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Who and what is
Hebrew: חֲנוֹךְ —transliteration: Chanok —meaning: initiated; dedication; commencement—probably signifying a new manner of life
also known as: Henok, Chenok and Chanokh
This was the name of a pre-Flood city and 2 biblical men of the pre-Flood world—the 1st was the Earth’s 2nd firstborn sons, the other an outstandingly righteous man.
Enoch, the firstborn son of Cain, the firstborn of Adam and Eve
Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch… —Genesis 4:17 NASB
Scripture notes that he was the father of Irad (possibly meaning: “Townsman”) and grandfather of Mehujael.
Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech. —Genesis 4:18 NASB
Enoch, a pre-Flood city
It was built by Adam’s son Cain, east of Eden in the land of Nod. Cain named it after his oldest son Enoch (above). This is the first “city” mentioned in Scripture. Nothing else is known about it.
He built a city, in token of a fixed separation from the church of God, to which he had no thoughts of ever returning. This city was to be the headquarters of the apostasy. … He undertook this building, to divert his thoughts from the consideration of his own misery, and to drown the clamours of a guilty conscience with the noise of axes and hammers. Thus many baffle their convictions by thrusting themselves into a hurry of worldly business (Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible).
Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and we never find that he came into it again, to his comfort. The land Cain dwelt in was called the land of Nod, which means, ‘shaking,’ or ‘trembling,’ and so shows the restlessness and uneasiness of his own spirit, or ‘the land of a vagabond:’ they that depart from God cannot find rest any where else. Those on Earth who looked for the heavenly city, chose to dwell in tabernacles or tents; but Cain, as not minding that city, built one on Earth. Thus all who are cursed of God seek their settlement and satisfaction here below (Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary).
Enoch, a righteous pre-Flood patriarch
His is a son of Jared (Gen. 5:18) and in “in the seventh generation from Adam” (Jude 14). Jared is the 4th antediluvian patriarch in descent from the righteous line of Seth, 3rd son of Adam (Genesis 5:15-20; Luke 3:37).
The Book of Jude quotes Enoch as 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 NASB
Both Enoch and Noah provided a strong, Godly witness to the people of their day. Scripture say that he “walked with God.”
In the 365th year of his Earthly life, Enoch was apparently taken directly to Heaven, without dying (translated to the dimension where God dwells). He was very pleasing to God. This occurred about 987 years after Adam was created. Adam was a contemporary of Enoch, and did not die until the age of 930 years.
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. —Hebrews 11:5 ESV
The son of Jared, and father of long-lived Methuselah (Genesis 5:21; Luke 3:37). His father was 162 years old when Methuselah was born. Sometime after that birth, Enoch “walked with God 300 years” (Genesis 5:22-24), when he was translated without tasting death. His whole life on Earth was 365 years. He was the “7th from Adam” (Jude 1:14), as distinguished from the son of Cain, the 3rd from Adam. He is spoken of in the catalog of Old Testament worthies in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11:5).
When he was translated, only Adam, so far as recorded, had as yet died a natural death, and Noah was not yet born. Mention is made of Enoch’s prophesying only in Jude 1:14.
—Matthew G. Easton
The only other biblical example of a person apparently being taken to Heaven without dying is Elijah, the Tishbite, who was taken up by God in a chariot with horses of fire, amidst “a whirlwind into heaven.”
Article Version: June 4, 2019