by Yhemaelh Zeev
Translated by Notes
WAS THE PROPHET TAKEN TO HEAVEN?
Some people assume that Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5 declare that took Elohim Enoch to heaven. Is this true?
Genesis 5:24 24 And Ḥanoḵ walked with Elohim. Then he was no more, for Elohim took him.
Hebrews 11:5 5 By belief, Ḥanoḵ was translated so as not to see death, “and was not found because Elohim had translated him.
None of these verses tell us how or where Yahweh took him; they only tell us that He was taken. Did Yahweh Elohim take Hanok to heaven? Off course not, because himself said
Yohanan 3:13 13 And no one has gone up into the heaven except He who came down from the heaven – the Son of Aḏam.
Further ahead, Hebrews 11 lists the men and women who were loyal in Scripture (among them Hanok) and concludes that
Hebrews 11 39 And having obtained witness through the belief, all these did not receive the promise
It is obvious then, that Enoch did not go up to heaven nor did he receive the promised eternal life.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH HANOK?
Genesis tells us that in the end Hanok died
Bereshith 5:23-24 23 So all the days of Ḥanoḵ were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Ḥanoḵ walked with Elohim. Then he was no more, for Elohim took him.
He lived 365 years and no more; he is not alive still and walking with Elohim. The expression <all the days> is used in the same chapter referring to, at least, eight people more and all of them, of course, died.
Hebrew 11:5 says the Enoch <was translated so as not to see death> the same word is used referring to the remains of the Patriarch Jacob and his sons, which were transferred from Egypt to the land of Canaan, where they were finally buried.
Acts 7:15-16 15 And Yaʽaqoḇ went down to , and died, he and our fathers,16 and they were brought over to Sheḵem and laid in the tomb that Aḇraham bought for a price of silver from the sons of Ḥamor, the father of Sheḵem.
The Scriptures simply do not tell us all the details of what happened to Hanok. However, they do tell us that was translated in a similar manner and that later he died.
Yahweh Elohim told Moses to go up to Mount Nebo to die there and seemingly, he was alone
Deuteronomy 32:48-50 48 And spoke to Mosheh that same day, saying, 49 “Go up this mountain of the Aḇarim, Mount Neḇo, which is in the land of Mo’aḇ, which is opposite Yeriḥo, and look at the land of Kenaʽan, which I give to the children of Yisra’ĕl as a possession, 50 and die on the mountain which you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aharon your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people,
Later on, Elohim buried his body in an unknown place, probably to avoid it from becoming idolised.
Something similar could have happened with Enoch.
THE CASE OF ELIJAH
Did the prophet Elijah go to heaven?
This is a biblical event that is sometimes quoted to support the belief that the just go to heaven after death (a belief rooted in Christianity) and according to them, this occurred to the prophet Eliyahu, a prophet of Yahweh Elohim that lived in the ninth century BCE. The Old Covenant says:
2 Kings 2:11 11 And it came to be, as they continued on and spoke, that see, a chariot of fire with horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Ěliyahu went up by a whirlwind into the heavens.
Does this event contradict the statement that Yahshua made some 900 years later?
John 3:13 13 And no one has gone up into the heaven except He who came down from the heaven – the Son of Aḏam.
How can we explain this apparent Scriptural discrepancy? A careful analysis shows us that both passages can be easily reconciled (They are contradictory only in Christian versions of the Scriptures that have been mistranslated since the beginning).
A thorough study shows us that there are three “heavens” that are mentioned in Scripture. One is the place where Yahweh Elohim resides, the place of His throne, the resurrected Yahshua the Messiah is also there. Speaking of Messiah, who is our High Priest, the New Covenant tells us:
Hebrews 8:1 [Lexham English Bible] 1 Now this is the main point in what has been said: we have a high priest such as this, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
The abode of Yahweh Elohim is called heaven specifically:
Deuteronomy 26:15 [Jewish Publication Society] 15 Look forth from Thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Thy people Israel, and the land which Thou hast given us, as Thou didst swear unto our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Another heaven named in Scripture is what we call sidereal space where the sun, moon, planets, comets, asteroids and stars are. Prince David spoke of this when he was meditating on the impressive creation of Yahweh Elohim with these words:
Psalms 8:3 3 For I see Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have established.
The “stars of heaven” are mentioned in many verses [Bereshith (Genesis) 26:4; Debarim (Numbers) 1:10; 28:62; Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 13:10]
In addition, there is another heaven, which is the atmosphere that surrounds our planets formed by oxygen and other gases. This heaven is mentioned in verses like Genesis 7:11-12 describing the universal flood in the days of Noah:
Genesis 7:11-12 11 In the six hundredth year of Noaḥ’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Scripture also talks about “the fowls of heaven” which fly above our heads
Job 35:11 11 teaching us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
Jeremiah 16:4 4 They shall die of deaths from diseases, they shall not be lamented nor be buried, but be like dung on the face of the earth, and be consumed by sword and by scarcity of food. And their corpses shall be meat for the birds of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth.
To know which of the heavens that Scripture is referring to in the verse we are studying it is necessary to study the context in detail. It was to the lower part of the third heaven, the atmosphere of the earth, where Elijah was translated. Let us look at proof of this.
Yahweh Elohim had previously told Elijah that he had to anoint a prophet called Elisha as his successor
i Kings 19:16 16 And anoint Yěhu son of Nimshi as sovereign over Yisra’ěl. And anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Aḇěl Meḥolah as prophet in your place.
Later on, Elijah said to Elisha
2 Kings 2:9 9 And it came to be, when they had passed over, that Ěliyahu said to Elisha, “Ask what I am to do for you, before I am taken away from you!” And Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.
Then they spoke about the gifts of Elohim that Elisha would need to fulfil Eliyahu’s role.
11 And it came to be, as they continued on and spoke, that see, a chariot of fire with horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Ěliyahu went up by a whirlwind into the heavens.
Eliyahu was now gone. His followers and students now knew that Elisha was their new leader.
15 And when the sons of the prophets who were from Yeriḥo saw him, they said, “The spirit of Ěliyahu rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.
Many Old Covenant readers assume that at this point Elijah became immortal and taken to heaven, to the place where Yahweh Elohim resides. However, it was not so. The sons of the prophets knew that the whirlwind had simply translated him to another place on earth. They said to Elisha:
16 And they said to him, “Look, there are fifty strong men with your servants. Please let them go and search for your master, lest the Spirit of יהוה has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” And he said, “Send no one.”
The disciples were concerned about Elijah’s security, so they sent a group of 50 men to look for him. They looked for him for three days but they could not find him:
17 But they pressed upon him till he was ashamed, and he said, “Send.” So they sent fifty men, and they searched for three days but did not find him.
Another verse proves in a convincing manner that Elijah did not go to heaven. Scripture tells us that a few years after the whirlwind took him, Eliyahu wrote a letter to Jeroboam King of Judah. Let us see what happened as it is registered in Scripture. Elijah’s last act, which we know the date of, happened during the reign of Ahaziah, king o Yisra’ĕl, when Eliyahu told him he was going to die for his sins
(2 Kings 1:3, 17). The reign of Ahaziah lasted only one year (around 850 before Yahshua). Eliyahu’s translation and replacement are registered in the next chapter of 2 Kings. History narrates the events in Elijah’s life; among them is an encounter with Jehosaphat, king of Judah (2 Kings 3:11-14). A few years later (around 845 BCE), Jeroboam, son of Jehosaphat, succeeded his father as king of Judah (2 Kings 8:16).
Jeroboam was a perverse king and led the nation of Judah to rebel against the commandments of Yahweh Elohim. A few years into the reign of Jeroboam and years after his disappearance, Elijah wrote a letter to Jeroboam to warn him against the grave consequences of his sins.
2 Chronicles 21:12-15 12 And a letter came to him from Ěliyahu the prophet, saying, Thus said יהוה Elohim of your father Dawiḏ, “Because you have not walked in the ways of Yehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa sovereign of Yehuḏah, 13 but have walked in the way of the sovereigns of Yisra’ěl, and have made Yehuḏah and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim to commit whoring like the whorings of the house of Aḥaḇ, and also have killed your brothers, those of your father’s household, who were better than yourself, 14 see, יהוה is going to strike with a great blow among your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, 15and you, with many sicknesses, with disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out because of the sickness, day by day.”
This letter proves that the prophet Eliyahu was still alive on earth a few years after he was translated by the whirlwind and replaced by Elisha. Yahweh Elohim had chosen Elisha to succeed Elijah and to be His prophet; He did it by transferring Elijah to another place and after allowed him to continue living a few years more, as the letter to Jeroboam proves
After Elijah wrote this letter, Scripture does not mention anything regarding him again. However , he obviously had to die as we read in
Hebrews 9:27 27 And as it awaits men to die once, and after this the judgment,
Elijah, the same as other prophets, just men and women of the , died in the faith without receiving eternal life in the Kingdom of Elohim (Hebrews 11:39)
As we can see in these verses, a detailed study of the Scriptures allows us to understand that Elijah’s miraculous ascent in a whirlwind relates to his transfer to another geographical place and not with eternal life in heaven.
We should not give in to the evil inclination of “taking a text out of context” to create A RELIGIOUS IDEA OR BELIEF. We should examine scrutinise thoroughly to know the whole truth of the matter.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are from The Scriptures,
Copyright by Institute for Scripture Research.
Used by permission.