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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). He was the only antediluvian believer not to see death. He “lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah” (Genesis 5:21). After the birth of his son, he “walked with God three hundred years” (verse 22). And through that parent experience, he had a deeper understanding of God’s love to man. 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). This godly man 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.
His 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. Being, “the seventh from Adam,” he 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 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 this godly man as encouraging his son and all his contemporaries, and cautioning them of coming judgment. And the Jewish Book of Jubilee states that he was taken to Paradise, where he recorded the judgment of all humans. In addition, Arabic myths claim that he 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, which 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 this godly man’s translation, He showed that “the gift of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23). His translation illustrated that although sin broke man’s relationship with His Maker, through faith man’s relationship with God can be restored. Also, his translation 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 saints that will be taken to heaven at the second coming. 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 living believers who will be translated and raptured to meet Christ in the air, whereas Moses was a representative of the saints who had died and will be resurrected from their graves to join the living saints to meet Christ in the clouds of heaven.
In His service,