Some people assume that Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5 declare that the Eternal took Hanok (Enoch) to heaven. Is this true?

Genesis 5:24 [The Scriptures - TS]
24 And Hanok walked with Elohim. Then he was no more, for Elohim took him.


Hebrews 11:5 [TS]
5 By belief, Hanok 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 the Eternal took him; they only tell us that He was taken. Did the Eternal take Hanok to heaven? Of course not, because Yeshua himself said

John 3:13 [TS]
13  And no one has gone up into the heaven except He who came down from the heaven – the Son of Adam
(Yeshua's words in purple)

Further ahead, Hebrews 11 lists the men and women who were loyal in Scripture (among them Hanok) and concludes that

Hebrews 11:39 [TS]
39 And having obtained witness through the belief, all these did not receive the promise

It is obvious then, that Hanok did not go up to heaven nor did he receive the promised eternal life.

Genesis tells us that in the end Hanok died

Genesis 5:23-24 
23 So all the days of Hanok were three hundred and sixty-five years.
24 And Hanok walked with Elohim. Then he was no more, for Elohim took him. 

He lived 365 years and no more; he is not alive and still walking with Elohim. The expression <all the days of…> is used in the same chapter referring to, at least, eight more people and all of them, of course, died.

Acts 7:15-16 
15 And Yaʽaqob {Jacob} went down to Mitsrayim {Egypt}, and died, he and our fathers, 
16 and they were brought over{metatithemi} to Shekem and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shekem. 

The original Greek word for ‘translate’ or ‘transport’ is «metatithemi» According to Arndt-Gingrich’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 1969 edition, the primary meaning is to “convey to another place …transfer” (p.514).
This same Greek word is rendered <carried (brought) over> in Acts 7:16. Here we read that after Jacob died his body was <carried (brought) over > – transported, translated – to Shekem where he was buried! 
The Scriptures tell us that Ya’aqob was transported or translated to the place of burial! That is why Mosheh said that the Eternal took Enoch. The Eternal removed or translated him so that he was not found.

The Scriptures simply do not tell us all the details of what happened to Hanok. However, they do tell us that Eliyahu (Elijah) was translated in a similar manner and that later he died.
The Eternal told Mosheh (Moses) to go up to Mount Nebo to die there and seemingly, he was alone

Deuteronomy 32:48-50 
48 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh that same day, saying, 
49 “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Mo’ab, which is opposite Yeriho, and look at the land of Kenaʽan {Canaan}, which I give to the children of Yisra’el 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, the Eternal buried his body in an unknown place, probably to avoid it from becoming idolised. Something similar could have happened with Hanok.

Did the prophet Eliyahu 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 the Eternal that lived in the ninth century before Yeshua. The Tanach 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 Eliyahu went up by a whirlwind into the heavens. 

Does this event contradict the statement that Yeshua 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 Adam.

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 certain versions of the Scriptures that have been mistranslated since the beginning).

There are three heavens mentioned in Scripture:

1) The first heaven is the air that surrounds the earth, in other words, it is the atmosphere. It is where the dew comes from – Genesis 27:28; Deuteronomy 33:28 and where the birds fly – Genesis 1:20.
Elijah <went up by a whirlwind into the heavens> – 2 Kings 2:1, 11.
Since whirlwinds do not go past the atmosphere it is clear that Eliyahu was taken up into the heavens where the dew comes from and birds fly. 
2) The second heaven is what we normally call space, it is where the sun, moon, stars and planets are located.
Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars – Psalms 8:3; Genesis 1:15
3) The third heaven is the abode of Yahweh, where His throne is located. It is where Yeshua is seated at the right hand of the Father. No man has ever ascended into this heaven as Yeshua, the Messiah tells us in John 3:13.

 Speaking of Messiah, who is our High Priest, the Nazarene Writings (New Covenant) tell 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 the Eternal 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 outer space where the sun, moon, planets, comets, asteroids, and stars are. King Dawid (David) spoke of this when he was meditating on the impressive creation of the Eternal 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 – Genesis 26:4; Number 1:10; 28:62;
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 Noah'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 Eliyahu was translated.  Let us look at the proof of this.
The Eternal had previously told Eliyahu that he had to anoint a prophet called Elisha as his successor

1 Kings 19:16 
16 And anoint Yehu son of Nimshi as sovereign over Yisra’el. And anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah 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 Eliyahu 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 the Eternal 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 Eliyahu 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 Yeriho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Eliyahu 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 was taken to heaven, to the place where the Eternal 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 Eliyahu’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 Eliyahu 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. Eliyahu’s last act, which we know the date of, happened during the reign of Aḥazyahu (Ahaziah), king o Yisra’el, when Eliyahu told him he was going to die for his sins – 2 Kings 1:3, 17. The reign of Aḥazyahu lasted only one year (around 850 years before Yeshua). Eliyahu’s translation and replacement are registered in the next chapter of 2 Kings. History narrates the events in Eliyahu’s life; among them is an encounter with Jehosaphat, king of Judah – 2 Kings 3:11-14. A few years later (around 845 before Yeshua), 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 the Eternal. A few years into the reign of Jeroboam and years after his disappearance, Eliyahu 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 Eliyahu the prophet, saying, Thus said יהוה Elohim of your father Dawid, “Because you have not walked in the ways of Yehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa sovereign of Yehudah,
13 but have walked in the way of the sovereigns of Yisra’el, and have made Yehudah and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim to commit whoring like the whorings of the house of Ahab, 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. The Eternal had chosen Elisha to succeed Eliyahu and to be His prophet; He did it by transferring Eliyahu to another place and after allowed him to continue living a few years more, as the letter to Jeroboam proves
After Eliyahu 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,

Eliyahu, the same as other prophets, just men and women of the Torah, died in the faith without receiving eternal life in the Kingdom of the Eternal – Hebrews 11:39.

As we can see in these verses, a detailed study of the Scriptures allows us to understand that Eliyahu’s miraculous ascent in a whirlwind relates to his transfer to another geographical place and not to eternal life in heaven.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture was taken  from The Scriptures,
Copyright by Institute for Scripture Research.
Used by permission.