The Faith of Enoch: Hebrews 11:5
“5) By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.” Hebrews 11:5
Enoch is the second illustration used for a life of faith. His story is told in Genesis 5:21-24. He walked with God and was not for God took him. His faith made him pleasing to God. The writer of the book of Hebrews is driving home the point that men and women of faith develop a close walk with God. They find favor with God.
He is also mentioned in Luke 2:37 and Jude 1:14-15. The mention in Jude is significant because it points out that Enoch prophesied about the end times. I recently wrote about Enoch in my commentary on the book of Jude. The rest of this entry is copied from that study.
“As you can see, we do not have many details of his life. He was the father of Methuselah, who was the oldest man that ever lived. These verses also tell us that Enoch walked with God. He had a very close relationship with God in a world and at a time that was becoming very wicked. We also discover that God took him in the prime of life. 365 years old in his days was equivalent to 35 years old today.
Notice, there is no record of physical death. The text merely says “he was not for God took him.” Some call this a rapture. He and Elijah are the only two men in the Bible that did not undergo natural death. Some put Melchizedek in that category as well because of Hebrews 7:3, but he is much more mysterious because he had no birth certificate either.
What is interesting is that he is referred to three times in the New Testament. (Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5, Jude 1:14) There is no question that Enoch was a genuine biblical character.
This brings us to the mystery of Jude quoting from Enoch. There is an old book called “The Book of Enoch”, but it was not part of the Jewish Scriptures nor the Protestant Old Testament. Several versions exist today. The irony is that the quote by Jude does appear in the book of Enoch. I consider the book of Enoch as interesting reading but definitely not Scripture nor inspired.
So why else is the book of Enoch significant? The book fills in the mystery of Genesis 6:1-5 and the sons of God having relations with the daughters of men and the Nephilim. It talks about 200 angelic watchers that came to earth and became wicked. The book actually gives names to some of them.
It is intriguing reading, but we have no record of its authenticity or transmission. There is no record of Jewish Scribes making copies of this manuscript as they did the Old Testament text.
However, fragments of the book of Enoch were found with the Dead Sea scrolls along with other secular documents. This version is often referred to as 1 Enoch and did not include the “Book of Parables” that make up chapters 37-71 of modern versions. They were apparently added later which casts a dark shadow on the authenticity of the book. Other fragments have also been found elsewhere from Ancient Greek and Latin translations, but the only complete copies that exist are from the later Ethiopic translation.
The book of Job is the only accepted biblical book that most scholars place prior to the flood. As noted earlier, chapters one and two both talk about the sons of God as angelic beings that had to appear before God to give an account of their activity. Job 1:6 and 2:1 both say that Satan also came among them. This gives credence to the Jude and Peter interpretation of the sons of God being fallen angels.
The quote from Jude in verses 14-15 seems to be a reference to coming judgement and lines up with Revelation 19:11-21. Jesus is coming back with a host from heaven to judge the wicked together with Satan and his cohorts. Satan’s doom has be sealed from ancient times.
History and current events are rushing toward a climax. I believe we are moving into what the Bible calls the end times or the end of this present epoch. (See Acts 1:6-7) A new biblical dispensation or epoch is about to unfold. It will include the tribulation period followed by millennial reign of Jesus on earth. (See Revelation 20:1-7) This may all be included in the prophecy of Enoch.”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
The Faith of Enoch: Hebrews 11:5