By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him…
After the testimony borne to the life of Enoch, his translation scarcely surprises us. We almost look for some such apotheosis of his exalted virtues. Already he has more of the celestial than the earthly in his character; and is more fit to be the companion of angels than to associate with an apostate race. Even the outer nature has experienced the transforming influence of a long course of faith and devotion. Refined and purified beyond the ordinary state of a mortal body, we can conceive of it as fitly entering on immortality without undergoing the purification which death effects. Through a less trying ordeal it may soar to its place among the sons of God; and our moral sense is not shocked when such a superhuman reward is granted to one possessed of such superhuman excellence. Heaven must attract towards itself that which so much resembles itself. And what if the attraction be so strong, that the process of dying and the long waiting for the resurrection be dispensed with, and Heaven at once takes to itself that which is so manifestly its own? Although permitted to enter heaven by a path different from that which ordinary mortals tread, his body would no doubt undergo the change necessary to fit it for the kingdom into which flesh and blood cannot enter — a change in all probability similar to that which takes place in the bodies of the saints who are alive at the coming of the Lord. We have no account of how or where Enoch's translation took place. Perhaps it was promised before as the reward of his holiness, and that his faith in the promise might sustain him under his trials. In that case it would be a long-expected, much desired event. Or, perhaps, it was unexpected, and he was ignorant of what was taking place until the glories of heaven burst upon his view. But the conjecture most pleasing to us is that it was while he was entranced in devotion. When his soul left the world for awhile and soared upward to hold intercourse with God, when loth to disturb the vision and return to battle with the cares, and to be pained with the wickedness of the world, his body rises too, caught up by an invisible power, changing as it ascends, until it becomes pure as the home to which it hastens. Whether it came thus, or otherwise, is of small consequence. Come when and how it might, the transition must have been unspeakably glorious. His translation must have been designed to serve some important purposes. To him it was at once a dispensation of mercy and a mark of honour. A dispensation of mercy, because it severed him from the scenes of wickedness, which had vexed his righteous soul. God took him: properly, took him away. Away from the society of ungodly men, from their taunts and persecutions. Away from the wickedness over which he mourned. Away from the privations of this wilderness state. Away from the many ills to which flesh is heir, and the peculiar troubles which afflict the just. God had tested the fidelity of His servant. He took him away to be with Himself, and the weary one had rest. A mark of honour — for had not God sought to honour him, He might have removed him from all occasions of suffering in the ordinary way. To his neighbours his translation was a testimony to the truth of his prophecy. That prophecy (Jude 1:14, 15) was addressed, without doubt, to the ungodly men of his own generation, and predicted the punishment which awaited them because of their ungodliness. And when even this terrible prediction failed to check them in their downward career, how fitted was his translation to make them pause and consider. From the apostle's words "he was not found," we suppose that the event was known, as if he had been missed by the men of his neigh-bourhood from his accustomed haunts. Doubtless there were eye-witnesses of the event, by whom the manner of his removal would be made public. And thus his absence would be a standing testimony to the truth of his prediction. Most forcibly would it say — Death is not the end of man; for Enoch, though not dead, has departed. As regards ourselves it is fitted most powerfully to commend to us the principle which produced in him such remarkable results. His character was a noble testimony to the power of faith; but his translation shows more impressively what wonders faith can achieve. See in this mighty work the evidence and illustration of the truth that all things are possible to him that believeth. And remember that a faith like Enoch's can only be acquired through fellowship with God. While there must be faith in order to fellowship, fellowship fosters and strengthens faith.
(W. Landels, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
WEB: By faith, Enoch was taken away, so that he wouldn't see death, and he was not found, because God translated him. For he has had testimony given to him that before his translation he had been well pleasing to God.