Bible Review 19:2, April 2003

Parallel Paths to Heaven

Enoch and Jesus

By Birger A. Pearson

At the end of the Gospel of Mark, we read: “So then the Lord Jesus … was taken up into heaven, and he sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).1

It is a remarkable fate—to be taken up bodily into heaven—yet, in the Bible, it is not unique.

In the Book of Genesis, we find the first figure to be taken up by God: Enoch.2 Enoch’s story is told briefly in Genesis, as part of the genealogical list of the patriarchs from Adam to Noah. The genealogy begins:

When Adam had lived 130 years, he begot a son in his likeness after his image, and he named him Seth. After the birth of Seth, Adam lived 800 years; and he begot sons and daughters. All the days that Adam lived came to 930 years; then he died.

(Genesis 5:3–5)3

The formula is repeated for the subsequent generations. In each case, we are told only the patriarch’s name, his son’s name, whether he had sons and daughters, his age when his son was born and his age at death—until we get to Adam’s great-great-great-great-grandson Enoch:

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