lord was, “These are the two olive trees and the two Menorahs that are standing before the Lord of the Earth.”