Enoch And Elijah: R.I.P.
Christians who believe in the immortality of the soul or spirit
sometimes point to the antediluvian patriarch Enoch and the prophet
Elijah as examples of men who have never died and are alive in heaven.
Enoch is sometimes further taken as a type of the "pre-tribulation
rapture" of the Body of Christ at the end of this dispensation!
According to this theory, just as Enoch was "snatched away" to heaven
and safety before the Flood, so also will Christians at the end of the
dispensation of grace be "snatched away" to heaven and safety before the
Great Tribulation and the Wrath of God.
for Elijah, who hasn't at one time or another heard in a sermon how that
Elijah was carried oft to heaven in a fiery chariot thereby escaping
death? This popular notion has even passed into evangelical hymnology in
the song "Swing Low Sweet Chariot---comin' for to carry me home"!
some modern "last days scenarios" BOTH Enoch and Elijah are identified
as the Two Witnesses of the Book of Revelation (11:3-12). Adherents to
this view reason that since "it is appointed unto men once to die, and
then the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27) and since (according to their theory)
neither Enoch nor Elijah have yet died, they must therefore appear again
on earth just before the end of the age to witness to the followers of
the Antichrist and then be slain, after which God will raise them from
the dead and take them "back to heaven."
Now in the case of Enoch the language used of him in Genesis and Hebrews
is incredibly terse and great care must be taken to interpret it
correctly and in harmony with what the rest of holy Scripture teaches on
the state of the dead.
the case of Elijah the language used in 2 Kings is plain enough, its
just more often than not misread and thereby misunderstood.
further complicate matters, the teaching that these men escaped death
and are alive in heaven is an ancient one. And to those who espouse it,
the very antiquity of the teaching seemingly lends it a kind of
authority. But antiquity does not equal authority. What is true is true
because it is true and not merely because it is old! The serpent's lie:
"thou shalt not surely die"(Gen.3:4) is very, very old--but it is NOT
the truth. 
This belief about Enoch and Elijah being taken alive into heaven does
not appear anywhere in the Old Testament. It first makes its appearance
in Jewish thought and literature during the intertestamental period.
That is, this belief doesn't appear until AFTER the Jews return from the
seventy year long Babylonian Captivity.
Persian Influences On Second Temple Judaism:
Some time after the Jews were taken into captivity the Babylonian Empire
was overthrown by the Medes and Persians. The state religion of the new
empire was Zoroastrianism In fact, King Cyrus--.who Isaiah named in
prophecy several centuries before he was born(lsa.45:1.4) and who
allowed a remnant of the Jews to return to the land...King Cyrus was
himself a Zoroastrian! 
Zoroastrianism comes from Zoroaster ("seed of the star" or "star-seed")
which is what the Greeks called the Iranian prophet Zarathustra.
Now the Zoroastrians had a number of doctrines which more or less
paralleled those of the Jews. They believed in a Supremely Good and
All-Wise eternal Creator-God named Ahura Mazda, and in an Evil, not
quite eternal, Corrupt-god named Angra Mainyu (or Ahriman) who was
somewhat analogous to the Biblical Satan. They believed in a coming
deliverer called a Saoshyant ("savior")  who would be born of
a virgin.  They believed in both angels and demons. And they
believed in the resurrection of the dead.
However, in stark CONTRAST to the teachings of the Hebrew patriarchs and
prophets, they believed that at death the spirit of the righteous would
ascend to Garo Demana (the heaven of light and the abode of Ahura
Mazda), whereas the spirit of the wicked would descend to Drujo Demana
(the house of the lie and the abode of Angra Mainyu) where it would
dwell forever in "a murky glow and woeful wailings." 
According to Scripture, before the Jewish remnant was allowed to return
to the land of Israel, many Zoroastrians converted to Judaism (Esther
8:17). As is often the case in such conversions the new convert brings
some concepts from the old religion into the new one. This is especially
so when there already exist many parallels between the two religions as
was the case with Zoroastrianism and Judaism.
Evidence of the infiltration of Zoroastrian ideas Post-Captivity Judaism
can be found in intertestamental literature, in the Dead Sea Scrolls in
For example, some of the Rabbi's taught that "the names of the angels
[as well as the names of the months] came with us from Babylonia"(Rosh
Hashanah 1.56d).  In fact, Asmodeus, the evil spirit in the
Book of Tobit (3:8;etc.), is actually the name of a Zoroastrian demon!
Again, the community of Essenes at Qumran in their Charter teach a
doctrine of "two spirits" that so closely resembles Zarathustra's
teaching that few scholars fail to see the connection. 
The Aramaic word for "demon" which was used by the Jews in Palestine in
the first century is DEVA which is a loan word from the Persian. 
Finally, the word "paradise"(Aramaic=pardaisa and Greek=paradeisos) is
derived from the Persian word PARDIS. "Pardis was the name of a famous
palace and garden built by one of the Median kings about seven centuries
before Christ."  The Greek transliteration of this word is
used throughout the Septuagint (LXX)  to translate the Hebrew
words for "garden" (GAN/GANNA). The Aramaic pardaisa was in common use
in Palestine in the first century and survives in Rabbinical writings
and in the Peshitta and other Aramaic (Syriac) Christian literature.
Since there is no evidence in Scripture that the Jews, prior to the
Babylonian Captivity, believed in an intermediate state between death
and resurrection,  and since Jewish belief in an intermediate
state first appears in Judaism AFTER the Jews' return to the land (along
with a number of other concepts of Persian origin)---it is reasonable to
believe that late Jewish traditions of an intermediate state are also of
Persian (that is, Zoroastrian) origin!
Still later, when Palestine would come under Greek rule, Hellenistic
ideas would further reinforce this deviation from Biblical teaching.
Now in the apocryphal Wisdom of Sirach Genesis 5:24 is plainly
interpreted as teaching
that Enoch was taken up alive into heaven by God:
"Enoch pleased the Lord, and was taken up; he was an example of
to all generations." (Sirach 44:16)
"No one like Enoch has been created on earth, for he was taken up from
the earth." (Sirach 49:14)
The prophet Elijah gets a similar treatment in Sirach:
"You who were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with horses
of fire; you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm
the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury..." (Sirach 48:9.10)
But is the teaching in this apocryphal book Scriptural? Are the
theories, both ancient and modern, which are based upon this teaching
Let us take a closer look at what the Holy Scriptures have to say about
these so called "Old Testament raptures." We will begin with the case of
"And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God TOOK him."
"By faith Enoch was TRANSLATED so that he did not see death, 'and was
not found because God had translated him'; for before his translation he
had this testimony, that he pleased God." (Hebrews 11:5, NKJV)
a number of scholars and students believe that Paul's epistle to the
Hebrews was originally scribed in Aramaic and then translated into Greek
 we will give Dr. Lamsa's translation of this verse from the
"By faith Enoch DEPARTED and did not taste death, and he was not found,
because God TOOK him; but before He TOOK him away, there was a
testimonial about him, that he pleased God." (Heb.11:5, Lamsa)
Some say that these passages say that Enoch never died, but that God
took him directly to heaven. On the other hand, there are Scriptures
that certainly contradict such a notion. For example:
"NO MAN HAS ASCENDED TO HEAVEN but He who came down from heaven, that
is, the Son of Man who is in heaven." (John 3:13, NKJV)
"NO MAN HAS SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME." (l John 4:12a, NKJV)
How are we to reconcile the popular teaching with such plain statements
to the contrary? ANSWER: we cannot!
In Genesis 5:24 the word "took" is from the Hebrew LAQAH which means "to
receive" or "to accept"(Young’s Analytical Concordance). Phrases similar
to "he was not" are used elsewhere in the Old Testament to denote DEATH.
"Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her
children, because they are not"
(Jer.31:15, NKJV) -- that is, they had died. Again: "...for now I
shall lie in the earth; thou wilt seek me but I shall not be" (Job
7:21, KJV). Thus Genesis 5:24 could be read: "And Enoch walked with
God, and he DIED; for God ACCEPTED him."
The first part of this verse seems plain enough But what could "for God
ACCEPTED him" possibly mean? A closer look at Hebrews 11:5 will provide
the answer we seek.
the Aramaic (Peshitta) text of Hebrews 11:5 the words which Dr. Lamsa
renders "departed" and "took" are from the word SeNA which means "to
remove," "to change," "to depart," "to translate," "to transfer" and "to
carry over. In this context "to remove" is probably the best rendering.
"By faith Enoch was REMOVED..." This reminds us of Job's declaration:
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him"(Job 13:15, KJV).
The Greek text of Hebrews 11:5 is also illuminating. The NKJV reads in
part: "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death..."
Here the Greek word rendered "taken away is METATITHEMI, which,
according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, means "to place, or
transfer in a passive, horizontal posture." Forms of this word also
occur in Acts 7:16 ("carried back"), Galatians 1 :6 ("turning away"),
Heb.7:12 ("changed"), and Jude 4 ("turn"). It is used throughout the LXX
with a similar range of meanings. However, it is also used in the fourth
chapter of the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon. Chapter four, verse ten
"He pleased God, and was beloved of Him; so that living among sinners he
examination of the context of this verse reveals that it is not
referring to Enoch in particular, but rather to the righteous in general
in contrast to the wicked. Let's look at Wisdom 4:10 once more, this
time in context:
"But though the righteous he prevented with death, yet shall he [the
righteous] be in rest." (v.7)
"He [the righteous] pleased God, and was beloved of Him; so that living
among sinners he [the righteous] was TRANSLATED." (v.10)
"Yea, speedily he [the righteous] was TAKEN AWAY, lest that wickedness
should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul." (v.11)
"He [the righteous], being made perfect in a short time,
fulfilled a long time." (v.13)
his soul pleased the Lord; therefore hasted [God] to TAKE HIM AWAY from
among the wicked."
"This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this
in their minds, that [God's] grace and mercy is with His saints,
and that He has respect unto Hischosen." (v.15)
"Thus the righteous THAT IS DEAD shall condemn the ungodly WHICH ARE
"For they shall see the END of the wise, and shall not understand what
God in His counsel hath decreed of him [the righteous], and to
what end the Lord hath set him in safety." (v.17)
All of the above verses are from The Wisdom of Solomon, chapter four,
verses seven through seventeen. This passage teaches that when the
wicked live to be very old and the righteous die young it is because God
is merciful to the righteous! God takes the righteous away from among
the wicked to spare them from their contaminating influence.
Thus we see that the Greek word METATITHEMI, as used in the Greek text
of Hebrews 11:5 and in the Wisdom of Solomon 4:7-17, simply means to be
taken out of life before one's years are fulfilled or before one's time.
This is in order to spare the righteous from the further corrupting
influence of the wicked, thereby insuring that the righteous do not lose
Before we take leave of this fascinating passage we would like to point
out that the parallels between the situation of "the righteous" in these
verses and that of Enoch as related in Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5 are
many. In fact, we contend that the author of the Wisdom of Solomon had
Enoch in mind when he penned this passage, and that he used Enoch as an
example of what happens and why-- whenever any righteous person is
prematurely removed from the land of the living.
Finally, we contend that neither the Aramaic text of Hebrews 11:5 nor
the Greek texts of Hebrews 11:5 and The Wisdom of Solomon 4:7-17 teach
that anyone was "translated" alive up to heaven.
for the statement that Enoch "did not death"(Heb.11:5, NKJV), this
should be compared and contrasted with the
statements of Paul in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 and of Peter in 2 Peter 1:13-15.
These men had advance warning of their impending death. Enoch was
removed suddenly and without warning.
For any who may think our interpretation of Enoch's REMOVAL strange we
offer the commentary of one of Judaism's greatest teachers: Rabbi
Solomon, son of Isaac, of Troyes---commoniy known as Rashi. Here follows
his interpretation of Genesis 5:24:
"AND ENOCH WALKED. He was a righteous man, yet [it was] lightminded
(for him) to return to evil. Therefore the Holy One, Blessed be He,
hastened and removed him and let him die before his time. That is why
Scripture varies [the expression] about his death and writes, 'And he
was not' in the world to complete his years. FOR HE TOOK HIM. Before
his time..." (The Pentateuch And Rashi’s Commentary, Vol.1:
While the comments of The Wisdom of Solomon and Rashi are very
illuminating--in that they establish that the language used of Enoch in
Genesis and in Hebrews CAN legitimately refer to a premature
death--NEVERTHELESS, the testimony of God's Word must be our final court
of appeal in this matter. Let us, then, return to Hebrews eleven and see
if that chapter can shed any more light on the fate of Enoch.
Hebrews eleven lists the famous men and women of the Old Testament era
and testifies of their faith:
faith Abel...By faith Enoch...By faith Noah...By faith Abraham..."
After listing all of these faithful ones, INCLUDING ENOCH, Paul
concludes in verse 13:
ALL died in faith, not having received the promises...
[again: INCLUDING ENOCH], having obtained a good report through
faith, received not the promise; God having provided some better thing
for us, that they [INCLUDING ENOCH] without us should not be made
perfect." (Hebrews 11:39-40, NKJV)
Friends, if God's Word is to be believed, and it is, Enoch was NOT
"raptured" to heaven. We must conclude, rather, that Enoch DID die; that
he died in faith not having received the promises, and that he shall
receive the promises in the resurrection of the dead like all believers.
and the Whirlwind:
What about Elijah? Doesn't Scripture teach that he was taken away to
heaven in a fiery chariot?
"And it came to pass, as they
[Elijah & Elisha] still went on, and talked, that, behold, there
appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both
asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (2 Kings
Does this verse actually teach that the prophet was taken up alive into
heaven, whether by a chariot of fire or by a whirlwind? As we saw above,
the author of the apocryphal Wisdom of Sirach seemed to think so! Let's
take another look at what Sirach says and then compare it to the
inspired Word of God.
[Elijah] who were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with
horses of fire; you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written,
to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury (Sirach
And now God's Word:
"...and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into HEAVEN."
(2 Kings 2:1lb, KJV)
The word translated "heaven" in this verse is from the Hebrew SHAMAYIM
which The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon says means
"heaven, sky"(p.1029, col.2). It is the same word used in Genesis 1:7-8
where God is said to have placed water above and below the firmament and
then "God called the firmament HEAVEN;"--that is, THE SKY!
Sirach's belief that Elijah was alive in heaven and "ready at the
appointed time…to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury"
was based on his interpretation of Malachi 4:5.6, which reads:
"Behold, I will send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great
and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the
fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers,
lest I come and smite the earth with a curse..."
But Sirach's overly literal understanding of this prophecy is not
correct. Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the correct interpretation.
According to Jesus, Malachi prophesied the ministry of John the Baptist:
[John the Baptist] will also go before Him in the spirit and power of
Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the
disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared
for the Lord." (Luke 1:17, NKJV)
No, Elijah did NOT ride up to heaven on a fiery chariot as many believe.
The Scripture plainly states that "a chariot of fire parted them [Elijah
& Elisha] asunder." And after Elisha was some distance away "Elijah went
up BY A WHIRLWIND." (He would have fried in a chariot of fire!) Further,
the meaning of the Hebrew is that the prophet "went up by a whirlwind
into THE SKY" or "atmosphere." He certainly did not ascend to the heaven
of the angels or of God's throne! How can we be sure?
First, we have already quoted the statement of the beloved Apostle that;
"No man has ascended into heaven." (John 3:13).
Second, the Scriptures record that ELIJAH WAS STILL ON EARTH SOME TWENTY
YEARS LATER during the reign of King Jehoram!
"And there came a letter to him [King Jehoram] from Elijah the
prophet, saying: 'Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father! Because
thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, Nor in the
ways of Asa, King of Judah..." (2Chron.21:12, KJV)
This letter conclusively demonstrates two things:
It demonstrates that Elijah was still on earth some twenty years after
being transported by a whirlwind through the atmosphere to a different
It further shows that Elijah was acquainted with contemporary events and
therefore must have been living somewhere in Israel or Judah.
Ephrem, an early Syriac Christian theologian, comments: "There came
suddenly from on high a fire-storm, and in the midst of the flame the
form of a chariot and of horses, and separated them from one another;
one of the two it left on the earth, the other, namely Elijah, it
carried up on high...but whither the wind...took him, or in what place
it left him, the Scriptures have NOT told us. They say, however, that
some years afterwards an alarming letter from him, full of threats, was
delivered to King Joram of Judah." (quoted in Commentary On the OT, Keil
& Delitzsch, Vol.3, p.209, note 1).
this we add the testimony of Josephus: "Now at this time it was that
Elijah disappeared from among men, and no one knows of his death to this
very day;...And indeed, as to Elijah, and as to Enoch, who was before
the Deluge, it is written in the sacred books that they disappeared;
but so that nobody knew that they died" (Antiquities IX,
at the Transfiguration:
Some believers take Elijah's appearance with Jesus on the Mount of
Transfiguration as proof that Elijah did in fact ascend to heaven.
Let's examine the record to see whether this is so. Matthew 17:1-9
"Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led
them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before
them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as
the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with
Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us
to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for
You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' While he was still speaking,
behold, a bright cloud over-shadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out
of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well
pleased. Hear Him!' And when the disciples heard it, they fell on
their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them
and said, 'Arise, and do not be afraid.' When they had lifted up their
eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Now as they came down from the
mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, 'Tell the vision to no one until
the Son of Man is risen from the dead.'" (NKJV)
is amazing to us that anyone would think that this passage proves that
Elijah, to say nothing of Moses, is still alive. Verse 9 plainly states
that what the disciples saw and heard occurred in a vision! 
The Shem-Tob manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew--preserved for
centuries by the Jews and NOT a translation from Greek or Aramaic--is
a textual descendant of the original Hebrew Matthew.  In
chapter 17, verse three of this little known manuscript there is an
interesting variant reading:
"Then Moses and Elijah, while speaking with Him, were revealed to them
and they told Jesus all which would happen to Him in Jerusalem. Peter
and his companions were asleep. Asleep but not asleep; awake but not
awake. They saw His body and the two men with Him."
This textual variant teaches us three things: 1) It teaches that the
sight and sound of "Moses and Elijah" speaking with Jesus was a
REVELATION to Peter, James and John. 2) It teaches us that the purpose
of the revelation was to prepare the disciples for what was going to
happen to Jesus in Jerusalem; and that the path to His glorification was
to be one of suffering. This is confirmed in verses 12 & 22. And
finally, 3) It teaches that the state in which the disciples received
this REVELATION was not unlike a waking dream. They are described as
being "asleep but not asleep; awake but not awake."
But why Moses and Elijah? Why not Abraham and Job? Or Deborah and
Barak? The reason is that Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the
Prophets, and that what was going to happen to Jesus in Jerusalem was
going to happen in fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. The
disciples had a difficult time grasping this teaching.
chapter 24 of Luke's Gospel we're told that after His resurrection from
the dead Jesus met two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. Not
recognizing Him they spoke with Him about their Master and how He had
been delivered up and crucified, and how His tomb had been found
empty. In verses 25-27 we read:
"Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in
all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered
these things and to enter into His glory?' And beginning at Moses and
all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things
concerning Himself." (NKJV)
Now in the Law and the Prophets there are two principal lines of
Messianic teaching. One line concerns "the suffering servant." The
other line concerns "the Davidic king." A two-messiah theory was widely
held at that time. Many Rabbi's believed in a Messiah-ben-Joseph who
would come and suffer and redeem his brethren; and in a Messiah-ben-David
who would come and deliver Israel from her enemies and then rule for
ever on the throne of David. 
The Essenes at Qumran also held a form of this theory. In their Charter
they are counseled:
"They shall govern themselves using the original precepts by which the
men of the Community began to be instructed, doing so until there come
the Prophet and the Messiah's of Aaron and Israel."
(1Q, col. 9, lines 10-11) 
believe that the purpose of this VISION was to teach the disciples that
Jesus is THE "beloved Son" in Whom God is well-pleased and the singular
INDIVIDUAL in Whom BOTH lines of Messianic prophecy will be fulfilled.
It does NOT teach that Elijah is alive in heaven!
closing, let us return to Hebrews chapter eleven. While Elijah the
prophet is not here mentioned by name (as was Enoch) he is most
certainly included in verse 32 in the phrase: "...and of the rest of the
Therefore Elijah ALSO comes under the verdict that "these ALL died in
faith..." (Heb.11:13a) and "ALL these, having obtained a good testimony
through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided
something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from
us." (Heb.11:39-40, NKJV)
The testimony of God's Word is clear and consistent on these matters.
All die in Adam. Enoch and Elijah are no exception! Along with the
patriarchs, the prophets and all who have since died in faith--they
sleep the sleep of death until it is time for them to awaken in
 Paul speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ as the one "Who alone has
immortality" (1 Timothy 6:16). "Those who are Christ's" will put on
immortality and incorruption in resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-23 &
50-55), when the promise of everlasting life is finally realized (2
Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:2; 1 John 2:25;etc.).
 See: Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices by
Mary Boyce, pp. 50-53 for the historical and archaeological evidence.
 A Savior, Zoroaster's "...own kith and kin, a superman of
miraculous power. born in a supernatural manner, will finally descend
upon earth to rennovate the world." From: Zoroastrian Theology by
M. N. Dhalla p.182.
 "...the Saoshyant will be born of the prophet's own seed,
miraculously preserved in the depths of a lake.. ..When the end of time
approaches, it is said, a virgin will bathe in this lake and will become
with child by this prophet; and she will in due course bear a son, named
Astvat-ereta, 'He who embodies righteousness' [after Zoroaster's own
words: 'May righteousness be embodied' Yasna 43:16]. Despite his
miraculous conception, the coming World Savior will thus be a man, born
of human parents..." From Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and
Practices by Mary Boyce, p.42.
 The full quotation reads: "Whoever comes after the Follower of Asha,
his dwelling in future shall be Light, but for you, O followers of the
Druj, a long period of darkness, a murky glow, and woeful wailings---to
such an existence will your evil conscience lead you through your evil
deeds." (Yasna 43:16) From: SONGS OF ZARATHUSTRA: The Gathas.
Translated From The Avesta, by D.F.A. Bode and P. Nanavutty.
 Quoted from: A Rabbinic Commentary On The New Testament by
Samuel Tobias Lachs, p.19-20.
 "But of all the demons that attend upon Ahriman, the arch-fiend
Aeshma (...aesma daeva, regarded by some as the Asmodeus of the Book of
Tobit) is the most feared and the most diabolical." From: Zoroastrian
Studies by A.V. Williams Jackson, p.75.
 Compare Zarathustra's teaching given in Yasna 30:1-11 with that of
the Essenes at Qumran in 3:15---4:25 of their Charter.
 DAEVA is a word of Indo-Aryan origin. In ancient and modern Hindu
sects the Daevas (beings of light or "Shining Ones") are worshipped as
gods, while the ASURAS are shunned as dark spirits. Zarathustra and his
followers split oft from an early form of this DAEVA-religion.
Zarathustra claimed that the DAEVAS were actually the dark spirits
(equivalent to demons) while the ASURAS were spirit-servants (angels) of
Ahura Mazda, the one true God! See: Zoroastrians: Their Religious
Beliefs And Practices by Mary Boyce, pp.11, 19,21, 30&36.
 Quoted from: Iranian Influence In Judaism And Christianity by A.
Aryanpur & M. Aryanpur, p.53.
 The LXX or Septuagint Version of the Old Testament was made circa
280 BCE when Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt translated the
Scriptures from Hebrew into Greek for the use of Greek-spea king Jews
 "Scholars generally agree that the Old Testament writings, with the
possible exception of Isaiah 26 and Daniel 12, do not contain explicit
references to the resurrection of the dead. At death the individual
simply is gathered to his final (or father's) place, the tomb. Sheol and
the netherworld ['eres] is described as the abode of the dead, not of
people who continue to live after death [cf. Isa .38:18; Sir.
17:28;14:12-19J." From: The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha ed. By
James H. Charlesworth; Volume I, p.xxxiii.
 See: Semitic Light On Hebrews by J. S. Trimm, Hebrew/Aramaic
Research Institute, Hurst TX, 1997 and The Semitic Origin Of
The New Testament by J. S. Trimm, Hebrew/Aramaic Research Institute,
Hurst TX 1996. Also see the insightful, if somewhat dated, New
Testament Origin by George Lamsa, Aramaic Bible Society Inc.,
Covington GA, 1976.
 See: The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek And English by Sir
Lancelot C. L. Brenton, pp.58,59 of Apocrypha.
 With the exception of those believers who "are alive and remain
until the coming of the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:15). These will not
 Even a casual reading of the Scriptures reveals that God has often
delivered Divine instruction to people by means of VISIONS. Visions are
similar to waking dreams. In visions, spiritual truth is imparted to the
mind or heart AUDIBLY and PICTORALLY. Visions, then, are a kind of
Now any informed student of Scripture knows better than to interpret a
PARABLE as a literal or historical account. The results of so doing can
be disastrous. The same thing applies to VISIONS recorded in Scripture.
They must never be treated as anything more than SYMBOLIC
REPRESENTATIONS of truth.
For instance, when Moses SAW the burning bush and HEARD the voice of God
speaking to him from the midst of it, do you think that a Bedouin on a
nearby sand dune would also have seen the flame and heard the voice? Of
course not! This revelation was given by God to Moses in a VISION. And
in it, that which God wanted to convey to Moses was imparted PICTORALLY
and AUDIBLY to his heart and mind alone.
 The universal tradition of the early churches was that the Gospel
of Matthew was originally scribed in Hebrew and later translated into
Greek and Aramaic. The Shem-Tob and DuTillet manuscripts, while NOT the
Hebrew original, are not translations and are therefore textual
descendants of the original. See: Hebrew Gospel Of Matthew by
George Howard, pp.155-233 and B'SOROT MATTI: The Good News According
To Matthew From An Old Hebrew Manuscript by James Scott Trimm, pp.
 See: What The Rabbis Know About The Messiah by Rachmiel
Frydland, pp. 51-61.
 For the Priestly Messiah "of Aaron" see: lQSa=1Q28a 11-14a &
17-20a; 4Q534-536. For the kingly [Davidic] Messiah "of Israel" see:
1QSa=1Q28a 14b-17a & 20b-21a; 4Q174 Col. 3:10-13; 4Q285 Frag. 5; 4Q369;
4Q252 Col. 5:1-5.
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