Authors > Tony Asakpa > 2006
5th December 2006.
Enoch Walked... And He Was Not - Part 1
The scriptures say that, ' Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.' Gen 6:24.
In the New Testament this statement is then clarified, ' By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.' Heb11:5.
The writer of 'Hebrews' decides to emphasize this 3 times by saying 'translated'. So this is very important.
I believe that 'he was not, for God took him' simply means: he ceased to exist physically, and was taken into the spiritual sphere to continue his service to God.
I know some hold to what George Lamsa (An Aramaic Bible translator) writes in his book 'Idioms in the Bible explained'. It is a good book to help clarify some idioms, but the New Testament writer is saying: This is no idiom!
Lamsa says, 'God took him' -means he died painlessly. But I will take 'scripture interpreting scripture' any day above the wisdom of a man! This is the caution we must have with everything we read: including what you're reading now!
We'll look at 2 other 'was nots' in the scriptures. But first, is there any other Old Testament reference about 'taking' someone?
The Hebrew word for took/take is Laqach. And it simply means that.'Take'. Its use is 'to get hold of '. See Gen 2:15 (where God got hold of Adam and brought him to the garden) , Gen 5:24 (God getting hold of Enoch), Gen 17:23 (Abraham getting hold of Ishmael) , Exo 13:19 (where Moses got hold of the bones of Joseph).
The greek word for 'translated' is 'Metatithemi'. It means 'to transfer', 'to change sides'. Used in Acts 7:16 (carried over into Shechem), Gal 1:6 (so soon removed from Him that called you), Heb 7:12 ( for the priesthood being changed) , Heb 11:5 (By faith Enoch was translated), Jude 1:4 (turning the grace of Our God into lasciviousness).
Let's see the other 'was nots'.
' I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found'.
So here the wicked ceases to exist (very different from dying painlessly!). The context in Psalms is about the rule of the wicked being temporary -like a passing wind- while God establishes the righteous man.
'Behold the land of the Chaldeans [Babylonians]; this people is not, till the Assyrians found it for them that dwell in the wilderness...'
So here the Babylonians cease to exist because the land has been overrun by the Assyrians.
So we ask the question: Does Enoch ceasing to exist on the physical plane because God takes him to another plane negate the fact that in Adam ALL die, as in 1 Cor 15:22?
The greek word for 'All' is 'pas'. Strong's concordance says it means: all, any, every, the whole. It's also been translated as 'whosoever', 'whatsoever', 'anything' in KJV.
I have looked at the 1071 New Testament verses with 'pas' in it (I mean that. Thank God for Bible software!).
The verses I did see that used 'pas' as 'any' had the negative particle 'no, not' (ou) before it in the sentence - implying 'not at all'. e.g Eph 5:5, Rev 21:27.
But 'pas' does not mean 'any', that is 'an unspecified number' (e.g Rev 9:4, Eph 5:5) when looking in the context of each scripture. (The greek word 'tis' means 'any'.)
'Pas' means 'all' i.e. 'the whole'. But it will always give an exception that is not included in the 'every' if this is necessary . That doesn't negate the 'all'. It just means instead, 'all these...except'. e.g Matt12:31, Matt19:11, Matt24:39, Matt 26:59 (but Nicodemus was part of the council), Matt 27:25(what about Mary, John etc?) Mark4:11, Mark 11:32 (the scribes didn't), Luke 12:41, 1John 4:1.
This is not the same thing as 'tis' which is the actual 'any particular person or number' word e.g 'But if any [tis] have caused grief...' 2Cor2:5; John6:46; John6:51. ('Tis' is seen in 426 verses. No, I didn't check all of them!)
The context of 'all' must always be looked at in every case, just as when Paul clarifies his statement in 1 Cor 15:27 ' When He saith all things are put under him it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him'.
Bible scholars say that 'as in Adam all die' is in the present continuous sense - 'as in Adam all are dying, even so in Christ all are living'.
So back to Enoch.
Does the fact that Enoch was taken before his final breath mean he wasn't dying?
I'm not yet advanced in years but my cells are dying daily - I am ageing! For in Adam I am dying, and if peradventure, I complete the physical process of dying that still does not negate the fact that in Christ I am living. But if, on the other hand, I don't complete the dying process that still does not negate the fact in Adam all are dying! Also if all are dying at present, that does not negate the fact that all will be living in Christ eventually.(Bit of a round-about paragraph, but I hope the point is taken.)
So why was Enoch taken? We see the reason when He became 65 years old- Gen5: 22. He had a son, and called him Methuselah.
Methuselah means 'man of the dart'. From Math (Man) and Shelach (Spear). Others say it means 'his death shall bring'. From Muth (from a root meaning Death) and Shalak (To bring forth). [There are no vowels in Ancient Hebrew] Either way, something happened when he died? The Flood. The year Methuselah died the flood came. That was the dart (judgment) that this man would bring!
So Enoch knew the flood was coming. It was time to really get serious with God. God saw this and having already limited Adam's life to a day -Gen 2:17 (1000 years, though Adam died spiritually that same day), He knew Enoch would outlive even his own son if he wasn't taken out of the scene; for he walked so closely to God the death process was being stopped. He was turning over to the other side!
So after Methuselah's birth for the next 300 years Enoch walked with God, warning the people of God's judgment. He even prophesied of Our Lord's return in judgment - Jude 14-15. Till God saw it fit to take him over so Noah would be the only righteous one left alive.
But you say Hebrews 11:13 says 'these all died in faith'. True, but it is evident Enoch is excepted (i.e is not included) because he did not see death. You'll probably notice that 'these' refers to Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Jacob in the preceding verses - unto whom the promise of the land of Canaan was given (verse 8-12).
'See'... [seen them afar off..] Greek 'Eido' - seeing with physical eyes (Matt4:18, Luke 7:13, Rev 21:2); knowing (Matt 6:8, Luke 8:53, Luke 9:27, Luke 9:33); perceiving (Matt2:16, Luke 9:47).
What happened to Enoch's physical body? It ceased to exist and no one could find it.
We are ending soon.
Rom 10:13, Acts 2:21 'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved'. 3 words were used here to make up 'Whosoever': Pas(All) Hos(Who) An (Wishes). (This is different from the 'Whosoever' in John 4:13 or John 8:34 which is just 'pas'.)
The question is: How many will wish [an active choice] to call upon the name of the Lord? Not out of coercion, but out of a desire to really be saved: to truly know Him? Will we be like Enoch and get 'super serious' with Our Lord and King? Not because of fear of hell but because we want to please Him and serve Him?
Consider this today.
Stay blessed in Him,
Related: And He Was Not- Part 2 | Enoch & Elijah [A different angle, but please catch the urgent spiritual principle!]
5th Sept 2007 Addendum
Enoch in the Book of Jasher
(While not recognised as modern day cannon, it clears up many historical gaps in our standard Bibles --- T.)
Jasher Chapter 3 (from http://www.ccel.org/a/anonymous/jasher/3.htm )
1. And Enoch lived sixty-five years and he begat Methuselah; and Enoch walked with God after having begot Methuselah, and he served the Lord, and despised the evil ways of men.
2. And the soul of Enoch was wrapped up in the instruction of the Lord, in knowledge and in understanding; and he wisely retired from the sons of men, and secreted himself from them for many days.
3. And it was at the expiration of many years, whilst he was serving the Lord, and praying before him in his house, that an angel of the Lord called to him from Heaven, and he said, Here am I.
4. And he said, Rise, go forth from thy house and from the place where thou dost hide thyself, and appear to the sons of men, in order that thou mayest teach them the way in which they should go and the work which they must accomplish to enter in the ways of God.
5. And Enoch rose up according to the word of the Lord, and went forth from his house, from his place and from the chamber in which he was concealed; and he went to the sons of men and taught them the ways of the Lord, and at that time assembled the sons of men and acquainted them with the instruction of the Lord.
6. And he ordered it to be proclaimed in all places where the sons of men dwelt, saying, Where is the man who wishes to know the ways of the Lord and good works? let him come to Enoch.
7. And all the sons of men then assembled to him, for all who desired this thing went to Enoch, and Enoch reigned over the sons of men according to the word of the Lord, and they came and bowed to him and they heard his word.
8. And the spirit of God was upon Enoch, and he taught all his men the wisdom of God and his ways, and the sons of men served the Lord all the days of Enoch, and they came to hear his wisdom.
9. And all the kings of the sons of men, both first and last, together with their princes and judges, came to Enoch when they heard of his wisdom, and they bowed down to him, and they also required of Enoch to reign over them, to which he consented.
10. And they assembled in all, one hundred and thirty kings and princes, and they made Enoch king over them and they were all under his power and command.
11. And Enoch taught them wisdom, knowledge, and the ways of the Lord; and he made peace amongst them, and peace was throughout the earth during the life of Enoch.
12. And Enoch reigned over the sons of men two hundred and forty-three years, and he did justice and righteousness with all his people, and he led them in the ways of the Lord.
13. And these are the generations of Enoch, Methuselah, Elisha, and Elimelech, three sons; and their sisters were Melca and Nahmah, and Methuselah lived eighty-seven years and he begat Lamech.
14. And it was in the fifty-sixth year of the life of Lamech when Adam died; nine hundred and thirty years old was he at his death, and his two sons, with Enoch and Methuselah his son, buried him with great pomp, as at the burial of kings, in the cave which God had told him.
15. And in that place all the sons of men made a great mourning and weeping on account of Adam; it has therefore become a custom among the sons of men to this day.
16. And Adam died because he ate of the tree of knowledge; he and his children after him, as the Lord God had spoken.
17. And it was in the year of Adam's death which was the two hundred and forty-third year of the reign of Enoch, in that time Enoch resolved to separate himself from the sons of men and to secret himself as at first in order to serve the Lord.
18. And Enoch did so, but did not entirely secret himself from them, but kept away from the sons of men three days and then went to them for one day.
19. And during the three days that he was in his chamber, he prayed to, and praised the Lord his God, and the day on which he went and appeared to his subjects he taught them the ways of the Lord, and all they asked him about the Lord he told them.
20. And he did in this manner for many years, and he afterward concealed himself for six days, and appeared to his people one day in seven; and after that once in a month, and then once in a year, until all the kings, princes and sons of men sought for him, and desired again to see the face of Enoch, and to hear his word; but they could not, as all the sons of men were greatly afraid of Enoch, and they feared to approach him on account of the Godlike awe that was seated upon his countenance; therefore no man could look at him, fearing he might be punished and die.
21. And all the kings and princes resolved to assemble the sons of men, and to come to Enoch, thinking that they might all speak to him at the time when he should come forth amongst them, and they did so.
22. And the day came when Enoch went forth and they all assembled and came to him, and Enoch spoke to them the words of the Lord and he taught them wisdom and knowledge, and they bowed down before him and they said, May the king live! May the king live!
23. And in some time after, when the kings and princes and the sons of men were speaking to Enoch, and Enoch was teaching them the ways of God, behold an angel of the Lord then called unto Enoch from heaven, and wished to bring him up to heaven to make him reign there over the sons of God, as he had reigned over the sons of men upon earth.
24. When at that time Enoch heard this he went and assembled all the inhabitants of the earth, and taught them wisdom and knowledge and gave them divine instructions, and he said to them, I have been required to ascend into heaven, I therefore do not know the day of my going.
25. And now therefore I will teach you wisdom and knowledge and will give you instruction before I leave you, how to act upon earth whereby you may live; and he did so.
26. And he taught them wisdom and knowledge, and gave them instruction, and he reproved them, and he placed before them statutes and judgments to do upon earth, and he made peace amongst them, and he taught them everlasting life, and dwelt with them some time teaching them all these things.
27. And at that time the sons of men were with Enoch, and Enoch was speaking to them, and they lifted up their eyes and the likeness of a great horse descended from heaven, and the horse paced in the air;
28. And they told Enoch what they had seen, and Enoch said to them, On my account does this horse descend upon earth; the time is come when I must go from you and I shall no more be seen by you.
29. And the horse descended at that time and stood before Enoch, and all the sons of men that were with Enoch saw him.
30. And Enoch then again ordered a voice to be proclaimed, saying, Where is the man who delighteth to know the ways of the Lord his God, let him come this day to Enoch before he is taken from us.
31. And all the sons of men assembled and came to Enoch that day; and all the kings of the earth with their princes and counsellors remained with him that day; and Enoch then taught the sons of men wisdom and knowledge, and gave them divine instruction; and he bade them serve the Lord and walk in his ways all the days of their lives, and he continued to make peace amongst them.
32. And it was after this that he rose up and rode upon the horse; and he went forth and all the sons of men went after him, about eight hundred thousand men; and they went with him one day's journey.
33. And the second day he said to them, Return home to your tents, why will you go? perhaps you may die; and some of them went from him, and those that remained went with him six day's journey; and Enoch said to them every day, Return to your tents, lest you may die; but they were not willing to return, and they went with him.
34. And on the sixth day some of the men remained and clung to him, and they said to him, We will go with thee to the place where thou goest; as the Lord liveth, death only shall separate us.
35. And they urged so much to go with him, that he ceased speaking to them; and they went after him and would not return;
36. And when the kings returned they caused a census to be taken, in order to know the number of remaining men that went with Enoch; and it was upon the seventh day that Enoch ascended into heaven in a whirlwind, with horses and chariots of fire.
37. And on the eighth day all the kings that had been with Enoch sent to bring back the number of men that were with Enoch, in that place from which he ascended into heaven.
38. And all those kings went to the place and they found the earth there filled with snow, and upon the snow were large stones of snow, and one said to the other, Come, let us break through the snow and see, perhaps the men that remained with Enoch are dead, and are now under the stones of snow, and they searched but could not find him, for he had ascended into heaven.
[Book of Jasher Referred to in Joshua and Second Samuel. faithfully translated (1840) from the Original Hebrew into English. A Reprint of Photo Lithographic Reprint of Exact Edition Published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887]