Enoch In The Bible Story

The name of Enoch seems unknown by most people today, but it’s actually well-known. Ironically, the Biblical character of Enoch is somewhat forgotten, which means most people don’t even know he’s in the Bible. Even fewer realize that Enoch is a very important Biblical figure indeed.

Enoch In The Bible Story

There are at least four different men in the Bible named Enoch (Genesis 4:17; 5:18; 25:4; 46:9). We should note that, in Genesis 25:4 and Genesis 46:9, the NIV gives the name “Hanok,” while some other translations, such as the Darby translation, give the name “Enoch” instead. In both verses, the name “Hanok” is from the same Hebrew word translated “Enoch” in Genesis 4:17 and Genesis 5:18. Other translations say “Hanoch” or “Henoch.” The only difference is one of English spelling.

It is only the Enoch mentioned in Genesis 5:18 that the Bible gives any significant information about. This Enoch was the great-great-great-great-grandson of Adam. Genesis 5:22–24 says, “After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

Hebrews 11:5 gives a little more detail: “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.” This being “taken away” is what Enoch is most famous for. Only two people in the Bible are said to have been chosen by God to escape death, Enoch and Elijah. Enoch appears to have been given this privilege due to being a man who walked faithfully with God (Genesis 5:24) and pleased God (Hebrews 11:5). For what purpose was Enoch taken away? The Bible does not specifically say. The most common assumption is so that he could serve as one of the two witnesses, alongside Elijah, in the end times.

There are also three pseudepigraphal books using Enoch’s name, with 1 Enoch being the most well known, often referred to as the Book of Enoch. None of the pseudepigraphal books of Enoch were actually written by the biblical Enoch. However, since the biblical book of Jude quotes from 1 Enoch and attributes the quotation to the biblical Enoch (Jude 14), at least that one small prophecy must be truly attributable to the biblical Enoch.

Enoch draws a lot of attention due to the mystery surrounding him. Far too much speculation has gone into how and why God took Enoch away. Instead of conjecturing, we should be seeking to follow Enoch’s example by being men and women who walk faithfully with God and seek to please Him with our lives.

Enoch In The Bible Story

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

Enoch

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

Enoch Walked With God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Books of Enoch

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

Life Lessons From Enoch

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

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

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

Key Bible Verses

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

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

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

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