The Translation of Enoch to Heaven
The Bible teaches that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was translated to heaven without seeing death. “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him“ (Genesis 5:24). Enoch was the only antediluvian believer not to see death. “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah” (Genesis 5:21). “After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years” (verse 22). Following Methuselah’s birth, Enoch had a deeper understanding of God’s love to man through his own experience being a father. As never before, he was drawn to God, his own heavenly Father.
Paul wrote about this event, “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). Enoch became a friend of God, walked with Him, and at last went home with Him. He was translated because of his trust and his faithfulness.
Enoch’s godly life with its amazing translation shows that in our day it is possible to live in a evil world without being part of it. Enoch, “the seventh from Adam,” stands in sharp contrast to the seventh generation of the Cainite line, Lamech, who added to the crime of murder the vice of polygamy (Jude 14; Genesis 4:16–19).
Enoch’s Translation in Ancient Literature
Enoch’s translation must have made a great impression upon his contemporaries, if we are to judge by the degree to which his story has been recorded in ancient literature. The memory of this outstanding event has survived in Jewish tradition (Ecclesiasticus 44:16), in the Christian record (Hebrews 11:5; Jude 14), and even in heathen fables.
Also, the Apocryphal Book of Enoch describes the patriarch as encouraging his son and all his contemporaries, and cautioning them of coming judgment. And the Jewish Book of Jubilee states that Enoch was taken to Paradise, where he recorded the judgment of all humans. In addition, Arabic myths claim that Enoch was the inventor of writing and arithmetic.
A Message of Encouragement
The Hebrew text of the Genesis 5 genealogy, puts Enoch’s translation a comparatively few years after Adam’s death. The death of Adam must have caused discouragement to the saints for despite his repentant, righteous life he had died as with case of every believer after him. Perhaps the Lord translated Enoch in order to inspire his godly offspring with the hope that a righteous life will be certainly rewarded.
As with Adam’s death, God showed that “the wages of sin is death,” so with Enoch’s translation, He showed that “the gift of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23). The translation of Enoch illustrated that although sin broke man’s relationship with His Maker, through faith man’s relationship with God can be restored. Also, the translation of Enoch was designed by God, not only to reward the piety of a godly man, but to show the certainty of God’s promised deliverance from sin and death.
Enoch’s translation will be repeated in a much greater scale at the second coming of Christ. Both Enoch and Elijah were types of the living saints in the end time that will be translated without seeing death. At the transfiguration, when Peter, John, and James were given a preview of the second coming of Christ in His power and glory (Luke 9:28–32), Elijah appeared as a representative of the believers who will be translated when Christ comes, whereas Moses was a representative of the saints who had died and will be resurrected from their graves to accompany Christ to heaven.
In His service,
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