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While at least two people didn't die, Jesus spoke of only the Son of man ascending into heaven. Jesus next said the Son of man would need to be lifted up.

John 3:13-14 (KJV) (Jesus said) “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:”

Enoch didn't die. God took him somewhere.

Gen 5:22-24 (KJV) And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

As Elijah was walking with Elisha he "went up by a whirlwind into heaven".

2 Kings 2:11 (KJV) And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

How can what Jesus said in John 3:13-14 be reconciled with what happened to Enoch, Elijah and Jesus?

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    It boggles me that someone would have knowledge of Enoch and Elijah and also entertain nonsense regarding them. Enoch lived 365 years and died on earth - Genesis 5:23 and Hebrews 11:13 and Elijah was taken up into the sky as Philip in Acts 8:39 - both taken up out of the water (Jordan and Baptism) - Matthew 11:13-15 and both continuing their work afterward, Elijah with Judah (2 Chronicles 21:12) and Philip with the gentile kings (appearing at Ceasarea). These old wives tales are fun for 2 minutes but there's a point where it's straight heresy. Consciences seared with a hot iron ... May 15, 2023 at 13:51

12 Answers 12

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The Idea in Brief

According to the Hebrew Bible, there are at least two people who have ascended into heaven: Enoch and Elijah. In the Christian New Testament, Jesus made the emphatic statement that no one (οὐδεὶς) had ever ascended into heaven with the exception of the one who had descended from heaven: that is, Jesus himself, who was to be "lifted up" like the bronze serpent of old. That is, this reference to the bronze serpent indicated life from the dead, since those stung with the serpent's venom (with reference to sin that causes death) had died with the exception of those who saw the "lifted up" bronze serpent, and were saved.

Jesus therefore was making reference to someone who was "lifted up" from the dead, and who therefore ascended into heaven (unlike Elijah and Enoch, who never died), and upon whom those dead-spiritually would be saved. The Christian New Testament amplifies this meaning to include not only the physical ascension of the body of Jesus into heaven, but also to refer to Jesus as someone whose eternal life (which had first descended from heaven to become flesh) had died, when the body of Jesus was broken (from this eternal life and therefore separated), only to be reunited in the same PERSON in order to return (or ascend back) to heaven.

The bottom line therefore is that only one PERSON had ever descended from heaven, who became flesh and then died, only to ascend back into heaven. The idea therefore is not about who were the first human beings to ascend into heaven (or even about people who were raised from the dead, which were many), but about which human being was the first to enter heaven as the "first born" from the dead. The imagery of coming-down-first-from-heaven forces eternal life into the picture, so the "first born" is not only the resurrection of the body from the dead, but the reuniting of that body with its eternal life (divine nature), in order to ascend back to heaven. Unlike Elijah and Enoch (or even Moses if we compare Jude 1:9 and Mark 9:4-5), Jesus therefore was the first to ascend into heaven from the dead, whose death was not only physical but spiritual as well -- thus He is the "first born" PERSON from the dead to ascend into heaven.

Discussion

The leading verse appears as follows in the Greek New Testament:

John 3:13 (UBS/NA28)
13 καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

According to the late Bruce Metzger (2005), there is one variant reading on the end of this verse; that is, some manuscripts add the words, "ἀνθρώπου ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ" at the end of this verse, which occurs in the King James Version (KJV) translation cited by the OP question. Metzger states that...

  On the one hand, a minority of the Committee preferred the reading ἀνθρώπου 
  ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, arguing that (1) if the short reading, supported almost 
  exclusively by Egyptian witnesses, were original, there is no discernible motive 
  that would have prompted copyists to add the words ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, resulting 
  in a most difficult saying (the statement in 1:18, not being parallel, would 
  scarcely have prompted the addition); and (2) the diversity of readings implies 
  that the expression ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, having been found 
  objectionable or superfluous in the context, was modified either by omitting 
  the participial clause, or by altering it so as to avoid suggesting that the 
  Son of Man was at that moment in heaven. On the other hand, the majority of the 
  Committee, impressed by the quality of the eternal attestation supporting the 
  shorter reading, regarded the words ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ as an interpretive gloss, 
  reflecting later Christological development.

In other words, the Committee assigned the rating of {B} to their opinion, which in their view assigned the certitude of their interpretation as "almost certain." Thus the better translation would not be the KJV, but the NASB as follows:

John 3:13 (NASB)
13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

The next verses in this context amplify what Jesus meant by "ascended." That is, "ascended" is reference to rising from the dead.

John 3:14-15 (NASB)
14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

Like the bronze serpent, who saved those stung by the venom of serpents and who died, so too will Jesus save those who are stung by the fatal venom of sin, who look upon Him in order to live. That is, people may look to him who is the one who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. The difference with the bronze serpent is that the bronze serpent saved from mortal death; Jesus on the other hand --according to the context of this SAME passage-- will save from eternal death ("from perishing"), which is not only physical, but spiritual.

John 3:16 (NASB)
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

As just noted in the verses, above, this PERSON (Jesus) had first descended from heaven to become the Son of Man. That is, John's Gospel begins in John 1:1-3 equating Jesus with the "word," which first appears in Torah in Deuteronomy 30:11-14, which describes the Word of God that descends from heaven to save man.

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (NASB)
11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it....”

In both the Masoretic Text and in the LXX, these verses in Deuteronomy are parallel in content and meaning. So the Word of God (from God) comes down from heaven in order to save man. The Word of God in the Christian New Testament now becomes flesh. That is, the Word descends from heaven and is now robed in human flesh.

John 1:1-3, 14 (NASB)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.... 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word of God caused everything to come into existence, because the Word was God's actual command that existence come into being. That is, the Word is the PERSON of the Son who is "the express image of the Father": this Word becomes flesh. As the text in Deuteronomy indicates, this Word is the source of life, which descends to earth to save man. Like John, the Apostle Paul also picks up this imagery in Deuteronomy in the following verses.

Romans 10:5-9 (NASB)
5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

Paul is making reference again to our passage in Deuteronomy 30:11-14, and, like John, is stating that the Word of God is the one who descends from heaven by whom we are saved. Unlike John, Paul expands the passage in Deuteronomy to indicate that the abyss is located "on the other side" of the sea. That is, where Deuteronomy in the Hebrew indicates the opposite pole from heaven "is the other side" of the sea, the Apostle Paul indicates that the extent beyond is in reference to what is under the sea: in the Masoretic Text the adverb is עֵבֶר and in the LXX the word is πέραν (please click here to compare), and so Paul takes grammatical and literary license to tell the reader what is "beyond" the sea (or under the sea), or better, what is the abode or underworld of the dead.

Paul goes even a step farther, and draws a complete parallel with the descent of Jesus into the underworld to redeem those elect who were in Sheol, but were now released.

Ephesians 4:8-10 (NASB)
8 Therefore it says,
“When He ascended on high,
He led captive a host of captives,
And He gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)

The lower parts of the earth is reference to the pit of Sheol, and the chronological parallels are to Moses in the Exodus. (That is, Jesus plunders the powers of death in the process of setting the captives of spiritual death in Sheol free.) In the Hebrew Bible, the pit of Sheol therefore was the confining space for both the elect and non-elect, and Jonah provides the illustration.

Notwithstanding that he was in the belly of the great fish at sea, Jonah had described this place as the pit of Sheol, which was not in the sea, but under the sea; another mention in the Hebrew Bible (LXX) identifies the location of this pit as in the lower parts of the earth.

Ezekiel 26:20 (New English Translation of the Septuagint)
20 and I will force you down to those who descend into a hole, to a people of long ago, and I will make you live in the depths of the earth as an everlasting wilderness with those who descend into a hole so that you shall not be inhabited nor rise upon a land of life.

So the PERSON of Jesus had died, and his body was broken from his eternal life (in keeping with the parallel of Passover where both the bread is broken and the Lamb is slaughtered). That is, his human nature descended into Sheol (Acts 2:37 and Acts 2:31), and his Spirit or eternal life remained in the hands of the Father (Luke 23:46). That is, Jesus had compared his time in the belly of the earth ("buried in earth") to the time of Jonah in the belly of the fish ("buried at sea"), and yet they were both in Sheol for three days and three nights.

So when Jesus rose from the underworld of the dead in Sheol ("the sign of Jonah"), the body of the PERSON was reunited with his eternal life. This reunification was to be born from the dead, since not only was life to the body restored (which happened many many times in the Bible) but for the first time eternal life was restored to spiritually dead man (which never happened until the resurrection of Jesus). Thus, no PERSON had ever risen from both physical and spiritual death, and then went ahead and ascended into heaven; thus the PERSON of Jesus is described as the "first born from the dead."

Revelation 1:5 (NASB)
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—

Conclusion

Jesus was not the first mortal man to enter heaven, since Elijah and Enoch (and perhaps Moses as well) had entered heaven before Jesus. However, Jesus was the first immortal man to enter heaven, because his immortality stemmed from his eternal life, which had become flesh when He descended from heaven to earth. The PERSON subsequently died on the cross in both the spiritual and physical sense, and so He descended to the lower parts of the earth and then was "raised up" like the bronze serpent to be the savior of man. That is, He was the first, "firstborn from the dead" to ever ascend into heaven and take His seat at the right hand of the Almighty, and in this sense, ...no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

REFERENCE:
Metzger, Bruce M. (2005). A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd Edition). Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 174-175.

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  • is there any indication that the way of getting to heaven was different for Jesus than the others? I noted that in english the phrase for Jesus was 'ascended to heaven' and for the others they were taken. Does the original text hold some meaning that there is a difference is the source of how they got to heaven? IE Jesus got himself to heaven (earned it, or otherwise was worthy of it), the others were taken by God (not by their own power/goodness)?
    – Adam Heeg
    May 4, 2017 at 1:04
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    If the'spiritual' 'Person' 'died' than what was it that descended into the lower parts of the earth ? When a body dies, the soul descends.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 7, 2019 at 11:17
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    His humanity, which was “broken” from his divinity. Thus he died in the most ultimate sense.
    – Joseph
    Oct 7, 2019 at 11:19
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    Hus human soul descended, yes. A 'Person' does not die. That would be annihilation.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 7, 2019 at 11:20
  • @nigel How do you mean. "A person does not die" Oct 24, 2021 at 22:45
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There is no problem here. Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus. Jesus knows that Nicodemus has great knowledge of the scriptures. Jesus pulls from Proverbs 30:4 to speak of the lack of understanding Nicodemus is having.

4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know! (ESV)

Jesus is basically pointing back to scripture to lead Nicodemus to belief. Where else would he find it? The Proverb given is in an area that speaks of lack of understanding and not leaning on God's holy wisdom.

1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.
The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. 2 Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. 3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. (30:1–3)

He is, in a sense, telling Nicodemus not to lean on his own understanding, but pray that it might be given, for who else has it but The Lord our God?

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The problem verse is not John 3:13-14. At the time this conversation was supposed to have taken place the OT saints were still supposedly waiting in sheol to be saved because Jesus had not yet died and released them. Thus, the problem verse is actually 2 Kings 2:11 which specifically says the whirlwind took Elijah into "heaven" (shamayim). Jesus also speaks of the "bosom of Abraham" in one of his parables.

It seems to me that the proper way to resolve the conflict is to posit that shamayim is a pleasant part of sheol, or perhaps a separate place also called the "bosom of Abraham"; it is not the eternal heaven where God's throne is and the saints now experience the beatific vision and more importantly for this question was Jesus original home with the Father before His incarnation. This is consistent with the belief expressed by Paul that there are multiple "heavens" in 2 Corinthians 12:2:

"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven (ouranos)."

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    Is it is speaking of the pleasant part of shoel then wouldn't he have went under the earth instead of up ? Isn't shoel under the earth?
    – diego b
    Jan 31, 2018 at 21:19
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John 3:14 says:

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

What happened to Enoch, Elijah and Jesus?


Jesus is easy. He is the exception given in that verse. Jesus, and no one but Jesus, has ascended to heaven.


Elijah isn't much harder. Both 2Kings 2:1 and 2:11 refer to Elijah going up to heaven in a whirlwind.

Note that the Bible speaks of three different heavens:

  • the first heaven -- the Earth's atmosphere (birds, clouds).
  • the second heaven -- the rest of the universe (stars, planets, space).
  • the third heaven -- God's spiritual abode (2 Corinthians 12:2).

Whirlwinds are a meteorological phenomenon, restricted to Earth's lower atmosphere. They don't go into space, much less into spiritual realms. Elijah was simply lifted by the wind and transported somewhere else. He wasn't taken up to God's third heaven; he didn't even die at that time.

If that isn't obvious, there is blatant proof elsewhere. 2Chronicles 21:12 says: "And there came a writing to him [Jehoram] from Elijah the prophet, saying, …". This happened to King Jehoram at least a few years after the whirlwind incident. Elijah was still alive here on Earth.


Enoch is also easy. Genesis 5:24 says "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.". There's nothing there to even hint that Enoch was taken to heaven.

He is mentioned again in Hebrews 11:5: "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.".

Again, this simply says that he was taken away. It does not mean he went to God's heaven. It doesn't even mean that he never died, simply that he didn't die at this time. God transported him somewhere else, presumably to avoid immediate death, but eventually he died, though no one knows where or when (he "was not found").


If you have any doubt about this, if you feel that Elijah or Enoch were somehow taken to God's third heaven, then what you are feeling is in direct contradiction to what Jesus said.

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  • Please don't tell me I'm contradicting Jesus. You might agree different people interpret things differently. I see in Genesis that "Walked with God" marks "Life saved". It appears with Enoch after his 366 years of life (conception forward), but also with Noah before the flood when his 599 year life to date is temporarily saved. Jesus also walks w/ God via the resurrection/ascension after 34 years of life The total gives a Genesis numerical sign (999) proving nothing, but it's one that helps solve 3 enigmas & prove Genesis supports ProLife. (Note: Jesus helps reach that via the math). Jan 12 at 18:07
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In Scripture, "heaven" (shamayim / ouranos) has three possible meanings:

    1. The Beatific Vision, i.e. the state of seing the divine essence with an intuitive vision and face to face. This is the meaning in John 3:13. Paul calls it "the third heaven" in 2 Cor 12:2.
    1. The firmament (Gen 1:8).
    1. The sky or atmosphere. This is the meaning in 2 Kings 2:11.

Moving now to Enoch and Elijah, I will answer according to Catholic doctrine.

It is de fide that no human soul, much less a whole human person, enjoyed the Beatific Vision before Jesus died on the cross (with the exception of Jesus Himself, Who enjoyed it in his soul from the moment of his conception).

Therefore, at the time when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, no whole human person or disembodied human soul had ascended to heaven (1), either by being taken up into heaven by God or by their own power or volition. Only "the only begotten God, the One Who Is in the bosom of the Father" (Jn 1:18) from all eternity, "Who descended from heaven" (Jn 3:13) when He assumed a human nature, was in heaven, both as God and, in his soul enjoying the Beatific Vision, as man.

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John 3:13 does seem problematic at first glance, but let's remember that at the time Y'shua was speaking to Nicodemus, he had not yet been resurrected and had not yet ascended to the right hand of the Father. Why then is he speaking in past tense about going into heaven?

The pre-incarnate Messiah came down to the earth multiple times as the Angel of YHVH. Each time, he ascended back to the heavens by his own power. Enoch et al. neither traveled up to heaven of their own accord nor in their earthly bodies. They were translated into spirit and taken into the third heaven. Y'shua is speaking to Nicodemus about a man who has the authority to go into heaven at will and the authority to come down again at will, and to therefore testify about heavenly things (Jhn. 3:12). That could not be said of Enoch or the other prophets, but only of the Son of Man.

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John 3:13 is a very simple word from Jesus talking about the heavenly things, Jesus know that man were created in heaven male and female, (Gen. 1:26) Originally Man is from heaven. and the man he created (Gen. 1:26) become a living soul having in (Gen.2:7) and put it in Eden (Gen 2:15)

Therefore, in conclusion the original point of man is form heaven before the foundation, Man came from heaven down from heaven to dominion the earth, and when a man will die he will ascend up to heaven because all soul shall be of God again, the spirit beling to the world of spirit as God is Spirit in heaven. even Jesus which is from heaven and be ascended up to heaven.

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Enoch and Elijah translated into heaven not as men of flesh and blood, but as spiritual beings in acknowledged and/or spiritual bodies which are not of flesh. John, 3:6-8; 4:24; 1st Corinthians, 15:44, 50. I was circumcised with the oracle of circumcision not made with hands, and I am hermeneutical of the Breath of God in Christ THE WORD and Holy Spirit.

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  • That is not what the scripture records of Enoch and Elijah.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 19, 2020 at 9:46
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In John 3:13, the Lord Jesus was giving more explanation to Nicodemus in response to his question of how a man can be born again. He had told him in the earlier verses of John 3 of a man's inability to enter into the kingdom of God without being born again I.e. by water and Spirit.

Elijah and Enoch did not ascend to God as men, only Jesus ascended to heaven as a man. They (Elijah and Enoch) were transformed into spiritual beings without dying else they will not be able to ascend. The only way we can be born again now or be transformed is by believing in Jesus Christ so that he can send his Spirit to us and then we can ascend after death or as a result of the rapture.

Jesus had not died during the time of Elijah and Enoch so they were automatically transformed as God pleased. If you can remember, at the mount of transfiguration, Elijah appeared in his transformed state. Abraham, Elisha or David did not appear, I believe, because they were not yet born again ( transformed). However, those of them had believed before they died and were raised when Jesus was raised. Matthew 27: 52-54

Jesus told Mary not to touch him because he was yet to ascend into heaven before the Father John 20: 16-17. No one/Man ever ascended in that state without being transformed. Remember, that shortly afterwards, Jesus appeared to his disciples and asked Thomas to put his hand through the hole in his hand. He also ate with them. No spirit can eat with you in their form.

In conclusion, no Man ever ascended without being transformed. Once transformed you are no longer men, but spirits as was the case of Enoch and Elijah.

I believe I am speaking by God's revelation

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  • Welcome to the S.E. Q&A forum. Thank you for contributing.
    – Steve11235
    Apr 17, 2020 at 17:55
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What about Melchizedek? Heb 7:3 affirms of Melchizedek: "He is without father or mother or genealogy; he has neither beginning of days nor end of life . . . he continues a priest forever." 

Jesus says he knew Abraham: John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad." 57 The Jews then said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."

Does this mean Jesus came to earth as Melchizedek and Abraham saw and knew Him and Abraham gave tithes to Him?

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Enoch

Bible neither claims that Enoch "lived" nor that he left the earth. It clearly and pointedly states exactly the opposite on both those counts :

ALL these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen and welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles ON THE EARTH.

Hebrews 11:13 NASB - referring to Enoch in verse 5

'... and Enoch walked - וַיִּתְהַלֵּ֨ךְ - with god ...' Genesis 5:22

'... and Enoch walked - וַיִּתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ - with god ...' Genesis 5:24

Elohim - god - also walked or 'fellowshipped' with Adam and Eve in the garden.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking - מִתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ - in the garden in the cool of the day ...

Genesis 3:8 NIV

(And elohim also communed outside the garden with Abraham and others, see Hebrews 13:2)

'Enoch was translated ...' Hebrews 11:5

'... was not found because God had translated him ...' Hebrews 11:5

'... before the translation ...' Hebrews 11:5

Translation in this case - μεταθέσεως - indicates a geographical move. Same word in Acts 7:16 referencing the movement of human remains from Egypt to Shechem.

Moreover, the span of Enoch's life is clearly stated.

And Enoch lived 65 years - and begat Methusaleh ...

... and Enoch walked (there's that word 'fellowshipped') with God after he begat Methusaleh, three hundred years - and begat sons and daughters ...

... and ALL the days of Enoch were, three hundred and sixty-five years ...

Genesis 5:21,22,23 Rotherham

After Enoch had produced the next heir in the line of Seth when he was 65 years old, his participation in that process no longer being necessary, he was 'translated' or moved away from that environment, to a location not specified, where from that point on, he walked or 'fellowshipped' with elohim as Adam and Eve had, and so lived out the remainder of his days, being another 300 years, in which time he had further sons and daughters.

I don't even know how anyone could even accidentally miss all those "words" ...

Why?

Witness protection elohim style.

Lines of Cain and Seth.

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain ... Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them ... and of all the defiant words ... they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

Jude 1:11,14,15,16 NIV

'... they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage ...' :

Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. 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.”

Genesis 4:23,24 NIV

The AKJV has a marginal reference for "have killed" being "would kill".

Enoch, seventh from Adam via Seth - Genesis 5

Lamech, seventh from Adam via Cain - Genesis 4:16-18

It's Genesis 3:15 playing out. There being a distinct separation of those that obeyed elohim - styled the sons or children of god, and those that followed the way of Cain.
That distinct division being punctuated by violence and ultimately broken in Genesis 6 (verses 1 through 8) with regard to intermarriage. Hence god's disappointment and judgement.
This entropy further increasing in the threefold division after the flood in the descendents of Noah and the scattering at the tower.

ALL these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen and welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles ON THE EARTH.

Hebrews 11:13 NASB - referring to Enoch in verse 5

Died in faith when he turned up his feet, and not by the hand of Lamech 300 years earlier in spite of his boast.
Moved, out of harms way, away from the grasp of a man who would recompense his wounding on the line of Seth.

I have to assume that the scapegoats for the blasphemy and heresy are the inclusios in Genesis and Hebrews.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusio

And Enoch lived 65 years - and begat Methusaleh ...

... and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methusaleh, three hundred years - and begat sons and daughters ...

... and all the days of Enoch were, three hundred and sixty-five years ...

Genesis 5:21,22,23 Rotherham

A plain, unambiguous record of the pertinent features of his life and then a declaration of death.

And then, the inclusio :

... and Enoch walked with God,––and was not, for God had taken him.

Genesis 5:24 Rotherham

This distinctive feature of his life provided in summary not only in Genesis but also in Hebrews. In both cases the summary or refrain belonging to the events immediately following his fathering Methusaleh.
Indicated by :

'... and Enoch walked with God, after he begat Methuselah, three hundred years,––and begat sons and daughters ...'

'... and Enoch walked with God,––and was not, for God had taken him.'

This verse 24 being a summary.

The chronological order being :

And Enoch lived 65 years - and begat Methusaleh ...

... and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methusaleh, three hundred years - and begat sons and daughters ...

... and Enoch walked with God,––and was not, for God had taken him.

... and ALL the days of Enoch were, three hundred and sixty-five years ...

Genesis 5:21,22,24,23 Rotherham

This same device employed in Hebrews, pointing to the outstanding characteristic of his walk, on earth, amongst a record of others, ultimately bracketed by :

ALL these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen and welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles ON THE EARTH.

Hebrews 11:13 NASB - referring to Enoch in verse 5

There is no excuse for this.
Summaries, refrains, "inclusios" are a consistent feature of the hebrew bible and occur likewise in the christian scripture, and not surprisingly in everyday communication.
There being two accounts of the creation and so on.
This is all widely understood.

Blasphemy as clearly a lie and heresy as clearly deliberate.

This Enoch stuff is a nonsense. Always has been and always will be.

Elijah

'Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Elisha then ... stood on the bank of the Jordan.' 2 Kings 2:7, 11-12

'Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water ... And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.' Acts 8:36, 38-39

There are many direct and indirect parallels between these two events.

'As they were walking along and talking together ...'

'As they traveled along the road ... and told him ...'

Both events record the pairs "going on together" - ἐπορεύοντο also in the LXX and both strongly figure horses and chariots.

'... suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared ...'

'“My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”'

'And he gave orders to stop the chariot.'

Philip - from philos and hippos - that is 'lover of horses' - and the eunuch, in a chariot - with horses of its own, obviously.
There are many further instances of this in the accounts of Elijah and Elisha :

'And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.' 2 Kings 6:17

'Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”' 2 Kings 13:14

Both also feature baptism.

The circumstances of the departure of Elijah a re-enactment, not only of the entry of Israel into the land under Joshua - dividing the Jordan and walking across on dry ground - where the later spirit of Elijah in John would baptise into the new promise, but obviously also the dividing of the sea in the exodus under Moses :

'Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him ... Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.' (Matthew 17:12-13)

'For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors ... were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.' (1 Corinthians 10:1-2)

There are also parallels in the circumstances of the baptisms.

'Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan.'

'Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.'

'Elisha ... stood on the bank of the Jordan.'

Both Elijah and Elisha, but then Elisha on his own after the departure of Elijah.
This is paralleled in the departure of Philip.

'When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away ...'

However more pertinently, there are considerable parallels between the station and conversion and baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch and Naaman, the Syrian, the later gentile "convert" of Elisha.

'Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded ...' 2 Kings 5:1

'... on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”).' Acts 8:27

The conversion and baptism of Namaan being recorded thusly :

'So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan ..."' 2 Kings 2:9-10

A significant difference being the willingness of the eunuch in that regard :

'... the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”' Acts 8:36

There is also a concomitant significant parallel between the operation of the spirit and its transfer.

Elijah is the archetypal prophet, and one of two, the other being Elisha, that had the spirit or power of the father given to them in a manner where they seemingly used it autonomously, but certainly they were the only two that had the capacity to raise the dead (Elijah at 1 Kings 17:17-24 and Elisha at 2 Kings 4:8-36 and 2 Kings 13:20-21).

Elisha receives the spirit - a transfer between prophets, but cannot transfer it himself. The spirit of Elijah ceases with Elisha.

'Elisha died and was buried.' 2 Kings 13:20

This is a mirror of the circumstances surrounding the spirit gifts in the period following the ascension of christ.

'... the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands ...' Acts 8:18 - concerning Philip's ministry.

Although Philip was one of "the seven" (Acts 6:5), and had the capacity to perform miracles, the Apostles were the chosen vessel for granting that power (Acts 8:4-25).

This generational transfer and no futher, being communicated by Peter at its inception.

'... you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children ...' Acts 2:38-39

'... where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.' 1 Corinthians 13:8

'For, in part, are we gaining knowledge, and, in part, are we prophesying,–– But, as soon as that which is complete is come, that which is in part, shall be done away.' 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 Rotherham

The fullness or completeness spoken of being the revelation delivered to John - the fullness and completeness of the prophetic word and the oracles of god.

Ultimately, neither Namaan the Syrian, nor the Ethiopian eunuch, receive spirit power, and return to their separate gentile kingdoms after their conversions and baptisms.

In the case of Elijah and Elisha, there is a request for a reception of Elijah's power by Elisha and a resultant transfer depending on a condition :

'When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”' 2 Kings 2:9-10

'Elisha saw this ...' 2 Kings 2:12

'The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.”' 2 Kings 2:15

There are no conditional requests involving the eunuch witnessing the airbone extraction of Philip and there is no transfer of spirit.

There's a confluence of two "ceremonies" here. The baptism and operation of the spirit involving Elijah and Elisha being found in the interaction between the apostles and Philip.

But, the baptism recorded of the Ethiopian eunuch having an analog in the washing of Namaan the Syrian, both of these performed by the successors, Elisha and Philip, and neither involving a transfer of spirit power.

Ultimately we are told of both :

'And Elisha saw him no more.' 2 Kings 2:12

'... and the eunuch did not see him again ...' Acts 8:39

It should be noted, that although these direct parallels strongly tie the events in Kings with those in Acts as a type, it is also indicated that Elijah encountered circumstances similar to Philip in his taking to a geographically divergent place and identical with Philip in that he continued his work for some time afterward - both with the kings relevant to their dispensation.

'When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away ... Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.' Acts 8:39-40

'... Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.' 2 Kings 2:11

The "went up" applicable as in english in the general sense of going somewhere but more pertinently "to heaven" - הַשָּׁמָֽיִם - being the same word used to signify not only the abode of the father, but also the sky generally.

'... the birds in the sky (הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם) ..." Genesis 1:26

'... the floodgates of the heavens (הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם) were opened.' Genesis 7:11

Etcetera.

Perhaps critically, we are also informed that some years after the whirlwind, when Elisha had come into his own, that the subsequent king of Judah received a letter from Elijah.
The progression being :

'... and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.' 2 Kings 2:11

'And Elisha saw him no more.' 2 Kings 2:12

It is clear at this point, some time after the disappearance of Elijah, that Jehoshaphat is king of Judah :

'Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you.' 2 Kings 3:14

'Then Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king.' 2 Chronicles 21:1

'Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet ...' 2 Chronicles 21:12

Philip likewise continuing "preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea." Caesarea being the "city of the king". A gentile king.

Elijah continued his ministrations to the community.

But, along with the geographical movement there is a concomitant transfer of focus from the kings of Israel to Judah - a message being sent both literally and figuratively - foreshadowing the removal of the lampstand from the children of Isaac, and that while there was a continuance of the kingdom under the law in Judah, there was a spirit operating outside all, that would become the greater manifestation.

'The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.' (Genesis 49:10-11)

A process being revisited in Philip and his work in Caesarea, with the gentile kings in a figure. The supplanting of law by the greater Abrahamic faith and lowering of the "sheet" from heaven and the way being opened for all.

'So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.' (Galatians 3:24 NIV)

'... since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.' (Hebrews 11:40 NIV)

This victory over the law through the operation of the spirit of the father and faith - the man Moses by contrast having a publicly decreed and observed end.

These Moses and Elijah both appearing later as the great types of the law, which pertained to the flesh and brought death, and the prophets, as emblematic of the operation of the father, through which life came.

'... not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.'

'Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!'

2 Corinthians 3:6-9

Of necessity, while the scripture is eloquent to the death of Moses, it is silent as to the ultimate fate of Elijah, emblematic, of life.

A Melchizedek figure.

'This Melchizedek ...'

'Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God ...'

(Hebrews 7:1,3)

And as we are plainly informed, this Melchizedek of necessity, also died.

'... why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek ...'

'And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.'

(Hebrews 7:11, 15-16)

There is every indication directly and indirectly that Elijah was deposited elsewhere after being taken up to the sky. To suggest otherwise is contrary to the direct testimony of scripture and contrary to all the indications from the type and the significance of both.

Regardless. The fanciful notions put forward as alternatives - one can only guess as to the motivation to do so - require an incredible wresting of bible doctrine with regard to the fate of all the children of Adam and Eve.

John 3:13 stands.

As does the entirety of the rest of the bible as to these matters.

'Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.' (Romans 5:14)

That pattern typified in Jesus. We are explicitly told numerous times that death is the end of all the children of Adam, christ being the firstruits of redemption, the way and the life.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— (Romans 5:12 NIV)

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death ... and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way ...

Hebrews 2 : 9, 10-11, 14-15, 17

Etcetera.

0

John 3:13 (ESV)

No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

While the statements ascended and descended within the passage present serious difficulties, reconciling ascended with Enoch and Elijah is straightforward.

Genesis 5:24 (LXX)

And Enoch was well-pleasing to God, and was not found, because God translated him.
καὶ εὐηρέστησεν Ενωχ τῷ θεῷ καὶ οὐχ ηὑρίσκετο ὅτι μετέθηκεν αὐτὸν ὁ θεός

Enoch was translated by God. The verb μετέθηκεν is in the active voice meaning it was done by God. The same statement is made in Hebrews using slightly different language.

Hebrews 11:5:

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.
πίστει Ἑνὼχ μετετέθη τοῦ μὴ ἰδεῖν θάνατον καὶ οὐχ ηὑρίσκετο διότι μετέθηκεν αὐτὸν ὁ θεός πρὸ γὰρ τῆς μεταθέσεως μεμαρτύρηται εὐαρεστηκέναι τῷ θεῷ

Enoch was taken up. The verb, μετετέθη, is in the passive voice. Both passages describe what happened to Enoch: he was the recipient of what God did.

Like Enoch, Elijah was taken without experiencing death:

2 Kings 2:11 (LXX)

And it came to pass as they were going, they went on talking; and, behold, a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and it separated between them both; and Eliu was taken up in a whirlwind as it were into heaven.
καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτῶν πορευομένων ἐπορεύοντο καὶ ἐλάλουν καὶ ἰδοὺ ἅρμα πυρὸς καὶ ἵπποι πυρὸς καὶ διέστειλαν ἀνὰ μέσον ἀμφοτέρων καὶ ἀνελήμφθη Ηλιου ἐν συσσεισμῷ ὡς εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν

Taken up is ἀνελήμφθη and as in Hebrews it is in the passive voice. Like Enoch, Elijah was on the receiving end of God's action.

When speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus says no one has ascended, ἀναβέβηκεν, except he who descended, the Son of Man. Both ascended and descended are in the active voice; meaning the subject is the doer of the action.

The difficulty in understanding what Jesus said is how it applies to the Son of Man. However, with respect to Enoch and Elijah, neither performed the action of taking themselves to heaven.

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