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    He walked & was not – B’reshit

    Enoch, from the Figures de la Bible, 1728

    The human beings who people the first section of B’reshit include Chanoch (Enoch) about whom the Torah says, “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, because God took him” (Gen. 5:24).

    This cannot be a way of escaping from the blunt “and He died”, since “and he died” comes a number of times in the same chapter.

    Rashi says that the words indicate that he died early, since most ancient figures are described as enjoying very long lives. In this sense Enoch died before reaching a normal span of years.

    According to Radak (Rabbi David Kimchi) he died without undergoing a prior period of illness.

    There is a tradition that Enoch never really died, though other traditions deny this, and the Targum Onkelos spells it out and says, “The Lord caused him to die”.

    The Targum – as usual – is bothered by the anthropomorphism of the phrase, “walked with God”, and re-words it as “walked in the fear of the Lord”.

    The fact that he “walked with God” indicates that his righteousness brought him a special fate.

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