Enoch the Faithful Servant
Sermon: Enoch the Faithful Servant Aug. 12, 2007
Enoch WALKED with God
Gen.5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked [lived in close fellowship] with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he [disappeared] was no more, because God took him away
Enoch PLEASED God
Heb.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 [known] as one who pleased God. (see LXX) 6 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 [sincerely] seek him
Enoch COMMUNICATED God’s message
Jude 14 Enoch, the seventh [generation] from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with [countless] thousands upon thousands of his holy ones [saints, angels] 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Sermón: Enoc el Siervo Fiel
Enoc CAMINO con Dios
Gen.5:21Vivió Enoc sesenta y cinco años, y engendró a Matusalén. 22Y caminó [anduvó fielmente; vivió de acuerdo con la voluntad de Dios] Enoc con Dios, después que engendró a Matusalén, trescientos años, y engendró hijos e hijas. 23Y fueron todos los días de Enoc trescientos sesenta y cinco años. 24Caminó, pues, Enoc con Dios, y desapareció, porque le llevó Dios
Enoc AGRADO a Dios
Heb.11: 5Por la fe Enoc fue traspuesto [llevado, trasladado al cielo] para no ver muerte, y no fue hallado, porque lo traspuso Dios; y antes que fuese traspuesto, tuvo testimonio de haber agradado a Dios. 6Pero sin fe es imposible agradar a Dios; porque es necesario que el que se acerca a Dios crea que le hay, y que es galardonador de [recompensa] los que le buscan.
Enoc comunicó el mensaje de Dios
Judas 14 De éstos también profetizó Enoc, séptimo desde Adán, diciendo: He aquí, vino el Señor con sus santas decenas de millares [ángeles, santos], 15para hacer juicio contra todos, y dejar convictos a todos los impíos [pecadores] de todas sus obras impías [el mal] que han hecho impíamente [en su maldad], y de todas las cosas duras que los pecadores impíos han hablado contra él
Sermon: Enoch the Faithful Servant Aug. 12, 2007
Enoch WALKED with God
Gen.5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked [lived in close fellowship] with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he [disappeared] was no more, because God took him away. Vivió Enoc sesenta y cinco años, y engendró a Matusalén. 22Y caminó [anduvó fielmente; vivió de acuerdo con la voluntad de Dios] Enoc con Dios, después que engendró a Matusalén, trescientos años, y engendró hijos e hijas. 23Y fueron todos los días de Enoc trescientos sesenta y cinco años. 24Caminó, pues, Enoc con Dios, y desapareció, porque le llevó Dios
* Like Enoch, every believer should walk with God every day he is on earth. When we get to
heaven, we will walk with Him forever.
*God loves His saints and loves the fellowship of His saints.
* Enoch: #2 (Satan is a Counterfeiter – in ungodly line of Cain 4:17)
* 65 yrs Enoch did not walk with God
* Methuselah’s birth turning pt In the year that died, the Flood came! (7:6). “became the father of” was a
turning-point in Enoch’s life, because he then began to walk with the Lord. Did the responsibility of raising a son in such a godless world so challenge Enoch that he knew he needed the Lord’s help? the arrival of this baby changed Enoch’s life.
* “Walk” biblical expression for fellowship/obedience, used to rep faithful living.
walking before God (Gen. 17:1); walking after God (Dt. 13:4); walk with God” Mal. 2:6
1Jn 2:6 the 1 who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked
Rom. 6:4 walk in newness of life”
2 Cor. 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight”
Gal. 5:16 “Walk by the Spirit….
Eph. 5:2 “Walk in love…..5:8 walk in the light…..5:15 walk wisely
Rev. 3:4 “They will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy”
2 Jn 6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments
3Jn 4 walk in truth
*Such a walk was commanded of Israel (Lev. 26:3,12) and of the church.
* “walked with God,” said only of Enoch and Noah (Gen. 6:9)
* He walked with God for 300 yrs. This was no casual stroll. It was the walk of a lifetime
“was no more”
* the other being Elijah, 2 Kings 2:11–12
* He walked with God till the last moment of his life (1Thess.4:17)
Heb 9:27’It is appointed unto all men once to die - solution is that death is not always the
separation of the soul from the body
* He is an example of faith when it stands alone, He walked with God when few else did.
* it was a walk, not sprint. Nearly anyone can sprint for a short X, distance, but no one can do it for long.
* was no more pre-Flood “rapture” pic of the ch being taken to heaven tribulation on the earth 1Thes.4
WALK IN UNBROKEN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
Enoch PLEASED God
Heb.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 [known] as one who pleased God. (LXX) 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes [present tense] to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly [sincerely] seek [present tense] him Por la fe Enoc fue traspuesto [llevado, trasladado al cielo] para no ver muerte, y no fue hallado, porque lo traspuso Dios; y antes que fuese traspuesto, tuvo testimonio de haber agradado a Dios. 6Pero sin fe es imposible agradar a Dios; porque es necesario que el que se acerca a Dios crea que le hay, y que es galardonador de [recompensa] los que le buscan.
* When we exercise faith we put a smile on God’s face
* When we exercise faith we receive God’s blessings
*The LXX translated the Heb. idiom “Enoch walked with God” with “he pleased God.”
*Rom. 14:23 everything that does not come from faith is sin”
*Our faith in God grows as we fellowship with God.
*Enoch’s faith led to a most unusual blessing
*God does not respond to the occasional seeker. One must keep coming as a lifestyle. A single
cry never indicates the real nature of our heart. A perpetual cry does.
*Heb 11:27 this passage implies that he had not been favored with visible appearances of God,
yet he believed in God’s being. Enoch never saw God. He walked with Him, but he did
not see Him. He just believed He was there. That is how He pleased God.
*The reward is God Himself
*In Enoch the view of the true destiny of man was again revealed, fellowship with God
*In Enoch true destiny of man again reached, as he experienced fellowship w/ God that Adam forfeited
*For three hundred years Enoch had fellowship with the true God,
*Lord went for a walk with Enoch one day and just took him on up to heaven.
*He could not have walked with God for 300 yrs without trusting in God for 300 yrs.
*Faith begins where man’s power ends. George Muller
*two specific reasons he was taken. 1. because of his faith— 2. because he pleased God
* Enoch’s great walk produced two wonderful things—fellowship and righteousness.
*When two walk toward the same place on the same path at the same pace for 300 years, they
are in fellowship! And this is the primary meaning of walk: fellowship, sacred communion. Matching God stride for stride along the path of life while headed for the city of God also produced in Enoch a righteous walk.
*Faith and a righteous walk with God are inseparably joined
*He does not say that “without faith it is difficult to please God,” or “without faith you will have
to work extra-hard to please God.” He says it is impossible
*We cannot have God’s smile on our lives without faith.
*Faith creates a close personal relation.
PUT A SMILE ON GOD’S FACE – TRUST HIM
Enoch COMMUNICATED God’s message
Jude 14 Enoch, the seventh [generation] from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with [countless] thousands upon thousands of his holy ones [saints, angels] 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” De éstos también profetizó Enoc, séptimo desde Adán, diciendo: He aquí, vino el Señor con sus santas decenas de millares [ángeles, santos], 15para hacer juicio contra todos, y dejar convictos a todos los impíos [pecadores] de todas sus obras impías [el mal] que han hecho impíamente [en su maldad], y de todas las cosas duras que los pecadores impíos han hablado contra él
* He modeled what he preached
* He told them the truth even if they didn’t’ receive it
* Enoch’s life of faith wasn’t a private thing, he boldly announced God coming to judge the
* Enoch uses the word “ungodly” four times. What do you think would be the single most
spoken word in the sermons of most contemporary preachers? Love? Joy? Peace? it would not be the word “ungodly.” Yet that was the theme of Enoch’s preaching.
*They would have launched a manhunt. They would have been wondering what could have
become of this great preacher of righteousness. No doubt they suspected foul play on the part of Cain’s descendants. Enoch had preached against their wickedness. Perhaps he had been slain, like Abel, and buried secretly.
*Judging from this account, his message on ungodliness was brief and perhaps repetitious, but it
was inspired. We have no hint as to how effective it was, but Enoch’s purpose was to be faithful, not effective. He did what God required of him and left the results to Him.
*One thing is certain: because of his faithful preaching and faithful living, no one who heard
Enoch or lived around him had any excuse for not believing in God.
The book of 1 Enoch is a pseudepigraphal book written during the time between the two
Testaments (intertestamental period). The 106 chapters of the book are thought to be the record of visions that Enoch received. His book became so popular that even Jude quoted from it. Since Jude’s statement is similar to a passage in the apocryphal Book of Enoch (1:9)—written prior to 110 b.c. and thus probably known by the early Christians—many assume that Jude is quoting from that book. The source of this information was the Holy Spirit who inspired Jude. The fact that it was recorded in the nonbiblical and pseudepigraphal Book of Enoch had no effect on its accuracy.Paul occasionally followed the same pattern (of citing nonbiblical sources to make a legitimate spiritual point) in his teaching (Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 1:12). Jude quotes from I Enoch, which was widely known in the first century of the Christian era. It circulated originally in Aramaic. Archaeologists discovered fragments of this book, written in Aramaic, among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
*Three certainties regarding God’s judgment on apostasy.
First - the Lord will come. Second, the Lord will not come alone. Holy ones (“saints”) could refer to believers, who will return with Christ when He comes in judgment. However, emphasis on judgment here seems to favor viewing the holy ones as angels, since angels appear in other judgment contexts in NT. The saints will have a judgment role during the millennial kingdom, but angels will serve as God’s executioners when Christ returns. Third, the Lord will come with a definite purpose, to execute judgment upon deserving recipients
MODEL WHAT YOUR PREACH…….preach what you model
Genesis 4:17 Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.
*Cain’s wife obviously was one of Adam’s later daughters (5:4). By Moses’ time, this kind of close marriage was forbidden (Lev. 18:7–17), because of genetic decay. Enoch. His name means “initiation,” and was symbolic of the new city where Cain would try to mitigate his curse
*The spread of the godless civilization. The narrative now traces the line of Cain to its full development. What becomes of a society that rebels against God and leaves the land of blessing in angry defiance of His laws and His sacrifices? In this case it prospers. But the righteous should neither envy the wicked nor follow their way of life (Pss. 49; 73). God allows them to prosper in their earthbound way. They produce music, weapons, agricultural devices, and cities—culture. It is their only recourse in a bitter, cursed world. Not so are the righteous. Some who traced their lineage to Seth, the replacement of Abel, began to make proclamation in the name of the Lord. These—and Noah, and Abram, among others—declared the truth to their generations. Some people—though only a remnant—do not go overboard in living an affluent “good life” but are concerned with things spiritual. Israel should trace her ancestry to Enosh (Gen. 4:26), in spirit and in fact. 4:17-18. Cain’s family began in Nod (v. 16). The name “Nod” is related to the words for “restless wanderer” (v. 14). It was the land of fugitives from God. Here Cain fathered a child, Enoch, and named a city after him. (No doubt Cain’s wife was a daughter of Adam; 5:4.)
*Cain most likely acquired a wife from among his other siblings (v. 14). The name Enoch means “Dedicated One”—the same name as the godly descendant of Seth who “walked with God” (5:21–24). The fact that Cain built a city named after his son speaks of a dramatic, rapid increase in population.
*(Gen. 4:16–24) God kept His Word and protected Cain as he wandered. One day he found a place that seemed right for him to settle down, and he decided to build a city. The earth wouldn’t yield its strength to Cain’s labor as a farmer, but Cain could labor and build on the earth and succeed. However, Cain never ceased to be a fugitive, for the name of the land where he settled means “wandering.” His citizenship wasn’t in heaven (Phil. 3:20–21), nor did he have any hope to reach the heavenly city (Heb. 11:9–16). The only heaven Cain knew was his city on earth.Was Cain a married man before he wandered from Eden, or did he find a wife during his travels? Did he tell her he had murdered his brother? We don’t know, but surely he had to explain the mark God had put on him. It was normal for Cain to seek a wife; for he not only wanted to build a city, but he also wanted to build a family. How else could his name be remembered but in his descendants? Cain didn’t know that his name and foul deeds would be written in the Word of God for everybody to read. Cain’s wife bore him a son whom he named Enoch, which is related to the Hebrew word for “consecrated.” Cain named his city after his son, but we aren’t told to whom or to what the city was consecrated. Six generations of Cain’s descendants are named (Gen. 4:17–22), some of whom were famous. Lamech was the first bigamist; he was also a boastful man and a killer. Why or how the young man wounded him, we don’t know; but why should a young man be killed because he caused a wound? Lamech’s mentioning of Cain’s protection (v. 24) indicates that Cain’s story was passed from generation to generation. It also suggests that Lamech thought that God’s protection extended to him as well. If God would avenge a murderer like Cain, then surely He would avenge Lamech for “protecting himself.” Note that Lamech wants God’s protection, but he doesn’t mention God’s name. The people in the city of Enoch had varied occupations. Some followed Jabal and took care of livestock (v. 20). Others learned from Jabal’s brother Jubal and devoted themselves to making and playing musical instruments (v. 21). The followers of Tubal-Cain were metalworkers (v. 22), which suggests the manufacture of farm implements, building tools, and personal weapons. Cain lived in a society that was rich in culture as well as in industry and food production. In the city of Enoch, they had everything but God. When you put Cain’s family tree next to that of Seth (chap. 5), you can’t help but notice the similarity in names. You have Enoch and Enosh (v. 6) and Enoch (v. 18), Mehujael and Mahalael (v. 12), Methushael and Methuselah (v. 21), and Lamech and Lamech (v. 25). Cain’s Lamech has three sons (Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain), and Noah has three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth). What does this similarity in names mean? Perhaps it’s God’s way of telling us that the godless line of Cain (which is still with us) does its best to imitate the godly line of Seth. After all, Satan is the counterfeiter. He can imitate the names of the true believers, but he can’t produce the believers. There’s an Enoch in both genealogies, but Cain’s Enoch didn’t walk with God and one day disappear and go to heaven! (v. 24) “What’s in a name?” Nothing, if you don’t know and belong to the Lord! But the tragedy is that these two lines—the ungodly line of Cain and the godly line of Seth—came together and merged (6:1–2). The wall of separation came down, and this eventually created the wicked society whose sins brought on the judgment of the Flood. Lamech’s brand of violence spread (vv. 5, 11–12), and by the time of the Flood, only eight people believed God’s warning and acted upon it by faith. The rest were destroyed. Cain’s family tree ends with the family of Lamech (4:19–24), an arrogant murderer whose three sons manufactured things for this world. Seth’s line ends with Noah (“rest”) whose three sons gave the world a new beginning after the Flood. The world of that day probably admired Cain’s achievements; God wiped them off the face of the earth. “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17)
Genesis 5:18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
* 5:24 Enoch is the only break in the chapter from the incessant comment, “and he died.” Cf. 4:17,18; 1 Chr. 1:3; Luke 3:37; Heb. 11:5; Jude 14. Only one other man is said to have enjoyed this intimacy of relationship in walking with God, Noah (6:9). Enoch experienced being taken to heaven alive by God, as did Elijah later (2 Kin. 2:1–12)
* Besides providing the link between Adam and his times and Noah and his, this chapter has a motif that cannot be missed—and then he died (vv. 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31). If one were in doubt whether the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), he need only look at human history. In Enoch’s case, the statement was not made—as it was with the other males in this genealogy—that he lived so many years and then died. Instead he walked with God (Gen. 5:22, 24). “Walk” is the biblical expression for fellowship and obedience that results in divine favor. Enoch’s walk lasted 300 years. No doubt his walk would have continued, but God took him away (v. 24)—he did not die. Such a walk was commanded of Israel (Lev. 26:3,12) and of the church.
*(Gen. 5:12–27) People like Kenan, Mahalalel, and Jared may not seem important to God’s great story of salvation, but they are important; for they were “living links” in the great generational chain that reached from Seth to the birth of Jesus Christ. God’s promise in Genesis 3:15 could never have been fulfilled were it not for the faithfulness of many undistinguished people who to us are only strange names in an ancient genealogy. When Enoch was sixty-five years old, his wife gave birth to a son whom they named Methuselah (“man of the dart”). This was a turning-point in Enoch’s life, because he then began to walk with the Lord (5:22, 24; 6:9). Did the responsibility of raising a son in such a godless world so challenge Enoch that he knew he needed the Lord’s help? Or when the baby was born, did God give Enoch insight into the future so that he knew the Flood was coming? We don’t know, but we do know that the arrival of this baby changed Enoch’s life. The meaning of Methuselah’s name isn’t significant, but his long life of 969 years is significant. In the year that Methuselah died, the Flood came! Perhaps the Lord told Enoch this news after the baby was born, and it so gripped his heart that he began to walk with God and do God’s will. “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11). The fact that Jesus is coming again to judge the world ought to motivate God’s people to lives of holiness and obedient service (1 John 2:28–3:3). The sobering phrase “and he died” isn’t used of Enoch, because Enoch is one of two men in Scripture who never died. Both Enoch and Elijah were taken to heaven alive (2 Kings 2:1–11). Some students see in Enoch’s pre-Flood “rapture” a picture of the church being taken to heaven before God sends tribulation on the earth (1 Thes. 4:13–5:11).
It was “by faith” that Enoch was taken to heaven (Heb. 11:5). He believed God, walked with God, and went to be with God, which is an example for all of us to follow. Imagine how difficult it must have been to walk with God during those years before the Flood, when vice and violence were prevalent and only a remnant of people believed God (Gen. 6:5). But Enoch’s life of faith wasn’t a private thing, for he boldly announced that God would come to judge the world’s sins (Jude 14–15). In his day, the judgment of the Flood did come; but the judgment Enoch was announcing will occur when Jesus Christ returns, leading the armies of heaven and condemning Satan and his hosts (Rev. 19:11ff). Enoch’s life and witness remind us that it’s possible to be faithful to God in the midst of “a crooked and perverse generation” (Phil. 2:15). No matter how dark the day or how bad the news, we have the promise of our Lord’s return to encourage us and motivate us to be godly. One day sin will be judged and God’s people will be rewarded for their faithfulness, so we have every reason to be encouraged as we walk with God. Genesis 5 includes the etymology of the name of Noah (v. 29), whose life would be the dominant force in the sections to follow. Lamech named his son Noah, hoping he would bring comfort to them from the curse (v. 29; cf. “painful toil” and the ground’s curse in 3:17). “Comfort” is not the meaning of “Noah,” but the words sound the same. Lamech had no idea how God would turn these words around and fulfill the wish in His own way (6:5-8), but he did have high hopes for his boy. Thus a second glimmer of hope appears in this chapter of death. Enoch escaped the curse of death, and Noah would comfort those under the curse
* The memory that Enoch didn’t die (but ‘God took him’) reminds us that God never intended death to touch us.
*22.Undoubtedly Enoch is honored with peculiar praise among the men of his own age, when it is said that he walked with God. Yet both Seth and Enoch, and Cainan, and Mahalaleel, and Jared, were then living, whose piety was celebrated in the former part of the chapter. As that age could not be ruder or barbarous, which had so many most excellent teachers; we hence infer, that the probity of this holy man, whom the Holy Spirit exempted from the common order, was rare and almost singular. Meanwhile, a method is here pointed out of guarding against being carried away by the perverse manners of those with whom we are conversant. For public custom is as a violent tempest; both because we easily suffer ourselves to be led hither and thither by the multitude, and because every one thinks what is commonly received must be right and lawful; just as swine contract an itching from each other; nor is there any contagion worse, and more loathsome than that of evil examples. Hence we ought the more diligently to notice the brief description of a holy life, contained in the words, “Enoch walked with God”. Let those, then, who please, glory in living according to the custom of others; yet the Spirit of God has established a rule of living well and rightly, by which we depart from the examples of men who do not form their life and manners according to the law of God. For he who, pouring contempt upon the word of God, yields himself up to the imitation of the world, must be regarded as living to the devil. Moreover, all the rest of the patriarchs are not deprived of the praise of righteousness; but a remarkable example is set before us in the person of one man, who stood firmly in the season of most dreadful dissipation; in order that, if we wish to live rightly and orderly, we may learn to regard God more than men. For the language which Moses uses is of the same force as if he had said, that Enoch, lest he should be drawn aside by the corruptions of men, had respect to God alone; so that with a pure conscience, as under his eyes, he might cultivate uprightness.24. And he was not, for God took him. He must be shamelessly contentious, who will not acknowledge that something extraordinary is here pointed out. All are, indeed, taken out of the world by death; but Moses plainly declares that Epoch was taken out of the world by an unusual mode, and was received by the Lord in a miraculous manner. For (lakah) among the Hebrews signifies‘to take to one’s self,’as well as simply to take. But, without insisting on the word, it suffices to hold fast the thing itself; namely, that Enoch, in the middle period of life, suddenly, and in an unexampled method, vanished from the sight of men, because the Lord took him away, as we read was also done with respect to Elijah. Since, in the translation of Enoch, an example of immortality was exhibited; there is no doubt that God designed to elevate the minds of his saints with certain faith before their death; and to mitigate, by this consolation, the dread which they might entertain of death, seeing they would know that a better life was elsewhere laid up for them. It is, however, remarkable that Adam himself was deprived of this support of faith and of comfort. For since that terrible judgment of God,‘Thou shalt die the death,’was constantly sounding in his ears, he very greatly needed some solace, in order that he might in death have something else to reflect upon than curse and destruction. But it was not till about one hundred and fifty years after his death, that the translation of Enoch took place, which was to be as a visible representation of a blessed resurrection; by which, if Adam had been enlightened, he might have girded himself with equanimity for his own departure. Yet, since the Lord, in inflicting punishment, had moderated its rigour, and since Adam himself had heard from his own mouth, what was sufficient to afford him no slight alleviation; contented with this kind of remedy, it became his duty patiently to bear, both the continual cross in this world, and also the bitter and sorrowful termination of his life. But whereas others were not taught in the same manner by a manifest oracle to hope for victory over the serpent, there was, in the translation of Enoch, an instruction for all the godly, that they should not keep their hope confined within the boundaries of this mortal life. For Moses shows that this translation was a proof of the Divine love towards Enoch, by connecting it immediately with his pious and upright life. Nevertheless, to be deprived of life is not in itself desirable. It follows, therefore, that he was taken to a better abode; and that even when he was a sojourner in the world, he was received into a heavenly country; as the Apostle, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, (Hebrews 11:5,) plainly teaches. Moreover, if it be inquired, why Enoch was translated, and what is his present condition; I answer, that his transition was by a peculiar privilege, such as that of other men would have been, if they had remained in their first state. For although it was necessary for him to put off what was corruptible; yet was he exempt from that violent separation, from which nature shrinks. In short, his translation was a placid and joyful departure out of the world. Yet he was not received into celestial glory, but only freed from the miseries of the present life, until Christ should come, the first-fruits of those who shall rise again. And since he was one of the members of the Church, it was necessary that he should wait until they all shall go forth together, to meet Christ, that the whole body may be united to its Head. Should any one bring as an objection the saying of the Apostle, ’It is appointed unto all men once to die,’(Hebrews 9:27,) the solution is easy, namely, that death is not always the separation of the soul from the body; but they are said to die, who put off their corruptible nature: and such will be the death of those who will be found surviving at the last day.
* Gen. 5:3. As Adam was created in the image of God, so did he beget “in his own likeness, after his image;” that is to say, he transmitted the image of God in which he was created, not in the purity in which it came direct from God, but in the form given to it by his own self-determination, modified and corrupted by sin. The begetting of the son by whom the line was perpetuated (no doubt in every case the first-born), is followed by an account of the number of years that Adam and the other fathers lived after that, by the statement that each one begat (other) sons and daughters, by the number of years that he lived altogether, and lastly, by the assertion “and he died.” This apparently superfluous announcement is “intended to indicate by its constant recurrence that death reigned from Adam downwards as an unchangeable law (vid., Rom. 5:14). But against this background of universal death, the power of life was still more conspicuous. For the man did not die till he had propagated life, so that in the midst of the death of individuals the life of the race was preserved, and the hope of the seed sustained, by which the author of death should be overcome.” In the case of one of the fathers indeed, viz., Enoch (vv. 21ff.), life had not only a different issue, but also a different form. Instead of the expression “and he lived,” which introduces in every other instance the length of life after the birth of the first-born, we find in the case of Enoch this statement, “he walked with God (Elohim);” and instead of the expression “and he died,” the announcement, “and he was not, for God (Elohim) took him.” The phrase “walked with God,” which is only applied to Enoch and Noah (Gen. 6:9), denotes the most confidential intercourse, the closest communion with the personal God, a walking as it were by the side of God, who still continued His visible intercourse with men (vid., 3:8). It must be distinguished from “walking before God” (Gen. 17:1; 24:40, etc.), and “walking after God” (Deut. 13:4), both which phrases are used to indicate a pious, moral, blameless life under the law according to the directions of the divine commands. The only other passage in which this expression “walk with God” occurs is Mal. 2:6, where it denotes not the piety of the godly Israelites generally, but the conduct of the priests, who stood in a closer relation to Jehovah under the Old Testament than the rest of the faithful, being permitted to enter the Holy Place, and hold direct intercourse with Him there, which the rest of the people could not do. The article in gives prominence to the personality of Elohim, and shows that the expression cannot refer to intercourse with the spiritual world. In Enoch, the seventh from Adam through Seth, godliness attained its highest point; whilst ungodliness culminated in Lamech, the seventh from Adam through Cain, who made his sword his god. Enoch, therefore, like Elijah, was taken away by God, and carried into the heavenly paradise, so that he did not see (experience) death (Heb. 11:5); i.e., he was taken up from this temporal life and transfigured into life eternal, being exempted by God from the law of death and of return to the dust, as those of the faithful will be, who shall be alive at the coming of Christ to judgment, and who in like manner shall not taste of death and corruption, but be changed in a moment. There is no foundation for the opinion, that Enoch did not participate at his translation in the glorification which awaits the righteous at the resurrection. For, according to 1 Cor. 15:20, 23, it is not in glorification, but in the resurrection, that Christ is the first-fruits. Now the latter presupposes death. Whoever, therefore, through the grace of God is exempted from death, cannot rise from the dead, but reaches the glorified state of perfection, through being “changed” or “clothed upon” (2 Cor. 5:4). This does not at all affect the truth of the statement in Rom. 5:12, 14. For the same God who has appointed death as the wages of sin, and given us, through Christ, the victory over death, possesses the power to glorify into eternal life an Enoch and an Elijah, and all who shall be alive at the coming of the Lord without chaining their glorification to death and resurrection. Enoch and Elijah were translated into eternal life with God without passing through disease, death, and corruption, for the consolation of believers, and to awaken the hope of a life after death. Enoch’s translation stands about half way between Adam and the flood, in the 987th year after the creation of Adam. Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared were still alive. His son Methuselah and his grandson Lamech were also living, the latter being 113 years old. Noah was not yet born, and Adam was dead. His translation, in consequence of his walking with God, was “an example of repentance to all generations,” as the son of Sirach says (Ecclus. 44:16); and the apocryphal legend in the book of Enoch 1:9 represents him as prophesying of the coming of the Lord, to execute judgment upon the ungodly (Jude 14, 15). In comparison with the longevity of the other fathers, Enoch was taken away young, before he had reached half the ordinary age, as a sign that whilst long life, viewed as a time for repentance and grace, is indeed a blessing from God, when the ills which have entered the world through sin are considered, it is also a burden and trouble which God shortens for His chosen. That the patriarchs of the old world felt the ills of this earthly life in all their severity, was attested by Lamech (vv. 28, 29), when he gave his son, who was born 69 years after Enoch’s translation, the name of Noah, saying, “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” Noah, from to rest and to bring rest, is explained by to comfort, in the sense of helpful and remedial consolation. Lamech not only felt the burden of his work upon the ground which God had cursed, but looked forward with a prophetic presentiment to the time when the existing misery and corruption would terminate, and a change for the better, a redemption from the curse, would come. This presentiment assumed the form of hope when his son was born; he therefore gave expression to it in his name. But his hope was not realized, at least not in the way that he desired. A change did indeed take place in the lifetime of Noah. By the judgment of the flood the corrupt race was exterminated, and in Noah, who was preserved because of his blameless walk with God, the restoration of the human race was secured; but the effects of the curse, though mitigated, were not removed; whilst a covenant sign guaranteed the preservation of the human race, and therewith, by implication, his hope of the eventual removal of the curse (Gen. 9:8–17).The genealogical table breaks off with Noah; all that is mentioned with reference to him being the birth of his three sons, when he was 500 years old (v. 32; see Gen. 11:10), without any allusion to the remaining years of his life,—an indication of a later hand. “The mention of three sons leads to the expectation, that whereas hitherto the line has been perpetuated through one member alone, in the future each of the three sons will form a new beginning (vid., 9:18, 19; 10:1).”
* When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. In the midst of the genealogy of Genesis 5 there is a most interesting man: Enoch. He walked with God in an age when practically no one else did. He is an example of faith when it stands alone. It is an interesting feature of the biblical references to this person that more is said about Enoch in the New Testament than in the Old. In the whole of the Bible there are only five passages that refer to Enoch. Two of these are genealogies in which only his name is mentioned (1 Chron. 1:3; Luke 3:37), nothing else being said about him. So that leaves only three passages of importance. The first is our text in Genesis. It says, “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Gen. 5:21–24). The second passage is in Hebrews: “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” (Heb. 11:5). The third passage is in Jude. “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him’ ” (Jude 14–15). That makes four Old Testament verses as opposed to three New Testament verses. But in terms of the number of words, there are only fifty-one words in the Old Testament as opposed to ninety-four words in the New Testament (based on the niv). More importantly, there are things told us about Enoch in the New Testament that are not even suggested in the Old. Seventh from Adam I begin with the last of these references, the reference in Jude. It is because of a phrase that is found there: “seventh from Adam.” That is a curious phrase. Seventh from Adam! Why does God say that Enoch was the seventh descendant in Adam’s line? At first glance the phrase seems unnecessary, particularly since no similar indication of descent is given for any other biblical character. But it is soon explained when we realize that there were two Enochs in this period, both probably living at the same time, and that one was the seventh descendant from Adam through the line of Seth, while the other was the third descendant from Adam through the line of Cain. The Enoch who descended from Adam through the line of Seth was godly. He is our Enoch. The Enoch who descended from Adam through the line of Cain was godless. He is the devil’s Enoch. So Jude’s identification of Enoch as the seventh from Adam is a way of distinguishing the two. It is as if God is saying, “I want you to follow Enoch. But don’t get confused. I don’t mean the Enoch who is in the fourth chapter of Genesis, the third from Adam. That’s the devil’s Enoch. I mean the Enoch who was the seventh from Adam.” There is not much told about the Enoch who descended from Cain, but there is enough. First, he was Cain’s son. Presumably he was trained by Cain and participated in the spirit of Cain’s rebellion. Second, his name was given to the first city, which we know was a very wicked city. Third, his descendants were ungodly. In time they produced Lamech, the seventh in Cain’s line. He boasted of a murder and wrote a song about it. This boast—“I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times”—is the last we hear from this line before the flood swept it away. By contrast, the Enoch who descended from Seth is said to have “walked with God” and to have preached righteousness. This has practical applications. It suggests that there is a parallel between those who are God’s people and those who are the devil’s, and it encourages us always to imitate God’s people. Let me spell it out. The devil has his men and women, and God has his men and women. The devil has his doctors; God has his doctors. The devil has his convicts; God has his convicts, who by his grace are lifted out of a life of crime. The devil has his lawyers; God has his lawyers. The devil has his housewives, who gossip and flirt and sometimes commit adultery; God has his housewives, who establish godly homes and raise their children in the knowledge and love of Jesus. The devil has his teachers; God has his teachers. The devil even has his preachers, whose sin against knowledge will produce the greater damnation; God has his preachers, who speak the truth. God wants us to see this contrast and pattern our lives after the lives of the godly. This contrast even suggests the answer to the continuing existence of evil in this world. God is demonstrating the difference between the lives of those who go their own way, sin and bear the consequences, and those who seek to obey God. God is bringing glory and blessing out of the lives of his people; the devil is not able to do that with his children. Enoch was one in whose life God brought blessing.
Preacher of Righteousness The reference to Enoch in Jude tells something else about this great antediluvian: he was a preacher. And it gives a hint as to the content of his preaching. Enoch’s message had two parts: first, a proclamation of the Lord’s coming in judgment and, second, a denunciation of the ungodliness that was all too visible in the degenerate culture of those days. He said, “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” When we read these words we understand rightly that the coming of the Lord referred to here is the second coming of Christ at which time the world will be judged. I do not know whether Enoch fully understood this in the sense that Jesus would come a first time to die and then a second time in judgment. At this early stage of God’s revelation of himself to men and women, probably no one saw this clearly. But Enoch did see something that perhaps even the other godly descendants of Adam did not see. We remember that the hope of the people of God in this period was the promise of a deliverer to come, preserved in God’s words of judgment on the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen. 3:15). As we studied the verses that follow this promise, we saw how Adam and then also Eve seized on it and lived in hope of that deliverer. Eve named her first child Cain, meaning, “here he is,” because she mistakenly thought that he was the one who would rescue them from their sad state and return them to Paradise. In this period all God’s people presumably lived in hope of this appearance. But now Enoch comes along and preaches that the Lord is indeed coming but that his coming will not be the coming in which Satan is defeated and redemption achieved, but rather a coming in judgment on all the ungodly deeds of men and women. For Enoch’s age, this promise was fulfilled in the deluge. What Enoch saw (and what we need also to see) is that the promises of God to deliver are not blanket promises meant to encompass all, as if all necessarily must be saved, but promises only for those who are God’s people and who show that relationship by obedience. We know how Amos put it. Though living ungodly lives, the people of his day held a fond hope that whenever the Lord came to earth everything would be set right and they would be restored and vindicated. After all, were they not the people of God? Were they not the descendants of Adam and Abraham and all the other patriarchs? Amos responded: Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Amos 5:18–19 This truth needs to be spoken clearly today. God is a God of mercy, but he is a God of judgment as well. That judgment will surely come on all who walk in the way of Cain, unless they repent and come to God through faith in the sacrifice of Christ, which God has provided. The second part of Enoch’s preaching concerned the ungodliness of his age. He preached that the Lord was coming “to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” If we look carefully at Jude’s reference to Enoch, we see that it is actually only one sentence and that the words I have just quoted are only a part of that sentence—approximately half. But in that one-half sentence, containing only twenty-nine words, Enoch uses the word “ungodly” four times. That is, one seventh of his recorded words are the single word “ungodly.” What do you think would be the single most spoken word in the sermons of most contemporary preachers? Love? Joy? Peace? Involvement? I assure you that it would not be the word “ungodly.” Yet that was the essential theme of Enoch’s preaching. We can apply that easily. Enoch lived just before the flood, as we have indicated, and this was a sinful age. There is a brief description of it in Genesis 6:1–7, in which God says that “man’s wickedness on earth” had become great “and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (v. 5). The age was marked by sexual promiscuity, materialism, demonism, and other things that undoubtedly accompanied such sin. It was a terrible time. We look at it and are appalled. But that age was not essentially different from our own. We too have sexual promiscuity, materialism, spiritism, the occult. Moreover, we have rape and murder and drug addiction and prostitution. We have wholesale murder of the unborn—even of some who are born but are discovered to have physical defects. How dare we point the finger at the antediluvian culture and say “Ungodly!” when we are so manifestly ungodly ourselves? What would Enoch say if he were here today? Would he not say precisely what he said so many thousand years ago: “Ungodly … ungodly … ungodly … ungodly”? Ungodly is the word most singularly appropriate to our age. And what is the outcome? In Enoch’s day it was the terrible judgment of God by flood, recorded in the next major section of Genesis. Is a similar judgment not in store for our equally godless culture? God is not mocked! Indeed, our Lord has warned us of this explicitly. He said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:37–39). If these are such days and if the future coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will be a judgment comparable even to the flood, should not our preaching and witnessing be as filled with condemnation of sin as was the preaching of Enoch and equally as insistent in warning people to flee from the wrath to come?
He Walked with God I turn now to the original mention of Enoch in Scripture, which is our text in Genesis. This passage does not record his preaching. On the surface it seems merely to be a record of the years of Enoch’s life and the fact that he was the father of Methuselah. In all, it contains only fifty-one words. But in those fifty-one words, strikingly, much as Jude 14 and 15 repeat the one word “ungodly” four times, we are told twice over that Enoch “walked with God.” We read, “Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Gen. 5:22–24). What does it mean “to walk with God”? It means a number of things that various verses in the Bible state quite clearly. First, it means to walk by faith in God, not trusting to our own understanding but believing him when he tells us what we should do and how to do it. 2Cor 5:7 states this when it says that we are to “live by faith, not by sight.” Enoch lived by faith, for it is for faith that he is praised in Hebrews: “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. 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” (Heb. 11:5–6). The second requirement for walking with God is holiness. God is holy, and those who would have fellowship with him must be holy as well. John declares this in his first letter: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5–7). Third, there must be agreement as to the direction we should go, and this means agreeing with God who has planned the way for us. Amos states this by asking, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3). Obviously not! So if Enoch walked with God, it was clearly because he was not fighting or resisting God but was delighting to walk as God directed him. Moreover, he was doing this for a long period of time. You will notice, I am sure, that Genesis 5:21–24 applies one use of the phrase “he walked with God” to the time in Enoch’s life immediately after the birth of Methuselah, when Enoch was 65 years old, and the other use of the phrase “he walked with God” to the end of Enoch’s life, when God took him to be with himself. At that time Enoch was 365 years old. The teaching is that Enoch walked with God for 300 years. This was no casual stroll. It was the walk of a lifetime. Moreover, it was a walk and not a sprint or run. Nearly anyone can sprint for a short time or distance, but no one can do it for long. For the long haul you need to walk, and this is what Enoch did. We need people who will walk with God today. Not flashes-in-the-pan. Nor shooting stars who attract you more by their passing brilliance than by their substance. We need steady, faithful people who know God and are coming to know him better day by day. At this point the texts in Genesis and Jude come together, for why do you suppose Enoch was so conscious of the ungodliness of his generation and so strong in preaching against it? It was because he walked with God. And what do you suppose was the result of his walking with God? Obviously a growth in holiness as a result of which he perceived the true nature of ungodliness. The two always go together. If you walk with God, you will be opposed to sin. But if you do not walk with God, sin will not seem to be so bad to you and you will inevitably accommodate yourself to it. One way we accommodate ourselves to sin is by calling it by some other name. We call sin “failure,” or we say we’ve made “a mistake.” We call pride “self-esteem,” selfishness “fulfillment,” lust “an instinct.” If we cheat in business, we call it “protecting our own interests.” If we commit adultery, we call it “an attempt to save the marriage.” We call murdering an unborn child “terminating a pregnancy.” What hypocrites we are! How offensive we must be to God, who is obviously not taken in by our reinterpretations but who calls sin, sin and evil, evil. Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Likewise, sin by any other name will smell as putrid. You and I will never grow in holiness unless we see sin for what it is and call it sin, and we will never learn to do that unless we walk closely with God. It is when we walk with God that we learn to call things by God’s vocabulary.
Enoch Pleased God I turn finally to the third of the three major texts that mention Enoch, Hebrews 11:5, which tells us that “Enoch … pleased God.” This is the obvious culmination of the account of Enoch’s life, for having walked with God and having thereby come to recognize sin as sin and to have turned from it, Enoch inevitably pleased God in what he did. What could be a better testimony for any human life? What could be a better achievement than to have it said that you or I pleased God? We note that if we please God, we will not be in a position of pleasing most men and women, at least not the ungodly. By the time Enoch died, by the sheer mathematics of birth and reproduction, there were probably several million of Adam’s descendants on earth. These were Enoch’s relatives, mostly cousins. It was these whom Enoch called “ungodly,” and we can be sure that he was not popular with them. But although Enoch may not have pleased his cousins, he has this testimony—that he pleased God. That is what counted. May it also be true of us. If possible, we wish to grow “in favor with God and men” ( Luke 2:52). But if the choice is necessary, as it often is, may it never be said that we choose to please men and women rather than God but that we choose to please God regardless of the consequences. The end of the story is that the day came in Enoch’s life—when he was 365 years old—when God simply took him home to be with himself. They had been out walking, and God simply said, “Let’s not go back to your place tonight. Why don’t you just come home with me?” And so he did. Martin Luther has fun with this idea in his exposition of Genesis, for he imagines the effect of the translation of Enoch on his godly friends. He notes how Enoch’s father and grandfather would have been disturbed. They would have launched a manhunt. They would have been wondering what could have become of this great preacher of righteousness. No doubt they suspected foul play on the part of Cain’s descendants. Enoch had preached against their wickedness. Perhaps he had been slain, like Abel, and buried secretly. At last, through the revelation of God they learn that Enoch had not been murdered but had simply been taken away by God and given a place in paradise. Why should God have acted this way? Luther asks. It was, he says, to show that death is not the end but rather “that there has been prepared and set aside for men another and also a better life than this present life which is replete with so many misfortunes and evils.” Enoch was God’s testimony to the fact that those who walk with God in this life will also walk with God in a better life hereafter, thanks to the future work “of the promised Seed.” That was the hope of those who lived before the flood, and it is our hope also. Let us live in that hope and walk with God now so that we may also walk with him in that blessed age to come.
* Verses 21-24 The accounts here run on for several generations without any thing remarkable, or any variation but of the names and numbers; but at length there comes in one that must not be passed over so, of whom special notice must be taken, and that is Enoch, the seventh from Adam: the rest, we may suppose, did virtuously, but he excelled them all, and was the brightest star of the patriarchal age. It is but little that is recorded concerning him; but this little is enough to make his name great, greater than the name of the other Enoch, who had a city called by his name. Here are two things concerning him:—I. His gracious conversation in this world, which is twice spoken of: Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah (v. 22), and again, Enoch walked with God, v. 24. Observe, 1. The nature of his religion and the scope and tenour of his conversation: he walked with God, which denotes, (1.) True religion; what is godliness, but walking with God? The ungodly and profane are without God in the world, they walk contrary to him: but the godly walk with God, which presupposes reconciliation to God, for two cannot walk together except they be agreed (Amos 3:3), and includes all the parts and instances of a godly, righteous, and sober life. To walk with God is to set God always before us, and to act as those that are always under his eye. It is to live a life of communion with God both in ordinances and providences. It is to make God’s word our rule and his glory our end in all our actions. It is to make it our constant care and endeavour in every thing to please God, and nothing to offend him. It is to comply with his will, to concur with his designs, and to be workers together with him. It is to be followers of him as dear children. (2.) Eminent religion. He was entirely dead to this world, and did not only walk after God, as all good men do, but he walked with God, as if he were in heaven already. He lived above the rate, not only of other men, but of other saints: not only good in bad times, but the best in good times. (3.) Activity in promoting religion among others. Executing the priest’s office is called walking before God, 1 Sa. 2:30, 35, and see Zec. 3:7. Enoch, it should seem, was a priest of the most high God, and like Noah, who is likewise said to walk with God, he was a preacher of righteousness, and prophesied of Christ’s second coming. Jude 14, Behold, the Lord cometh with his holy myriads. Now the Holy Spirit, instead of saying, Enoch lived, says, Enoch walked with God; for it is the life of a good man to walk with God. This was, [1.] The business of Enoch’s life, his constant care and work; while others lived to themselves and the world, he lived to God. [2.] It was the joy and support of his life. Communion with God was to him better than life itself. To me to live is Christ, Phil. 1:21.
2. The date of his religion. It is said (v. 21), he lived sixty-five years, and begat Methuselah; but (v. 22) he walked with God after he begat Methuselah, which intimates that he did not begin to be eminent for piety till about that time; at first he walked but as other men. Great saints arrive at their eminence by degrees. 3. The continuance of his religion: he walked with God three hundred years, as long as he continued in this world. The hypocrite will not pray always; but the real saint that acts from a principle, and makes religion his choice, will persevere to the end, and walk with God while he lives, as one that hopes to live for ever with him, Ps. 104:33. II. His glorious removal to a better world. As he did not live like the rest, so he did not die like the rest (v. 24): He was not, for God took him; that is, as it is explained (Heb. 11:5), He was translated that he should not see death, and was not found, because God had translated him. Observe, 1. When he was thus translated. (1.) What time of his life. It was when he had lived but three hundred and sixty-five years (a year of years), which, as men’s ages went then, was in the midst of his days; for there was none of the patriarchs before the flood that did not more than double that age. But why did God take him so soon? Surely, because the world, which had now grown corrupt, was not worthy of him, or because he was so much above the world, and so weary of it, as to desire a speedy removal out of it, or because his work was done, and done the sooner for his minding it so closely. Note, God often takes those soonest whom he loves best, and the time they lose on earth is gained in heaven, to their unspeakable advantage. (2.) What time of the world. It was when all the patriarchs mentioned in this chapter were living, except Adam, who died fifty-seven years before, and Noah, who was born sixty-nine years after; those two had sensible confirmations to their faith other ways, but to all the rest, who were or might have been witnesses of Enoch’s translation, it was a sensible encouragement to their faith and hope concerning a future state. 2. How his removal is expressed: He was not, for God took him. (1.) He was not any longer in this world; it was not the period of his being, but of his being here: he was not found, so the apostle explains it from the Septuagint; not found by his friends, who sought him as the sons of the prophets sought Elijah (2 Ki. 2:17); not found by his enemies, who, some think, were in quest of him, to put him to death in their rage against him for his eminent piety. It appears by his prophecy that there were then many ungodly sinners, who spoke hard speeches, and probably did hard things too, against God’s people (Jude 15), but God hid Enoch from them, not under heaven, but in heaven. (2.) God took him body and soul to himself in the heavenly paradise, by the ministry of angels, as afterwards he took Elijah. He was changed, as those saints will be that shall be found alive at Christ’s second coming. Whenever a good man dies God takes him, fetches him hence, and receives him to himself. The apostle adds concerning Enoch that, before his translation, he had this testimony, that he pleased God, and this was the good report he obtained. Note, [1.] Walking with God pleases God. [2.] We cannot walk with God so as to please him, but by faith. [3.] God himself will put an honour upon those that by faith walk with him so as to please him. He will own them now, and witness for them before angels and men at the great day. Those that have not this testimony before the translation, yet shall have it afterwards. [4.] Those whose conversation in the world is truly holy shall find their removal out of it truly happy. Enoch’s translation was not only an evidence to faith of the reality of a future state, and of the possibility of the body’s existing in glory in that state; but it was an encouragement to the hope of all that walk with God that they shall be for ever with him: signal piety shall be crowned with signal honours.
*2nd century book of Jubilees 4:17-21 says angels revealed many things to him and Book of Enoch teach he was given insights into the history of Israel.
*Methuselah lived 782 yrs after the birth of Lamech. Noah was born when Lamech was 182. The flood came when Noah was 600 which would have been the year in which Methuselah died.
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.
*Enoch, on the other hand, reflected the kind of life that pleases God since he walked with God by faith (as the readers also should). If Christ had come in their lifetimes (10:37), the readers also would not have experienced death. In any case they could only please God by continued confidence that He exists and . . . rewards those who earnestly seek Him
*The quoted is from Gen. 5:24. Enoch. See Gen. 5:24. The LXX translated the Heb. idiom “Enoch walked with God” with “he pleased God.” The writer combines both in the reference. Enoch was miraculously taken to heaven without dying (1 Thess. 4:17). 11:6 impossible to please. Enoch pleased God because he had faith. Without such faith it is not possible for anyone to “walk with God” or “please Him” (10:38). He is. The emphasis here is on “He,” the true God. Genuine faith does not simply believe that a divine being exists, but that the God of Scripture is the only real and true God who exists. Not believing that God exists is equivalent to calling Him a liar (1 John 5:10). rewarder. A person must believe not only that the true God exists, but also that He will reward men’s faith in Him with forgiveness and righteousness, because He has promised to do so (10:35; Gen. 15:1; Deut. 4:29; 1 Chr. 28:9; Ps. 58:11; Is. 40:10)
*11:5 Enoc. Entre los personajes populares en las escrituras hebreas se encuentra a Enoc (que fue trasladado al cielo para no ver muerte (Gn 5:21–24).11:6 crea que El existe, y que es remunerador. Hay dos elementos esenciales en la fe: hay que creer que Dios existe y que El es un Dios personal que cumple con sus promesas.
*The word comes is used repeatedly in Hebrews to refer to the privilege of drawing near to God (4:16; 7:25; 10:1, 22). Here the author of Hebrews explains that faith is mandatory for those who approach Him (10:22). rewarder: God rewards not only those who seek Him, but those who do good works in the Holy Spirit’s power (Rev. 22:12).
*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. As Abel showed his love toward God, so Enoch, a member of the seventh generation in the family of Adam (Gen. 5:1–24; Jude 14), served the Lord. The writer of Hebrews chooses Enoch as the next person who exemplified a life of true dedication to God. The Genesis account is rather brief: When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. [5:21–24] Whereas the information about Abel comes to us in the form of a historical account, the details concerning Enoch are recorded in a genealogy. Yet the facts are sufficiently clear. All the other people mentioned in the genealogy are described by the same refrain, “and then he died.” But “Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death.” And the writer introduces this sentence with the expression by faith. Because of his faith, Enoch did not face death but was translated to glory.
When the author says, “Enoch was taken from this life,” he actually repeats the conclusion of the Genesis account. The conclusion rests on the clause Enoch walked with God, which appears twice in his genealogy. What does the phrase walk with God mean? It means that a person lives a spiritual life in which he tells God everything (Gen. 6:9). Enoch lived a normal life of rearing sons and daughters, but his entire life was characterized by his love for God. For this reason God took him to heaven. Note that the author writes the phrase was (or: had) taken three times. Enoch’s faith was so strong and his relationship to God so close that he was kept from dying. The curse of death pronounced upon Adam and his descendants did not prevail against Enoch, for God transformed him. Enoch “was commended as one who pleased God.” 6. 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. This text teaches a spiritual truth that touches the spiritual life of every believer. It is one of the most eloquent expressions of faith and prayer in the Epistle to the Hebrews. By comparison, Paul’s declaration that “everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23) is short. In one beautifully constructed verse, the writer of Hebrews communicates the method of pleasing God, the necessity of believing his existence, and the certainty of answered prayer. a. How do we please God? By walking with him in faith! We must fully trust God and confide in him as our closest friend. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” The word impossible is a reminder of Hebrews 6:4 . It conveys the idea that faith is the indispensable ingredient for pleasing God. b. Why do we pray to God? When the believer prays to God, he must believe that God exists. Although God’s existence is an established truth for the believer, repeatedly he will ignore God by failing to pray to him. God, however, desires that the believer pray continually. c. How do we seek God in prayer? Earnestly, in full confidence! The sinner receives pardon; the suppliant, mercy; and the righteous, peace. God invites us to come to him in full assurance that he will hear and answer prayers. “So,” says the writer, “do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded” (10:35). Rewards can never be earned. In his sovereign goodness, God grants rewards not in terms of payments, but as blessings on his people. God grants us the gift of life eternal. “No human action can in any way counterbalance this in value.” God’s rewards to us are free, for he is sovereign.
*The Demonstration of Faith (Heb. 11:4–40) Abel—faith worshiping (v. 4).
Enoch—faith walking (vv. 5–6). Our faith in God grows as we fellowship with God. We must have both the desire to please Him and the diligence to seek Him. Prayer, meditating on the Word, worship, discipline—all of these help us in our walk with God. Enoch walked with God in the wicked world, before the Flood came; he was able to keep his life pure. Enoch was taken to heaven one day (“translated” =“carried across”) and seen no more. Abel died a violent death, but Enoch never died. God has a different plan for each one who trusts Him. Some see in the translation of Enoch a picture of the Rapture of the church when Jesus Christ returns (1 Thes. 4:13–18). Noah—faith working (v. 7). The patriarchs—faith waiting (vv. 8–22). Moses—faith warring (vv. 23–29). Joshua and Rahab—faith winning (vv. 30–31).
*The heroes of the faith (11:1–40)The writer gives a team-talk on faith. Faith is trusting God. Faith is believing that God made the world. Faith is Abel giving his best animal for a sacrifice. Faith is Noah building an ark, because he believed judgment was about to fall as a flood. Faith is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, living as wandering strangers in the land God had promised them … And so the list goes on. None of these people saw the fulfilment of God’s plan — but they all lived in the light of it. At the end of his life, the only land Abraham owned was his wife’s grave; and yet he believed God was using him to build a city — a new community to transform the world.
*Creer que Dios existe es sólo el comienzo; aun los demonios creen (Santiago 2.19, 20). Dios no se conformará con un simple conocimiento de su existencia. Él quiere una relación personal y dinámica con usted que transformará su vida. Quienes con sinceridad lo buscan hallarán que son premiados con la presencia íntima de Dios. Algunas veces nos preguntamos acerca de cuál será la suerte de quienes no han oído de Cristo y que ni siquiera han tenido una Biblia para leerla. Dios nos asegura que todo aquel que lo busca con sinceridad, que actúa con fe basado en el conocimiento que tiene de Dios, será recompensado. Cuando usted les anuncia a los demás las buenas nuevas de Dios, anímelos a ser sinceros y diligentes en su búsqueda de la verdad. Los que escuchan el evangelio son responsables por lo que oyen (2Cor 6.1, 2)
*5. By faith Enoch, etc. He chose a few of the most ancient, that he might make a transition to Abraham and his posterity. He teaches us that through faith, it was that Enoch was translated.
But we ought especially to consider the reason why God in so unusual a manner removed him from the earth. The event was remarkable, and hence all may know how dear he was to God. Impiety and all kinds of corruptions then prevailed everywhere. Had he died as other men, it would have not occurred to any, that he was thus preserved from the prevailing contagion by God’s providence; but, as he was taken away without dying, the hand of God from heaven, removing him as it were from the fire, was openly manifested. It was not to then an ordinary honor with which God had favored him. Moses indeed tells us, that he was a righteous man, and that he walked with God; but as righteousness begins with faith, it is justly ascribed to his faith, that he pleased God. As to the subtle questions which the curious usually moot, it is better to pass them over, without taking much notice of them. They ask, what became of these two men, Enoch and Elijah? And then, that they may not appear merely to ask questions, they imagine that they are reserved for the last days of the Church, that they may then come forth into the world; and for this purpose the Revelation of John is referred to. Let us leave this airy philosophy to those light and vain minds, which cannot be satisfied with what is solid. Let it suffice us to know, that their translation was a sort of extraordinary death; nor let us doubt but that they were divested of their mortal and corruptible flesh, in order that they might, with the other members of Christ, be renewed into a blessed immortality. 6. But without faith, etc. What is said here belongs to all the examples which the Apostle records in this chapter; but as there is in the passage some measure of obscurity, it is necessary to examine its meaning more closely. But there is no better interpreter than the Apostle himself. The proof, then, which he immediately subjoins, may serve as an explanation. The reason he assigns why no one can please God without faith, is this, — because no one will ever come to God, except he believes that God is, and is also convinced that he is a remunerator to all who seek him.
*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. Enoch’s faith led to a most unusual blessing. He was “translated,” i.e., “taken from this life without dying.” The word “translate” (μετατίθημι, metatithēmi), literally means “to convey to another place.” It is often used in a nonliteral sense, simply “to change, alter” for example of changing one’s mind. Hebrews has three of its six NT uses. Acts 7:16 reported that when Jacob’s family died their bodies were “brought back” (metatithēmi) to Shechem in Canaan. The Galatian believers “so quickly deserted” (metatithēmi) Christ and turned to another gospel that it astonished Paul (Gal 1:6). Certain men were “changing (metatithēmi) the grace of our God into a license for immorality” (Jude 4). Hebrews usage adds the changing (metatithēmi) of the priesthood when Christ became our new high priest (7:12), and Enoch’s being taken (metatithēmi) from this life (said twice in 11:5). The related noun μετάθεσις (metathesis, “removal, change”) should also be considered. Its three appearances in the NT are all in Hebrews. Besides Enoch’s “removal” (NIV: “before he was taken”), Hebrews mentions the “removal” of the law which accompanied the change of priesthood (7:12). In the other instance, the “removal” of what can be shaken is done so that what cannot be shaken may remain (12:27).
The tenses of three verbs in this verse are especially interesting. Enoch “could not be found” (ἡυρίσκετο, hēurisketo, imperfect tense; lit., “was not being found”), “was commended” (μεμαρτύρηται, memartyrētai, perfect tense), and “pleased” (εὐαρεστηκέναι, euarestēkenai, perfect tense). The first verb indicates that they kept looking for him unsuccessfully. Again and again they looked. It was not like Enoch to wander off with no explanation. They cared for him. Their continued looking shows that they did not know that he was “translated.” Perhaps Moses was the first to receive this information from God by inspiration. If so, it would elevate the magnitude of Abraham’s faith when he reasoned that God would resurrect Isaac from the dead. The other two verbs are both perfect tenses. the perfect tense “a condition or state as the result of a past action” and illustrates by explaining, “ἕστηκεν ‘he placed himself there and stands there now.’” In our verbs, this means that God became pleased with Enoch and the new status and enjoyment of this new bliss should be borne in mind. One of these new conditions is God’s open endorsement of Enoch’s character, for he gave a witness, and a new state of endorsement existed.
The special description of Enoch in the Hebrew text of Genesis 5:24 is that he “walked with God.” The LXX, which our author consistently follows, reads that he “pleased God.” While the wording is different, the thought is not. To “walk” with God obviously implies a close companionship on a spiritual plane, which would mean that God was pleased with Enoch.
11:6 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. Like a clever homiletician our author began his stories of faith before he had fully explained the role and necessity of faith. Now that he has indicated that Enoch was “one who pleased God,” he expands on this feature of faith, i.e., faith pleases God. He says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Two facets of faith are necessary for anyone to be able to come to God. (1) He must believe that God exists. (2) He must believe that God rewards those who earnestly seek him. It would be reasonable to expect to find both of these traits in each example of faith laid before us. Some may not believe that God exists. There are many more who believe that God exists, but who do not believe that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. In a crisis they prayed, and God did not do what they asked of him. Therefore they conclude that God is at least unresponsive, if not wicked; and they turn away from him. They “know” God does not reward those who seek him. Such people could very profitably examine the examples of faith in this chapter. The tense of two verbs may help here. Both participles, “one who comes” (προσερχόμενον, proserchomenon) and “who earnestly seek” (ἐκζητου̂σιν, ekzētousin) are present tenses. This indicates continual coming and continual seeking. God does not respond to the occasional seeker. One must keep coming as a lifestyle. One must keep seeking as a regular, habitual predominant way of life. A single cry never indicates the real nature of our heart. A perpetual cry does.
*5. Faith was the ground of his pleasing God; and his pleasing God was the ground of his translation. translated—(Ge 5:22, 24). Implying a sudden removal (the same Greek as in Ga 1:6) from mortality without death to immortality: such a change as shall pass over the living at Christ’s coming (1Co 15:51, 52). had this testimony—namely of Scripture; the Greek perfect implies that this testimony continues still: “he has been testified of.”pleased God—The Scripture testimony virtually expresses that he pleased God, namely, “Enoch walked with God.” The Septuagint translates the Hebrew for “walked with God,” Ge 6:9, pleased God.
6. without—Greek, “apart from faith”: if one be destitute of faith (compare Ro 14:23 everything that does not come from faith is sin). to please—Translate, as Alford does, the Greek aorist, “It is impossible to please God at all” (Ro 8:8). Natural amiabilities and “works done before the grace of Christ are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ; yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin” [Article XIII, Book of Common Prayer]. Works not rooted in God are splendid sins [Augustine]. he that cometh to God—as a worshipper (Heb 7:19). must believe—once for all: Greek aorist tense. that God is—is the true self-existing Jehovah (as contrasted with all so-called gods, not gods, Ga 4:8), the source of all being, though he sees Him not (Heb 11:1) as being “invisible” (Heb 11:27). So Enoch; this passage implies that he had not been favored with visible appearances of God, yet he believed in God’s being, and in God’s moral government, as the Rewarder of His diligent worshippers, in opposition to antediluvian skepticism. Also Moses was not so favored before he left Egypt the first time (Heb 11:27); still he believed. and … is—a different Greek verb from the former “is.” Translate, “is eventually”; proves to be; literally, “becomes.” rewarder—renderer of reward [Alford]. So God proved to be to Enoch. The reward is God Himself diligently “sought” and “walked with” in partial communion here, and to be fully enjoyed hereafter. Compare Ge 15:1, “I am thy exceeding great reward.” of them—and them only. diligently seek—Greek, “seek out” God. Comp “seek early,” Pr 8:17. Not only “ask” and “seek,” but “knock,” Mt 7:7; comp. Heb 11:12; Lu 13:24, “Strive” as in an agony of contest
*5. Ἑνώχ] Gen. 5:21–24. Compare Ecclus. 44:16; 49:14; Wisd. 4:10. In Enoch the view of the true destiny of man was again revealed, fellowship with God. Side by side with advancing material civilisation the revelation of the spiritual life was also given. μετετέθη τοῦ μὴ ἰδ. θάν.] (Enoch) was translated so as not to see death. For the construction see c. 10:7, 10:9 (LXX. τοῦ ποιῆσαι) note. The writer follows the interpretative rendering of the LXX. while the Hebrew has simply: he was not, for God took him, a phrase which leaves the mode of Enoch’s departure from life quite open. Comp. Wisd. 4:10 f. πρὸ γὰρ τῆς μετ.] Faith was the ground of the translation because his pleasing God is specially mentioned before this took place: and such pleasing implies faith. The circumstances under which Enoch lived gave prominence to his Faith. In a corrupt age he is said to have maintained that fellowship with God which is identical with pleasing Him. μεμαρτύρηται] The witness stands recorded. For the use of the perfect see c. 7:6 note. εὐαρεστηκέναι] The LXX. use the word εὐηρέστησε to render (walked with God Gen. 5:22; Aqu. περιεπάτει (Sym. ἀνεστρέφετο) … σὺν τῷ θεῷ). 6. The simple notice that Enoch ‘pleased God’ (or ‘walked with God’) is a sufficient proof of his Faith. For Faith is an essential condition of ‘pleasing’ (or of ‘fellowship’). The aorists εὐαρεστῆσαι, πιστεῦσαι express the absolute idea.
πιστεῦσαι δεῖ ...] The Faith which is thus declared to be necessary for everyone who approaches God as a worshipper (τὸν προσερχόμενον c. 7:25 note), includes two elements, the belief. (α) that God is, and (β) that He is morally active; in other words it is a Faith in the existence and in the moral government of God. ὅτι ἔστιν καὶ ... γίνεται] that He is—that there is One Who answers to the intuition—and that He shows Himself a rewardor.… For μισθαποδότης see c. 2:2 note. The word ἐκζητεῖν, which is common in the LXX., wherever it occurs in the N. T. in the sense of ‘searching’ suggests the notion of strenuous endeavour: c. 12:17; Acts 15:17 (LXX.); Rom. 3:11 (LXX.); 1 Pet. 1:10.
*Faith defined and exemplified (11:1–40). As a stronger faith is the need of the hour, the author sets before his readers the example of the heroes of faith (vv. 1–3). It is comforting to be reminded that the temptations one faces are neither unique nor even as severe as others have courageously endured, and the stirring examples of faith under trial will strengthen one’s determination to be equally worthy of God’s approval. In a statement similar to Romans 8:24–25, faith is defined as the unshakeable confidence in the reality of the yet unseen world and the certainty of God’s yet unfulfilled promises. This definition of faith is illustrated by reference to the nature of creation by divine fiat. The succession of heroes of faith begins with three antediluvians (vv. 4–7). The author does not explain in what way Abel’s sacrifice was superior, but that it was due to his faith. Abel was murdered but he still speaks, crying out for the vindication that God will bring in due time (12:24; Gen. 4:10; Rev. 6:9–11). The signal honor afforded Enoch is the divine answer to his faith because he was commended as one who pleased God, which is impossible apart from faith. Noah’s faith is demonstrated in the remarkable building project he undertook solely on the strength of his confidence in God’s promise. Noah’s faith was vindicated while the world that did not heed God’s warning was destroyed (cf. 2 Pet. 3:3–7). The next set of exemplars of faith hail from the patriarchal period (vv. 8–22). Naturally Abraham occupies the largest place in this chapter as Scripture itself singles out his faith (Gen. 15:6; Gal. 3:6–9)……
*By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should 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. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (11:5–6)
The second hero of faith is Enoch. Whereas Abel exemplifies worshiping by faith—which must always come first—Enoch exemplifies walking by faith. [Noah=Obeying by Faith; Abraham=the Life of Faith; Isaac, Jacob, Joseph = faith that defeats death; Moses=the Decision of Faith; Rahab and Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets = the Courage of Faith] God never intended works as a way for men to come to Him. He intended works to be a result of salvation, not a way of salvation. At no time has man been able to approach God on the basis of works. Rather, God has always intended that works be a product of the salvation men receive when they approach Him on the basis of faith. And Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Gen. 5:21–24) Here we see a new concept in the book of Genesis. Abel knew what it was to worship by faith, but he did not really understand the concept of walking with God. Revelation in Scripture is progressive. Abel received some revelation, and Enoch received more. Adam and Eve had walked and talked with God in the Garden, but when they fell and were thrown out of the Garden, they ceased to walk with Him. The ultimate destiny of man is reinstituted with Enoch, who stands as an illustration for all men of what it is to be in fellowship with God. In Enoch the true destiny of man is again reached, as he experienced the fellowship with God that Adam and Eve had forfeited. I believe Enoch’s faith included everything Abel’s included. Enoch had to have offered a sacrifice to God, symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ, because sacrifice is the only way into God’s presence. He could not have walked with God unless he had first come to God, and a person cannot come to God apart from the shedding of blood. The principle has not changed from the days of Abel and Enoch until today. Hebrews 11:5–6 shows us five features in Enoch’s life that were pleasing to God: he believed that God is; he sought God’s reward; he walked with God; he preached for God; and he entered into God’s presence.
Enoch Believed That God Is And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is. (11:6a) Absolutely nothing from men can please God apart from faith. Religion does not please God, because it is essentially a system developed by Satan to counteract the truth. Nationality and heritage do not please God (Gal 3:28–29). The Jews thought they pleased God just because they were descendants of Abraham. But most of the time they were displeasing to Him. Good works in themselves do not please God, “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight” (Rom. 3:20). Without faith it is impossible to please Him. The first step of faith is simply to believe that He is. This Enoch did. God is pleased with those who believe in Him, even with the first step of believing that He exists. This belief alone is certainly not enough to save a person, but if it is a sincere conviction and is followed up, it will lead to full faith. In his book, Your God is Too Small, J. B. Phillips describes some of the common gods that people manufacture.
Enoch Sought God’s Reward He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (11:6b) It is not enough simply to believe that God exists. In order to please Him it is also necessary to believe that He is moral and just, that He will reward faith in Him. We must recognize God as a personal, loving, gracious God to those who seek Him. Enoch believed this within the revelation he had. He did not believe God was merely a great impersonal cosmic force. He believed in and knew God in a personal, loving way. You cannot “walk” with a ground of being or a first mover or an ultimate cause. For three hundred years Enoch had fellowship with the true God, a God whom he knew to be just, merciful, forgiving, caring, and very personal. It is not enough merely to postulate a God. Einstein said, “Certainly there is a God. Any man who doesn’t believe in a cosmic force is a fool, but we could never know Him.” Brilliant as he was, Einstein was wrong. We can know God. In fact, in order to please Him, we must believe that He is personal, knowable, loving, caring, moral, and responds graciously to those who come to Him. It is not enough even to believe in the right God. Many Jews to whom the letter of Hebrews was addressed acknowledged the true God, the God of Scripture. But they did not have faith in Him; they did not trust in Him. Enoch knew the true God and trusted the true God. Both testaments are filled with teachings that God not only can be found but that it is His great desire to be found. David said to his son Solomon, “If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever” (1 Chron. 28:9). “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth!” (Ps. 58:11). “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me” (Prov. 8:17). “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Jesus was very explicit: “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened” (Luke 11:10). It is not enough just to believe that He is. We must also believe that He rewards those who seek Him. The reward that God gives for faith is salvation. “Whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). In other words, every good thing that God has, including eternal life, constitutes the reward for belief. For faith we receive forgiveness, a new heart, eternal life, joy, peace, love, heaven—everything! When we trust in Jesus Christ, we become mutual heirs with Him. All that God’s own Son has is ours as well.
Enoch Walked with God Believing that God exists is the first step toward faith. Believing that he rewards those who trust in Him is the first step of faith. Trusting fully in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is only the beginning of the faithful life in God. To continue pleasing God, we must fellowship with Him, commune with, “walk” with Him—just as Enoch did. In the four verses in Genesis (5:21–24) describing Enoch, he is twice spoken of as “walking with God.” In the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) this phrase is translated “pleased God,” using the same Greek word (euaresteō, “to be well-pleasing”) that is used twice in Hebrews 11:5–6. Walking with God is pleasing God. The term walk is used many times in the New Testament to represent faithful living. “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, … so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). “Walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us” (Eph. 5:2). Christ even speaks of our fellowship with Him in heaven as a walk: “They will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy” (Rev. 3:4). “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments” (2 John 6). Like Enoch, every believer should walk with God every day he is on earth. When we get to heaven, we will walk with Him forever. Reconciliation The first thing implied in Enoch’s walk with God is reconciliation. “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3). The point is obvious. Two people cannot really walk together in intimate fellowship unless they are agreed. Walking together, then, presupposes harmony. If Enoch walked with God, he obviously was in agreement with God. Rebellion was over for this man of faith. Since Adam fell, every person born into the world has been in rebellion against God. We do not grow into rebellion or fall into rebellion; we are born into rebellion. Our very nature, from before birth, is at enmity with God. We are all “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). The purpose of salvation is to reconcile men to God, to restore the relationship broken by sin. Because of his faith, Enoch was reconciled with God; and because he was reconciled with God, he could walk with God. A Corresponding Nature The second truth implied in Enoch’s walk with God is that Enoch and God had corresponding natures. Some animals can become very good companions to men. They may have great loyalty and sensitivity to their owners, and a close relationship can develop over the years. But man cannot fellowship with even the smartest and most devoted animal. Our natures are far too different. Animals can offer companionship but not fellowship. We can take a walk with a dog, but we cannot “walk” with a dog, in the sense of having fellowship with him. It is just as impossible for an unbeliever to have fellowship with God (2 Cor. 6:14–16), and for the same reason—his nature is too different from God’s. Even an unbeliever is created in God’s image, but that image has been so shattered by sin, his nature so corrupted, that fellowship with his Creator is not possible—there is no common sphere in which he and God can be agreed. When we are saved, we become citizens of a new domain. We are still on earth, but our true life, our real citizenship, is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). As Peter says, we “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). In Christ we are given a heavenly nature, His own nature, and we can therefore have fellowship with God. Because Enoch walked with God, he must have had a nature corresponding to God’s. Moral Fitness and a Judicial Dealing with Sin Walking with God implies moral fitness as well as a judicial dealing with sin. We could not have a new nature unless God took away sin. Because a person walks with God means that his sin has been forgiven and that he has been justified, counted righteous by God. Only when sin has been dealt with can we move into God’s presence and begin walking with Him. God will not walk in any way but the way of holiness. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:6–7). The only persons God walks with are those who are cleansed of sin. Since Enoch walked with God, he had to have been forgiven of his sin and declared righteous by God. A Surrendered Will Walking with God implies a surrendered will. God does not force His company on anyone. He only offers Himself. God must first will that a person come to Him, but that person must also will to come to God. Faith is impossible without willingness to believe. Just as walking with God presupposes faith it also presupposes willingness surrendered will. A surrendered will is a surrender in love. willing surrender is not abject submissiveness, a determined resignation to the Lord’s way and will. It is what might be called a willful willingness, a glad and free surrender. “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments” (2 John 6). Enoch walked with God for three hundred years! Small wonder that the Lord went for a walk with him one day and just took him on up to heaven. The New Testament refers to this sort of living as walking in the Spirit. We are to live continually in the atmosphere of the Spirit’s presence, power, direction, and teaching. The fruit of this walk in the Spirit are: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23). Walking in the Spirit is allowing Him to pervade your thoughts. It is saying, when you get up in the morning, “Holy Spirit, it is Your day, not mine. Use it as You see fit.” It is saying throughout the day, “Holy Spirit, continue to keep me from sin, direct my choices and my decisions, use me to glorify Jesus Christ.” It is putting each decision, each opportunity, each temptation, each desire before Him, and asking for His direction and His power. Walking in the Spirit is dynamic and practical. It is not passive resignation but active obedience. The New Testament describes walking with God in many ways. Third John 4 says it is a truth walk; Romans 8:4 calls it a spiritual walk; Ephesians 5:2 describes it as a love walk, 5:8 as a light walk, and 5:15 as a wise walk. It would have been wonderful to have had Enoch as an example—or Noah, Abraham, or any of the other faithful heroes of Hebrews 11. But we have an even greater example—our Lord Jesus Himself, the One who supremely walked with God. He did nothing, absolutely nothing, that was not the Father’s will. The beloved apostle reminds us that “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). If we want to know how to walk, we need simply to look at Jesus. From childhood He was continually about His Father’s business, and only His Father’s business. He constantly walked with God. Continuing Faith Finally, a person cannot walk with God unless he has first come to God by faith. Just so, he cannot continue to walk without continuing to have faith. Walking with God is a walk in faith and a walk by faith. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith” (Col. 2:6–7). Enoch believed God, and he continued to believe God. He could not have walked with God for three hundred years without trusting in God for three hundred years. Enoch never saw God. He walked with Him, but he did not see Him. He just believed He was there. That is how He pleased God.
Enoch Preached for God And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 14–15) That Enoch preached for God we learn only from the book of Jude. Judging from this account, his message on ungodliness was brief and perhaps repetitious, but it was inspired. We have no hint as to how effective it was, but Enoch’s purpose was to be faithful, not effective. He did what God required of him and left the results to Him. One thing is certain: because of his faithful preaching and faithful living, no one who heard Enoch or lived around him had any excuse for not believing in God. Whether any of these people believed or not, the influence Enoch had on them must have been powerful. Jude’s report of Enoch’s preaching contradicts any notion that Enoch lived in an easy time for believing. He was surrounded by false teachers and false teaching. We do not know if he had the fellowship of any fellow believers, but we know that he lived in the midst of a host of unbelievers. He could not possibly have preached as strongly as he did without considerable opposition. He battled against his own generation in the same way that Noah would later battle against his. He let them know they were ungodly, and he let them know God was going to judge them. I believe God was pleased with Enoch because his faith was not just something he felt in his heart. It was heard on his lips and seen in his life. His faith was active and dynamic, vocal and fearless. Enoch Entered into God’s Presence By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained a witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. (11:5) At last, after three hundred years of believing and walking and preaching, he went to be with the Lord—in a marvelously unique way. God just took him up without his experiencing death. He pleased God so much that God just reached down and lifted him up to heaven. One moment he was there, and the next moment “he was not, for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). By faith Enoch was translated. He walked so closely with God for so long that he just walked into heaven, as it were. We do not know the reason God waited three hundred years before taking Enoch to be with Himself. Perhaps it was to allow sufficient time for him to preach and witness to the hard and unbelieving generation in which he lived. Furthermore, we do not know why God took Enoch in that unusual way at all. Perhaps it was to spare him further ridicule and persecution, which he was bound to have experienced. Perhaps it was because God wanted to be even closer to the one who pleased Him so much. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones” (Ps. 116:15). God loves His saints and loves the fellowship of His saints. Enoch was so precious to the Lord that He bypassed the death stage for this remarkable saint. Enoch is a beautiful picture of believers who will be taken up directly to heaven when our Lord returns for His bride, the church. Just as Enoch was translated to heaven without seeing death, so also will be those of God’s people who are alive at the rapture. “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17).
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, appears next on the stage of testimony in verses 5–6. Two important things mark the character of Enoch’s faith:
(1) he pleased God by turning away from the godlessness of the world in which he lived and
(2) he maintained a daily walk with God which grew so intimate that he was taken to heaven without experiencing death. The Genesis account (5:21–24) indicates that for the first 65 years of his life, Enoch did not walk with God. Presumably he went along with the deteriorating morality of his times, which Genesis 6:5 describes as, “The lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” As Genesis 5:25 suggests, the event which changed Enoch’s outlook was the birth of a son, whom he named Methuselah. Some scholars derive the meaning of Methuselah from the Hebrew root muth, which means “death,” and translate the name “His death shall bring (it).” This would imply a revelation to Enoch of the coming judgment of the world by means of the Flood. The chronology of Genesis 5 places the Flood as occurring the year Methuselah died. In the New Testament, Jude 14–15 mentions such a prophecy given to Enoch, and much of the Wisdom literature of the intertestamental period views Enoch as a far sighted prophet. At any rate, the Genesis account states that from the birth of Methuselah throughout the following 300 years, Enoch “walked with God.” This turn in his life was a result of faith, and since faith always requires a word from God to rest upon, it confirms the idea that Enoch was given a revelation of a coming judgment which changed his life. The walk with God which Enoch experienced was one of deepening intimacy. A walk implies a journey in a certain direction and at a measured and regular pace. Enoch’s faith flourished as he walked and God bore witness to him that his daily life was pleasing in his eyes. Enoch is an example to the readers of Hebrews of what the writer longed to see happen to them: a steady, daily growth in grace achieved by the inner resources which God supplies to those who take him at his word and act in faith on what he has said. Enoch enjoyed the continuous presence of an unseen Person, and related his life daily to that Person. The result was a fellowship which death could not interrupt. He was translated to glory and was “not found,” implying that someone searched for him for some time, but in vain. He and, later, Elijah are the only two individuals in the Scriptures who never died a physical death. They serve as precursors for a whole generation of Christians who will be so translated at the parousia of Jesus (1 Thess 4:17). We learn from Enoch that faith can draw inner strength from God to such a degree that it triumphs over the ravages of death. Our author views Enoch’s faith as so outstanding that it constitutes a general example for all time of how to come to God and to live pleasing to him. Without faith it is impossible to please God, he proclaims in verse 6. This brings to mind Paul’s similar assertion, “the world through its wisdom did not know him” (1 Cor 1:21). It is impossible through human reasoning or scientific searching to find God: faith in God’s self-revelation is essential! But that revelation is not confined to Scripture; it begins with nature as Paul forcefully states in Romans 1:19–20 and the psalmist declares in Psalms 8 and 19. Hebrews 11:6 is a helpful answer to the persistent question: “What about the primitive peoples of the world who never hear the gospel?” This verse says: anyone who comes to him [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Nature presents overwhelming evidence of the existence of God. Only a deliberately resistant mind can set aside nature’s testimony to the wisdom and power of an Intelligent Being beyond us. If the witness of nature leads an individual to an honest search for the Creator, God promises to help and reward those who earnestly seek him. More and more knowledge will be granted which, if followed, will lead to Jesus. As Peter declared in Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” What the writer is implying, by linking verse 6 with the life of Enoch, is that Enoch, seeking God and believing the word he was given, found Christ by faith! So we learn from him that faith means turning from human wisdom to God’s revelation and walking in daily obedience to it until it leads to a fellowship which death cannot interrupt!
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. Enoch is the next example of faith (see Genesis 5:20–24). Enoch was a popular figure in Jewish speculations. Jewish tradition says that he received special revelations about the world to come and was able to mediate between God and human beings because of his pure life. The book of 1 Enoch is a pseudepigraphal book written during the time between the two Testaments (the intertestamental period). The 106 chapters of the book are thought to be the record of visions that Enoch received. His book became so popular that even Jude quoted from it (see Jude 14). Enoch was a righteous man and, as a result, he did not experience death. This passage states that God took him away (literally: God “translated” him). Enoch was translated from earthly life to heavenly life. Enoch is one of two Old Testament characters who never died (the other being Elijah, 2 Kings 2:11–12). God chose to take Enoch without dying because Enoch lived by faith. He was a righteous man who was commended as one who pleased God. The Hebrew Old Testament says that Enoch “walked with God,” but the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) translated it “pleased God.” Enoch pleased God because he had faith; that is, Enoch kept his attention on the unseen things of God.
11:6 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. God gave his approval to these Old Testament people because of their faith (11:2). In fact, without faith it is impossible to please God. This would have functioned as a warning to those Hebrew Christians whose faith was wavering. No one (not Abel, Enoch, or anyone else) can please God without faith. It is an absolute requirement. All the rituals mean nothing without faith. Those who believe can come to God and discover that he is approachable (see 4:16; 7:25; 10:1, 22). “Pleasing God” has two presuppositions here: (1) People must believe that he exists and then (2) endeavor to have a personal relationship with him. Drawing from the example of Enoch, in 11:5, we see that Enoch pleased God because he had a personal relationship with him. Before this relationship could happen, Enoch obviously had to believe that God exists. However, believing that God exists is only the beginning; even the demons believe in God’s existence (James 2:19–20). God will not settle for mere acknowledgment of his existence. He wants a personal, dynamic relationship with you that will transform your life. This is the message that Enoch’s example should give to the Jewish Christians. Undoubtedly, they wanted to please God, but they couldn’t do so without faith, particularly faith in his existence and in his promises to reward those who seek him. This reward is the rest and inheritance spoken of in chapters 3–4 and the reward of unlimited access to God as discussed in 4:14–10:18. Those who might wonder whether their faith in God is worthwhile are reminded that those who seek God will find that they are rewarded with his intimate presence. We may wonder about the fate of those who haven’t heard of Christ and have not even had a Bible to read. God assures us that all who earnestly seek him will be rewarded. To “earnestly seek” means to act in faith on the knowledge of God that one possesses, and then to determine to devote oneself to him. When you tell others the gospel, encourage them to be honest and diligent in their search for truth. Those who hear the gospel are responsible for what they have heard (see 2 Corinthians 6:1–2). Faith begins where man’s power ends. George Muller
|WHAT TO BELIEVE Do you believe because faith makes sense, or because faith doesn’t need to make sense? Some Christians think people cannot understand God and should not try. Others believe that nothing true is irrational, including true faith. The great church leader Augustine was among the first to ponder the relationship of faith to reason. He concluded, “I believe in order to understand,” meaning that true understanding follows commitment to God, and that we cannot hope to understand God by human reason alone. Almost nine hundred years later, the great theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote that reason, while marred by sin, can know God through arguments and proofs. God gave us minds, which should be developed and used. To ignore intellectual growth is to live a stunted and naive life. God wants our trust and faith, even while we ponder and wonder about so many matters mysterious to us. God has spoken to us—to the mind, heart, and will—in Jesus Christ. We do not believe in a void, nor leap into the dark. Faith is reasonable, though reason alone cannot explain the whole of it. So use your mind to think things through. But leave room for the unexplainable works of God.|
Enoch’s Faith Hebrews 11:5, 6 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. 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. (11:5, 6) Enoch is one of the truly mysterious figures in Scriptural history. ABOUT ENOCH Enoch’s Longevity He was one of those long-lived ante-diluvians. That is, he lived before the Deluge (Noah’s great flood) and was early in the line of primal fathers who lived to incredible ages. Genesis 5:21–24 devotes only fifty-one words (in English) to describing Enoch: When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. So we know that Enoch lived over three and a half centuries on this earth. This means that if Enoch’s 365-year life span had ended in 1992, he would have been born in 1627—the year before Salem was founded by our Pilgrim fathers on Massachusetts Bay. That same year Francis Bacon published New Atlantis in London. On Enoch’s hundredth birthday in 1727, young Jonathan Edwards would have been installed as assistant pastor to his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, in Northampton, and the Danish explorer Vitus Bering would have discovered the strait between Asia and North America. When Enoch celebrated his second century in 1827, Jedediah Smith blazed the first trail from Southern California to Fort Vancouver. And at the other end of the country, New Orleans would celebrate its first Mardi Gras when students from Paris introduced the Shrove Tuesday event. In 1927, on his 300th birthday (the cake would have melted from the heat of the candles!), Charles Lindbergh would pilot the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic to Paris, Babe Ruth would hit sixty home runs, and the first “talkie” (The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson) would be produced. And finally, in 1992, the whole world would know of his departure in one instant through satellite cable communication. Not only that, but Enoch’s son, Methuselah, born when Enoch was sixty-five in 1692, would not die until the twenty-seventh century, a.d. 2,661—at the ripe old age of 969 years (Genesis 5:27). The point of all this is that though Enoch’s tenure was brief in comparison with that of his father and son, it is nonetheless an amazing stint of time—and those 300-plus years were given to righteous living in the midst of a terribly evil ante-diluvian world that was destroyed precisely because of its depravity (cf. Genesis 6:11–13). Not only that, but Enoch served as a prophet for over three centuries, preaching the unwelcome message of coming judgment. Jude 14, 15 records this, saying: Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied…“See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Enoch was no wilting flower! His prophetic bloom remained fresh and full for 300 years!
Enoch’s Translation Enoch was a man of immense age and character, but he is most famous for the incredible thing that happened to him, as described in the Genesis account: “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (5:24). God translated him to be with himself without going through death. We know this because of the way Genesis 5 reads, with every one of the ante-diluvians’ lives ending with the words, “and then he died”—except for Enoch where it says, “then he was no more, because God took him.” This understanding is confirmed by Hebrews 11:5, which says, “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.” The Scriptures do not say exactly how this happened. Possibly God took Enoch up in a whirlwind as he did Elijah, the only other person in history who did not see death (2 Kings 2:1 ff.). What a way to go!—like moving right up the whirling spiral of a Kansas tornado. Some ride! “Yeowww! Here I come Lord!” Maybe he was just walking along, and poof!—he was no more. It is fun to speculate, but it is not speculation to say that “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye” his perishable body put on an imperishable body (1 Corinthians 15:52, 53), because it is written that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (v. 50). We have already made some mention as to why Enoch was taken away—namely, the character of his life. Helpfully, Hebrews 11:5 is very explicit in exploring this, giving us two specific reasons he was taken. First, because of his faith—“by faith Enoch was taken from this life” (v. 5a). And second, because he pleased God—“For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God” (v. 5b). Faith and pleasing God are but opposite sides of the same coin, and it is profitable to examine each side. Enoch’s Walk The fact that Enoch was taken because he “pleased God” refers to Enoch’s walk with God, because 11:5 is based on the Septuagint for Genesis 5:24: “Enoch walked with God.” “Walked with God” and “pleased God” mean the same thing. But the metaphor of walking more exactly reveals how Enoch pleased God. Walking with another person suggests a mutual agreement of soul, as the prophet Amos understood when he asked, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3). It is impossible to walk together unless there are several mutual agreements. To begin with, you must agree on the destination. Husbands and wives know that the paths to Bloomingdale’s and Eddie Bauer are not the same! You cannot walk together and go to separate destinations. Enoch was heading in God’s direction. Of course, it is quite possible to be headed to the same destination but by separate paths. But again, two cannot walk together unless they have the same destination and follow the same path. This Enoch did with God! There is one other requirement in walking together. Two must not only be traveling to the same place on the same path, but they must also go at the same pace. Enoch was in step with God. We too must “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Enoch’s great walk produced two wonderful things—fellowship and righteousness. When two walk toward the same place on the same path at the same pace for 300 years, they are in fellowship! And this is the primary meaning of walk: fellowship, sacred communion. Matching God stride for stride along the path of life while headed for the city of God also produced in Enoch a righteous walk. Malachi 2:6 describes such a walk: “True instruction was in his [Levi’s] mouth, and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity” (NASB). Enoch walked in profound fellowship with God and had a profound righteousness. Thus, Enoch pleased God. Warren Wiersbe writes, Enoch had been walking with God for so many years that his transfer to heaven was not even an interruption. Enoch had been practicing Colossians [chapter] three centuries before Paul wrote the words: “… keep seeking the things above.… Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (vv. 1, 2). It was little wonder that God took him! Enoch’s Faith The other side of this coin, the primary side that so pleased God that he decided to take Enoch to Heaven, was Enoch’s faith—“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” (11:5a). Though the Old Testament does not say Enoch had faith, the inspired author of Hebrews says that was his primary characteristic. Faith and a righteous walk with God are inseparably joined in the author’s mind—just as he had observed about Abel in the previous verse: “By faith he was commended as a righteous man” (v. 4). The preacher is saying that faith precedes and produces the walk with God that so pleases him. This understood, the way is now prepared for the great statement that the preacher has been leading up to: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (v. 6a). Notice that he does not say that “without faith it is difficult to please God,” or “without faith you will have to work extra-hard to please God.” He says categorically that it is impossible! This resonates with Paul’s insistence that God cannot and will not be pleased apart from the righteousness that comes from God through faith (Romans 3:21, 22; Philippians 3:9). Indeed, without this faith all are under the wrath of God (Romans 1:17, 18; 2:5–8). Christians understand that “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). But the great emphasis here in Hebrews 11:6 is on day-to-day practical faith, which is necessary for anyone, especially believers, in order to please God. In other words, if we are not living a life of faith, we cannot be pleasing to God. We cannot have God’s smile on our lives without faith. So the question we must pose, and which the text answers, is: What is the faith that pleases God like? The answer is twofold. It is a faith that believes, first, that God exists, and second, that he rewards those who diligently seek Him. THAT HE EXISTS (V. 6A) “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists” (v. 6a). God’s smile is only upon those who believe he exists! This involves three levels of belief.
The first level is simply that “he is”—as the Greek literally says. This is by no means a given in the twentieth century. The human race has descended from being pagan theists like the ancients to being modern pagan atheists. As Annie Dillard says, “We have drained the light from the boughs in the sacred grove and snuffed it in the high places and along the banks of sacred streams. We as a people have moved from pantheism to pan-atheism.” In this, our modern culture does not even do as well as the demons, for there is not a demon in the universe who is an atheist (cf. James 2:19)! There are, no doubt, evil spirits of atheism, demons who have influenced and danced on the graves of atheists. But all demons are thoroughgoing monotheists, and Trinitarians to boot! So, believing “God is” is only the beginning. But there is a second level of belief required to believe that “God is” (which comes from the fact that chapter 11 is a panoramic survey of the Old Testament)—and that is a belief in the great God of the Old Testament as the God who exists. We must believe in the Creator God of Genesis 1, who spoke creation into existence in symphonic sequence one note at a time until all creation stood in marvelous harmony—“while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). We must believe in the personal Creator of Psalm 139 who knit us together in our mother’s wombs (v. 13). As Job so beautifully celebrated, “Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit” (Job 10:10–12). We must believe that this personal God is! Likewise, we must believe in the miracle-working God of the Old Testament. We must believe in the God who saved his people by rolling back the Red Sea as with a squeegee over a wet floor—who sent coveys of quail into Israel’s camp so thick one could grab them from the air, and in the morning spread sweet manna like cake frosting on the ground—who parted the Jordan so that its bed ran dry down to the Dead Sea and who then brought down the walls of Jericho—and who surrounded his besieged servants with incendiary chariots chuck-full of flaming angels. This kind of belief begins to activate the pleasure lines on the face of God. But for us who live in the glow of the cross, there is a third level of belief incumbent upon us, and that is a belief in the massive God of the New Testament as revealed in Christ the Son. It is not a revelation of a greater God, but a greater revelation of God. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (1:1, 2). Jesus is God’s final Word—his ultimate revelation. Nowhere is this revelation made more clear than in Colossians 1:15–20, a great hymn to Christ. Creator The hymn celebrates Christ’s being the Creator of everything: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (v. 16). In thinking about our solar system, we can glimpse the scale of things if we think of our sun as the size of an orange, which would make the earth the size of a grain of sand circling around the orange at thirty feet out. But within our galaxy would be one hundred thousand million oranges, each separated from its neighbor by a distance of a thousand miles. And there would be one hundred thousand million more galaxies like our own galaxy, each having one hundred thousand million oranges—and some of the oranges would be more than twenty-seven million times bigger than our orange. Jesus made everything—“all things were created by him” (v. 16). Every crevice on every celestial “orange,” every texture, every aroma, every shape, every size, every trajectory, every mite that crawls on or in each one—all were made by him. Sustainer Even more, he is not only Creator but Sustainer: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (v. 17). If one could travel at the speed of light for seventy-eight years to the Big Dipper’s handle and the star Mizar, and then another 120 light-years along its handle to Alcaid, the handle’s end, and then out past the Milky Way beyond the rim of our galaxy, our island universe, and then make a left turn and head off for a million light-years toward some black hole, and then come across a floating grain of stellar dust—it would all be held together by Christ, for “in him all things hold together.” Similarly, if he spoke the word, everything would come apart in ultimate nihilism! The Goal And there is more, because Christ is also the goal of the universe: “All things were created by him, and for him” (v. 16b). This is an astonishing statement. There is nothing like it anywhere else in Biblical literature. What is particularly dramatic is that “for him” has the sense of “toward him”—“all things have been created by him and toward him.” All creation is moving toward its goal in him. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Everything in creation, history, and spiritual reality is moving toward him and for him. The Lover of Our Souls Lastly, he is the lover of our souls—“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (vv. 19, 20). Our great God, Jesus Christ, reconciled us by his own blood on the cross! How could the Creator, Sustainer, and goal of the universe do this? Why did he do this? Our minds become exhausted in contemplation of this, and we are driven to this explanation, for there can be no other: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Christ loves us—and the cross is the measure of his love. Now, if you truly believe that God is the Creator, Sustainer, goal, and lover of your soul, then you believe in the God who is—“who exists”—and you are under his smile. He is grinning widely over you as you please him. Enoch believed that “God is” To be sure, he didn’t have the elegant charts of modern physics and astronomy at his disposal. But he believed in the awesome Creator and personal God of the Bible—he rested in that—and it changed his life. We do not need any greater revelations or more grand and subtly nuanced doctrines. We simply need to believe what we believe. If we will subjectively begin to believe what we know to be objectively true—that he is the Creator of all creation—the Sustainer of all—the goal of all, so that everything will be summed up in him—and that he is the lover of our souls—if we subjectively (on the inside) believe it, it will change our life. Do we truly believe? THAT HE REWARDS (V. 6B) Enoch’s great faith, which led him to walk with God and please him, lies behind the final component of a faith that pleases God. Once we believe God exists, we must also believe “that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (KJV). Enoch was sure of this. It was implicit in his message of judgment:
See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 14, 15) This same God would also reward the godly. Enoch knew that God would be equitable to him. Here is the great and grand point: Enoch lived in dark, hostile days that were uncongenial to his faith. Life was so inhospitable that finally, in the time of Noah: Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” (Genesis 6:11–13) However, Enoch resisted the sinful gravity of his culture and walked with God for over 300 years! He set his goal on the city of God—God’s place; so he walked the same path—stridin in step with God’s pace. Three hundred years of faithfulness! Why was he able to do it? First, because he believed that God is, that “he exists” in all his creative and personal power. Second, because he believed that God “rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Enoch was sure God would be equitable to him. As a result, there was great pleasure in Heaven—and God took him. Perhaps the stars echoed with God’s joyous laughter. The lesson was there for the early church, riding on the restless seas and moving toward persecution, and it is here for us: We can walk with God if we believe 1) that he exists, and 2) that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. The question is, do we truly believe?
*(11:5) Enoch was translated. The word is metatithemi (μετατιθεμι). The verb tithemi (τιθεμι) means “to place,” the prefixed preposition meta (μετα) signifying a change, the compound word meaning “to transpose” (two things, one of which is put in place of the other). This word is used in Acts 7:16 of the transporting of the remains of Jacob and his sons to Shechem, in Gal. 1:6 of the sudden change of the doctrinal position of the Galatian Christians, and in Heb. 7:12, of the change of the law of the priesthood, a new regulation being instituted in place of the old. In the case of Enoch, the word speaks of his sudden transference from earth to heaven. It refers to a change of position. It was one thing put in the place of another, heaven for Enoch rather than earth. Now, in the transference of believers from earth to heaven, that operation is effected usually by death. But in the case of Enoch, it was apart from death. He departed this earthly scene without dying. This verse does not teach that Enoch had faith to be translated. God translated him because he lived a life in which He was pleased. It was by faith that he lived that life. The Mosaic commentary on his life is in the words “Enoch walked with God” (Gen. 5:22). Vincent says: “Faith creates a close personal relation.” Translation. By faith Enoch was translated, with the result that he did not have a glimpse of death, and he was not found because God translated him. For before his translation, he had witness borne (to him), that testimony still being on record, to the effect that he pleased God.
(11:6) Now the writer lays down an axiomatic truth. He uses the aorist tense in the infinitive “to please.” The statement is universal in its application and timeless. The idea is, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him at all.” The one who comes to God, must believe two things, first that He exists, and second, that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. The first verb “is” is the translation of estin (ἐστιν) which speaks of existence. The second verb “is” is the translation of ginomai (γινομαι). The idea is not merely that God exists as a rewarder, but that He will prove Himself to be a rewarder of that person who diligently seeks Him. As Vincent puts it: “He who approaches God has, through faith, the assurance that his seeking God will result in good to himself.” The words “diligently seek” are literally “seek Him out,” the prefixed preposition being local in its force in this translation. But those who seek Him out are diligently seeking Him, and here we have the perfective use of the preposition. Vincent says in this connection: “God’s beneficent will and attitude toward the seeker are not always apparent at the first approach. In such cases there is occasion for faith, in the face of delay, that diligent seeking will find its reward. One is reminded of Jesus’ lessons on importunity in seeking God (Luke 11:5–10, 18:1–8).”
Jude 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones
1 Chronicles 1:3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.
Luke 3:37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan,
*The judgment on apostates, already mentioned in verses 4-7, 13, was now confirmed by a reference to a pre-Flood prophecy made by Enoch, the seventh from Adam (Gen. 5:4-20). However, scholars have puzzled over the absence of any reference in the Old Testament to this prophecy attributed to Enoch. Since Jude’s statement is similar to a passage in the apocryphal Book of Enoch (1:9)—written prior to 110 b.c. and thus probably known by the early Christians—many assume that Jude is quoting from that book. Others suggest that the difference between Jude’s words and the Book of Enoch indicate that Jude received the information about Enoch directly from God, or that under divine inspiration he recorded an oral tradition. None of these views affects the doctrine of inspiration adversely. If Jude quoted the apocryphal book, he was affirming only the truth of that prophecy and not endorsing the book in its entirety (Paul’s quotation of the Cretan poet Epimenides, in Titus 1:12). Enoch’s prophecy pointed to the glorious return of Christ to the earth with thousands upon thousands of His angels (holy ones) (Matt. 24:30; 2 Thes. 1:10), when His purpose will be to judge everyone (2 Thes. 1:7-10) and to convict all the ungodly with unanswerable evidence that their actions, manners, and words have been ungodly (asebeis, “irreverent”; Jude 4). Jude’s fourfold use of this word ungodly reinforces his description of their nature. Rather than being true spiritual leaders, they had spoken harsh words (“speak abusively” in v. 10) against Jesus Christ whom they denied.
*14 Enoch. Following the genealogy of Gen. 5:1–24; 1 Chr. 1:1–3, Enoch was the seventh in the line of Adam. Because Enoch “walked with God,” he was taken directly to heaven without having to die (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5). prophesied about these men. See v. 4. The source of this information was the Holy Spirit who inspired Jude. The fact that it was recorded in the nonbiblical and pseudepigraphal Book of Enoch had no effect on its accuracy. Behold … Lord … saints. Enoch, before the Flood, prophesied about Christ’s second coming in judgment (1 Thess. 3:13). “Saints” can refer to either angels or believers. Since both angels (Matt. 24:31; 25:31; Mark 8:38; 2 Thess 1:7) and believers (Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 3:13; Rev. 19:14) will accompany Him, it may refer to both (Zech. 14:5), but the focus on judgment in v. 15 seems to favor angels, who are often seen in judgment action. While believers will have a role of judging during the Lord’s earthly kingdom (1 Cor. 6:2) and will return when Christ comes to judge (Rev. 19:14), angels are the executioners of God at the second coming of Christ (Matt. 13:39–41,49,50; 24:29–31; 25:31; 2 Thess. 1:7–10).15 execute judgment. The sentence will be eternal hell (Rev. 20:11–15). Cf. Matt. 5:22; 7:19; 8:12; 10:28; 13:40–42; 25:41,46). ungodly. See v. 4. The 4-fold use of this word as a description of the apostates (vv 4,18) identifies the core iniquity, which is failure to reverence God. See Peter’s use of the term in 2 Pet. 2:5,6; 3:7. It was for such that Christ died (Rom. 5:6).
*The Fact of Enoch’s Ancient Prophecy It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, (14a) These men refers to the apostates whom Jude pictured in the previous section—the false visionaries, the flouters of spiritual authority, the revilers, the brute beasts who behave by carnal instinct, the hidden reefs, the waterless clouds, the dead and uprooted trees, the wild sea waves, and the wandering stars headed for eternal blackness. Even before the Flood, Enoch (Gen. 5:21–24) prophesied that the Lord would come to judge such false teachers. By citing Enoch, Jude underscored the motivation behind God’s judgment on apostasy while also reinforcing the certainty of it. Even though this prophecy is not recorded in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit inspired Jude ( 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20–21) to use it because it was familiar, historically valid, and supported his overall thesis. Jude extracted the quote from the pseudepigraphal book of 1 Enoch, with which his first-century readers were well acquainted. The book was part of the written history and tradition of the Jewish people, and rabbinical allusions to it were not uncommon.mThough he was not the author of the book, Enoch’s message was passed down through oral tradition until it was finally recorded in what was called 1 Enoch. That book, like other books such as The Book of Jubilee, The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, and The Assumption of Moses (from which Jude probably quoted in v. 9), was not part of the Old Testament canon; yet, since it was accurate, it was acceptable for Jude to use it to bolster his argument. None other than the apostle Paul occasionally followed the same pattern (of citing nonbiblical sources to make a legitimate spiritual point) in his teaching (cf. Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 1:12). (For a further discussion of Jude’s use of apocryphal works, see the Introduction to Jude in this volume.) Enoch stood in the seventh generation from Adam (Gen. 5:4–24). He was a hero to the Jewish people because, like the prophet Elijah later (2 Kings 2:11–12), he went to heaven without dying: “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Gen. 5:24; cf. Heb. 11:5). Although it was not included in the biblical record until the book of Jude, Enoch’s prophecy is the earliest human prophecy found anywhere in Scripture. (The only earlier prophecy recorded in the Bible was made by God in Gen. 3:15.) In fact, Enoch’s message predated the words of Moses, Samuel, and the Hebrew prophets by many centuries. Certainties Regarding God’s Judgment saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. (14b–16) Enoch’s prophecy and Jude’s subsequent comments set forth three certainties regarding God’s judgment on apostasy. The first certainty is that the Lord will come (Dan. 7:13; Luke 12:40; Acts 1:9–11; 1 Thess. 3:13). The aorist tense of the verb translated came suggests Enoch’s vision was so startling and convincing that he spoke as if the judgment had already occurred. The certainty of Christ’s return was under attack from the false teachers, and Jude’s reminder reinforced the apostle Peter’s earlier teaching on this matter (2 Peter 3:1–10). Second, the Lord will not come alone. While He alone is the final judge, He will be accompanied by many thousands of His holy ones. Holy ones (“saints”) could refer to believers (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Thess. 3:13), who will return with Christ when He comes in judgment (Rev. 19:14; Zech. 14:5). However, the emphasis on judgment here seems to favor viewing the holy ones as angels, since angels appear in other judgment contexts in the New Testament (Matt. 24:31; 25:31; Mark 8:38; 2 Thess. 1:7). The saints will have a judgment role during the millennial kingdom (Rev. 2:26–27; 3:21; Dan. 7:22; 1 Cor. 6:2), but angels will serve as God’s executioners when Christ returns (Matt. 13:39–41, 49–50; 24:29–31; 25:31; 2 Thess. 1:7–10). Third, the Lord will come with a definite purpose, to execute judgment upon many deserving recipients. Those people are all the ungodly who have utterly disregarded God’s law. The verb translated to convict (elegchō) means “to expose,” “rebuke,” or “prove guilty,” which includes showing someone his error and culpability. When the Lord returns, the sins of the ungodly will be exposed and the verdict rendered accordingly. The final sentence, as noted earlier, will be eternal punishment in hell (Rev. 20:11–15; cf. Matt. 5:22; 7:19; 8:12; 10:28; 13:40–42; 25:41, 46). All the ungodly includes the apostates. As the righteous Judge, God must punish them because of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. Enoch’s fourfold use of ungodly (asebēs, “godlessness,” or “impiety”) to describe the apostates ( 2 Peter 2:5–6; 3:7) identifies their basic sinful attitude; they refused to have a proper reverence for God. All such reprobates—like the immoral, irreverent, and blasphemous false teachers—are storing up divine wrath and punishment for themselves in the day of judgment (Rom. 2:5; cf. Ps. 2:2–5; Jer. 10:10; Nah. 1:6; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; 1 Thess. 2:16; Heb. 10:26–27). Their punishment comes because of their ungodly actions and their ungodly speech; both their works and their words betray the wickedness of their hearts. It is certain the Lord will come to mete out judgment to the godless guilty. These refers once again to the apostate teachers who threatened the church ( vv. 4, 8, 10, 12–13). In verse 16 Jude looks particularly at the sins of their mouths. Grumblers occurs only here in the New Testament and is the same term the Septuagint uses to describe Israel’s murmurings against God (Ex. 16:7–9; Num. 14:27, 29; cf. John 6:41; 1 Cor. 10:10). Like the ancient Israelites (Pss. 106:24–25; 107:11; Zech. 7:11), they grumbled against the truth and murmured against God’s holy law. The apostates were also finding fault or complaining about God’s holy purpose and plan. The word translated finding fault (mempsimoiros) means “to blame,” and describes one who is perpetually discontent and dissatisfied. The false teachers brazenly attacked the Lord and His truth—a fact Jude illustrated earlier in his letter by comparing them with the unbelieving Israelites, the reprobates of Sodom and Gomorrah, the fallen angels, Cain, Korah, and Balaam. In a self-centered manner, the false teachers were at odds with God because they were following after their own lusts (vv. 4, 7; 2 Peter 2:10, 18; 3:3). This New Testament phrase commonly described the unconverted (v. 18; 2 Peter 3:3). The apostates were so dominated by self that they spoke arrogantly, or as the New King James Version renders the expression, they used “great swelling words.” They pompously puffed themselves up with an elaborate, sophisticated religious vocabulary that had an external spiritual tone and attractiveness but was void of divine truth and substance. By such speech they were also flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. The apostates were good at telling people what they wanted them to hear (2 Tim. 4:3–4), cleverly manipulating others for their own gain. They certainly did not care about proclaiming God’s truth for the edification of their hearers (Pss. 5:9; 12:2–3; Prov. 26:28; 29:5; Rom. 3:13; 16:18). It was Jesus who said that “the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man” (Matt. 15:18). In the case of false teachers, their lips reveal their discontentment, hypocrisy, lust, pride, and selfishness. Their mouths betray the wickedness of their hearts. And, as Enoch foretold, their sin will one day be exposed by the perfect Judge who will render them guilty for their spiritual crimes. In this passage, Jude affirms the promise, the participants, and the purpose of the Lord’s coming in judgment. He thus addresses the who, what, where, and why of Christ’s return. The only major question that he does not answer is when, and the answer to that lies solely with God. As the Lord Jesus fittingly exhorted His apostles: But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you I say to all, “Be on the alert!” (Mark 13:32–37; Luke 21:34–36)
*In the next two verses Jude quotes from the apocryphal book I Enoch, which was widely known in the first century of the Christian era. It circulated originally in Aramaic and possibly Hebrew. Archaeologists discovered fragments of this book, written in Aramaic, among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Scholars assume that Jude consulted an Aramaic copy of I Enoch and translated into Greek the verses he needed for his epistle.14. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15. to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Before I interpret these two verses, a few comments must be made. First, even though Jude cites an apocryphal book, he provides no evidence that he regarded it as Scripture. He used this document because, in the two centuries before and after the birth of Christ, I Enoch was a well-known and highly respected volume of religious writings. Next, upon close examination we learn that this apocryphal document has been responsible for influencing indirectly the language and thought of many New Testament books (see the allusions to I Enoch especially in Matthew, Luke, Romans, Hebrews, and Revelation). Their writers show familiarity with the content of I Enoch. Last, we must ask whether the quotation from I Enoch in its biblical context is authoritative. The answer is affirmative. Divine inspiration takes place when the Holy Spirit fills an author and directs him to write Scripture (II Peter 1:21). The Holy Spirit is free to inspire borrowed words and make them part of God’s Word (Acts 17:28). Also, we know that God himself stands behind his Word to give it absolute authority.Observe these points: a. Enoch
This godly person is known to us from the genealogy in Genesis 5:18, 21–24. He is the man who “walked with God,” which is a phrase used twice (in vv. 22 and 24) to reveal his intimate spiritual life. Because of Enoch’s devotion, God took him so that he did not see death. Jude designates him “the seventh from Adam.” Beginning with Adam, we have seven names, including Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, and Enoch (Gen. 5:3–24; I Chron. 1:1–3). To the Jew, the number seven signifies completion or fullness. “Enoch … prophesied about these men.” If we assume that the words of Enoch were spoken by the godly person who lived before the flood, then we hear a voice from early antiquity. Listing examples from the past (vv. 5–7), Jude makes no reference to any person living prior to the flood. By contrast, Peter in his parallel account includes Noah and his family (II Peter 2:5). In the place of Noah, Jude mentions Enoch, who prophesied in the days before the flood. Does Jude mean that the verb to prophesy in this text must be understood as referring to inspired prophecy? Hardly. Donald Guthrie writes:
It seems most likely that [Jude] did not intend the word in this sense, but rather in the sense of ‘predicting’, since he applies to his own day what purports to come from the antediluvian world. It would have been different if any of the normal citation-formulae had been used, for then there would have been little doubt that Jude was treating the book of Enoch as Scripture. But in the absence of a specific formula, the presumption must be in favour of a more general use of the verb. Jude makes no appeal to Scripture and omits the common introduction, “it is written,” that is used by other New Testament writers. “This much we can at least say without straining, that the designation Scripture as ‘scripture’ and its citation by the formula ‘It is written’ attest primarily its indefectible authority.”b. Return of Christ “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones.” Except for a few variations (perhaps because Jude presents his own translation), the text is virtually the same as that of I Enoch 1:9. Here is Enoch’s prophecy: Behold, he will arrive with ten million of the holy ones in order to execute judgment upon all. He will destroy the wicked ones and censure all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him. Note that Jude makes “the Lord” the subject of the sentence. He puts the quotation in the perspective of Christ’s return. When Jesus comes back, he will be accompanied by “thousands upon thousands of his holy ones,” that is, his angels. In the Gospel Jesus affirms that “when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory” (Matt. 25:31; see 24:30–31). The text gives no precise number of angels but is merely descriptive of an exceedingly great multitude (compare Deut. 33:2; Dan. 7:10; Zech. 14:5; Heb. 12:22). The Lord returns to pass judgment on all people and to convict the wicked. c. Judgment “[The Lord is coming] to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Enoch not only observes the wickedness of his day, but also looks into the future and addresses all godless people, including the adversaries of Jude. Jude, then, notes that the Lord judges everyone, for God has given Jesus the authority to judge the people (see John 5:27–30). Note the repetition, obviously for emphasis, in this verse (v. 15). Jude uses the comprehensive and inclusive Greek adjective all four times (in the NIV “all” [three times] and “everyone” [once]). He also repeats the word ungodly (four times). Every human being must stand before the Judge. The righteous will be acquitted through the redeeming work of Christ, but the wicked will receive their just recompense. In the judgment day the unbelievers cannot claim ignorance, for they have received warnings throughout history. In fact, the ungodly deliberately ignore these admonitions and sin regardless. In his terse manner, John Albert Bengel remarks, “A sinner is bad; one who sins without fear, is worse.” d. Conviction As Jude develops his letter, he explains his earlier comment about God’s condemnation of godless men (v. 4). Thus, he discloses that these men live immorally, spurn authority, and “slander celestial beings” (vv. 8, 10). He reveals that they find fault, boast, brag, and flatter (v. 16); they scoff at divine revelation and willfully “follow their own ungodly desires” (v. 18). Applying the prophecy of Enoch, Jude indicates that these men will be convicted because of the evil acts they have committed and the harsh words they have spoken against the Lord. All ungodly persons will be judged and all their ungodly deeds and all their hard words will be held as evidence against them in a court of law (see Mal. 3:13; Matt. 12:36). The writer’s emphasis on the terms all and ungodly is designed to call the attention of these godless men to the seriousness of their sin. They deliberately taunt God, dishonor him, and scorn his Word. In the Greek Jude places the two words ungodly sinners last in the sentence for special emphasis. A literal translation of these words reveals the climax of the sentence: “sinners, godless persons.” Greek Words, Phrases, and Constructions in 14–15 Verse 14 καί—this conjunction is omitted in many translations. Perhaps this καί is a misplaced conjunction that should have preceded the noun Ἐνώχ. τούτοις—the difficulties with this demonstrative pronoun are disturbing. First, the lack of a preposition before the dative case is confusing because the dative is not an indirect object. Translators meet the problem by supplying the preposition about, that is, “he prophesied about these men.” Next, the antecedent of the pronoun appears to be the godless men mentioned earlier in Jude’s epistle (vv. 4, 8, 10, 12). But did Enoch by-pass the wicked generation of his own day? ῆ̓λθεν—the aorist active of ἔρχομαι (I come, go) is used in a prophetic sense and is given a future connotation. ἐν—the meaning of this preposition “draws close to μετά and σύν in usage.”
*They Receive Their Due Penalty (Jude 14–15 All that we know about Enoch from Scripture is found in Genesis 5:18–24; Hebrews 11:5; and these two verses in Jude. He is called “the seventh from Adam” to identify him as the godly Enoch, since Cain had a son of the same name (Gen. 4:17). In a society that was rapidly being polluted and destroyed by sin, Enoch walked with God and kept his life clean. He also ministered as a prophet and announced the coming judgment. Bible scholars tell us that this quotation is from an apocryphal book called The Book of Enoch. The fact that Jude quoted from this nonbiblical book does not mean the book is inspired and trustworthy, any more than Paul’s quotations from the Greek poets put God’s “seal of approval” on everything they wrote. The Spirit of God led Jude to use this quotation and make it a part of the inspired Scriptures. When Enoch originally gave this message, it is possible that he was also referring to the coming judgment of the Flood. He certainly lived in an ungodly age, and it seemed that sinners were getting away with their evil deeds. But Enoch made it clear that judgment was coming and that the ungodly would get what was coming to them! However, the final application of this prophecy is to the world in the end times, the very judgment that Peter wrote about in 2 Peter 3. The false teachers mocked this prophecy and argued that Jesus Christ would never come and God would never send judgment. But their very attitude was proof that the Word is true, for both our Lord and His Apostles, as well as the prophets, said that scoffers and mockers would appear in the last days (2 Peter 3:1–4). Enoch gave his prophecy thousands of years ago! See how patient God has been with those who have rebelled against Him! What does Enoch’s prophecy say about the coming judgment? It will be a personal judgment: God Himself will come to judge the world. He will not send a famine or a flood, nor will He assign the task to an angel. He Himself will come. This shows the seriousness of the event, and also its finality. “Behold, the Judge standeth before the door” (James 5:9). Though it is a personal judgment, our Lord will not judge alone; the saints of God will be with Him. The word saints in Jude 14 means “holy ones” and can also refer to the angels (Deut. 33:2; Matt. 25:31). However, we know from Revelation 19:14; Colossians 3:4; and 1 Thessalonians 3:13 that the people of God will accompany the Lord when He returns to earth to defeat His enemies and establish His righteous kingdom (cf. 1 Cor. 6:2–3). Over the centuries, the people of God have suffered at the hands of the ungodly, but one day the tables will be turned. It will be a universal judgment. He will execute judgment “upon all”—none will escape. Just as the Flood destroyed all who were outside the ark, and the fire and brimstone destroyed all in Sodom and Gomorrah except Lot and his wife and two daughters, so the last judgment will encompass all the ungodly. The word ungodly is used four times in this one verse! It will be “the day of judgment and perdition [ruin, destruction] of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). It will be a just judgment. God will convict (“convince”) them of their sins, declare them guilty, pass sentence on them, and then execute the punishment. There will be a Judge, Jesus Christ (John 5:22), but no jury. There will be prosecution, but no defense; for every mouth will be stopped (Rom. 3:19). There will be a sentence, but no appeal, for there can be no higher court than God’s final judgment. The entire procedure will be just, for the righteous Son of God will be in charge. The Lord will have the record of their “ungodly deeds.” He will also have a record of their motives and hidden desires as they committed these deeds and even these will be ungodly! He will recall the “hard speeches” (Jude 15) that they uttered against the Lord. The word hard carries the idea of “rough, harsh, stern, uncivil.” After all, these people were “murmurers” and “complainers” (Jude 16) and spoke harsh things against God. They were not “afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Peter 2:10), but at the judgment their words will testify against them. They spoke “great swelling words” (2 Peter 2:18; Jude 16), but at the judgment their great words will bring great wrath. There are times when God’s children ask, “Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?” (Ps. 94:3–4) The answer is given in Psalm 50:3—“Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him.
*v. 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: Jude supports his case against the false teachers by quoting from 1 Enoch 1:9 which reads: Behold, he will arrive with ten million of the holy ones in order to execute judgment upon all. He will destroy the wicked ones and censure all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him. “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones Jude adapts the quotation to his circumstances by identifying the one to come with the Lord (that is, Jesus) who will come to judge the ungodly (that is, the false teachers). He comes with an uncountable host (literally myriads) of holy ones, perhaps glorified saints but more likely angels (Deut 33:2–3; Daniel 7:10; Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 25:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, see James 5:4). Their holiness contrasts with the ungodliness of the false teachers. The picture here is of a conquering Lord leading his angelic army against the forces of evil