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Hebrews 11:5

ESV By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.
NIV By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience 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.
NASB By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE God TOOK HIM UP; for before he was taken up, he was attested to have been pleasing to God.
CSB By faith Enoch was taken away, and so he did not experience death. He was not to be found because God took him away. For before he was taken away, he was approved as one who pleased God.
NLT It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying — 'he disappeared, because God took him.' For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God.
KJV 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.

What does Hebrews 11:5 mean?

The writer of Hebrews is explaining how faith leads to God's blessings. The first set of examples used are meant to show that God rewards those who seek Him, despite not having a crystal-clear understanding of how or when His promises will be fulfilled. The first example given was that of Abel, who offered God an acceptable and faithful sacrifice (Genesis 4:3–5). Even though Abel was killed by his jealous brother, Cain (Genesis 4:8–10), God honored Abel's faith, and his story has become a useful lesson for us all.

Here, the writer offers a drastic contrast in Enoch. So far as we can tell from his appearance in the book of Genesis, Enoch did not experience physical death—instead, he was "taken" by God (Genesis 5:23–24). While Abel suffered the worst possible end to his earthly experience, being violently murdered, Enoch never had to die at all. The example given by Enoch is that he so "walked with God" that he was taken before death. Crucially, the writer of Hebrews points out that it was Enoch's faith which motivated his behavior.

The contrast between Abel and Enoch is important. Both are recipients of God's acceptance, though their earthly lives came to radically different ends. The theme of this part of Hebrews is that faith "looks forward" despite incomplete knowledge. Though we cannot see all ends, here and now, God is moving towards an eventual fulfillment of all promises. What happens during our earthly lives is only a part of that process, not the end of it. As a result, believers are not guaranteed success in the mortal world.
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