If [John 1:18] is true, Enoch | Chanok (חֲנ֜וֹךְ) could not have literally seen Elohim, since Enoch (חֲנ֜וֹךְ) is not the “one and only Son” of John's Gospel. - How then should readers understand [Genesis 5:24], if it is not to be truly literal?

Genesis | בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית Bereshit 5:24

“ ve-Yithalek Chanok et Ha-Elohim , ve-Einenu , ki Laqach oto Elohim “ (וַיִּתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ חֲנ֖וֹךְ אֶת־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים וְאֵינֶ֕נּוּ כִּֽי־לָקַ֥ח אֹת֖וֹ אֱלֹהִֽים)

Should we then understand the phrase "ve-Yithalek Chanok et Ha-Elohim" (וַיִּתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ חֲנ֖וֹךְ אֶת־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים) from Genesis 5:24 as a spiritual journey towards understanding The-God?

When studying the verb יִּתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ, we learn:

הָלַךְ (verb) means "to go / walk / come".

  • Qal : "to go / walk / come / depart / proceed / move / go away / to die / live / manner of life (fig.)"
  • Piel : "to walk / to walk (fig.)"
  • Hithpael : "to traverse / to walk about"
  • Niphal : "to lead / bring / lead away / carry / cause to walk"


English Bibles like KJV, NIV, NASB differ in their translations of [Genesis 5:24]:

  • The [KJV] bible gives an accurate translation from the Hebrew:
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
  • The [NIV] bible adds a word to the verse & removes the conjunction at the beginning of the verse:

    “[ ] Enoch walked [faithfully] with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

  • The [NASB] bible removes the conjunction at the beginning of the verse :

    “[ ] Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”

If [John 1:18] from the KJV is true : “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

Then does the phrase “וַיִּתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ חֲנ֖וֹךְ אֶת־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים“ in Genesis 5:24 actually mean : "Chanok [lived faithfully in his belief] of Ha-Elohim" or "Chanok [learned to understand] Ha-Elohim" ?

  • I've fixed the unicode errors for you. I have to say though that your last suggestion there, that it means he "learned to understand God" seems completely out of left field. Where did you get that idea from? What about the basic metaphorical meaning of Enoch travelled with God? Why are your two suggestions so one-sided, and non-relational?
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 18, 2021 at 5:58
  • This question is not asking if Enoch | Chanok (חֲנ֜וֹךְ) had a close relationship with Ha-Elohim even without seeing The-God. The question asks in context to not seeing God, what the phrase "Enoch walked with The-God" should mean. Apr 18, 2021 at 12:17
  • Surely whatever it means, it means doing something with God, which neither of your suggestions there are.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 18, 2021 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


As the OP has correctly observed, the verb "walked" does not necessarily involve a literal walking in the presence of someone but could mean a "spiritual" walking as per 1 John 2:6 -

Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked.

Such a figurative use is also common elsewhere in the Hebrew:

  • Ps 101:6 - My eyes favor the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way of integrity shall minister to me.
  • Isa 30:21 - And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.”
  • Jer 6:16 - This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: ‘Where is the good way?’ Then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it!’
  • 1 Kings 8:36 - then may You hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, so that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk. May You send rain on the land that You gave Your people as an inheritance.
  • Deut 8:6 - Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
  • Deut 11:22 - For if you carefully keep all these commandments I am giving you to follow—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him

... and so forth. Thus, the meaning in Gen 5:24 may have been entirely a spiritual walk of following the LORD.

HOWEVER, even if it is not, and we understand "walk" as literal" we have the following consideration concerning epiphanies in the OT -

We observe the clear statement several times in the NT that no human has ever seen God the father:

  • John 1:18 - No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
  • John 6:46 - No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. (See also Matt 18:10.)
  • 1 John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us.
  • Isa 64:4 - From ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

This last reference is significant because it says that people have seen God, that is The LORD, YHWH (V8), despite what the NT texts assert. Here are more examples:

  • Gen 18:1, 10 - Then the LORD appeared to Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre in the heat of the day, while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. ... Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year, and your wife Sarah will have a son!”
  • Gen 32:30 - So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
  • Ex 3:5, 6 - “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
  • Josh 5:13 - 6:2 - And the LORD said to Joshua, “Behold, I have delivered Jericho into your hand, along with its king and its mighty men of valor. (V2)
  • Judges 6:14 - The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Am I not sending you?” [See also V16]
  • Eze 1 - the prophet's vision of God; many elements of which are repeated in Rev 4 & 5.

See also instances of the “Angel of the LORD” clearly being the LORD - Gen 16:7-13, 22:11-17, 32:24-30, 48:16, Ex 3:2-6, 32:34, Num 22:22-35, Josh 5:13-15, Judg 2:1-4, 6:11-23, 13:3-23, Isa 63:9, Dan 3:25, 28, Hos 12:4, 5, Zech 3:1-7, Mal 3:1, Rev 8:3-5, 10:1-10, 18:1, 20:1-4.

  • A closely related phrase, “Angel of God” who is clearly God as in Gen 6:13, 8:15, 9:8, 17, 15:13, 17:3, 4, 21:12, 16-21, 35:1, 10, Ex 4:3-8, 6:2, 23:20, 21, Deut 1:6, 1 Kings 12:22, etc. See also Acts 10:3, 4, Gal 4:14.

The very fact that the NT so confidently asserts that no human has seen God the Father, but many people have seen God/YHWH in the OT means the inescapable conclusion is such epiphanies were of the pre-incarnate Jesus as per John 8:58 – “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

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