A foreshadowing of Jesus' ascension into heaven

Bible passage: Genesis 5:24
Prophet: Abraham
Written: As early as 1400 BC

Gen. 5:24 provides the first foreshadowing illustration of the Messiah's rapture given in the Old Testament. It speaks of a Biblical figure named Enoch, who had found favor with God because of his faith and commitment:

Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (Gen. 5:24, NIV)

This verse is often included in lists of prophecies because it provides a foreshadowing, a precedent for Jesus' ascension, as described by writers in the New Testament:

- When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-51, NIV)

- For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV)

- After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19, NIV)

- She gave birth to a son, a male child, who "will rule all the nations with an iron scepter." And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Rev. 12:5, 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. (Hebrews 11:5, NIV)

Not all Bible prophecies are predictive. Gen. 5:24 is an example of a precedent prophecy. Many details of Jesus' life, as recorded in the New Testament, have a precedent in the Old Testament.

For example, when Jesus was an infant, his mother and adoptive father took him to Egypt for his safety because King Herod sought to kill the children of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. This is described in the New Testament book of Matthew, chapter 2. In the Old Testament, the Israelites escaped famine in the land of Israel and took refuge in Egypt, where they stayed for about 400 years.

There are many parallels in the details of the life of Jesus in the New Testament and in the details provided about the history of the nation of Israel, as well as some important people, such as Enoch, in the Old Testament.