This Week’s Focus Passage: Jude 14 (Monday Moanin’) ‘And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam,
This Week’s Focus Passage: Jude 14 (Monday Moanin’)
‘And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied.’
Who was Enoch? At the first glance, it would appear that there were two men, in the Word of God, called by the name, Enoch. And the seemingly simplest manner of distinguishing them, one from another, is to ‘search the Scriptures,’ where we find several references to men of the name “Enoch.” So just who is who?
The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible; Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor, are in conflict with other sources regarding the name ‘Enoch.’ Under individuals in the Old Testament. 1. The son of Cain (Gen 4:17, 18) for whom the first city which Cain built was named. 2. The son of Jared of the godly line of Seth, who walked with God and was translated to heaven without dying (Gen 5:18-24; 1 , Jude 14 and 15 refer to the tradition that Enoch prophesied against ungodly men (cf. The Book of Enoch). There can be no question that the clause “and he was not, for God took him” (Gen 5:24) refers to translation; the same expression is used of Elijah’s translation (2 Kings 2:11).
And after this, they entertain the concept that there are two more Enoch’s. 3. A son of Midian, the son of Abraham by Keturah; this Enoch was father of one of the tribes of Midianites (Gen 25:4; 1 Chron 1:3). 4. The first son of Reuben, the son of Jacob (Gen 46:8, 9; Exod. 6:14; Num 26:5; 1 Chron 1:3).
These statements are challenged by the earlier (by approximately 30 yrs.), “The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia,” published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Mich. 1947. This clearly contradicts the Zondervan product. It has recorded that the name “Enoch” applies to the following persons only:
The eldest son of Cain (Gen 4 17, 18).
The son of Jared and father of Methuselah, seven in descent from Adam in the line of Seth (Jude ver 14). He is said (Gen 5 23) to have lived 365 years, but the brief record of his live is comprised in the words, “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen 5 24). The expression ‘walked with God’ denotes a devout life, lived in close communion with God, while the reference to his end has always been understood, as by the writer of Heb, to mean, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him” (Heb 11 5).—A. C. Grant.
A knee-jerk reaction might be to give the credence, or the benefit of the doubt, to the latest publication. One possible argument against doing such a thing, might lay in the fact that there is a later product yet; albeit, we are referring to the website, known as BibleGateway; we have no certainty of their biblical integrity. However, having said this, we find in a search on their website, only the twelve references as found in the Eerdman’s collection; we could add that this corresponds with the concordance of Strong. We are led to assert that we find it somewhat humorous to notice the dis-agreement between Zondervan and Eerdmans publications; it is as though there was war among the Grand Rapids publishing giants.
To move on: the Baptist pastor and somewhat voluminous writer, John Gill, offers, in his comments upon the 11th of Hebrews; verses 5 and 6 (previously noted);
“By faith Enoch was translated, &c.] Which is to be understood, not of a spiritual translation from the power of darkness, into the kingdom of Christ, as all converted persons are translated, and doubtless Enoch was; nor of a rapture, or removal from one part of the earth to another, or from one part of a country to another, and Philip was caught away by the Spirit, after the baptism of the eunuch; but of a translation from earth to heaven; and not for a while only, as Paul was caught up to the third heaven; but as Elijah was, there to continue, and as the living saints will be at the last day; and this was a translation of him, soul and body, to heaven, to eternal glory and happiness, by a change from mortality to immortality, which passed upon him; and which is a pledge of the resurrection of the dead, and a proof of the Old Testament saints knowing, expecting, and enjoying eternal life. And with this agrees the sense of some of the Jewish writers concerning this affair. Jonathan ben-Uzziel, in his paraphrase on Genesis 5:24, has these words: ‘and Enoch worshipped in truth before the Lord; and behold he was not with the inhabitants of the earth, he was translated, and ascended to the firmament (or heaven) by the Word before the Lord.”
Among other things, Gill and ben-Uzziel, with him, affirm that Enoch’s removal was certainly unlike that of Elijah as Jehovah commanded him, 1 Ki. 17:3, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before the Jordan. In this instance, God was directing His prophet-servant to hide himself, knowing that Ahab would be seeking his life, for the pronouncement that he had just set before that wicked king of Israel, when he declared, As Jehovah, the God of Israel, liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. Elijah was, indeed, hidden from Ahab until the day when Jehovah would have him to appear once again, but he had certainly not been translated, as he would ultimately be, at the time of God’s appointment. Of this we may read, in 2 Kings, chapter two, and following.
And it came to pass, when Jehovah would take up Elijah by a whirlwind into heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.—verse one. And from that point through several verses, we read of the triad of places that Jehovah sent Elijah, with Elisha following, averring each time, to Elijah, As Jehovah liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood over against them afar off: and they two stood by the Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
Then we read of Elijah asking Elisha what he would have him do for him; to which Elisha asked that he might receive a double portion of his spirit to be upon him. Elijah responded, telling Elisha that if he should witness his being taken up, then would he have his desire given. Well, Elisha did see his mentor, Elijah taken up in a whirlwind; in a chariot of fire, and horses of fire; causing him to cry out heartily, ‘My father, my father, the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof!!’
Elijah was translated, as was Enoch many generations earlier. But not one other than these two prophets of the Lord. This brings to one’s mind the well-known statement of J. C. Ryle regarding the ‘eleventh hour conversion’ of the thief on the cross, in his last hours. Ryle has pointedly, told his readers, that there was such a last hour conversion, that none need despair, BUT ONLY ONE, that none presume.
David Farmer, elder
Fellowship Bible Church
More in This Week's Focus Passage
January 8, 2022This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 15:4 ‘In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honoreth them
January 1, 2022This Week’s Focus Passage: Genesis 4:5 ‘But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.’
December 25, 2021This Week’s Focus Passage: The Second Psalm ‘Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.’