I don’t pretend to know everything that happens in the Bible.
In fact, I don’t pretend to know most things that happen in the Bible. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on most of it, but there are always points popping up that remind me of how little I actually know.
That’s part of the joy of Bible study, though. Always something to learn.
But this passage in Genesis 5:24 has always interested me. Without any fanfare and in the middle of a long line of genealogical records, the Text just says that Enoch didn’t die, but he “was not, for God took him.”
Some Clues as to Enoch’s Whereabouts
The traditional explanation for this passage is that God took Enoch to paradise so that he didn’t experience death. This is what Hebrews 11:5 states as well (“Enoch did not experience death”), so that stance is pretty definitive.
(As a side note, I find it ironic that the first recorded person who didn’t experience death was the father of the world’s oldest man ever: Methusaleh, who lived to be 969 years old.)
Hebrews 11:5 goes into a little more detail when it also states that Enoch was “approved as one who pleased God.” A glowing testament to his character and righteousness, but not necessarily unique compared to other people like Noah and Job (whom the Bible also talks highly of).
It’s also strikingly similar to what happened to Elijah — another virtuous man who got to skip the whole “dying” part of life.
Is That What Will Happen To Us?
In a lot of ways, Enoch’s ascent into Heaven is a type of what we’ll experience.
In 1 Thessalonians 3, Paul says that on Judgment Day, we’ll “meet the Lord in the air” along with other saints. For those alive, that experience might be similar to what Enoch went through. Instead of dying, we simply meet God and begin eternity at that moment.
I still don’t know everything I want to know about Enoch, despite all the extra-Biblical and traditional accounts concerning his departure.
What I do know is that (a) I want to be someone who “pleased” God and (b) I want to meet Him in the air.
If I have to taste death along the way, that’s fine, just as long as He welcomes me home.