Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Enoch Enigma 1.0

By Clifton Angel


    Two men in the Scriptural Record are called Enoch. The first is the son of Cain, which would make him the grandson of Adam (Genesis 4:17). All we know of him is Cain built a city and named it after him, and he had descendants, beginning with his own son, Irad (Genesis 4:18).

    The second, and most well-known (albeit, very unknown) Enoch is the “seventh from Adam” (Jude 14; Genesis 5:1–24). A few unique details are given concerning this Enoch. At 65 years old, he fathered Methuselah, who would go on to live the longest among recorded ages (969 years; Genesis 5:27). Relative to the average lifespan in those days (800–1,000 years), Enoch was on the earth for a brief period (365 years; Genesis 5:23). Interestingly, amidst a great record of obituaries (“and he died” appears 8 times in Genesis 5), Enoch did not experience death. And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Genesis 5:24).

    What does this mean? How do we know he did not die? The Hebrews writer expounded on this mysterious event with the following words: By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him ... (Hebrews 11:15).

    In jest, if ever there was a “silent rapture” as premillennialists teach, Enoch experienced it (seriously, the doctrine of the Rapture is a fatal twisting of Scripture, and we are not told how “silent” Enoch’s taking was). The Greek word for “translated” in Hebrews 11:5 is only used by the Hebrews writer. At Hebrews 7:12, it is rendered “changed” in reference to the changing of the law (Moses’ to Christ’s) and the priesthood (Levi’s to Christ’s). At Hebrews 12:27, it is rendered “removing” in reference, again, to the changing of the law from Moses’ to Christ’s.

    There seems to be a similar word at Colossians 1:13, and, interestingly, an entirely different word is used for “change” in 1 Corinthians 15.

    Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51–52).

    Because “flesh and blood cannot” enter Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50), it is logical that Enoch’s physical body was changed to a spiritual body without any separation of his spirit from his body, i.e. death (James 2:26). Most have an appointment with death (Hebrews 9:27). Some will be changed, like Enoch, when the Lord returns (1 Corinthians 15:50; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17). ALL must appear before the judgement seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27).

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website:

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