Where are Enoch and Elijah?

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Question: Are Enoch and Elijah in Heaven or some other place? On the other hand, did they die like all men?

Answer: Enoch and Elijah, and their apparent disappearance to heaven mystify many Bible readers. Some believe they are evidence proving those who die righteously will go to heaven. So, what does the Bible REALLY say happened to these two men?

Let us begin with Enoch. There are only two Scriptural passages mentioning him by name. The first one is in the book of Genesis, chapter 5 and verse 24. Various Bible translations state that he walked with God and that he was taken (KJV, NKJV, NIV, HCSB, NRSV). The NAB says he "was no longer here." The NLB, Moffet and TEV translations state the he "disappeared."

The second Bible verse that mentions Enoch by name is found in Hebrews 11 and verse 5. Most translations state that because of his faith he was taken and 'did not see death' because God had taken him away.

The most significant aspect of ALL of the above Biblical references is that NONE of them says Enoch went to heaven! The word rendered as "was taken" (or as "translated" in the KJV Bible) comes from the Greek word metatithëmi (Strong's Concordance Number #G3346). It means to transfer, transport, exchange, change sides, carry over, change, or remove.

The gospel of John tells us, in no uncertain terms, that NO ONE has gone to heaven except the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) who came from heaven (John 3:13). The apostle Peter reiterates this point in Acts 2:29 and 34 when, preaching to a large crowd of people on the day of Pentecost, he proclaimed that King David was not only dead (and his body was still in its tomb) but that he had NOT gone to heaven! The only one resurrected, again according to Peter, was Christ! This is absolute proof that Enoch is not in heaven.

 
 
 
 
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But, you may wonder, what happened to Elijah? Let us look at 2Kings 2.
Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal . . . then suddenly a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire came between them, and Elijah was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind. (2Kings 2:1, 11)

Which heaven is 2Kings 2 referring to when it states Elijah went into heaven? The word 'heaven' in the book of 2Kings comes from the Hebrew word shâmayim (Strong's Concordance Number #H8064). It is the plural form of the Hebrew word shameh. It means to be lofty or the visible arch in which the clouds move. This word does NOT refer to the heaven where God's throne is located.

When Jesus (John 3:13) and Peter (Acts 2:34) state that NO ONE has gone to heaven, the heaven they are referring to is the one where God resides. Therefore, when Hebrews 11:5 states that Enoch was "translated" or moved, it does NOT mean that he was somehow miraculously picked up by God to live forever with him near his heavenly throne. He was moved or taken through the earth's atmosphere or sky (the same sky airplanes fly in) to a physical location on the earth the Bible does not name so that " . . . he should not see death." This same thing happened to Elijah.

God, in His wisdom, decided to transport Enoch and Elijah away from where they were originally located so that someone (or something) would not be able to physically kill or murder them at that particular time. They continued to live the SAME kind of fleshly existence we do after they moved until the day they died just like any other human. This is in agreement with other scriptures that state ALL men must die a physical death (Hebrews 9:27).

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