By faith Enoch was taken up so that he did not see death. He could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
– Hebrews 11:5 (Berean Study Bible)
The Enoch Generation
A discussion of Noah’s flood as it speaks to conditions at the end times often addresses two groups of people living on the earth when God sent the judgment:
- Noah and his family, the only righteous people left on the planet
- The rest of the world, judged to be wicked
This sobering picture portrays believers, represented by the family of Noah, riding out the storm in the ark while those who refused deliverance are destroyed in a catastrophic flood. The ark symbolizes salvation offered by Christ.
This picture is called a “type,” or foreshadowing, of New Testament events played out in Old Testament symbolism. This device is validated by Paul in Romans 5:14 when he tells us Adam was a type of Christ.
Noah and the ark present a beautiful picture of the salvation we have in Christ. But if we simply insert that picture into Matthew 24, it appears Noah represents the Church, and the Flood represents overwhelming judgment upon the unbelievers. This is misleading.
In this picture, a very important historical figure is quite literally missing: Enoch.
Enoch was the great-grandfather of Noah and the father of Methuselah, whose name means, “His death shall bring.” The year Methuselah died was the year of the Flood. Methuselah represents the mercy and long-suffering of God in the face of wickedness.
Enoch and Noah are the only two men in Scripture of whom it is said, He walked with God. We read in Hebrews 11:5 that Enoch pleased God, the only one besides Jesus Christ of whom this is spoken in Scriptures. In Jude 1:14-15 we learn Enoch prophesied about the return of Christ to execute judgment. And in Genesis 5:22-24, we read this:
Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Enoch walked with God, prophesied to others about the coming of the Lord in glory, and pleased God. He did not see death but was translated to be with God before the coming of judgment.
Enoch was “snatched away,” or raptured. He represents the Church, the one who escapes the wrath to come, translated and taken by God before judgment in the last days.