Enoch was “translated.” Where did he go? Was he taken to heaven? No! Because Jesus himself said: “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man” (John 3:13). Here are Jesus’ own words that no man, except Himself, had been in heaven! And how did He know? Why, He came from there! Then, where is Enoch? Let’s see what the Bible says.
At the age of 65 Enoch had a son named Methuselah. “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters” (Gen. 5:22). Here was a man that pleased God, a man who walked with God.
Enoch had faith, for in Hebrews 11:6, the apostle said: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is , and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” So Enoch walked with God. He obeyed God and followed Him in His paths by faith!
Noah also walked with God (Gen. 6:9). Enoch and Noah did not follow the paths of the world which corrupted God’s way (Gen. 6:12). These two men proved their belief in God by walking in the ways of God, doing what was pleasing to Him.
No one can walk with God unless he is in agreement with the will of God and doing it. Amos the prophet said: “Can two walk together except they be agreed” (Amos 3:3)? So in his generation Enoch was the only recorded person who followed the ways of God, even though it possibly took him 65 years to learn to walk with God!
How important this fact in the life of Enoch really is, can be seen from the general practice of the world which has always disagreed with God. Ancient Israel walked in the statutes of the heathen, not in the laws of God (II Kings 17:8, 19).Even today most everyone is walking in the course of this world!
But how long did Enoch walk with God? The Bible says that he “walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years.” So Enoch followed God’s ways for 300 years. Notice that Moses did not record that Enoch is still walking with God. The Scripture says that Enoch walked with God for 300 years and not one year more! Then Enoch is not still walking with God! Why? Because “all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years” (Gen. 5:23). All the days of Enoch were 365 years, not just part of his days, but all his days! If Enoch did not die, if he was changed to immortality, and thus continued to walk with God, then his days would have been more than 365 years. But the Bible plainly says that all his days were just that many and no more!
The expression “all his days” is used in the same 5th chapter of Genesis about a dozen times and always it means that the person lived for that length of time only “and he died.” So Enoch lived no more than 365 years because “all his days were three hundred and sixty-five years.” As he lived only for this length of time, then he must have died!
But what about his translation? Does that mean he didn’t die? That’s what most people carelessly assume without proof.
Remember, Moses doesn’t say that Enoch didn’t die, but rather that “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24).
Thus the Bible records that Enoch was not found because God took him or “translated” him. The Bible does not say Enoch went to heaven because he was translated. Instead it says he was not found.
Certainly Enoch was “translated,” but what does translated mean? Strange as it may seem, nowhere in all the Bible does translate mean to make immortal!
The original Greek word for “translated” is metatithemi. According to Strong’s Concordance it signifies: transfer, transport, exchange, change sides. This same Greek word is rendered “carried over” in Acts 7:16. Here we read that after Jacob died, his body was “carried over” - transported, translated to Sychem “and laid in the sepulchre.” Jacob was not made immortal, but was translated or transported to Sychem where he was buried! That’s what your Bible says. Jacob was transported or translated to the place of burial.
That is why Moses said that God took Enoch. God removed, translated him so that he was not found. In Deuteronomy 34:6 we read also how God took Moses from the people after which he died and was buried by God. “But no man knows of his sepulchre unto this day.” God removed Moses and he was not found either.
So Enoch was not made immortal after all! He was taken away and was not found. All his days were 365 years! That’s as long as Enoch lived.
Another proof that “translate” does not mean to make immortal is found in Col. 1:13: The Father “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Here the Bible says that Christians are already translated but Christians still die! We are not immortal bodies, but mortal flesh and blood. Although we were once part of the darkness of this world, now we are translated, removed from darkness into the light of the kingdom of God.
Enoch is included by Paul (in Heb. 11) among the fathers who obtained a good report through faith; but “all these, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise” (Heb. 11:39). What promise? The “hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2). So Enoch is one of “all these” who have not yet obtained the promise of eternal life and inheritance. Enoch and all the worthies of old will receive eternal life at the return of Jesus Christ, the same time Christians obtain it (Heb. 11:40).
Since Enoch has not yet inherited eternal life he must be dead! But what about Paul’s saying, that Enoch should not see death?
Enoch lived only 365 years. Then what could Paul possibly have meant by saying: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him?” This verse nowhere says Enoch did not die. Rather, it says that Enoch “should not see death.” But what does it mean?
Remember, there is more than one death mentioned in the Bible. There is a first death, and there is a second death. (Rev. 20:6.) Which death did Paul mean?
The first death is appointed unto men (Heb. 9:27).That death cannot be humanly evaded. It is inevitable.
But Paul said that Enoch was translated that he should not see death. The phrase “should not see” is in the conditional tense of the verb, having reference to a future event. It is not in the past tense, that he “did not see death.” So this death that Enoch escaped by being translated is one that could be escaped in the future on certain conditions.
Did Jesus ever speak of a death that might be escaped? He certainly did! In John 8:51 Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keeps my saying, he shall never see death.” And again in John 11:26: “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
This death is one that can be escaped on condition that men keep the sayings of Jesus and believe Him. This death is not the first death, because Christians and everyone dies this death. Then it must be the second death which will never touch those who are in the first resurrection. (Rev. 20:6.) And Enoch will be in the first resurrection because he met the conditions!
Enoch had faith. He believed God and walked with God, obeying Him. In keeping the sayings of God, Enoch kept the sayings of Jesus Christ, too, because Jesus did not speak of himself but spoke what the Father commanded him (John 14:10). Thus Enoch met the conditions so that he should not see death. The second death shall never touch Enoch, because of his faith and obedience. But, like all humans, he suffered the first death!
Now we can understand Hebrews 11:5 “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.”
Examining this verse fact by fact, we notice that Enoch had faith and was translated. This translation – removal, transference was on condition of faith. Now what translation mentioned in the Bible is on condition of faith? Why, the one we read about in Colossians 1:13.The Father “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”
This is a figurative translation, a figurative removal or transference from the spiritual darkness of this world to the light of the family or kingdom of God and Christ. In verse 10 Paul shows that to abide in this kingdom we must “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.” This is exactly what Enoch did. He walked with God and pleased God.
Then Enoch, the same as Christians, was delivered from the power of sin and darkness in which he had been living for 65 years. He was removed (translated) from the ways of the world and lived 300 years according to God’s ways so that he might inherit eternal life at Christ’s return, and should not suffer the second death.
By faith Enoch was separated, removed or translated from the world, the same as Christians who are not to be part of the world, although living in the world.
Not only was Enoch figuratively taken from the society of his day, but he was also literally removed, translated so that he was not found. God took him physically away from the people, just as He later took Moses. And God buried each so well that neither has ever been found since! Enoch had completed this present mortal life. “All his days were three hundred sixty-five years.”
God gave Enoch this sign of physical removal as a type for all those who should later follow Enoch’s example of faith. He was taken physically from the people just as Christians are to be spiritually removed from the ways of this world. The physical translation or carrying away of Enoch was also a sign to him by God that his faith had been accepted, God often gives signs (Isa. 38:7). Like every true saint, Enoch is awaiting the hope of the resurrection and the return of Christ (Jude 14-15).