Why were Enoch and Elijah taken to heaven without dying?

Even Jesus died. This is a cornerstone of Christian theology. The Son of God died, but then rose from the dead three days later. However, Enoch and Elijah did not die. They were taken from earth to heaven by God. They are the only ones in recorded history to skip death.

"Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him" reads Genesis 5:22–24. Others listed in the Genesis 5 genealogy are clearly said to have died. But Enoch simply "was not, for God took him." No explanation for why he did not die is given.

We read of Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11, "And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." Elijah had warned Elisha, who he was walking with, that he may be taken to heaven. And he was. Elijah, one of God's most powerful prophets, did not die but was simply taken to heaven. Malachi 4:5–6 speaks of his return.

Some believe Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses described in Revelation 11:3–12 and were taken in preparation for this role. There is no direct evidence that Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses of the end times, though it is possible. Others think that Enoch and Elijah were spared death because of their faithfulness in serving and obeying God.

We can trust that God's purposes for saving these two men from death, whether we understand them or not, are just and right. "This God—his way is perfect …" (Psalm 18:30).

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