|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:4-7 Here follow some illustrious examples of faith from the Old Testament. Abel brought a sacrifice of atonement from the firstlings of the flock, acknowledging himself a sinner who deserved to die, and only hoping for mercy through the great Sacrifice. Cain's proud rage and enmity against the accepted worshipper of God, led to the awful effects the same principles have produced in every age; the cruel persecution, and even murder of believers. By faith Abel, being dead, yet speaketh; he left an instructive and speaking example. Enoch was translated, or removed, that he should not see death; God took him into heaven, as Christ will do the saints who shall be alive at his second coming. We cannot come to God, unless we believe that he is what he has revealed himself to be in the Scripture. Those who would find God, must seek him with all their heart. Noah's faith influenced his practice; it moved him to prepare an ark. His faith condemned the unbelief of others; and his obedience condemned their contempt and rebellion. Good examples either convert sinners or condemn them. This shows how believers, being warned of God to flee from the wrath to come, are moved with fear, take refuge in Christ, and become heirs of the righteousness of faith.
Verse 5. - 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; literally, hath been witnessed of that he had been well-pleasing to God. The allusion is, of course, to the testimony in Genesis (Genesis 5:24), the LXX. being closely followed, which has, Αὐηρέστησεν Ἐνὼχ τῷ Θεῷ καὶ οὐχ ηὑρέσκετο διότι μετέθηκεν ἀυτον Ὁ Θεός, whereas the literal translation of our Hebrew text is, "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, because God took him."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
By faith Enoch was translated,.... Which is to be understood, not of a spiritual translation from the power of darkness, into the kingdom of Christ, as all converted, persons are translated, and doubtless Enoch was; nor of a rapture, or removal from one part of the earth to another, or from one part of a country to another, as Philip was caught away by the Spirit, after the baptism of the eunuch; but of a translation from earth to heaven; and not for a while only, as Paul was caught up to the third heaven; but as Elijah was, there to continue, and as the living saints will be at the last day; and this was a translation of him, soul and body, to heaven, to eternal glory and happiness, by a change from mortality to immortality, which passed upon him; and which is a pledge of the resurrection of the dead, and a proof of the Old Testament saints knowing, expecting, and enjoying eternal life. And with this agrees the sense of some of the Jewish writers concerning this affair. Jonathan ben Uzziel, in his paraphrase on Genesis 5:24 has these words:
"and Enoch worshipped in truth before the Lord; and behold he was not with the inhabitants of the earth, "he was translated", and ascended to the firmament (or heaven), by the Word before the Lord.''
And the Jerusalem Targum to the same purpose;
"and Enoch worshipped in truth before the Lord; and lo, he was not, for he was translated by the Word from before the Lord;''
or by the Word of the Lord, which went out from him; for this translation was of God, as our apostle afterwards asserts. R. Eleazar says (m):
"the holy blessed God took Enoch, and caused him to ascend to the highest heavens, and delivered into his hands all the superior treasures, &c''
He is said (n) to be one of the seven which entered into paradise in their life; and some of them say (o), that God took him, , body and soul; see the Apocrypha:
"He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living among sinners he was translated.'' (Wisdom 4:10)
"Enoch pleased the Lord, and was translated, being an example of repentance to all generations.'' (Sirach 44:16)
And this translation is said to be "by faith"; not through any virtue and efficacy in that grace to procure it; nor through faith, in that particular point; but God put an honour upon the faith of Enoch, and on him as a believer, this way.
That he should not see death; meaning not a spiritual or moral death; nor an eternal one, though some have suggested this to be the sense; and which is favoured by the character some of the Jewish writers give of Enoch, which will be hereafter taken notice of; but a corporeal death, which he died not; to which agrees the Targum of Oukelos on Genesis 5:24,
"and Enoch walked in the fear of the Lord, and he was not, for the Lord, , "did not kill him", or cause, or suffer him to die:''
though an exemplar of that paraphrase is cited (p), without the negative particle, thus,
"and he was not, for the Lord killed him,''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. Faith was the ground of his pleasing God; and his pleasing God was the ground of his translation.
translated—(Ge 5:22, 24). Implying a sudden removal (the same Greek as in Ga 1:6) from mortality without death to immortality: such a CHANGE as shall pass over the living at Christ's coming (1Co 15:51, 52).
had this testimony—namely of Scripture; the Greek perfect implies that this testimony continues still: "he has been testified of."
pleased God—The Scripture testimony virtually expresses that he pleased God, namely, "Enoch walked with God." The Septuagint translates the Hebrew for "walked with God," Ge 6:9, pleased God.
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