Enoch in the Bible Was a Man Who Did Not Die

Meet the man who walked with God

Enoch Walked With God
Greg Rakozy / Unsplash

Enoch in the Bible holds a rare distinction in the human story: he did not die. Instead, God "took him away." Although the Scriptures do not reveal a whole lot about this remarkable man, we find Enoch's story in Genesis 5, in a long list of the descendants of Adam.

Enoch

  • Known for: A faithful follower of God and one of only two men in the Bible who did not die.
  • Bible References: Enoch is mentioned in Genesis 5:18-24, 1 Chronicles 1:3, Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5-6, Jude 1:14-15.
  • Hometown: Ancient Fertile Crescent, although the exact location is not given in Scripture.
  • Occupation: Jude 14-15 states that Enoch was a preacher of righteousness and a prophet.
  • Father: Enoch’s father was Jared (Genesis 5:18; cf. 1 Chronicles 1:3).
  • Children: Methuselah, and unnamed sons and daughters.
  • Great-grandson: Noah

Enoch Walked With God

Enoch was born seven generations from Adam, so he was an approximate contemporary with Lamech of Cain’s line.

Only a short sentence, "Enoch walked faithfully with God," in Genesis 5:22 and repeated in Genesis 5:24 reveals why he was so special to his Creator. In this wicked period before the Flood, most men did not walk faithfully with God. They walked their own path, the crooked way of sin.

Enoch did not keep silent about the sin around him. Jude says Enoch prophesied about those evil people:

"See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 1:14-15, NIV)

According to Genesis 5:23, Enoch’s life-span was 365 years. Throughout those years, he walked in faith, and that made all the difference. No matter what happened, he trusted God. He obeyed God. God loved Enoch so much he spared him the experience of death.

Hebrews 11, that great Faith Hall of Fame passage, says Enoch's faith pleased God:

For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:5-6, NIV)

What happened to Enoch? The Bible gives few details, other than to say:

"...then he was no more, because God took him away." (Genesis 5:24, NIV)

Such terminology is not typical of the Bible and implies that Enoch did not die a natural, physical death. He was taken up by God so that he was no longer present on earth. Only one other person in Scripture was honored this way: the prophet Elijah. God took that faithful servant to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11).

God took Enoch, Genesis 5
God took Enoch. High resolution photograph of a rare original engraving published in 1728. mashuk / Getty Images

Enoch's great-grandson, Noah, also "walked faithfully with God" (Genesis 6:9). Because of his righteousness, only Noah and his family were spared in the Great Flood.

The Books of Enoch

In the period between the Old and New Testament, several books credited to Enoch appeared, however, they are not considered part of the canon of Scripture. These books of Enoch describe in great detail various events in Genesis chapters 1-6. They also tell of a tour by Enoch of heaven and hell. The prophetic passage in Jude 14–15 is actually a quote from one of the books of Enoch.

Life Lessons From Enoch

Enoch was a loyal follower of God. He told the truth despite opposition and ridicule and enjoyed close fellowship with God.

Enoch and the other Old Testament heroes mentioned in the Faith Hall of Fame walked in faith, in the hope of a future Messiah. That Messiah has been revealed to us in the gospels as Jesus Christ.

Enoch was faithful to God, truthful, and obedient. When we follow his example by walking with God and trusting Christ as Savior, we will die physically but will be resurrected to eternal life.

Key Bible Verses

Genesis 5:22-23
After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. (NIV)

Genesis 5:24
Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (NIV)

Hebrews 11:5
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: "He could not be found, because God had taken him away." For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. (NIV)