Read Gen 5:21-24 at the Bible Gateway.
All of the parshas from Gen 5:1-31 follow the same pattern, with one exception. Establishing a pattern is a teaching tool of Torah, and breaking an established pattern is another teaching tool of Torah.
Gen 5:1-5 (stumah): the mortality of Adam (his name means “man”).
Gen 5:6-8 (stumah): the mortality of Seth (his name means “appointed”).
Gen 5:9-11 (stumah): the mortality of Enosh (his name means “mortality”).
Gen 5:12-14 (stumah): the mortality of Kenan (his name means “possessed of sorrow”).
Gen 5:15-17 (stumah): the mortality of Mahalalel (his name means “praise of God”).
Gen 5:18-20 (stumah): the mortality of Jared (his name means “descend”).
Gen 5:21-24 (stumah): Enoch walked with God and did not die (his name means “teaching”).
Gen 5:25-27 (stumah): the mortality of Methuselah (his name means, “his death shall bring”).
Gen 5:28-31 (stumah): the mortality of Lamech (his name means “despairing”), and the birth of Noah (his name means, “comfort, rest”).
The history of Enoch is different from the history of all the other patriarchs. God says something about Enoch that he doesn’t say about any of the others, even Adam or Seth. Enoch walked with God. And he did not die – God took him. The asumption is that he was taken to heaven alive as Elijah was. God is teaching us by breaking the pattern previously established in Torah, that man suffers mortality, but the man who walks with God does not die.
The Hebrew word “walk” is used one time previously in Genesis: when God walked in the Garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8). When God walked in the Garden, that was when He was coming to meet with man! In Gen 3:8, God walks with man; in Gen 5:22, man walks with God.
“Walk” is Hebrew halak, Strong’s H1980, ilh hey – lamed – kaph, from an even more primitive root, il lamed – kaph.
l lamed: this is the shepherd’s staff, so it also means whatever a shepherd does with his staff – teach, guide, direct, correct, exercse authority or discipline.
i,k kaph: the open palm, also blessing, welcome, giving.
The lamed – kaph root is the picture of the staff in the palm, as a nomad would grasp when he went anywhere, thus “to walk.” (Our English word “walk” is from this Hebrew root: see the l – k, the lamed – kaph? Hebrew is the mother tongue, from which all the languages were divided at Babel.)
The addition of the h hey on the front: the hey is the picture of the man with his arms upraised in wonder, worship, exclamation, astonishment. Thus it often indicates revelation. So ilh hey – lamed – kaph is to walk a revealed path – to walk a journey, thus to live a lifestyle (to walk a journey through life).
Now Enoch was a prophet (Jud 14-15) who warned of two judgments to come which would destroy all the earth: the first by water, the second by fire. When his son was born, he prophesied that when his son died, the first judgment would come, thus he named him Methuselah, “his death shall bring.” Methuselah is the longest- lived person in the Bible at 969 years; thus even in this age, we see God extending grace, and delaying the time of judgment to give as many as possible time to repent!
The theme of the parsha stumah from Gen 5:21-24 is Enoch walked with God, and did not die.
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