A man, not a metaphor

Faith & Inspiration

In giving driving directions to a person coming to your home for the first time, precision is needed: "Hang a right at Maple Street and I'm the seventh house on the left."

In metaphors and poetry, that kind of precision isn't cool. We don't say: "Your lips are like the red, red rose-you know, the rose in the trellis near the garage, by the garbage cans."

Enoch, that curiosity who was airlifted alive out of planet Earth in Genesis 5:24, is not a metaphor or an inspirational fable. He put his toga on one arm at a time and ate and drank and used the latrine like everybody else, and one day the neighbors looked for him and he was gone. I suppose they gave up after a few weeks and figured it out. Or maybe God told one of the prophets.

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Enoch was a real guy. But you, dear 21st century reader, live in an age where everybody knows that men don't get taken up to heaven (or rise from the dead, for that matter), so you may be tempted to buy the "enlightened" view that Enoch is a pious myth to fill in the gaps of pre-recorded history. Just in case you are leaning that way, the New Testament confirms the report of the Old Testament and even adds more detail:

"Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds and ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14-15).

So then, Enoch not only was not fictitious, he was a prophet who had something specific to say for the record in The Mesopotamian Times.

As evolution starts to creep into our churches through the back door of theistic evolution (just as there is "soft porn" there is "soft evolutionism"), I continue to be struck by many New Testament verbal markers that prevent the people of the Old Testament from being taken as metaphors. Enoch was seventh from Adam-not sixth and not eighth. And if you had gone to his house for a visit before he left, you could have found the way on MapQuest.

Andrée Seu Peterson
Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again.


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