4:6 children to their fathers. This type of ministry was attempted by John, in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17), and he did gain some converts, including some who would later be among the twelve apostles. But he, like Christ, was rejected by the nation as a whole, and eventually put to death. When Elijah returns for his three and one-half year ministry in the last days, especially to Israel, it is likely the Lord will use his testimony and influence to call out the 144,000 Israeli evangelists and teachers who will minister during that period (Revelation 7:1-8; 14:1-5).
4:6 a curse. This word, which is not the usual Hebrew word for “curse,” conveys the idea of utter destruction. Thus the return of Elijah, with all the warnings and plagues he calls forth on the earth, will be ill received by the world as a whole (the people will rejoice over his death—Revelation 11:10), and so it will be followed by “the great and dreadful day of the LORD” and, finally, by utter destruction of the whole world system, replacing it by the Messianic kingdom of Christ Himself.