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Hebrews 11:5

    Hebrews 11:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    By faith Enoch was taken up to heaven so that he did not see death; he was seen no longer, for God took him away: for before he was taken, witness had been given that he was well-pleasing to God:

    Webster's Revision

    By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God:

    World English Bible

    By faith, Enoch was taken away, so that he wouldn't see death, and he was not found, because God translated him. For he has had testimony given to him that before his translation he had been well pleasing to God.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for before his translation he hath had witness borne to him that he had been well-pleasing unto God:

    Clarke's Commentary on Hebrews 11:5

    By faith Enoch was translated - It is said, in Genesis 5:24, that Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Here the apostle explains what God's taking him means, by saying that he was translated that he should not see death; from which we learn that he did not die, and that God took him to a state of blessedness without obliging him to pass through death. See his history explained at large in the above place, in Genesis 5:22-24.

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 11:5

    By faith Enoch was translated - The account of Enoch is found in Genesis 5:21-24. It is very brief, and is this, that "Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him." There is no particular mention of his "faith," and the apostle attributes this to him, as in the case of Abel, either because it was involved in the very nature of piety, or because the fact was communicated to him by direct revelation. In the account in Genesis, there is nothing inconsistent with the belief that Enoch was characterized by eminent faith, but it is rather implied in the expression, "he walked with God." Compare 2 Corinthians 5:7. It may also be implied in what is said by the apostle Jude Jde 1:14-15, that "he prophesied, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints," etc. From this it would appear that he was a preacher: that he predicted the coming of the Lord to judgment, and that he lived in the firm belief of what was to occur in future times. Moses does not say expressly that Enoch was translated. He says "he was not, for God took him." The expression "he was not," means he was no more among people; or he was removed from the earth. "This" language would be applicable to any method by which he was removed, whether by dying, or by being translated. A similar expression respecting Romulus occurs in Livy (i. 16), Nec deinde in terris Romulus fuit. The translation of the Septuagint on this part of the verse in Genesis is, οὐχ εὑρίσκετο ouch heurisketo - "was not found;" that is, he disappeared. The authority for what the apostle says here, that he "was translated," is found in the other phrase in Genesis, "God took him." The reasons which led to the statement that he was transported without seeing death, or that show that this is a fair conclusion from the words in Genesis, are such, as these:

    (1) There is no mention made of his death, and in this respect the account of Enoch stands by itself. It is, except in this case, the uniform custom of Moses to mention the age and the death of the individuals whose biography he records, and in many cases this is about all that is said of them. But in regard to Enoch there is this remarkable exception that no record is made of his death - showing that there was something unusual in the manner of his removal from the world.

    (2) the Hebrew word used by Moses, found in such a connection, is one which would rather suggest the idea that he had been taken in some extraordinary manner from the world. That word - לקח laaqach - means "to take" - with the idea of taking "to oneself." Thus, Genesis 8:20, "Noah took of all beasts and offered a burnt-offering." Thus, it is often used in the sense of "taking a wife" - that is, to oneself Genesis 4:19; Genesis 6:2; Genesis 12:19; Genesis 19:14; and then it is used in the sense of "taking away;" Genesis 14:12; Genesis 27:35; Job 1:21; Job 12:20; Psalm 31:13; Jeremiah 15:15. The word, therefore, would naturally suggest the idea that he had been taken by God to himself, or had been removed in an extraordinary manner from the earth. This is confirmed by the fact that the word is not used anywhere in the Scriptures to denote a "removal by death," and that in the only other instance in which it (לקח laaqach) is used in relation to a removal from this world, it occurs in the statement respecting the translation of Elijah. "And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel, came forth to Elisha, and said to him, Knowest thou that the Lord "will take away" (לקח laaqach) thy master from thy head today?" 2 Kings 2:3, 2 Kings 2:5; compare Hebrews 11:11. This transaction, where there could be no doubt about the "manner" of the removal, shows in what sense the word is used in Genesis.

    (3) it was so understood by the translators of the Septuagint. The apostle has used the same word in this place which is employed by the Seventy in Genesis 5:24 - μετατίθημι metatithēmi. This word means to transpose, to put in another place; and then to transport, transfer, translate; Acts 7:16; Hebrews 7:12. It properly expresses the removal to another place, and is the very word which would he used on the supposition that one was taken to heaven without dying.

    (4) this interpretation of the passage in Genesis by Paul is in accordance with the uniform interpretation of the Jews. In the Targum of Onkelos it is evidently supposed that Enoch was transported without dying. In that Targum the passage in Genesis 5:24 is rendered, "And Enoch walked in the fear of the Lord, and was not, for the Lord did not put him to death" - לּה lo' - 'amiyt yityeh Yahweh. So also in Ecclesiasticus or the Son of Sirach (49:14), "But upon the earth was no man created like Enoch; for he was taken from the earth." These opinions of the Jews and of the early translators, are of value only as showing that the interpretation which Paul has put upon Genesis 5:2 is the natural interpretation. It is such as occurs to separate writers, without collusion, and thus shows that this is the meaning most naturally suggested by the passage.

    That he should not see death - That is, that he should not experience death, or be made personally acquainted with it. The word "taste" often occurs in the same sense. Hebrews 2:9, "that he should taste death for every man;" compare Matthew 16:28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27.

    And was not found - Genesis 5:24, "And he was not." That is, he was not in the land of the living. Paul retains the word used in the Septuagint.

    He had this testimony, that he pleased God - Implied in the declaration in Genesis 5:22, that he "walked with God." This denotes a state of friendship between God and him, and of course implies that his conduct was pleasing to God. The apostle appeals here to the sense of the account in Genesis, but does not retain the very "words." The meaning here is not that the testimony respecting Enoch was actually "given" before his translation, but that the testimony relates to his having "pleased God" before he was removed. "Stuart." In regard to this instructive fragment of history, and to the reasons why Enoch was thus removed, we may make the following remarks:

    (1) The age in which he lived was undoubtedly one of great wickedness. Enoch is selected as the only one of that generation signalized by eminent piety, and he appears to have spent his life in publicly reproving a sinful generation, and in warning them of the approaching judgment; Jde 1:14-15. The wickedness which ultimately led to the universal deluge seems already to have commenced in the earth, and Enoch, like Noah, his great-grandson, was raised up as a preacher of righteousness to reprove a sinful generation.

    (2) it is not improbable that the great truths of religion in that age were extensively denied, and probably among other things the future state, the resurrection, the belief that man would exist in another world, and that it was maintained that death was the end of being - was an eternal sleep. If so, nothing could be better adapted to correct the prevailing evils than the removal of an eminent man, without dying, from the world. His departure would thus confirm the instructions of his life, and his removal, like the death of saints often now, would serve to make an impression which his living instructions would not.

    (3) his removal is, in itself, a very important and instructive fact in history. It has occurred in no other instance except that of Elijah; nor has any other living man been transported to heaven except the Lord Jesus. That fact was instructive in a great many respects:

    (a) It showed that there was a future state - another world.

    (b) It showed that the "body" might exist in that future state - though doubtless so changed as to adapt it to the condition of things there.

    (c) It prepared the world to credit the account of the ascension of the Redeemer. If Enoch and Elijah were removed thus without dying, there was no intrinsic improbability that the Lord Jesus would be removed after having died and risen again.

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    Wesley's Notes on Hebrews 11:5

    11:5 Enoch was not any longer found among men, though perhaps they sought for him as they did for Elijah, 2Kin 2:17. He had this testimony - From God in his own conscience.